Deadline Extended to October 15

Call for Submissions Alternate DE

Good news, Playonwordsians: We are extending the deadline for the chapbook that we are producing in conjunction with the fabulous Flash Fiction Forum. You’ve got until October 15 to send 500 words of fiction, nonfiction, poetry or theatre to activistchapbook@gmail.com.

Not sure where to start? Here’s a brief recap of recent headlines that might trigger a response:

  • Last week, Trump announced that he plans to rescind the DACA program, which will affect approximately 800,000 students and their families who are working and studying legally in the United States.
  • Hurricanes like Harvey and Irma displace thousands of families, many of whom may have been previously displaced by Katrina in 2005.
  • Charlottesville–August 12, 2017, and the rise of neo-Nazism.
  • Trump’s July announcement to ban transgender citizens from serving in the military.

There are lots of ways to resist and show solidarity with communities whose livelihoods and basic civil rights are at risk. We’re hoping to provide a platform for writers to speak up and speak out.

We look forward to reading your work.

We’re All “Sweet On You”

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!

 

“Thirteen,” by Andrew Christian

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.

Up Close and Personal with Adam Magill’s “Only Customary”

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.

 

“Ephemera” by Sarah Lyn Rogers

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.

 

David Wirth’s “Part I” and “Part II”

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.

 

Jessy Goodman’s “Poor Thing”

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!

 

“Misery Olympics” Kills It at Spring Fling

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 playonwordssj@gmail.com if you’re interested.

Play On Words: Spring Fling

The days are getting longer. The air is ripe. Students are graduating. People are getting married. It’s about time spring had one last hurrah, don’t you think? Join us next at 7:30pm next Thursday, May 22, at San Jose’s Blackbird Tavern for Play On Words: Spring Fling. We’re excited to announce our spring lineup: 

Jessy Goodman

Jessy Goodman is an imminent graduate with an MFA in fiction at SJSU. She recently one multiple awards for her writing, including the Lois King Thore Short Story Scholarship and the Owen Broyles Scholarship for Outstanding Achievement by a Graduate Student. Jessy is also fiction editor of The Rumpus.

Andrew Christian

Andrew Christian is a high school English teacher at Abraham Lincoln High School in San Jose. He holds a B.A. in English with a minor in Creative Writing from CSU Chico as well as a teaching credential from San Jose State University. While studying English at CSU Chico, he was published in the CSU Chico literary magazine, “Watershed” and was featured in the 30th Anniversary Edition of “Watershed.”

Julia Halprin Jackson

Julia Halprin Jackson‘s work has appeared in West Branch Wired, California Northern, Fourteen Hills, Flatmancrooked, Sacramento News & Review, Fictionade, Fiction365, Catalyst and Spectrum, as well as selected anthologies. Julia has been awarded scholarships from the Tomales Bay Writer’s Workshops and the Bread Loaf Writer’s Conference. She has an M.A. in Creative Writing (fiction) from UC Davis.

David WirthDavid 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.

Sarah Lyn Rogers

Sarah Lyn Rogers is an MFA candidate at San José State University, 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.

Christine Keating is a writer/director living in San Francisco. Directing credits include Little Shop of Horrors, Can’t Thread a Moving Needle, War Brides, and The Vagina Monologues, as well as staged readings at Custom Made Theatre, TheatreWorks Young Playwrights PRogram, and Santa Clara University. Recently, Christine assistant-directed Good People at Marin Theatre Company and Silent Sky at TheatreWorks. Writing credits include A Girl in Pink (Reading: stageRIGHT Theatre, Seattle), The Sisters Sirene (co-written with Amelia Bethel, commissioned by the 2014 SF Olympians Festival) and an adaptation of Sam Shepard’s short stories, day out of days (Reading: Magic Theatre). She would like to thank Play on Words for this wonderful opportunity! You can look at her face and read some things that come out of her brain at http://www.keatingmarie.com.