TONIGHT IS THE NIGHT! And a Q&A with playwright Rehana Lew Mirza!

Tonight is the night!  The 3rd Annual Working Theater Directors Salon kicks off with an opening party at the June Havoc Theatre at the Abingdon Theatre Arts Complex (312 W. 36th St.) at 7pm!

What to expect:

–       Free beer (thanks, Brooklyn Brewery!) and wine!

–       Directors!  Playwrights!  Actors!  Designers!  People!

–       A raffle with some really sweet prizes – rehearsal space, show tickets, etc.!

–       A chance to meet us, our artists, and find out more information about this week’s events

–       BUT MOST IMPORTANTLY, a chance to direct one of 7 short plays written by Jocelyn Bioh, Bekah Brunstetter, Ed Cardona, Jr., Tim J. Lord, Rehana Lew Mirza, Matthew Paul Olmos, and Crystal Skillman!  If you get picked, you’ll get rehearsal space, professional actors, and a performance on Sunday, April 22nd!  Be sure to attend and drop your name in the basket, and stick around for the drawing to see if you’ll be directing this week.

Rehana Lew Mirza is one of this year’s playwrights – come by the party tonight for a chance to direct her short play, The Waiting Game, and check out Co-Curator Nicole A. Watson’s Q&A with her below!

Rehana Lew Mirza

Nicole: Tell us about your play in the Salon, The Waiting Game.

Rehana: The play in the Salon was written after I visited the unemployment office when I was laid off from my most recent day job (anyone remember a certain company that gave out 10 tapes for a penny? Yeah, I worked there). The parts of the play that you think are real are fake, and the parts of the play you think are fake are real. That’s all I will say. 

NAW: The theme for this year’s Salon is “Work For Change”. What does that mean to you?

RLM:

1) Digging through my father’s pants pockets after he fell asleep in order to find the loose change and be able to buy myself an extra snack at lunchtime. 

2) The work I do as a theater artist. I’m often poked fun at for quoting Gandhi a little too often – “Be the change you wish to see in the world…” There it is. I just did it again.

NAW: As many artists have to find a day job to support ourselves– do you have a day-job story you could share?

RLM: Do I???  I have had over 21 day jobs since I’ve been legally allowed to hold a day job. My shortest stint was at a construction company in Michigan. I was filing paperwork in the office when the owner walked by, and commented, “Just what I like to see, a girl on her knees.” For seriously. That happened.   

NAW: As a playwright- do you have a dream project/play production?

RLM: I do have a pet project that is ridiculous and insane and was written because my husband told me I would never write this play. It’s a modern adaptation of Through the Looking Glass where a girl named Leela falls through the rabbit hole while looking for her boyfriend, and literally enters into the Internet. It combines puppets (HTML, JAVA, Flash are all puppet characters) with media (youtube!), dance (youtube!), and songs (youtube!). It’s a crazy play that moves as fast as the click of a button, with ensemble actors popping in and out.  

NAW: What do you look for in a director?

RLM: I look for someone who can take the world of a play and run with it. They can enhance the play not by distractions or tricks, but by really creating a fuller narrative. A good sense of humor, a brisk pace, and someone who can command attention in a room are always good.  

NAW: Where/From Whom do you draw inspiration?

RLM: I draw inspiration from my fellow artists!

NAW: What’s next for you? 

RLM: Check out www.rehanamirza.com for my latest and greatest.   

Rehana Lew Mirza’s play, The Waiting Game, premieres at the Salon on Sunday, April 22nd at the June Havoc Theatre.  For a chance to direct Rehana’s play, make sure to attend our kick-off party TONIGHT!  For more information, visit our website or check us out on Facebook.

Rehana Lew Mirza’s full-length plays include Barriers (HERE, NYC; Asian American Theater Company, SF); The Good Muslim (Theater Row, NYC); The Radio Diaries of Hank, Yank, and Prank (John Golden Award); Particles of Pakistan (E.S.T. Sloan commission); if it’s sad i don’t want to see it (O’Neill Finalist); and Lonely Leela (Magic Theatre workshop, SF; New Georges mini-workshop, NYC). She is the recipient of a NYSCA commission and her plays have been published with the Alexander Street Press, indietheaternow, and the New York Theatre Review. She was the 2010 IAAC playwright in residence at The Lark Development Center, a 2008-2010 TCG Future Leader fellow with New Georges, a Leopold Schepp scholar, a 2G Resident Artist, and a LMCC artist grantee. She is the co-director of the Ma-Yi Writer’s Lab and the co-founder of Desipina & Co. More info at www.rehanamirza.com.

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