October is an insane month for me and for my family. Both my daughters were born in October, so I threw two little kid birthday parties back-to-back this month. I also worked and prepared for a very hard-core play reading that will be presented as part of the Alumni Playwrights Lab II at the New School for Drama on Tuesday, October 29th at 7:30p.m.
It's hard to believe that it was just a year ago New Yorkers suffered through what I consider two major events -- Hurricane Sandy came about on October 28th last year and it pretty much derailed our trick-or-treating plans and so much more. Our community was devastated. Parks were destroyed, our downtown community center completely flooded. We were without electricity, no food in our stores, no traffic lights. Older people were stuck in their apartments without heat, food or water. We were all trying to help out as much as we could. I gave away blankets, food and water. I had food and warm clothing sent from California and dropped off at the centers around lower Manhattan.
We spent a few nights away at a hotel that weekend. I can remember that as a mother of a one and three-year-old, I was consumed by another very tragic story about the upper west side nanny who stabbed two children to death. I couldn't stop wringing my hands over this horrible tragedy that rocked the country and specifically the New York community of parents and nannies who must work so closely together. when I was invited for an art benefit for the Krim family this past week, I cried again for the family. To be clear, I don't have a full-time nanny. I never have, but I know lots of people who employ full-time nannies. Of course, I work with babysitters. I could never write my blog if I didn't have a sitter or work for my marketing client or write my plays if I didn't have babysitters. So this story of the Krim's still haunts me.
Speaking of being haunted, here's some information about my upcoming play reading that is a perfect compliment to the season and the times. The play is dark, it mentions the word witch more than once. The devil appears and there's talk of a bog. Plus, the play begins and ends on Halloween.
Hoboken is a hard story. It's about a man who appears to have an addiction to looking at child pornography and what transpires once he gets caught. It's a romantic thriller that is so high-voltage, fast moving and profound that I sweat and feel sick whenever I hear actors reading it out loud. It's terribly shocking, really.
As a mother, I've had to dig into this play again, a work I began before I had children, and ask myself why it's a story worth telling? In a world that is full of so much darkness, why tell another dark tale? The answer is that I feel this story is the underbelly of a dark truth about our society. Our children are at risk everyday and it doesn't end when they are grown. As parents we will worry about our children until they day we die. Though it's a fictional tale, it's a fascinating character study that is based in truth.
I'm glad that I spent the last month working on this play. My wonderful director Fritz Brekeller who directed my play My Life As You back in 2006 really kept me on track during this intense process. What we were looking for is clarity in the script and I think that's what we've achieved. We are hoping to produce the real play next year around Halloween as it has such a dark and spooky theme. I'm also thankful for Liz Amadio for coming up with the idea for the alumni playwrights to work on our projects in this collaborative fashion.
Here's the information for anyone who wishes to attend the Alumni Playwrights Reading Series. There are six new plays from alumni playwrights coming up -- starting next week with my play Hoboken and running through early December. All readings are workshops of new plays written by alumni playwrights who studied at the New School for Drama/Actors Studio Drama School and all readings are free.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Associate Producer/Press, AJ Cermak, firstname.lastname@example.org
PHASE II – Drama Alumni Playwright Lab
At the New School for Drama presents a Staged Reading of
By Laura Rohrman
Directed by Fritz Brekeller
Tuesday, October 29, 2013 7:30 pm
New School for Drama - 151 Bank Street, NY, NY 10014
(New York, NY) Phase II – Drama Alumni Playwright Lab at the New School for Drama is pleased to announce the opening event of their 2013-2014 staged reading series. The season opens with HOBOKEN by Laura Rohrman (2005 New School for Drama graduate) and is directed by Fritz Brekeller. The reading features Martin Boersma '13, Matthew Bondy* (AEA), Kacy Hopkins '13, Shelley Molad '11, and Krystal Seli '13.
HOBOKEN by Laura Rohrman (’05)
On Halloween night, Erica dressed up as a little girl, meets the hot Irish gun-loving, coke snorting, banker Jack, who is obviously her dream ticket to fame, fortune, romance, and yes, a free apartment. But could this really work out? What’s really wrong with Jack? For starters, his fancy apartment is back in Hoboken, a stale place that as much as she tries to leave keeps pulling her back. This high-voltage romantic thriller pushes the dark and taboo and will make you wince more often than is comfortable.
Laura Rohrman (Playwright) – Full-length plays include: Reporter Girl (a top 10 Finalist for the Princess Grace Fellowship, a semi-finalist for the O’Neill Festival and a Weissberger Award nominee) and My Life As You, a Playwrights First Finalist, and Hoboken. One-acts include: Below 14th and Without, both Finalists for the Samuel French Festival one-act play festival. Laura’s worked with companies such as Second Stage Theater, A.C.T. in San Francisco, The Looking Glass and the Brick Theatre to name a few.
Fritz Brekeller (Director) – NY Theater includes: All My Problems; House; Boys’ Life; The Hunt for Treasure; My Life as You; The Elevator – Secret Thoughts and Foxy Ladies Love/Boogie 70’s Explosion, which sold-out for over a year at NY’s legendary Duplex. Television: All My Children. Film: What Would Bear Do?; Through the Morning. Internet: Season 4 of the websoap, Empire.
About PHASE II – Drama Alumni Playwright Lab at the New School for Drama
A play reading series from Alumni Playwrights of The New School (ASDS/NSD). Our group purpose is to provide a safe, supportive and creative environment for script development. We are an intimate circle of similarly-trained professional playwrights. We understand the delicate nature of early stage work, the tenacity required to move a story forward to a completed first draft and the sometimes tedious nature of the revision process. We offer functional, effective feedback for all stages of the writing process - placing equal value on listening to our peers' work as on hearing our own. Phase II is the development leg of our lab. We are launching this cycle with staged readings of six new full length plays in October 2013.