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

lady vs. woman

May 11th, 2017 by Bekah Brunstetter

Part of an actor’s job is to hunt for meaning and subtext in a writer’s words. The really good and intuitive ones tend to  find something complicated and rich in your play that you did not even know was there. Naturally, it is then your job to pretend that you totally meant to put that there, so that you remain mysterious and painfully intelligent. The actor playing Della (the baker / the hero)  in the upcoming production of my play The Cake asked why  her character sometimes calls herself and other gals Ladies, and other times Women. My initial reaction was that it was just sort of a random choice, as the two are practically interchangeable. BUT ARE THEY?  Kind of not. I looked back through the script and when Della says lady, it’s more casual, colloquial, and when she says woman, she is referring more to herself or other women in the biblical sense, like a woman as wife, a woman as mother, a woman as sex.  Lady is sort of dismissive and quick, while woman has this breadth and depth, like the word itself bears the weight of the entire Role. I think this is explains why every time I hear or see myself described as a woman I feel I immediately feel like I need a better bra but also  that I should start my own business because I could but also I should be washing my husband’s clothes in the river all at once. It might be the biggest word there is. LADIES AMIRIGHT?

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

those who can’t sing / write and stare

May 10th, 2017 by Bekah Brunstetter


First I loved writing stories, then poems, then plays, then movies, then TV, then emails to high schoolers who just discovered they love plays, then the occasional succinct note in Morrison’s lunch, but most recently: MUSICALS. I’m currently working on a few, workshopping one in NYC then week, and it my NEW FAVORITE THING.  I would give multiple limbs for any sort of musical talent, so writing the book for one is a way to be a part of it without reading sheet music or having vocal vibrato ever at all. It’s the most fun. It’s not easy, as the book must elegantly support the song and never draw too much attention to itself, but it’s my new favorite thing to attempt to master. THOSE WHO CAN’T SING WRITE THE BOOK AND STARE IN AWE AT THE ACTORS AS THEY SING LIKE VERY HIP ANGELS AND LIFT US ALL UP FROM OUR EARTHLY PROBLEMS AND INTO THE AIR.

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

scriptpiphanies

April 13th, 2017 by Bekah Brunstetter

I would just like to formally apologize to every actor who came to callbacks for The Cake last night for how much I was frantically writing during every read. If I were you, I would of course assume that I was making a long list of everything that was annoying about my body and voice and just me as a human, in general. But actually,  when a playwright sits in on auditions for their play, suddenly all of the emotional holes in the scenes become clear, and the playwright must frantically write these holes downs along with any ideas re: how to fix them before they escape. Unfortunately sometimes this must happen while an actor is beautifully emoting. Basically La La Land is a documentary, and sometimes, I AM THE VILLAIN IN THE ROOM I’M SORRY.

Posted in a lot, the writing of drama plays, theater, things, tout, trying too hard, words, working | No Comments »

Plays n Pie

April 3rd, 2017 by Bekah Brunstetter

People who love plays to tend to also love food and when people gather to eat food. If when people gather to eat food there is also a play, EVEN BETTER. This lovely genius girl in Brooklyn, Jessica Giannone, hosts a reading series at a bar in which she pairs plays with PIES THAT SHE BAKES.  Tonight they’re reading my play, Le Fou,  about a bunch of women writing love letters in the first ever department store in Paris. I could not possibly be more delighted. WHAT IS IN THE PIE? IS IT FULL OF FLOWERS AND FRANCE?  IF I’M THERE IN SPIRIT IS IT POSSIBLE TO ALSO EAT PIE? CAN SPIRITS EAT?

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

with alacrity

March 24th, 2017 by Bekah Brunstetter

I woke up REALLY needing to find a picture of the book I learned words from as a kid, and HERE IT BE:

I think this was all of elementary school, opening this owl and shoving its contents into my head. I was always good at memorizing, not so much internalizing. And so when my vocabulary sort of froze at the age, of, what, 24? Is that when the brain stops growing? I ended up with a moderate but far from impressive collection of words. I know no fancy synonyms for moderate or impressive. For a writer, my arsenal is limited. When I read I do so with Dictionary. But every now and then, I meet a word that I like, and it sticks in my head like gum I can’t see. And so I try and trot it out, and it’s usually awkward like trying to make a friend as a grown up, HOW IS YOUR LIFE TODAY, PERSON? But if I persevere (a word that I know ONLY because I have a cousin named Perseverance) I can normalize it and stop saying it surrounded by question marks, like I’m on stage at a spelling bee. And so today, I declare to you, I will use my new words with alacrity, which is just a sharp and beautiful little word that I always say in my normal life, by which I mean, with willingness and cheerfulness.

