The seed of an idea for a play began to germinate during a reading series playwright Jacqueline E. Lawton attended in the fall of 2010. It was “Backstage at the Lincoln,” a joint initiative between the Lincoln Theatre, Theater J, and the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, and Lawton was immediately inspired by the stories that examined the relationship between African-Americans and Jews. “I told [Associate Artistic Director Shirley Serotsky] I’m going to write you a play,” remembers Lawton.
Nate Wright isn’t your typical sixth grader. He’s a self-described genius, holds the record in his school for most detentions (22 and counting!), is an accomplished cartoonist, and just happens to be the drummer for the coolest garage band in the universe, Enslave the Mollusk. And yet, somehow, this rebellious boy – first imagined by author Lincoln Peirce in his widely published comics and books, and most recently adapted and brought to life by Jason Loewith and Chris Youstra in the musical Big Nate at Adventure Theatre – has managed to capture the hearts and minds of kids and adults alike.
Sometimes all a playwright needs is a little inspiration from a little-known film. For Brian Sutow, Producing Artistic Director of No Rules Theatre Co., Stanley Tucci’s 2007 movie Blind Date, which Tucci co-wrote, directed and starred in, provided just that. “It was a pretty instantaneous impulse for me,” explains Sutow. “On a lark I watched the movie one night, and I immediately felt that it wasn’t a movie, it was a play.” And so, with Tucci’s film in mind, Sutow began writing The Personal(s). But the result is far from a simple adaptation.
"There's a saying in the world of Commedia.‘The play you’re doing tonight is not the play you did in rehearsal,’” muses Faction of Fools Theatre Company Managing Director Toby Mulford. He’s explaining how the troupe’s latest project, an improvisation-based production of a 17th century Italian farce, is different from the usual Faction of Fools show. For one thing, there’s no playwright. For another, there’s no play - or at least no script. Mulford, who is making his area directorial debut, is creating a script based on what comes from several weeks of rehearsal.
Duende [is] a mysterious force that everyone feels and no philosopher has explained. So, then, the duende is a force not a labour, a struggle not a thought. I heard an old maestro of the guitar say: “The duende is not in the throat: the duende surges up, inside, from the soles of the feet.” Meaning, it’s not a question of skill, but of a style that’s truly alive: meaning, it’s in the veins: meaning, it’s of the most ancient culture of immediate creation…The great artists of Southern Spain, Gypsy or flamenco, singers dancers, musicians, know that emotion is impossible without the arrival of the duende…Duende is a power or a demon that cannot be summoned at will, but when it arrives its force