Monday, July 4, 2011


NYC empties out for the holidays
Especially this one..
so, I could ride my bike easily down to 43rd Street
to attend our full session of classes today.
Entering Cameo studios and traveling down into the earth
two floors and how many levels
I try not to think of the
fall out shelters of the my youth and
they way they were stocked with canned goods
and guns and no books.. ever...
in the displays at the State Fair anyway.

I always wondered,
what we'd do down in those shelters with no books.
Maybe card games? Our nails? Maybe Scrabble?
Anne Frank Annex fantasies?

Not to worry though. This travel down two levels
leads me to the clean, bright and
cool rehearsal studio. We are the first group to use it.
It was created by developers of a local hotel.
NYC makes developers contribute to the well being of existing communities
when they build their huge complexes.. and so the theatre district got another rehearsal studio at low cost for the use of a few companies for special events. Hence, our arrival.
We are delighted to be there.

This afternoon I had the chance to read some of my material. And be as vulnerable as the rest of the writers. Did FOREST FOR THE TREES, a stylized presentational love story and a five pages of a brand new piece about the prisons we work in, live in and choose.

We were also visited by Playwright J. Holtham who brought in some brand new work and some more seasoned scenes. J. will come back next Friday with his rewrites and the students will get a chance to see how their work, their input changes and affects a living piece of art.

Kind of the idea in this program.
How do we affect each other as we exist in the room,
in the town, on the planet together?
We do affect each other, whether we know it or not.
The energy of an event translates to the energy of an action.
The energy of an action translates to the energy of origin, that is..
where the action originates.

Our job is to get all of those actions to
generate from the heart.. not the mind, not the head,
but the wise and judicious heart
that tells the truth and
is open to its effect in the world.

Tall task... to keep that heart undefended and
yet strong enough to emanate its own love and strength from within.
Well. we're all on the road.

We're in it together.

Saturday, July 2, 2011





Zip.. and all time collapses
and we are in the middle of the end and
the beginning and spinning all at once.

For those more linear thinkers I'd like to report an inspiring week one.
Acting, Collaborative Workshop, Playwriting and Rep are all launched. Rod is back from the Berkshires where he directed Andrew Dolan's new play THE MANY MISTRESSES OF MARTIN LUTHER KING for Producer Bob Jaffe of Berkshires Playwrights Lab. Stay tuned re; Bob as he will join us the director of RECLAMATION, the solo piece we will try out for the group on July 20.
We conquered the air conditioning and the subway.
Saw new work at The Public, New Dramatists, Don't Tell Mama and the Comic Book Festival at the Brick.

We got to know each other, met Crystal Skillman and Joe Gilford, guest writers.
And had a chance to begin the process of unpacking the images and
style of their work..
and even heard the new work of our writers Benjamin Benne and Greg Palmerino.

Benjamin, our Hayakawa scholar, is working on his full length CAPTIVITY about the
the complicated relationships between an upscale working couple and their nanny. I promise Ben started this piece way before the Schwarzenegger situation came up.

Greg,a support Associate, is working on ANJELICA examining the way in which we love beasts.. the beasts in ourselves and those that surround us. Dark and theatrical , he is just beginning the work.

Jenn, our Program Admin and Gus, her trusty intern, are still standing.
Oh! And our first visual artist, Fred Hatt, visited and sketched this week as well.

And phew.. now a day of rest and back at it July 4 when EST playwright J. Holtham comes by and introduces his work to our group.

RUN SILENT RUN DEEP was on Channel 13 tonight.
Gable kept yelling, DIVE DIVE DIVE...
and in the quiet of the deep...
there lies the answer.

Thursday, June 30, 2011


Taking action.
Being active.
To act is to do.
To create action from need.
To create action from want.
What do I want so much that I will take action to get it?
What do I need so much that nothing will deter me?
And how do I show this desire?
Objects hold the keys to action-- at this point... real palpable objects.
Dumbo's feather.
The ruby slippers.
How about the red violin?
And how can I save my life and take action.. urgent, connected and palpable action.. that is worthy of the goal I am after?
Well.. I could ask for something or demand it
I could cajole, hide, seduce, redirect, steal,..... and it goes on.
I could actively wait or actively conquer.
The art is in the choice, yes?

Taking direct action, from a direct and connected place.
That was today. In both Jose's class and playwriting.

We have started collecting and sorting, choosing and releasing
and it is just the beginning.

