• Lodestone Theatre Ensemble asked me to create a Proposition 8 sketch for a fundraiser (December 11 through 14). I was told to write for George Takei, as there is an off-chance that he might be in it. Oh, my! The things I could do with George Takei and a stage full of shirtless men! I filed my piece yesterday; it may or may not fit in the schedule; George Takei is still up in the air. But the show will go on. Check it out.
• I just wrapped up my two playwriting workshops at East West Players in Los Angeles, which means that 15 students will be presenting staged readings of the work they developed (December 6 through December 17). The diversity of styles and subject matter is a sight to behold—as is the sweet look of panic that will wash over the faces of many of these playwrights who are having their work performed by actors in front of a live audience for the very first time. Don't worry, writers—it hurts, but it hurts so good. Check out the breadth of work.
• Thumping Claw asked me to write a short play that will premiere during their next stage anthology sometime during the 2009-2010 season. We had our second read-through this past weekend. My piece is titled Chunky Mary, and it is best described as "High School Musical meets Misery." You'd see that shit, right? Right?!
• Today I'm driving to the San Francisco Bay Area to continue my work with students at Palo Alto High School. I am developing a new play with them that will be at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival next summer. The premise of the project is one that I've been trying to get off the ground for a couple years now, and it's terrific to see it coming to fruition—with teenagers, no less! The working title is Standing Room Only, and, yes, high school students are writing the text, lyrics, and music, under my guidance. The concept:
Standing Room Only explores American teenage life through the lens of popular music from the 1950s to the present day in a series of original vignettes and musical numbers that reflect the definitive style of music in each decade. The piece examines how music has ultimately shaped the identity of each generation in very specific ways, where different generations find common ground, and what has irreversibly changed for America's youth in the last half century.
• And this doesn't really count as "theater," but last night I watched the series premiere of The Secret Millionaire (based, of course, on a British show). It's a hypersentimental reality show about millionaires who go undercover as poor people in depressed neighborhoods. At the end of each episode, the millionaires reveal their true identities and distribute a total of $100,000 to people they think are most deserving of a financial boost. I defy you to not cry and cry and cry when parents of children with cancer are handed a check for $50,000! I hate you, Fox!