What freedom–what mischief–can one young man find when he is in New York for the first time? We are grateful to the talented Adam Weinstein for performing “Construction” by Jon Ford on April 11th at Cafe Stritch:
Talk about new horizons. Big thanks to Adam for loaning us his voice and to Jon for trusting us with his story.
On Monday night we gathered to rehearse for tonight’s show and the air crackled with electricity. Each story, poem and piece is dynamite, and our seasoned cast is more than ready to light up the stage at Cafe Stritch. Play On Words has existed for five years, and in that time we’ve gotten to meet so many amazing artists, writers, performers and patrons of the arts. Every show is special and every show is different. Tonight we bring Play On Words: New Horizons to life.
Join us at 7 pm to witness amazing performers read work by the following fabulous writers:
New Horizons will also feature live drawing by Michelle Frey (Instagram/boule_miche and @michellange on Twitter) and Clifton Gold of Luna Park Arts. Michelle teaches weekly live drawing classes at the School of Visual Philosophy. Special thanks to our photographer Branden Frederick and videographer Ryan Alpers.
The freedom of being in a new place can take a character in many directions. We were compelled by Jon Ford‘s”Construction,” a short story that depicts the liberating and at-times heartbreaking explorations of a young gay man visiting New York City for the first time. We’re looking forward to performing this piece on Wednesday at Play On Words: New Horizons.
Jon is a writer from New York City, an area which informs much of his work. Formerly an actor in theaters across the country, he studied English and Creative Writing at Hunter College and received a Masters in Creative Writing from the University of California – Davis. Jon received a number of scholarships and fellowships during his academic period and is currently working on two writing projects, The Tenth Ward, and a shorter detective novel, The Tinker’s Damn, which is set in Manhattan’s Hells Kitchen neighborhood.
His publications, honors and awards include:
“The Return” – The Olive Tree Review, Fall 2011, No. 46, Hunter College, New York, NY
“Moving Day” – The Olive Tree Review, Fall 2007, No. 40, Hunter College, New York, NY
Residencies at Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Ragsdale, and The Writers’ Colony at Dairy Hollow.
Jon answered a few questions for us from his NYC home in advance of this week’s event.
What inspired you to participate in Play On Words?
While I’ve often read my work aloud I was intrigued with the prospect of having someone else interpret my work and see the results a different point of view would bring to the piece.
Which writers or performers inspire you?
This sounds a bit corny, but my mother read aloud to me when I was growing up and she inspired my interest in reading, writing, and the arts in general. Later, she began writing children’s stories and had a number of children’s books, poems, and memoir pieces published. She seemed to write simply because she loved doing it and I try to keep that mindset in my own work.
Name a book or performance that fundamentally affected you.
It’s hard to pick only one. I live in New York City in the theater district so I am lucky enough to be constantly exposed to new (and old) plays which keep me hungry to write. Also, my reading interests are spread all across periods and genres. However, I recently saw a new production of Angels in America and the play’s wide scope of social ideas combined with the tight, intense understanding of its characters really fired me up.