One of the factors that drew Georgia Athearn to the play “Woman and Scarecrow” was that a woman wrote it.
“I’ve always been interested in plays written by women, plays with strong women characters,” Athearn said.
A second draw was the play’s mixture of realism and abstract.
UNM linguistics professor and actor Alan Hudson was sitting at El Pinto. It was March 2010, and he'd just seen a performance of The Diary of Anne Frank at The Filling Station. He was surrounded by people involved in the production. As theater talk filled the air, Hudson recalls prominent local actor and director Brian Hansen offhandedly proposing the idea of an Irish theater festival in Albuquerque.
"That kind of lit a fuse of some sort in my brain," says Hudson, who was born and raised in Dublin. He began doing research in the hope that local theater troupes would be interested in a collaboration. "I thought maybe I could come up with about 50 plays or so to suggest," he says. "By the time I was finished, I had a list of about 1,000."
Eighteen years ago, morning commuters were treated to a different kind of holiday cheer on National Public Radio's Morning Edition. A relatively unknown writer named David Sedaris read his "Santaland Diaries" over the airwaves and carved out a niche for himself in the world of holiday marketing: snark.
Since, the work of David Sedaris has been broadcast repeatedly on NPR while six of his eight novels have spent time on The New York Times Best Seller List. His personal narratives infused with trademark sardonic wit make him a wickedly funny writer and highly entertaining speaker. Currently on a worldwide tour, Sedaris will stop by Popejoy Hall on April 21, 2011. In preparation for Sedaris' visit and the holiday season, The Desert Rose Playhouse is currently presenting two of Sedaris' holiday monologues: The Santaland Diaries and Season's Greetings.
“Tape” by Stephen Belber is an unpretentious play about three unpretentious people presented without intermission at the Desert Rose Playhouse. Though its focus is narrow, the plot of “Tape” unwinds unexpectedly and keeps its audience involved.
“Tape” is set in a cheap motel room in Lansing, Mich. Vince, an aimlessly befuddled volunteer fireman/drug dealer from California, has ostensibly come to Lansing to support his high school friend Jon, whose low-budget film is being shown at the local film festival. We soon learn, however, that he has other motives.
This is the year of Tennessee Williams, the hundredth anniversary of his birth. You can catch his classics all across town this year. The Vortex presented a lively Night of the Iguana. A Streetcar Named Desireand The Glass Menagerie are coming up. See www.abqtheatre.org for details. But the Desert Rose Playhouse took the obscure road into Williams' less known and weirder work—and we're fortunate to ride on this strange trip.
Desert Rose tackles A Cavalier for Milady and The Traveling Companion, two of Williams' late one-act plays when the master turned away from writing realistic blockbusters and took the experimental high road. Many of his one-acts, including The Traveling Companion, didn't even get produced until after Williams' death. Both plays are brilliant, and the Desert Rose delivers them well.