Welcome to my GoFundMe campaign for "Imagine Judith", my new play... what's this journey all about?
After a year of diligent writing, I am excited to say that I have completed my script for this new work, at least "finished" enough to begin to perform it "off book", meaning free of having to read it in performance, and so the next step is to see how it feels in front of audiences, as I begin to play around with what I am going to do on stage. How I am going to share this work physically. And so.... Similar to what I did with both BROKE WIDE OPEN and Brooklyn Quartet as I developed each of those plays, I am about to embark on a small "unplugged", "bare bones" tour of performances in various cities around the country, to begin "working out" this story in front of people, while also conducting Q&A's after each show to gather notes. Then the plan is to get myself to a few festivals in the spring, and then to a full workshop production in either late 2020 or early 2021.
I haven't locked down the cities for this tour as of yet, that will be determined by how much money I can raise, but for now, I AM booked, beginning in October, in a few places, locally, starting with Asbury Park, NJ, at my "home away from home", the Stephen Crane House. Then I'm off to Rockland County, headed to Haverstraw, NY, at the Garner Arts Center, hosted by Shades Repertory Theatre, then I plan on doing a performance somewhere in Westchester County, then up toward the Berkshires, (or I have my eye on a particular place in Vermont... I'll let you know when it's official), then looking at Philadelphia, and then... I'm off to other far away places around the US.
In past years, I have done these performances in all kinds of different alternative spaces... Art galleries, abandoned storefronts, bookstores, people's homes, parks, small theaters, old gas stations... basically any place that would house a performance and an audience, and I have traveled to cities like Seattle, San Francisco and Oakland, Los Angeles, Chicago, Denver, Minneapolis, and more, and each performance has been a uniquely invaluable experience for me, (and hopefully for each audience), and certainly an important part of the growth and evolution of my work, and so, let this tour be as helpful and magical, and who knows? I may wind up in a city near you.
Then there's part two to this journey.... my longer-term plans... In the spring, after doing this tour, I am focused on a festival in NYC, as well as one in LA, and I am hoping to take Imagine Judith to Edinburgh next summer, which is a very important theater festival, and so, that is very exciting for me. I had a fantastically amazing experience when I was in the UK a few years ago, performing my first play, BROKE WIDE OPEN, at the Camden Fringe Festival, and I have always wanted to perform at Edinburgh, and so, this is my plan to grow Imagine Judith, and I need to raise funds to do all of this.
I need to cover for my travel, my accomodations, and whatever the cost of my venues will be, the various fees that these festivals charge, and, oh... I need to make sure I eat a little bit while I'm out there as well, and so... if you feel you would like to support this next part of my journey, that would be amazing, and you can donate any amount you would like to contribute by simply doing so here, at my newly created GoFundMe page. You can give whatever amount you feel good about. My goal includes raising $3000 for the "unplugged" tour, and an additional $5000 for Edinburgh and the LA Fringe, and so I need to raise a total of $8000, and I am starting now, because as much as this might feel far away in terms of time, believe it or not, submissions begin very soon, and so, the time is NOW for me to be prepared and make my plans. And so here I am, and here we are.
Imagine Judith is based on the ASTOUNDING story of my biological mother, whose family I recently found after taking a DNA test. While you could certainly characterize this as an adoption or foster care story, Imagine Judith is also a story of how family, love, loss, separation, other people's choices, resilience, the generosity and kindness of strangers, and so much more, all somehow get tied together to become one person's life, from her birth to her death. Oh, and how this person happened to have given birth to me along the way. It's a pretty layered and complex story, to say the least. And I get to tell it, and show it, and that is my honor and privilege, and I'm so excited about all of this!! Imagine Judith is already beginning to feel like a very special project, just from what I have been experiencing in this year of writing and doing staged readings, and I am just really humbled and feeling extremely fortunate for the opportunities that lie ahead, and working extremely hard in preparation, so that I can honor all of that, with all of me.
My hope is that after all of this, I am armed with the ammunition that should include lots of momentum and reviews, to ride Imagine Judith into a long and prosperous life as the full production from what has been built over this year-and-a-half long supported journey, all grown up as a beautiful theatrical shared experience, the story being told in it's clearest and most intimately powerful, and most provocative form. (That was a crazy sentence, but if you read it back slowly, it really works) ;) In any case... Let the universe provide, while the work is being done.
Okay, enough words. If you know me, you know that I don't know how to tell a short story. ;)
Thanks so much for reading all of this, if you are still here. I hope this finds you well, happy and healthy, enjoy the rest of your summer, and as I always say, (and as I also try to "walk the walk" and not just "talk the talk", meaning I always hope I'm doing something meaningful with my life. That's certainly my intention.).... as I always say... here's to a better world, for all of us.