bekah brunstetter
Bekah Brunstetter I care deeply. About a lot of things. Like really, really deep. Ow
playwright in brooklyn, NY

Andrea G.

April 24th, 2018 by Bekah Brunstetter

As I may have mentioned here before, I tend to read most of my reviews because a.) GOSH, I LOVE PAIN  and b.) I truly feel like I can learn from them,  if I read them with one eye open  (keeping the other eye that scans every moment and room I’m in for reasons to doubt myself carefully closed.) I happened upon this review of the Chicago production of the Cake the other day, and for reasons I decided NOT to unpack in a middle of the night email to the critic, it upset me deeply. I let it go for a few days, then yesterday, decided to revisit it, because again, I LOVE PAIN and also because with the initial sting having settled, I wanted to see what I could learn, as I’m still tweaking the play. And lo and behold, an angel woman named Andrea G. had left this beautifully articulated comment on the review  (my favorite parts in bold):

You are missing the point. Hear me out. There it was- my life on the stage. That NEVER happens. The real side of being a gay woman. Finally something REAL. You still have to love your family. You still have to reach across the table. Because we still need to live in our current lives. Della is lovable because most of the time your family member is lovable. I have a ton of Dellas in my live. And I wish I could be braver like Jen and work through them all. But you choose those like Della who really love you and you work it through. So you both grow. And it HURTS. Are you not gay? Or are you not a woman? Because that is the way women deal with things. Slowly and painfully. I’ll give this, then you give that, slowly. If you are really really lucky it ends well. I am still bruised as I am sure every lesbian who left the theater. You say it is intellectually and emotionally unnutritious. That is INSANE. This is family not the government or your job. You have to give people time to change, reevaluate and change some more. Dissuading others from seeing it because it doesn’t fit into the cookie cutter liberal “should,” is keeping people from actually seeing their lives in art. Not a fantasy of how life should be, but how it is. Because the play you are asking for wouldn’t hit home for me. It is a fantasy for me- where I sit down with my aunt and have a conversation about identities It wouldn’t be emotional because it would never happen. Because that is what your said privileged people do- conversations about identities. Not us poor blue collar folks. And your attitude towards Della is elitist and condescending. Yes she is a bigot. But your (and Macy’s attitude) is not so nice either.

ANDREA G., you are why I write plays. Thank you for speaking for me, with me.

 

Posted in arrogant art things, awesome, faith, family, generally, hmmmmm, how interesting, i am a grown up, i am lucky, the writing of drama plays, theater, women, words | No Comments »

Chicago Cake!

April 13th, 2018 by Bekah Brunstetter

Today, on things that I forgot and then remembered: Chicago theater is incredible, basically everything about it, but namely the actors, who are BARELY ACTING AT ALL, who are present and human and are just happened upon in dramatic moments.  I popped over to see the Cake at Rivendell Theater Company in Edgewater and I am so very glad I did. The entire city is dotted with ballsy and self-sufficient companies, their theaters tucked into the storefronts that used to be restaurants and bars, their warm lobbies decorated however they dang please, LIKE MAYBE WITH CUTE VINTAGE APRONS EVERYWHERE PERHAPS IF THE PLAY IS CAKE-THEMED:

Then the theaters themselves are limitless boxes where the once off-off-off-offoffoffoff OFF broadway playwright can come home again.

All plays should be born in Chicago, get their legs before the get put in bigger, shinier boxes. OH WAIT, THEY KIND OF ALREADY ARE.

 

Posted in a lot, i am lucky, the writing of drama plays, theater, YAY | No Comments »

CAKE FOR EVERYONE, EVER

March 30th, 2018 by Bekah Brunstetter

Something insane and wonderful is happening. The Cake is being produced everywhere all of the time, or least, getting more productions of a single play than I have ever had in my career. (Also, I counted, and I’ve been working as a playwright for 12 years, so I feel like I can now make sweeping declarations and end them with, ‘in my career.’) I feel like this wonderful thing might never happen again, and so I feel like celebrating / documenting, sharing when and where the play is happening, and also sharing ALL OF THESE BEAUTIFUL PICTURES OF CAKES / HAVE FUN LICKING YOUR SCREEN.

April 8-May 20 2018 in Chicago, Rivendell Theater

June 6-24 2018 at Tantrum Theater in Dublin, Ohio

June 1-July 1 2018 at The Alley Theater in Houston, TX, with Faith Prince reprising the roll of Della! There’s no poster yet, so here’s our happy mugs:

June 21-July 15 2018  in the Berkshires, at Barrington Stage

July 6-29th 2018 at the Contemporary American Theater Festival in West Virginia

September 10-October 21st 2018 atthe Geffen in LA! Re-mount of the best OG production there ever was, staring these fine folk:

2019 DON’T BE HUNGRY GRL, YOU GET CAKE TOO.

April 5-28th 2019 at Asolo Rep in Sarasota, Florida

Feb 6-March 10th 2019 at Salt Lake Acting Company in Salt Lake City, Utah

AND THEN SOME OTHER EXCITING PLACES THAT I’M NOT EVEN ALLOWED TO SHARE YET.  This is the first play I’ve written that I’ve truly felt that people need to see.  I think I somehow managed to write something healing, which we so badly need right now. It’s not a perfect play, it will need to change as I change, as the world changes, but — I put something good out there, which is all I can try to do. And the fact that so many people are going to see it my attempt at Good makes me so happy that my insides are carrot cake, my skin is cream cheese frosting, my heart is a walnut tucked deep inside.

