young playwrights

Ey yo so a while ago I submitted a play to the national young playwrights competition and apparently the shitty play I submitted (written two days before the due date because I’m a lazy fuck) was a finalist??










was i




ok but i do their talk about how vagina-havers masturbate. very informative 10/10

‘Gloria’ at Hampstead Theatre

I was lucky enough to see ‘Gloria’ yesterday evening, so here are my thoughts on it. It’s not spoilerific, as it’s mostly about Colin Morgan’s performance.

A bit of context: I went with a long-suffering friend who’s used to hearing me go on and on about Colin, but who hadn’t seen him in anything.

I’d booked tickets because Colin’s in the play, so hadn’t tried to find out much about the play itself, other than seeing a few of the official reviews doing the rounds. So I was pleasantly surprised by how excellent the whole thing was – from the inventive staging and whip-smart dialogue, to the uniformly excellent ensemble cast of six actors. Bo Poraj really stood out for me: his character had the most humanity and he played it in such a nuanced way.

But I was really there for Colin (sorry, everyone else in the cast). I hadn’t seen him on stage before, but having seen all his stuff on screen, the bar was set really high in terms of my expectations.

And he didn’t disappoint. There were a few very ‘Colin’ things about the performance:

He’d elected to be the most complex, most highly emotional character – Dean – where one minute you feel sympathy, the next you think he’s a total loser and deserves all he’s getting.

Colin’s always so good at displaying the minutiae of human emotion, and this play was no exception: he goes from playing witty, sarcastic but slightly desperate; to unhinged, sad and angry in the space of two acts.

He also always fully inhabits the role – and I hate to use that word, but it’s the only adequate description of what he does. He transforms fully into the character, without being showy or vain about it, something which works well in an ensemble piece where everyone else is bringing their ‘A’ game.

His American accent is also flawless – again, not a surprise. If this was any other actor, I’d think cynically that this role is an extended audition for the benefit of US network TV executives, to show off their full range and faultless command of the accent.

But with Colin, I imagine he went for this play because it was a difficult part to play – he always likes a challenge – and it’s by an exciting, young playwright on a contemporary theme. Part of me wishes someone was there from the TV networks though, sitting up and taking notice, as he really does deserve a wider audience again.

And my long-suffering friend? She leant over during the interval and said: “He’s really, really good, isn’t he?” : )

June is LGBT Pride Month!

This month, Independent Lens will be featuring special programs that explore the LGBT experience. Check your local listings here.

GOD LOVES UGANDA: The acclaimed “God Loves Uganda” examines the impact that American evangelicals have had in Uganda, where missionaries have created schools and hospitals while also fostering a virulent anti-gay atmosphere. 

THE GRADUATES: A documentary explores pressing issues in education today – including the bullying of gay students – through the eyes of six Latino and Latina adolescents from across the United States.

HOW TO SURVIVE A PLAGUE: A film tells the story of ACT UP and TAG (Treatment Action Group), two groups whose activism and innovation turned AIDS from a death sentence into a manageable condition.

LIMITED PARTNERSHIP: The story of Richard Adams and Tony Sullivan, one of the first same-sex couples to be legally wed. The year: 1975. The place: Boulder, where, for a brief time, the county clerk issued marriage licenses to gays. They later sued the U.S. government.

LOVE FREE OR DIE: The story of V. Gene Robinson, who became the first openly gay bishop in the Episcopal Church when he was elected bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of New Hampshire in 2003. The documentary accompanies him to President Barack Obama’s 2009 inauguration. 

THE NEW BLACK: The struggle over gay rights within the African-American community is examined via the fight for and against a 2012 referendum on same-sex marriage in Maryland, where blacks make up almost a third of the electorate.

PLAYWRIGHT: FROM PAGE TO STAGE: In this film, two outstanding young playwrights – a gay African-American from Miami’s inner city and an Indian-American from Cleveland – struggle to bring their work to the stage. 

