Can you find love in a crossword puzzle? Watch Ryan Alpers perform “Voodoo,” a flash piece by Gary Singh, at our Oct. 19 LitCrawl show at San Francisco’s Stage Werx Theatre:
Since we performed this piece, Gary has published it on Digging Through the Fat. Big thanks to Branden Frederick for taking photos, Cleveland Motley for filming and the kind folks at Stage Werx for making this show happen.
Want more #POWSJ? RSVP now to our January 12 show at the San Jose Museum of Art.
On October 19, Play On Words was thrilled to return to San Francisco’s LitCrawl to participate in a raucous evening of storytelling, good food and friendship. Thank you to our friends, new and old, for making the show possible and for coming out to support our work. Thanks, also, to the more than 40 donors who contributed to our fall t-shirt drive—it is thanks to you that we will be able to start incentivizing artists to do their thing in the coming months.
What kind of rad art are you supporting by buying our shirts, you ask? Look no further than “Union Meeting,” a hilarious short play written by #powsj digital asset manager Ryan Alpers and created by him and #powsj alumnus Andrew Christian. We kicked off our Play On Words: Live in San Francisco show with this great piece, performed by Ronald Feichtmeir, Julia Halprin Jackson, Melinda Marks and Ryan Alpers:
Big thanks to Cleveland Motley for filming and Branden Frederick for acting as our resident photographer, as well as to the wonderful folks at Stage Werx in San Francisco.
Who knew the drama, history, romance and conflict one could find in a teacher’s union meeting? Ryan Alpers sure did. The longtime San Jose teacher and frequent Play On Words performer and contributor wrote his first ten-minute play after months of deliberation with his teacher colleagues. The resulting “Union Meeting” captures a fictional teacher’s union as they try—and, spoiler alert, fail—to understand technology, recognize retirees, and raise money for “the children.” We’re thrilled to be performing this hilarious sketch at 5 pm this Saturday, October 19, at San Francisco’s Stage Werx Theatre.
Ryan lives in San Jose with his wife and daughter. He says that his former colleague and fellow teacher Andrew Christian helped him develop the concept. He is—how shall we say this?—also very succinct. Here are his answers to our standard #POWSJ three questions:
What inspired you to participate in Play On Words?
My wife told me to do it.
Which writers or performers inspire you?
As a teacher, I am inspired by the stories my students tell in their own writing.
Name a book or performance that fundamentally affected you.
TheCrucible by Arthur Miller is a play that inspired this piece, as well as the film Invasion of the Body Snatchers.
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.
Podcast alert! Our ninth episode is special because it features Ivette Deltoro and Erin Southard of the Mini Lights Emerging Artist program, Play On Words’ community partner. Listen to Ryan Alpers interview Ivette about performing “Thirty Pounds in Three Months” by Christine Stoddard at our January 17 show–and get the scoop on Mini Lights, a new series in San Jose designed to support young theatre professionals as they learn to cast, direct, fundraise, and market their own productions. Pretty amazing, right?
Listen to this special episode on SoundCloud or subscribe, rate and review in iTunes.
Mini Lights’ first show, “boom” by Peter Sinn Nachtrieb, debuts next Thursday, February 22, at City Lights Theatre in San Jose. Directed by POW co-founder and casting director Melinda Marks, it features Play On Words cast members April Culver and Michael Weiland. In other words: this is a show you won’t want to miss. Tickets are on sale here.
Speaking of great art: Play On Words is currently seeking short works of fiction, nonfiction, theatre and poetry for our April 11th show. We want to read your work! Email us submissions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Today on the podcast, host Ryan Alpers interviews POW founders Melinda Marks and Julia Halprin Jackson. They discuss Play On Words’ origin story, their collaboration with San Jose’s Flash Fiction Forum, and the benefits of hearing one’s work performed aloud by an actor.
Listen to the episode on SoundCloud and subscribe, rate and review on iTunes!
By 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!
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!
Last month we took over the Spoken Word Lounge at Anne & Mark’s Art Party for an hour. Ryan Alpers read Gary Singh’s poem, “I Ride a Bus to the Suburbs in the Searing Heat” as part of our Best Of Mashup show. In case you missed it:
Many thanks to Gary, current Steinbeck Fellow at San Jose State University, for loaning us his words yet again.
Want to be a part of future shows? Email us at email@example.com to learn more.
Who, exactly, do you think would purchase a vintage bowling ball off Craigslist? And how exactly do you picture that exchange taking place? We loved Ryan Alpers’ hilarious piece, “Dick’s Balls,” as performed by Adam Magill in San Jose’s St. James Park on July 14:
Ryan Alpers teaches English and journalism in San Jose. He has a B.A. in literature from the College of Creative Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and a teaching credential from San Jose State University. While studying at the College of Creative Studies, he was published in the CCS Literary Magazine “Spectrum” and awarded the CCS Brancart-Richardson Award for fiction.