On this day in Play On Words history, we hosted our first show at San Jose’s Blackbird Tavern, featuring the work of Ryan Alpers, Leah Griesmann, Eric Sneathen, Adam Magill and Melinda Marks. We are so grateful to Chris and Leah of the Blackbird for their encouraging and helpful partnership for our three San Jose shows, and are so sorry to hear that the Blackbird has shut its doors. [Note: If you liked the Blackbird, you’ll certainly love Naglee Park Garage, their sister restaurant.] It is thanks in part to them that Play On Words has gained momentum in the last year–and we hope to continue growing, performing and reading your work.
It’s fitting, then, to feature Nicole Hughes’ first reading of her own work for Play On Words on our blog today. Nicole is one of POW’s three co-founders, a recent MFA grad from San Jose State University, the former acting director of the Center for Literary Arts, and the current events manager for Kepler’s Books in Menlo Park. Here she is knocking it out of the park with her reading of “Skin Puddles” last Saturday in Clarion Alley in San Francisco:
Congrats, Nicole! And happy birthday Play On Words!
If you’ve never seen an insulin pump before, it looks a lot like an iPod. Our May show featured a short monologue by #POW cofounder Julia Halprin Jackson called “Sweet On You.” A draft of this piece was originally performed at UC Santa Barbara exactly 10 years ago. It seems fitting to have this piece performed by the stellar Melinda Marks a few weeks before Julia and her partner Ryan tie the knot. Curious? Here’s what you missed:
Thanks, Melinda, for this beautiful reading. Shot Bloks and Gatorade for all!
It’s nearly summer. Love is in the air–and onstage. That’s just one of the reasons we love this poem by writer/teacher Andrew Christian. In case you missed it, here’s Jeremy Ryan’s performance of “Thirteen” from our May 22 show:
Andrew couldn’t join us for Spring Fling because his lovely wife Beth had just delivered their first child, Leo, a mere 48 hours earlier. We like to think that Leo wanted to be in the world in time to hear his father’s poem. Congratulations to our #POW family. Thank you for sharing your words, and thanks to Jeremy for his wonderful interpretation.
We at Play On Words have developed a taste for the fast, funny and ridiculous sketch. Cue playwright Adam Magill. Last May we produced his piece, “Only Customary,” at the Blackbird. Jeremy Ryan and Brian Van Winkle stole the show; Nicole Hughes and Julia Halprin Jackson made a quick appearance as well. There’s no better way to start your Friday than a little pants-ing action. You’ll see what we mean:
Big thanks to Adam, Jeremy and Brian for their hilarious and well-timed work. We hope you adopt some new, eh, customs, this Friday.
Play On Words: Spring Fling featured a number of San Jose State students, both undergrad and grad students. We were excited to recruit Tiffany Viorge, SJSU Theater major, to read Sarah Lyn Rogers’ piece, “Ephemera.” A mere 24 hours after reading this lyrical piece, Tiffany graduated from college. Talk about an exciting week.
Sarah Lyn Rogers is an MFA candidate at SJSU, where her emphases are fiction and poetry. She was this year’s recipient of the Academy of American Poets – Virginia de Araujo prize for her poem, “Rat Race.” When she’s not writing, Sarah is a mentor and copyeditor for Society of Young Inklings, and the assistant fiction editor for The Rumpus. She also performs original songs with Elflock.
Last month we were pleased and excited to feature two short-shorts by SJSU alum David Wirth, both performed by the inimitable Brian Van Winkle. Here’s “Part I”:
And “Part II”:
In his own words, David Wirth has spent the last two years accidentally developing a belly, which only recently got round in a way that can be seen through a t-shirt. Since this development, watching superhero movies has, in terms of his psyche/self-regard, become a challenging experience. Further, David Wirth lives in Salinas, where he is nearly always surrounded by beautiful things, especially in the early morning and late evening, when the light is really nice. He likes words.
Thanks to David and Brian for sharing and performing such interesting work.
And now for something different: Kevin Hull’s performance of “Poor Thing,” by Jessy Goodman, at last month’s Spring Fling show at the Blackbird Tavern Annex. Jessy came to Play On Words directly following her graduation from San Jose State University’s MFA program. Congratulations Jessy, and thanks for sharing such a fabulous piece of writing. In case you missed it, here’s Kevin’s performance:
Kevin’s band Elflock kicked off the evening with a few lovely songs, alongside fellow POW contributor Sarah Lyn Rogers, whose story “Ephemera” will be up on the blog soon. Stay tuned!
Play On Words’ May 22 show, Spring Fling, featured some exciting new work by Bay Area writers. We were also thrilled to feature a new actor, Tiffany Viorge, who together with POW veteran Melinda Marks nailed Christine Keating’s biting play, “Misery Olympics.” Big thanks to our friends Bayard Nielsen and Teresa Fradejas Salazar, who functioned as our unofficial POW videographers. In case you missed it, you can watch the full play here:
We were excited to welcome back some POW friends and family to the Blackbird Tavern, who has acted as our gracious host for the past few shows. Thanks, also, to POW photographer Michelle Anderson, whose photos you’ll spot on our Instagram (@playonwordsanjose) and Facebook (Play On Words San Jose) pages. Stay tuned this week to catch more footage from May’s show.
Have you got a hidden talent?
Are you a writer or performer? Artist? Musician? Man (or woman) about town? We’re in the process of planning our 2014-2015 season and want to hear from people with special artistic skills. Shoot us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re interested.