Play on Words Podcast: The POWer Half Hour

POWartPODBy interviewing artists, writers, and performers from past shows, to learn more about their artistic and creative process, to speak on San Jose, and to shed light on our passions, we endeavor to produce this podcast. Ryan Alpers is the creator, producer, and host of the “Play on Words POWer Half Hour” and will, in the first season, pair recorded segments with the writers, performers, and creators of previous Play on Words shows. Guests include Gary Singh, Melinda Marks, and more!

Andrew Christian
Andrew Christian

In the first episode, we talk with Andrew Christian about how he approached writing his poem “Scars,” performed at Cafe Stritch in San Jose, teaching high school English, and how he uses creative writing to empower emerging voices in his classroom. We’re really excited for this, and the upcoming episodes, so stay tuned and tell your friends!

We chose to host our content primarily on Sound Cloud, so take a listen to the POWer Half Hour Podcast. We can’t wait to tell you more, so be sure to follow us on our Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook for the latest #POWPOD updates. Hooray podcasts! Hooray!

Brian Van Winkle’s “Audition”

As we read submissions and gear up for our July 14 show in St. James Park, we’re “auditioning” new material to see how it will sound when performed aloud. It only makes sense to conclude our Take Flight series with this final short play by Brian Van Winkle, aptly titled “Audition”:

Thanks to Michael Weiland, Melinda Marks, Julia Halprin Jackson, and guest “singers” Ryan Alpers, Adam Magill and Brian himself.

We hope to announce our lineup for the July show in the next week, so stay tuned!

Tiffany Edwards & the Art of Cardio Tai Chi

Have you ever taken a college P.E. class? How about tai chi–cardio tai chi? In case you missed it, here’s the lovely Tiffany Edwards reading “Cardio Tai Chi” by Sarah Lyn Rogers June 3 at Cafe Stritch:

We welcome any practitioners of cardio tai chi to perform alongside our public reading on July 14 in San Jose’s St. James Park. Stay tuned for the details!

Ryan Alpers Reads “Scars”

Play On Words fans will recognize Andrew Christian’s name from when we performed his poem “Thirteen” in May 2014 at Blackbird Tavern. He was unable to join us because his son Leo was born that very day–Leo didn’t want to miss the show. This spring, Ryan Alpers performed Andrew’s poem “Scars” at Cafe Stritch. Leo was there too:

We’re also hijacking this post to say HAPPY BIRTHDAY RYAN. We heart your voice.

Don’t forget: We’re accepting submissions for our July 14th show til midnight TONIGHT! Email us your submissions at

Laurel Brittan Learns to “Swim”

Just what does it feel like to jump feet-first into a well, when you don’t know how to swim? Today we’re delighted to feature footage of Laurel Brittan performing Pratibha Kelapure’s “Swimming Lessons” on June 3 at Cafe Stritch:

It’s summer–so good luck with all your water sports. Stay tuned for details of our July 14 show at St. James Park!

Arcadia Conrad Sees “Red”

Have you ever wondered what’s going on in Lady Macbeth’s head? Melinda Marks lets us into Lady Macbeth’s imaginings in her monologue, aptly titled “Red.” Here is the lovely Arcadia Conrad reading “Red” June 3 at Cafe Stritch:

Interested in Shakespearean adaptations? Check out our series on annotation this past spring.

And for all you writers out there: you’ve got less than a week to submit to our July show! You know what to do.

Hot Turkish Story For You

Women who travel: have you ever had to say “no” to someone in another country? Sometimes it’s not as easy as it sounds. Just ask the narrator in Valerie Fioravanti’s “Hot Turkish Man For You,” as performed by Melinda Marks on June 3 at Cafe Stritch:

If you like Valerie’s work (and how could you not?), you need to check out her book, Garbage Night at the OperaShe also offers writing workshops, bootcamp mentorships, and self-paced tutorials. If you’re based in Northern California, you’ll also like Sacramento Stories on Stage, and its sister program, Stories on Stage Davis.

Behind the Scenes of a Drama School Play

Have you ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes at theater school? Mara Sherman‘s one-act, “Stage Kiss,” explores the flirtatious awkwardness behind scene partners who, um, get paired a lot. Check out Laurel Brittan and Gray Performs reading Mara’s play on June 3 at San Jose’s Cafe Stritch:

Does this inspire you to write? If so, send us your funniest, your most awkward, your most poignant stories at Deadline for our next show is June 30!