WE WERE HERE: “We Were Here” recalls the AIDS crisis in San Francisco during the early 1980s, when what was then known as the “gay plague” first swept through the city’s thriving gay community. The documentary focuses on the experiences of five individuals.
A young playwright's quest to ask difficult questions about race, class and gender
Leah Nanako Winkler’s new play “Kentucky” is a comedy about a Japanese American woman raised in the South. Like her protagonist Hiro, Winkler is half-Japanese and grew up in Kentucky. Like Hiro, she left for New York and didn’t return for years. And like Hiro, Winkler found her sister’s embrace of evangelical Christianity puzzling and alarming.
By Margaret Gray

“She remembers that during her orientation at Butler University, the liberal-arts college in Indiana, she raised her hand to ask, “Is everybody here white?”

“Back then I think it was disorienting for white people to hear that,” she says. “But Butler was where I first experienced the culture shock of how white theater is. Those were the first kernels of, you know, what can I add to the conversation: How can I change the landscape.”

Born in Japan, Winkler spent some of her childhood there before moving to Kentucky. She won’t say how old she was at the time. “I don’t like to answer that question because there’s a lot of judgment placed on that,” she says. “There’s a big difference if I say 2 or if I say 12. People like to peg you on how Japanese or how American you are, when you’re mixed race.”

She will say that she was old enough to experience “a double identity crisis.”

“In Japan I was a child model because of my Western looks,” she says. “I was considered gaijin, which means foreigner. But in America I was the girl from Japan.”


Poster from 1999 play by underground writer / director David N. Donihue

Below is a collection of works and hard to find memorabilia taken from 20 years of Donihue’s writing and directing of poems, plays, films and music videos. Below is taken from a series of articles and a couple photos from Donihue’s own private collection.

Donihue was born in rural Eastern Washington and raised near the Green River Killer in Auburn, Washington. He started writing plays that were performed for 45 cents in his back yard and local parks when he was as young as seven. His first film was made when he was eleven, utilizing a rented video camera and two borrowed VCR’s with stereo cables. His father was a pastor. His mother, a well known Christian Devotional author. 

The controversial writer got his first negative reviews at the age of 15, when he was nearly expelled from his conservative town’s high school for writing the below story -

MR. CLOWN (1990, Age 15)

Mr. Clown was a happy clown.
He loved making children happy.
And they were happy and the parents were happy.
And everyone was happy.

Until Mr. Clown realized he could no longer please children.

They wanted to be transformers and deformers and things with no form whatsoever.
And so then the children were unhappy and the parents were unhappy.

Until Mr. Clown decided to blow himself up into many little pieces and then
the children were happy and the parents were happy and Mr. Clown never had to be sad again.

The End.

Donihue handled the rejection of his early art well yet refused to take another writing course again. It should be noted, he was later nominated for a Film Fare Award for his writing on Parzania, the highest honors in India and one of the largest international awards one can receive. The film, was an anti-religious violence piece.

By his mid teens, Donihue was writing feature length plays. During these years, Donihue began to work graveyard shifts at a local college radio station, KGRG-FM, as an overnight DJ.

There, he became obsessed with experimental music and film, and directed a series of student films. These included Anthony’s Apocalypse and Inside Anthony’s World. During this era, at age 18, he wrote Hold My Hand & Tell Me I’m Not Insane, a comedy-drama about a young playwright whose scripts follow his life, yet later dictate it. The play was produced in Seattle with its premiere at the Scottish Rite Hall on Capitol Hill.

During his early twenties, Donihue wrote, directed, acted in and produced a string of independent plays within the northwest including Hey Baby Do Ya Wanna Come Back To My Place and Justify My Existence, and another pop psychology comedy Brain Aches And The Quest For Redemption Of A Telephone Psychic as well as the forty-minute short film Love Me Tender, Pay Me Well.