Posted in YAY, a lot, the future, the whole world, the writing of drama plays, things, things that I Have, tout, trying too hard, whining, words | No Comments »

Girl #2!

March 15th, 2017 by Bekah Brunstetter

Every year I write a short play for Theater Breaking Through Barriers, an NYC based company that works mainly with disabled actors — on plays sometimes related to issues of disability, but sometimes not. Their work is both inclusive AND irrelevant. They are always the hardest plays to write but also the most rewarding. This year was no different — I attempted to write a short play about the ickiness of diverse casting which forced me to confront a lot of the gross but true things that shoot through my head as a white person. I can’t see the play as I am shackled to LA with thick ropes of Kale, but if you’re in NYC, YOU SHOULD! Running through March 26th. INFO HERE!

Posted in the writing of drama plays, theater, what my friends are doing, women | No Comments »

re: Accessibility

March 9th, 2017 by Bekah Brunstetter

Me as little as two years ago: “I put my email address on my blog because I really like to be able to share plays upon request, and answer questions, and in general just be very accessible as opposed to mysterious and hard to reach.” Bekah as little as two years ago, let me be the first to say, aw, that is so sweet, and you are so cute. Me today: “AHHHH MORRISON PLEASE HELP ME TAKE MY EMAIL ADDRESS OFF MY BLOG, AS MUCH AS I WOULD LOVE TO HELP EVERY THEATER STUDENT, no but really I would love that,  IF I GET ONE MORE POLITE REQUEST FOR A PIECE OF MY BRAIN  I AM GOING TO DIG A HOLE IN THE GROUND FOR ME TO CRAWL INTO WHILE SOBBING

Posted in I am a teacher (?), a lot, generally, ha, hmmmmm, how interesting, i am a grown up, life, the whole world, the writing of drama plays, theater, things, whining, words, worrying | No Comments »

Does it matter?

March 4th, 2017 by Bekah Brunstetter

When I was in my 20s, I split my time between posing with accordions I couldn’t play, and writing plays that mattered to Me and mostly just Me. At that point in my writer life, all that mattered to me was that I was writing honestly. I never stopped to ask myself, does this play matter to anyone but myself? I think there’s something kind of beneficial about these sort of blinders that come with being a writer in your 20s in Brooklyn when there’s a lot of vintage couches to sit on. If you’re only worried about your own truth, and you get after that truth — chances are, you won’t end up writing something that is super didactic or clearly stretching beyond the limitations of your own intellect or life experience. But now I’m in my mid-30s and I split my time between fantasizing about real estate,  googling Piriformis stretches and taking in the world, mostly in the form of click bait articles.  And when it comes to playwriting, I can’t even start to wonder about a play without asking myself, does it matter? Is the play even asking a question that needs to be asked, in terms of what’s happening in the world? Of course there’s a part of me that’s glad that I am perhaps slightly less self involved than I once was — but there’s another part of me that longs for that purity of creative process, when all that mattered to me was, Does it keep you up at night? Do you wake up thinking about it? Then write it, and write it now.

Posted in generally, hmmmmm, how interesting, i am a grown up, memories, the writing of drama plays | No Comments »

Temeculand

March 1st, 2017 by Bekah Brunstetter

Tucked somewhere south east of LA that I still don’t fully understand but I am Here so hats off to that — We find Temecula, another beautiful wine country, as if California did not have enough already. Here, a girl can escape to write and actually sleep ON a vineyard and allow her panic to meet relaxation and sample their wines until the Malbec flicks her off to sleep, safely tucked inside of one of her own ideas which will change completely by the time she wakes up.

Posted in YAY, a lot, i am lucky, the writing of drama plays, theater, trying too hard, vacay's, vices, whining | No Comments »

‘Writing’

February 26th, 2017 by Bekah Brunstetter

Please don’t tell anyone I owe any sort of script to, but by ‘going to hotel to write’ I actually mean ‘hiding in hotel room with room service watching cheerleading competitions wishing I could go back in time and be either a strong or portable person who cheered competitively in college.’

Posted in ...sports?, ha, hmmmmm, the writing of drama plays | No Comments »

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