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

The Bakery

September 13th, 2017 by Bekah Brunstetter

I am INFINITELY GRATEFUL that The Cake is getting a handful of productions across the country this season. First up: at Playmakers Rep, the resident theater company at UNC Chapel Hill, where I wrote my first ever plays. FULL CIRCLE MUCH? It starts preview performances tonight, and as per always, I am there in spirit, haunting the aisles, nervously chewing on my hair. Aside from just being stoked that the play is getting a life, when oftentimes plays open and close and then recede into document folders and internet history where they slowly atrophy — I mostly can’t wait to see ALL OF THE DIFFERENT BAKERY SETS. Check out this gorgeousness:

I just want to live my entire life on the set of a bakery. But with running water and actual cakes. I think I just mean I want to live my life inside of an actual bakery / CALLS CONTRACTOR / REQUESTS THAT NEW HOUSE INSTEAD JUST BE TURNED INTO AN ACTUAL BAKERY

Posted in YAY, food, generally, ha, i am lucky, life, the future, the writing of drama plays, theater | No Comments »

Houston.

August 28th, 2017 by Bekah Brunstetter

It’s unfortunate, but it oftentimes takes a personal connection to a tragedy to make it seem more real.  But such are humans, and such also is tragedy, I guess. These southern Texas floods are devastating, and to make them about me, like we do: I was just in Houston in February to develop The Cake at the Alley theater, which looks like this when it’s NOT underwater:

A video posted by a playwright yesterday shows rushing water almost up to that parking sign. There aren’t words, really, but there can be action: Click here to toss the Red Cross some dough for the victims. Houston buds: wishing you safety and dryness and tacos and peace.

Posted in a lot, the whole world, theater, things, working, worrying | No Comments »

I kale deeply

August 22nd, 2017 by Bekah Brunstetter

I dreamt I went back to the theater to get the only existing copy of The Cake so that I could rewrite it (no such thing as computers in this dream world). I frantically looked for it everywhere, and finally one of the producers handed it to me. It had turned into a bowl of sautéed kale.  I strapped the bowl into the passenger seat of my car, and drove it home. At home I searched through the bowl for a particular moment in the play I wanted to fix. It had turned into a piece of garlic stuck towards the bottom. I wondered how to turn a bowl of kale into a word document. I couldn’t figure it out, so I ate it.

Posted in a dream is a wish your heart makes, a lot, food, generally, ha, the writing of drama plays, theater | No Comments »

LILY. TOMLIN.

August 5th, 2017 by Bekah Brunstetter

Today, on The Cake is really just the Gift that keeps on Giving: LILY TOMLIN. Backstory: a few weeks ago, a lovely woman named Geri reached out to me — she read about The Cake in the paper, and recognized my last name, because she grew up in Brooklyn with my Grandmother Roberta, who passed away a while back, who I have always longed to know more about. Geri lives in Florida, but sent one of her dear friends to see the play, who just so happens to be another lovely lady who, for me, will always be the brilliant comedienne who is responsible for the most stunningly accurate toddler impersonation the world has EVER SEEN:

And so last night, one Ms. Lily Tomlin came to see The Cake, and as per, after there was a lot of hand shaking, hugging, half-sentences, and just a whole lot of Glee, just in general.

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

‘when you hit a wall, just kick it in’

August 1st, 2017 by Bekah Brunstetter

Yesterday we lost a brilliant playwright / thinker / actor / human, Sam Shepard, to Lou Gehrig’s disease. Just as every theater person ever has now expressed on the internet: I, too, was obsessed with his plays in college and grad school: Buried Child, True West, Fool for Love, Curse of the Starving class. They taught me how a play could be a poem that was alive,  but that also contained active human beings who want things. His characters are brutally honest and his imagery is effortless. In his honor, I’m spending my lunch break hanging out with his memory via some of his quotes.  A few favorites:

“Look it – you start out as an artist, I started out when I was nineteen, and you’re full of defenses. You have all of this stuff to prove. You have all of these shields in front of you. All your weapons are out. It’s like you’re going into battle. You can accomplish a certain amount that way. But then you get to a point where you say, “But there’s this whole other territory I’m leaving out.” And that territory becomes more important as you grow older. You begin to see that you leave out so much when you go to battle with the shield and all the rest of it. You have to start including that other side or die a horrible death as an artist with your shield stuck on the front of your face forever. You can’t grow that way. And I don’t think you can grow as a person that way, either. There just comes a point when you have to relinquish some of that and risk becoming more open to the vulnerable side, which I think is the female side. It’s much more courageous than the male side.”

“I hate endings. Just detest them. Beginnings are definitely the most exciting, middles are perplexing and endings are a disaster. … The temptation towards resolution, towards wrapping up the package, seems to me a terrible trap. Why not be more honest with the moment? The most authentic endings are the ones which are already revolving towards another beginning. That’s genius.”

