I'm working on a one-act for Actors Express in Atlanta, for their intern showcase. It's a custom-made script for a cast of nine actors. Improbably enough, the Atlantic Alumni Workshop in NYC was also looking for material to develop, and happen to have the capacity to accommodate nine actors, so they'll be getting a sneak peek of the play in late March.
FOUR updates today:
1) Ma-Yi Lab is producing a benefit for the Philippines, to buy new fishing boats for villagers affected by Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda. HELP US BUY BOATS!
The event is called "Mga Kasabihan / Words of Wisdom" and features brand-new short plays written by the Ma-Yi Labbies and inspired by Filipino proverbs, sayings, and malapropisms. It's going down on MON FEB 17 at 7pm thanks to a generous space donation from Playwrights Horizons (416 W 42nd St). Tickets are $35 for general admission and $50 for premium (includes select seating and a 20% discount to Ma-Yi's production of The Wong Kids).
2) I'm on a two-part Maxamoo podcast about upcoming works by playwrights of color. (Mostly in NY but I get in a few national plugs in part 2.) The link to part 1 is below.
3) Rehana Lew Mirza just won the InterAct commission (via NNPN) for a new play about domestic terrorism.
4) Speaking of InterAct, If you're in Philly on Feb 10 I've got a reading of my brand-new play Tiger Style!, which has never been seen outside of Juilliard.
I am thrilled and overwhelmed to announce that I have been named the second annual Lanford Wilson Award winner via the Dramatists Guild, as well as a 2013 Helen Merrill Award winner.
Rehana and I have been living totally hand-to-mouth lately, her with her grad school debt and me having just finished grad school. I always knew that the life of an artist would be financially precipitous, but that realization has been made starkly apparent given a two-playwright household.
I am just so unspeakably grateful for the generosity of the Dramatists Guild, and Lanford Wilson and Helen Merrill's estates, and my teachers at Juilliard - Marsha Norman and Chris Durang. Scratch that; we're doubly grateful. In a home where we're constantly taking turns alternating between who has to be the breadwinner and who gets to be the artist, these awards give us both a chance to focus exclusively on our art.
Coverage from the Dramatists Guild Awards Ceremony:
Two weeks left to see Bike America and more strong reviewage, this time from the New York Theater review.
"Mike Lew’s Bike America is the perfect time capsule for what has become dubbed as the millennial crisis, creating a rich and nuanced story with a very real and relatable heroine about a very real and relatable crisis."
"Ms. DiGiovanni’s performance steals the show. She’s a light, a breath of fresh air with perfect comedic timing and extreme emotional depth."
"Director Moritz von Stuelpnagel’s fun direction keeps the energy moving forward. His ingenious staging is a breath of fresh air for the American theatre stage, bringing to life the hectic, dangerous and often inspirational bike sojourn of which these characters are a part."
Full article here.
Ma-Yi ticketing info here.
Life's short. Don't miss this trip.
Theatermania likes the hell out of us.
"Hi, I'm Penny. I'm a f*ckup," declares the antihero protagonist of Mike Lew's Bike America as she furiously peddles a stationary bike facing the audience. That is how she introduces herself and for perhaps once in her life, she doesn't disappoint."
"Lew (microcrisis) adroitly captures the cross-country genre in his own uniquely cartoonish way, elevating the United States to a mythical land full of magic and monsters."
"Director Moritz von Stuelpnagel hits all the comic beats in Lew's script, keeping the play zooming along like a well-oiled huffy."
Read the full review here.
We're newly opened this week. Come out and support us this weekend! Because you can't see the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, or the Statue of Liberty this weekend but you CAN go on a cross-country bike ride with us!
Now thru Oct 20. Tix and info:
My fellow Americans:
Time to Join the Ride!
Invited dress tonight. Previews start tomorrow.
Sept 24 – Oct 20, 2013
Wed thru Sat @ 8:00pm
Tues @ 7:00pm
Sun @ 3:00pm
423 West 46th Street
(betw 9th and 10th)
by Mike Lew
directed by Moritz von Stuelpnagel
Featuring Vandit Bhatt, Jessica DiGiovanni, Melanie Nicholls-King, David Shih, Marilyn Torres, Tom White, and Landon G. Woodson
Set by Andrew Boyce, costumes by Melissa Schlachtmeyer & Amy J. Pedigo, lights by Matthew Richards, and sound design by Jill BC Du Boff.
Winner of the Kendeda Grad Playwriting Competition!
Bike America is a wildly theatrical picaresque journey that crams the entire continent onto one stage. The play unfolds as a cross-country bike trip from Boston to California, with stops in big cities and small towns along the way. Our feckless heroine Penny is looking to bring more meaning into her life, to find a lifestyle that suits her and a town that feels like a home... so she drops her clingy boyfriend in Beantown and takes off for Santa Barbara! Along the way she befriends a colorful crew of bikers: Ryan, the health nut biking instructor; Tim Billy, the innocent wanderer; Annabel and Rorie, the badass activists seeking to get gay-married in every state they hit on the trip; and the mysterious Man with the Van who carries their stuff.
We're in the theater.
Bike America NYC premiere
produced by Ma-Yi Theater and EST
Sep 24 - Oct 20
For info and tix go here!
From the NY Times theater listings:
‘Bike America’ (previews start on Tuesday; opens on Oct. 1) Kitchen-sink drama does not appear to be the default mode for Mike Lew, who was last seen giving global finance a madcap spin in 2010’s “Microcrisis.” That was produced by Ma-Yi Theater Company, as is this new piece about a young woman’s cross-country bike trip. This time Mr. Lew has set his play in all 48 contiguous states. Theater at St. Clement’s, 423 West 46th Street, Clinton, (212) 352-3101, ma-yitheatre.org. (Grode)
Watch me learn to ride a bike with EST/Youngblood's Graeme Gillis.
So the deal is that I wrote a play about biking without really knowing how to bike.
I grew up on a steep hill and my parents thought if I got a bike I would kill myself trying to learn how to ride it, so I didn't learn how to balance on a bike until I was in college.
But in celebration of Ma-Yi and EST's coproduction of Bike America, Tyler Mercer at Ma-Yi thought it'd be fun to pair up Ma-Yi and Youngblood members to have a little chat on bikes, courtesy of GoPro cameras.
Biking one loop around Central Park is by far the farthest I've ever ridden on a bike. Click the link at the top to see what-all we talked about.
(Not pictured: getting a flat, leaning on a pedestrian for balance, leaning on Graeme for balance, falling over multiple times while trying to stop.)
What day is it?
Design presentation day.
Bike America NYC rehearsals have begun.
We're up Sept 24 - Oct 20.
For info and tickets click here.