Posted in a lot, fancy, food, horn tooting, the future, the writing of drama plays, theater, things, things that I Have, tout, words, working, YAY | No Comments »

why to workshop a play

March 23rd, 2018 by Bekah Brunstetter

 

Sometimes play workshops feel like a a group of grown ups playing dress up for no reason and rolling around in a big living room cushion pile of their own ideas. But then every now and then they feel truly worthwhile and important,  and this week with Theater Breaking Through Barriers was definitely one of those, a week spent picking apart disability and how it’s viewed by our public officials but mostly, like any good workshop, WE ATE AN ENTIRE BAG OF FUN SIZED EASTER CANDY, because really, what else is the American Theater For?

Posted in a lot, i am lucky, the writing of drama plays, theater | No Comments »

truly ideal scenario

March 21st, 2018 by Bekah Brunstetter

PLS SEND HELP STOP

STUCK IN NYC DURING SNOW STORM WITH ONLY MY FAVORITE SNACK AND ENTIRE PLAY TO REWRITE STOP

JK SEND NOTHING I’VE NEVER BEEN BETTER STOP

EXCEPT MAYBE SEND MORE SNACKS AND NEVER STOP

Posted in a lot, food, i am lucky, the writing of drama plays, theater, YAY | No Comments »

Home again home again, jiggity jog!

March 19th, 2018 by Bekah Brunstetter

I have no idea where that limerick (?) came from, if my mom made it up for all car rides home or if it’s an ancient Irish thing, but I shall use it to announce that I’m working on my new play today at 520 8th avenue — a midtown building stuffed full of rehearsal studios, where I have workshopped and read and staged so many plays I can’t even count them on my hairs. It’s hallways are full of remembories. If you look closely at the Toss your Own Salad station in the Pax Foods below it, you can see translucent young me almost ordering a salad then getting a chicken parm panini instead, then heading outside to smoke and tear apart her play in her head. It’s like I never left because truly, a part of me never did.

 

SaveSave

Posted in a lot, arrogant art things, how interesting, i am a grown up, i am lucky, I'M SO EXCITED, memories, the writing of drama plays, theater | No Comments »

MARVELOUS HUMANS, ALL

February 12th, 2018 by Bekah Brunstetter

The happiest of openings to the Cast (and some Creative) of La Jolla Playhouse’s The Cake! From R to L: Aubrey Dollar as Jen, Miriam Hymann as Macy, Director Casey Stangl, mennonite girl on her Rumspringa daring to wear a fake leather jacket / playwright Bekah Brunstetter, Wayne Duvall as Tim, Faith Prince as Della, and on your farthest Left, Guy who Travelled from the Future to Deliver us a Message that we never Received because we were Taking Too Many Pictures.

Posted in a lot, i am a grown up, i am lucky, the future, the writing of drama plays, theater, YAY | No Comments »

WHO GON STOP ME NOW

February 10th, 2018 by Bekah Brunstetter

SPENT AN OBSCENE AMOUNT OF TIME MAKING THESE MINI CHOCOLATE BUNDT CAKES WITH SALTED CARAMEL FROSTING FOR THE CAST AND CREW OF LA JOLLA CAKE FOR OPENING

THEN SPENT MORE TIME PROCURING MINI CAKE BOXES TO PUT THEM IN

NOW WHO GON STOP ME

WHO GON STOP ME HUH?

Posted in a lot, i am a grown up, i am lucky, the writing of drama plays, theater, things, things that I Have, tout | No Comments »

DISCOVERIES

January 30th, 2018 by Bekah Brunstetter

Last night we attended the Ovation Awards (an annual ceremony celebrating excellence in LA theater.)  The Cake got a few nominations and one MUCH DESERVED WIN.  But let’s focus on the real high points of the evening,  these life changing discoveries:

1.) THIS HAIR. I will now forever wear my hair like this, or at least whenever possible. Part anime character, part mid-90s Shania Twain, part Myself, it makes me feel like I can do anything, or at least walk up and down stairs without tripping.

2.) DEBRA JO IS ACTUALLY A GHOST.

3. No but really, this lady won Best Lead Actress, and I’m not sure if anyone has ever deserved an award more. SO. HAPPY.

Posted in famous people stuff, horn tooting, how interesting, i am a grown up, i am lucky, the writing of drama plays, theater, where i want to live, YAY | No Comments »

re: what kind of plays to make now

December 26th, 2017 by Bekah Brunstetter

Do you wonder what plays are even for? Do give this article by LA Times theater Critic Charles Mcnulty a good solid read. He expresses what I’ve been feeling and saying my responsibility as a playwright might be, ever since November 2016, if not before. Some favorite bits:

More than telling us what to think, theater artists retrain us how to think by jarring us out of our calcified patterns of understanding. Habit, Beckett said, is a great deadener, and the mind is the first to go. The 2016 election was worrying for a number of reasons, none more so than for the way it threw into relief the widespread deterioration of critical reasoning. Drama, the art in which perspectives are brought into collision, is a powerful antidote to the sophistry and sensationalism nullifying our capacity for intelligent debate.

And:

Identifying with characters who are both like us and not like us, whose individual qualities turn out to be a subset of the universal, is a necessary corrective to the solipsistic ruts that human beings regularly fall into. Empathy is a muscle that must be regularly exercised, and there’s no better gymnasium than the theater to keep it from atrophying.

And:

And more power to those who want to appeal to Trump loyalists in an attempt to, if not convert them, at least respectfully grapple with their convictions.

Posted in a lot, hmmmmm, how interesting, the future, the writing of drama plays, theater, words | No Comments »

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