In 1998 Donihue began performing under the stage name Punko and released an indie album titled The Day Bob Went Electric. The comedicly performed yet earnest album garnered regional radio and Donihue continued to perform the sad and sweet parody like tunes until his final show at sxsw in 2007.


projections (1997)
you expect me to become what you project

my eyes are drifting to the clouds once again

I see the colorless planet and am ashamed

I see the vibrant vivid crashing rain

crashing down with sincerity

why does it take pain to 

transcend us a bit of honesty 

in this day and age

and all of my daydreams come crashing in

singing dum dee da lum dum dum dee lumm dum

and all of your projections threaten to transend

screaming dum de da lum dumand 

all of my daydreams function once again
run in the sunshinelike 

your drift in the daydream light

like that colorless drifting look in your eyes

I’m still the same no matter what you bring to my life

I’m still the same I can drift inside

on account (1997)
on account that your strung out and

there’s no doubt I lost my mind

I’m a tripper & a spinner & I’m stuck on overdrive

I’m a preacher and a seeker 

like watching Jimmy kiss the sky

And all about that day & how you sat me down 

& changed my life

There’s no reason to be seasoned 

if you’ve seen the world flash by

Look at what’s going on

Yet they are strong

He’s my brother like a summer like a daydream whitworth time

He’s a prisoner and I miss him wonder who he’ll be next time

He’s a liver & a giver & I’m sorta trapped inside

Look at what’s going on

Yet they are strong

I’ve seen all the young idealist turn into what they despise

I’ve seen all my daydreams take me right on through this daylight life

I’ve seen people try to heal me just so they could feel alive

Donihue during this era directed the little seen feature The Humanity Experiment.

In 2005, Donihue wrote and produced the first “non-trippy” film of his career, Parzania. It was directed by Rahul Dholakia.

The internationally acclaimed feature was nominated for the eastern hemispheres Oscars, the film fare award for Best Picture and Best Screenplay and Best Story. Leads Sarkia and Naseeruddin took home Best Actor Nominations. The film is considered by many accounts, to be one of the most controversial films in the eastern hemisphere.[8]

The English language thriller, based on the true story of the Gujarat Riots of 2002, was initially banned in India, caused a storm of protests and bomb threats, and later garnered praise from the New York Times, Variety, Indiewire and many others.[9] It was shown in New York as part of the Museum of Modern Arts’ India Now film exhibition.[10] Donihue was nominated for Filmfare Awards for Best Screenplay and Best Story for Parzania. The film won the Screen Gem Award for Best Picture.

While at the same time, he was developing something revolutionary -

In 2010 Donihue’s epic four and a half hour interactive choose your own adventure film The Weathered Underground was released by Indican starring Heroes Brea Grant. The comic book inspired picture went on to become a small cult classic and is now shown as part of curriculum at many of the worlds best film schools. Considered one of the most daring voices to come out of the independent underground film scene, 

in 2014 Donihue directed another socially driven action comedy, The Bang Brokers, which is currently headed for distribution.

Mr. Donihue’s love for music driven short films continues, having recently directed over 30 music videos / short films in the last two years for EDM acts such as Moguai, Mark Sixma, Thomas Gold and EDM legend John Dahlback.

Below is a collection of poems and stills from the music videos from the last two years.

Keep reading


Americans of the 19th century came to live in a world bursting with color, made possible when a young German playwright named Alois Senefelder (1771–1834) developed a new printmaking process called lithography in the 1790s. Lithography enabled Senefelder to make more copies of his plays in less time and for less money than ever before. Little did he know that his discovery would also start a marketing revolution far from home.

Read more in “The Flowering of Color Printing“ on VERSO.

The “Duchess Collection” of New Cannas, color plate illustration, ca. 1897, H. M. Wall, Brooklyn NY, color lithograph on paper, 9½” x 6½”. Gift of Jay T. Last. The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.

The Wonderful New Rose Crimson Rambler, trade card, ca. 1900, Vredenburg & Co. Rochester NY, color lithograph on paper, 3½” x 5¾”. Gift of Jay T. Last. The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.

