November 30, 2013

Looking for love (in all the right places?) and a theatrical soulmate

For a long time now, Crossroads Theatre Project (@XroadsTheatre on Twitter) has been my baby. I've been writing and developing the scripts, doing the fundraising, hiring the cast and crew, interacting with peers and audiences via social media, and all that.

It hasn't always been easy, but I did enjoy doing those things myself. I enjoy my autonomy. I enjoy being self-sufficient. I enjoy the freedom it gives me to learn and explore in a hands-on, low-stakes way.

I don't regret spending so much time doing this more or less by myself. It's helped a lot with helping me figure out exactly what I want to do and the kinds of working relationships I want to have. That knowledge came in a far less painful way than it would have if I'd begun from a more ambitious vision or involved more people than absolutely necessary.

However, I think it's time for me to admit that I need help.

It's not because I can't do this anymore or don't want to, but I've come to understand that trying to do it all more or less by myself is starting to hinder my ability to grow. Right now, I'm in a phase where I want to focus on writing and developing more scripts. That doesn't mean I want to stop producing my own plays or abdicate all responsibility to someone else, but I do think that I am now ready for an artistic partner or two.

When I think about it, what I want looks a lot like what Jim and Pete had at Nosedive Productions. I'm looking for something where this person and I can grow together over a period of time. Granted, I'll have to be more intentional because my temperament and current situation prevent me from just lucking into finding someone who just clicks.

If I had to write a list, I'm looking for someone who:

  1. can commit to a long-term, non-exclusive creative partnership
  2. wants to share the responsibilities of producing theatre
  3. understands the importance of race, gender, sexuality, class, etc. in arts and media
  4. makes bold artistic choices on each production
  5. is open to trying unconventional casting and rehearsal processes and non-traditional venues
  6. works magic on a shoestring budget
  7. has an interest in mythology, folklore, and fairy tales
  8. is something of a sci-fi/fantasy/horror buff
  9. can get along with someone who is a textbook INTJ
I don't really care about the resume or CV. I care about vision, passion, and commitment.

Do you know someone like this? Can you put me in touch with them?

November 2, 2013

Something I wanna do next Sunday and Monday (some preliminary notes)

Inspired by Cafe Onda, I want to do my own part (via Crossroads Theatre Project) to pursue the values of diversity, social justice, and inclusion in the arts by bringing people together to start talking and organizing.

I want to move beyond current institutional models (such as "submit your work and we'll tell you if it's worth showing it in public") because they really aren't in a place to meet most of us where we are right now. There has to be a better way, but the first step is to get everyone together and talking.

Like this.


  • Artists: people who make stuff
  • Audiences: people who go to stuff
  • Critics: people who analyze and evaluate stuff
  • Administrators: people who work for organizations that create/present/promote stuff
  • Not rigid categories (on purpose); people can be more than one thing

Having a virtual get-together to talk about supporting arts that represent people who don't fit the straight, white, middle-class mold: what we're doing now, what we'd like to do, how we can make that happen.

To create a digital community that energizes underrepresented artists, audiences, critics, and administrators to connect, collaborate, and create

Sunday, November 10, 2013 at 8PM EST and Monday, November 11, 2013 at 1PM EST

Twitter (no hashtag just yet, so ideas appreciated)


  1. Current and future projects
  2. Representation
  3. Audience engagement
  4. Organizing
  5. Intersectionality


  • Facilitated conversation with everyone present
  • Not a panel! No experts sharing divine knowledge from on high
  • Not a workshop! No Screenwriting 101 or Drawing for Dummies
  • Raising questions to the group and watching/listening to answers and helping move conversation forward
  1. Share and evolve collective knowledge and wisdom (Don't forget to document! Storify is our friend!)
  2. Facilitate relationship-building among artists, audiences, critics, and administrators
  3. Explore social media as a way of facilitating vital conversations and organizing
  4. Examine challenges and opportunities for representation in the arts
  5. Identify ways to show leadership no matter who and where we are
  6. Encouraged continued conversation and organizing beyond the event

Advance a grassroots movement of artists, audiences, critics, and administrators working outside the system to create and support art that represents those of us who live and work outside the straight, white, middle-class mold

  1. Show up! Bring your questions and ideas!
  2. Keep bringing this up on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, etc.
  3. Encourage other people to show up
  4. Continue talking after the event

November 1, 2013

Top 5 Reasons Why You Should Support Crossroads Theatre Project

I've done quite a bit talking about Crossroads Theatre Project. One thing that never occurred to me was simply saying what it was that supporting Crossroads Theatre Project means and what it should accomplish. Sure, I could talk puff myself up by talking about quality and excellence, throwing in "professional" to make it stick. I could also use hot, trendy buzzwords like "innovative" and "authentic."

But that would make me sound just like everyone else, and I hate that.

I'd rather get to the point and tell you what I mean. Like this.

1. Your money goes directly to theatre artists.

Because of the small scale of Crossroads Theatre Project, every cent goes toward tools and resources for making theatre: casting actors, rehearsal and performance space, printing out scripts, and so on. You're not covering administrative overhead. You're helping real artists make art in the real world.

2. You're giving theatre to people who usually don't get to see it because Broadway tickets are too expensive.

People want theatre. People enjoy seeing plays. But they don't enjoy paying $100 for seats in the nosebleed section. Not when a movie ticket to a 3D movie with stadium seating costs about $15. By focusing on intimate, small-scale productions, Crossroads Theatre Project makes theatre affordable for the average person's entertainment budget.

3. You're showing that theatre arts—and all the arts—have value beyond how much money it makes. 

Every day, we're bombarded with messages that tell us that what we own is all that we're worth. Theatre reminds us that our humanity matters, that our lives are interesting and meaningful for their own sake. The ability to share that humanity with other human beings is priceless.

4. You're helping the arts reflect the diversity of the world we live in.

There are enough places to find stories about whitebread, all-American people. Crossroads Theatre Project does something different by putting people of color, women, and LGBTQ people front and center. This gives underrepresented artists a chance to show their stuff and underserved audiences a chance to see themselves portrayed in non-stereotypical ways.

5. You like what Crossroads Theatre Project is about and want to see what it can do.

Trying new things and coming up with new approaches for developing theatre by playwrights of African descent will always be part of how Crossroads Theatre Project pursues its mission. Every reading, every production, every collaboration is an experiment. So, Crossroads Theatre Project will always be a work in progress—fluid and ever-changing—just like any living thing.

Some things you can do right now.