Brian Van Winkle on the Creative Process

Brian Van Winkle’s ten minute play (which he also starred in), “The Way I Picture it In My Head Is,” was a big hit at our February show. Brian is a recent graduate of Southern Oregon University in Ashland, Oregon where he received a Bachelor of Science in Theatre Arts with a minor in Shakespeare Studies. He is also a graduate of the Foothill Theatre Conservatory and a member of the Pacifica Table Readers.

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Brian Van Winkle

In addition to his play, Brian has performed at POW in Melinda Marks’ “Menage A Un” and Adam Magill’s one-act play “Malleus Maleficarum.” He agreed to share some thoughts with us on his writing and performance experience.

POW: What did it feel like to have your words performed aloud? Was this the first time you saw someone interpret your work? What did you learn about your own writing? 

BVW:  It has been such a privilege to have my work performed by Play on Words. Though this is not my first time having my work performed for an audience, the experience is always beneficial. There is no better way to improve one’s writing than to see how it is interpreted by other people. Seeing other people create something out what you have made allows you to take it in as a separate entity from yourself. You can see what in your piece works and what doesn’t based on how the audience reacts to it. There is little I can think of more thrilling and encouraging than when a desired reaction lands with a crowd just as you want it to–and if a certain idea is not coming through clear enough, it will become obvious by the way that it is portrayed. I am very grateful that there are outlets such as this so that new works can continually be developed and improved for aspiring artists.

POW: What was it like to perform a piece knowing that the writer was in the room? How did you prepare? How did this experience make you feel about your own writing/creating process? 

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Brian (center) played an important role in “Menage a Un”

BVW:  It’s a pleasure to be able to give new writers a voice for their work. In an environment such as this, where we are able to interact directly with the authors, we are able to better prepare a piece in the way that it is intended to be performed. Being directly involved with the artists is a great way to help develop their work as well as gain skills to help hone one’s own abilities.

 

 

Introducing This Week’s Lineup

In the mood for a good story? A funny ten minute play? How about both?

Join us as we return to San Jose’s Blackbird Tavern this Thursday, February 13, at 7:30 pm. We are thrilled to showcase original work from six Silicon Valley writers, performed by local actors. Here’s our lineup:

First up is “Menage a Un,” a short play by Melinda Marks, performed by Brian Van Winkle, Jeremy Ryan, and Melinda. This piece plays with the awkwardness that accompanies unexpected romantic reunions.

Next we’re proud to feature “Platonic Affairs,” an excerpt of former Steinbeck fellow Kirstin Chen’s forthcoming novel, Soy Sauce for Beginners, which has been named a January pick by O, The Oprah Magazine and Glamour, and Chen has been named one of USA Today’s “New Voices”. Melinda Marks will be performing the piece.

Our first poem, “Vibration,” is by Darrell Dela Cruz, a recent graduate of San Jose State University’s MFA program. This wonderful piece captures the charged spirit of romance and will be performed by Adam Magill.

The next poem, “Here,” is written by Metro journalist Gary Singh and explores one writer’s journey to pin a story down. For 450 straight weeks he’s also penned a creative newspaper column for Metro, San Jose’s alt-weekly newspaper, an offbeat glimpse into the frontiers of the human condition in Silicon Valley. His poem will be read by Ryan Alpers.

Adam Magill will read Eli Hansen’s bombastic satire, “The State of Generation Y.” Hansen is an MFA student at SJSU, specializing in poetry. He graduated from San Francisco State University in 2011, where he served as the poetry editor of Transfer.

Our final piece is a comic play, “The Way I Picture it Is,” by Brian Van Winkle. Brian is a recent graduate of Southern Oregon University, where he received a B.S. in Theatre Arts with a minor in Shakespeare Studies. He is also a graduate of the Foothill Theatre Conservatory and a member of the Pacifica Table Readers. His piece will be performed by Adam Magill, Jeremy Ryan, Melinda Marks, Ryan Alpers, Julia Halprin Jackson.

We hope to see you there! Don’t forget to RSVP on Facebook!