Posted in a lot, famous people stuff, generally, the writing of drama plays, theater, words | No Comments »

NORMAN. FREAKING. LEAR.

July 31st, 2017 by Bekah Brunstetter

Yesterday, NORMAN LEAR, I repeat, NORMAN FREAKING LEAR — American icon, hero, creator of television that reflects America back to itself, television that is funny and truthful and bold, SOMEHOW WINDED UP AT MY PLAY. He apparently received applause just for walking into the theater. As soon as I got word that he was there, I immediately drove over in hopes of meeting him after.

At 95 years old, he was lovely and patient and kind and stayed after to talk to the actors. He said words to us like ‘stunning’ and ‘heart’ and we said words to him like ‘honor’ and ‘thank you’ and ‘wow’ and ‘Norman Lear.’ I can’t fully remember the moment so I’m glad I at least have a picture of it. I have never more fully felt a compliment. In it, I felt every year of my life. It even kicked me into the future, with a sense of responsibility. Keep doing what Norman did. (But also what he does. The man STILL produces TV.) HEY THANKS FOR THE CAREER DEFINING MOMENT, NORM!

Posted in I write for television?, I'M SO EXCITED, YAY, a lot, famous people stuff, i am lucky, optimism, the future, theater | No Comments »

the talkback

July 29th, 2017 by Bekah Brunstetter

There’s some DRAMA happening in the theater community right now (DRAMA? GET IT? DO YOU GET IT? NO? THAT SOUNDS LIKE A PERSONAL PROBLEM) because super famous tiny glasses playwright man David Mamet has officially forbidden theaters from holding audience talkbacks after his plays. In fact, if a theater is found doing such an abhorrent thing, they could be fined $20,000. He feels really strongly that plays are not meant to be publicly dissected after the fact, but how can we expect an audience to come and engage in our work, but then not listen to them after? I was pretty against Mamet’s stance. UNTIL. Last weekend, after a reading of a new play of mine:

Audience member: You know, you’re really much prettier than the pictures show.

Me:….thank you…?

Audience member: really, you’re much better looking in person. Your pictures aren’t very good.

Me: haha! Right! Um. I’m not very good. At taking pictures.

Audience member: you’re really not. You should really get them re-done.

Me: THANK YOU SO MUCH I WILL REALLY THINK ABOUT THAT.

TALK BACKS FOREVER CANCELLED.

Posted in YAY, a lot, narcissism, the writing of drama plays, theater, women, worrying | No Comments »

playwright gamez

July 15th, 2017 by Bekah Brunstetter

I like to think that every playwright has their own coping mechanisms slash games to get themselves through the very vulnerable experience of sitting in a room with people as they watch your soul play out live for ninety minutes. My personal favorite: focus on the person who clearly does not want to be there. TRY AND WILL THEM TO WANT TO BE THERE BY STARRING AT THE BACK OF THEIR HEAD SO HARD IT MAKES YOUR EYEBALLS HURT. Whenever the person sighs heavily or even just slightly moves, convince yourself that you’re a hack. Start to draft an apology letter to the person in your head. BEFORE YOU KNOW IT, PLAY IS DONE / PAIN IS OVER / RUN AWAY FROM PERSON / NEVER DELIVER NOTE.

Posted in YAY, a lot, silly, the writing of drama plays, theater, whining, words, working, worrying | No Comments »

theracake

July 14th, 2017 by Bekah Brunstetter

So maybe I have had a slightly stressful last few weeks, all good kinds of stress, like joy and excitement stress, but stress none the less, and when je stress, JE BAKE. And so yesterday, I came home from work with a need to make a cake so immediate and so strong, it can only be described as FRANTIC. And so, je baked Paula Deen’s Pink Lemonade Cake.

Frosting heart brought to you by Morrison, who jumped in when I wasn’t sure what to put on the top other than the words FEELINGS CAKE.

Audiences at the Cake this weekend will get a taste of my anxiety,  which PS, tastes like butter and lemon and Paula Deen’s fingers after a day in the kitchen.

Posted in a lot, food, generally, ha, how interesting, i am a grown up, i am lucky, silly, the writing of drama plays, theater, things | No Comments »

COOOOOOKKKKIEEESSSSSSSS

July 9th, 2017 by Bekah Brunstetter

What’s even better than Cake served after a play about Cake?

HOMEMADE COOKIES DECORATED FOR THE CHARACTERS IN A PLAY ABOUT CAKE

#LAYERS

Posted in MAWWAGE., a lot, food, i am lucky, love, the writing of drama plays, theater, things, things that I Have | No Comments »

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