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

EARNEST GRATITUDE POST ALERT

August 14th, 2017 by Bekah Brunstetter

The Cake closed yesterday, which is not to say that it is the end: the play is (with different cast / director / designers) is moving onto Playmakers in NC, the Warehouse Theater in SC, La Jolla in SoCal, The Alley in Houston, and hopefully a few more. And also, it will never really be Over, as there will always be cake, and if there’s not, I truly do not know if I want to live in that world. I’ve had plays close many times before, but this one was particularly emotional. It’s always sad when a play ends, as it will never be again, or least, not with the same people, in the same space. But also, this wasn’t just any play. Not only did I get to work with actors who read my mind, made me feel and look smart, captured my laugh-then-tears-then-laugh tone that some aren’t sure how to navigate, but also, I got to work with my husband, and witness first hand the depth his heart and work ethic and creative intelligence.

If that weren’t enough, I got to put voice to icky and complicated questions and contradictions that exist in my head, let them out of my head and into the world,  and discover that so many people wrestle with the same things. I  helped a liberal audience find empathy for those whose beliefs are different from their own, I helped evangelical audience members feel understood. I walked a divide and gave out cake. And if THAT weren’t even enough – I got to make people feel good, feel hopeful and open, which, given how things currently are, feels important. And so, if all of THOSE things weren’t even enough, I got to fully realize that fact itself: that plays are important. They are only important SOMETIMES. They cannot always be important. Sometimes they are selfish and indulgent or too long or  too vague and or too ambitious. But sometimes they effect people. If, at the end of my life, this is my one play that did just that — if this was as good as it gets –I AM SO VERY GOOD WITH THAT.

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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 »

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 »

RIP OFF

July 16th, 2017 by Bekah Brunstetter

I realized something yesterday: I’ve basically spent the last five years writing Kathy Bates in Fried Green Tomatoes over and over and over. Now that I’ve realized this, do I have any intention whatsoever of ceasing and desisting? NOPE.

MAY SHE LIVE FOREVER.

Posted in YAY, famous people stuff, ha, hmmmmm, how interesting, the writing of drama plays, 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 »

formerly fat career girl

July 12th, 2017 by Bekah Brunstetter

Sometimes my own thought processes horrify me. Yesterday the New York Times ran an  article about me, which I honestly have been secretly dreaming about FOR YEARS. My first thoughts once I saw that it was posted: Do I look fat? How fat do I look? Do I look slightly more fat than I was ten minutes or ten years ago? Is everyone going to see that I’ve gained fifteen pounds since last year? ONLY AFTER THESE INCONSEQUENTIAL QUESTIONS AND THOUGHTS, did I then read the article, which is a lovely article in which I managed to represent what I believe in, what troubles me, what goes on in my BRAIN, by which I mean, the thing floating inside of the container that is my body, that is arguably, and INCONSEQUENTIALLY, bigger at some points than it is at others.

Posted in YAY, a lot, i am lucky, the writing of drama plays, things that I Have, wanting, what I'm wearing, whining, women, worrying | 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 »

women of cake

July 3rd, 2017 by Bekah Brunstetter

My friend took these pictures at the curtain call after opening night. They make me so happy. A play written by a woman, directed by a woman, starring three very wonderful women, about women,

All of whom are currently very grateful, exhausted and very full of cake.

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

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