Poppy, trade card, 1888, unidentified printer, color lithograph on paper, 4¾” x 3”. Gift of Jay T. Last. The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.

'The Writer'

requested by anonymous

summary: Ashton would never compare himself to Shakespeare but he is the most influential playwright of our era

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(This GIF was made by the ever-awesome drinkingcastleskoolaid. Please do not post it without proper credit. And thank you, Cami!)

She hasn’t let go of his hand. Well, he supposes she must have at some point, but he doesn’t remember and would rather pretend it hasn’t happened at all. He’s still reliving the moment she first covered his hand with hers, his mother’s highly-exaggerated monologue quieting to an unimportant hum as he swallowed nervously. He can’t stop thinking about the way she used their joined hands to pull him to his feet when the show was over, threading their fingers together while she made small talk with his family. And he can’t forget the soft press of their palms as they said goodnight to everyone, closing the front door behind the young playwright and watching Martha and Alexis disappear upstairs, Kate seemingly uninterested in leaving him alone.

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Caesar runs his hands up and down Xena’s hips then leans in to kiss an exposed shoulder “it’s been a long time”, he whispers. Xena smirks and pats his hand. “ it’s been a long day” she tells him. There is nothing friendly about it at all. She is surprised though wen he turns away wanting to know were he is going. Since he is not needed here (translation not getting any tonight) there is a matter he needs to discuss with Brutus. Xena watches him leave then goes out on the balcony to stare at the night sky. Directly across from her is another balcony, and guess who should choose this moment to walk out? no other then the young playwright herself. Now dressed in blue and clutching the front of her gown. Xena looks surprised, then retreats to the shadows. I find that very odd..I don’t know why she is playing peek-a-boo because she slowly steps forward again, staring plaintively at Gabrielle as their eyes meet Gabrielle. Gabrielle bows slightly looking embarrassed and retreats back into her apartment as a voice sounds a voice behind Xena. It’s Alti.  

Alti smiles pleasantly and tells Xena “I saw the way you looked at her tonight during the play” Xena has the stoic mask firmly in place as Alti continues “wouldn’t Caesar give anything to have you look at him that way?” Uh hum (read in to that what you will) Xena is tired of this and demands what she wants.
William moved almost to tears by inner city youth's play

Prince William offered to help a former hoodlum put his one-man show on in the West End today after being bowled over by his performance at a New York young people’s project.

The Duke of Cambridge gave his contact details to 22-year-old playwright and actor Steven Prescod after watching him dance, sing and recount tales of his violent crime-ridden early life in excerpts from his play, Brooklyn Boy.

‘We want more. That was amazing,’ William, 32, said after watching the performance with his wife Kate during a visit to two of New York City’s leading youth organizations – The Door and The CityKids Foundation – to see the work they do with disadvantaged children. 

'Please get in touch.’

He offered to help the young playwright put his show on at venues in the United States and perhaps even bring it to Britain. 

'We should get you on in the West End,’ William told Prescod and his fellow performers. 

'All I can say is, it was really impressive. It nearly had me in tears.’

The play, featuring music, dance, and a powerful monologue from its author, recorded Prescod’s early life - a mother pregnant at 15, father soon in jail, and the writer avoiding seven years in prison for assault and battery by opting for five years probation and seeking salvation at the CityKids Foundation, where he learned to perform.

'He told me that he really wanted to help me put the show on. He said he’s been the Barclays Center last night to watch the basketball but he’d pay to see this a million times,’ said Prescod. 

'It’s all about my own life. I didn’t really learn about writing. I didn’t have to learn about developing characters because I used my own experiences.’

William and Kate toured the project before watching the show that included original songs, dance and theater pieces from 28 performers.

They also sat down for a private meeting with eight young people from The Door and The CityKids Foundation to learn more about their experiences growing up in New York City.