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How I am Learning to Play Write

I am writing and posting this short blog on Sunday before The Tony Awards and after I met playwright Paula Vogel. We are in front of the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre where her remarkable How I Learned to Drive is playing and closing today. I saw it at the VineyardTheatre in 1997 before it won the Pulitzer Prize. I saw the first preview in April 2022. Wow both times. Wow to the writing, acting, directing. It’s theater at its best.

I had the opportunity to share my praise with Paula Vogel.

If only meeting her could do the trick.

Tricks? No Tricks. There is Hard Work, Hanging In, Persistence, Loving to Write, and Having Something to Say. And more of the same.

I have been writing, getting books and essays published since the early 1970s, and accumulating heaven-knows-how-many rejections. Taking up playwriting at My Age, and writing, rewriting, rewriting some more, and marketing my play Finding Mr. Rightstein makes writing, rewriting, and marketing essays and books seem like a walk in the park.

My play has had several readings. Some zoom, some in-person at theaters. New theater friends are giving me advice. I am open to all, trying to take in what works. One artistic director, who read Finding Mr. Rightstein and loves it, sees several 10- minute plays within it and suggested that I submit them.

I have. I continue to get them accepted, have an in-person reading next month with great actors. The actors matter. Cold readings and zoom readings don’t always work as well as well-rehearsed, in-person readings.

Playwriting and play marketing are exciting and challenging. I hope I’ll be inviting you all to productions even if it means my grandchildren will be picking me up at the home and escorting me to them.

Now I am going to watch the Tonys, keeping my fingers crossed for How I Learned to Drive and Paula Vogel.

If only playwriting came as easy as meeting her.



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