Oh, and Rod is back. Our Producing Director Rod Menzies is back from directing Andrew Dolan's play THE MANY MISTRESSES OF MARTIN LUTHER KING at the Berkshire Playwrights Lab in Great Barrington, Massachusetts.

So, the Rep class starts tomorrow afternoon.
Stay tuned.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

STarting strong....

In our first two days we have seen three theatre pieces.
Readings at New Dramatists today, and the Public Theatre last night.
And we all were able to attend Leslie McKinnell's cabaret evening at Don't Tell Mama, directed by our own associate Greg Palmerino and featuring the talents of many Cal State Fullerton students who are here in NYC working and growing and making it happen.

That's the best... To see the way in which these artists grow into themselves as they claim what is specific to their own selves. I often quote Gide.. or paraphrase him:

That quote set me on my path. Irreplaceable? A specific mission?
And so the task
of eliminating all the extra debris, the triggers, the baggage, the static..
ridding ourselves of the extra "stuff"
with which we adorn ourselves to keep ourselves from ourselves.
And this is the artists training.
simply being.
simply breathing.
simply channeling
and allowing light to flow through us --
and allowing that light to hit the skill sets created by training and growth
and maturity

and in this way we create.
We are larger than ourselves.
This has little to do with paparazzi.
But lots and lots to do with stardom..
Stay tuned.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


We started strong today with the Collaborative Workshop spending time setting up the agreements for working together. The group spent time checking in on their time in New York and where the world finds them these days.

And then a full three hours in PLaywriting ingesting the basics of a ten minute play.
By the end of the session everyone was writing and we are off.... now we build from there.

Tonight a visit to the Public Theatre to see ZOETROPE, a new play from their Emerging Writers Group.... a good way to be initiated into our work.

End of day one.
Stay tuned.

Monday, June 27, 2011


We are very grateful this summer to have students studying with us in the name of
those who we have loved and treasured.

MAI HAYAKAWA was a wonderful, creative, talented and joyful spirit who makes me smile just to think about her. We are so honored to be able to keep her spirit alive with the institution of the HAYAKAWA MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP. This years recipient of a full tuition and housing scholarship is Benjamin Benne. His new play Captivity will be read and developed during the summer. Stay tuned for some words from Ben as the summer progresses.

The TONY SHULTZ MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP is named in honor of artist, musician, and fine fine soul Tony Shultz. Tony had the great fun to be part of the original company of GREASE,THE BAKERS WIFE and PLATINUM on Broadway. He was an accomplished musician, playing jazz and rock by ear. Co Founder of the Los Angeles Writers Bloc ,Tony believed passionately in the voice of new artists and that education was the key to the next generation. We are delighted to welcome two full SHULTZ SCHOLARS this summer. Paris Alexandra and Ray Scott come to the program as SHULTZ scholars this summer and we are also pleased to award Carlos Morales and Gloris Rice partial support.

Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival scholars this year are TAYSHA MORALES (ACADIA COllEGE) and CASSIDY SLAUGHTER MASON ( UNViVERSITY OF OREGON).

We welcome all of our students and look forward to our support of their endeavors and the endeavors of our future students.
We look forward to updating you on the progress of everyone!


we return we return
all is well all is well

we welcome everyone to Summer C0onservatory 2011.
this blog is meant to give you a running commentary on the work of the New York Theatre Intensives: Summer Conservatory 2011.

we have just come from our opening reception and welcome to our summer students.
jose santana , who will be teaching the collaborative workshop, was there. and paul slee, exective director of EST, and Geoff Dunbar, lighting designer and longtime EST member and Susan Vitucci who will be working with us on Object Theatre.

geoff put it well in introducing the process to the students, he talked about how we, as members of the Ensemble Studio Theatre, all met as young artists and how we, some thirty or forty years later, are privileged to still be working together as collaborators and friends.

this is the work we do together.
we live.
we make beautiful things together
and apart and
then together again.
we are grateful to do so.

tomorrow our classes begin and we attend our first public reading of a new play at The Public Theatre, ZOETROPE.
Wednesday afternoon we visit New Dramatists and hear a new play there.
Wednesday eve, there is a cabaret at DONT TELL MAMA
and Friday night, the Comic Book Festival at the Brick Theatre in Williamsburg.

stay tuned.
we hope you'll enjoy the ride as much as we do.