It's July which means EST is workshopping various new plays in Southampton and I'm lucky enough to be out here with Haskell King, Andrew Garman, Polly Lee, Alfredo Narcisso and Adam Green working on Anna Ziegler’s play Boy, directed by Linsay Firman. It is a harrowing and at turns sweet play about gender and science and mothers and love. Anna has tons of rich material here and we're spending these three days going through it - mining it for what Anna feels are the gems. I'm cast as two mothers - one that feels pretty close to my heart and another whose New Zealand accent completely and embarrassingly derails me. Andrew is my son and he sounds like a natural Kiwi. I'm in awe. i hang my head in silly shame when Linsay says, "Thanks, Julie - this time through, let's try it without the accent." We all have a good laugh and, despite by blushing, I'm so relieved. Mate.
A bonus on this trip is getting to sit in a playwriting class with John Patrick Shanley. EST actors sit in with the playwriting students and read their material aloud, followed by comments and feedback given by Shanley. I was selected to be with this group and some other actors are sitting in on Stephen Adly Guirgis' class. I would've loved to have been in that group as I'm a huge Guirgis fan, but I'm pretty blown away by Shanley too. These are some notes I took while listening:
The first quotes belong to Shanley. That last one is one is mine.
Boy is being workshopped as part of the Ensemble Studio Theatre/Southampton Arts Program where EST heads to the Hamptons – part of Stony Brook Southampton’s summer session.