The Go-Getter Year

by Fanny Garcia, Editor

pLAywriting in the city 

My 2011 has a soundtrack and it starts off with “The Go Getter” by The Black Keys.  2011 was the year I became a bona fide go-getter. I wasn’t going to let L.A. keep me on my knees. I needed to keep moving. So I ran a marathon in the pouring rain. If I could do that I could do anything.

2011 is also the year that pLAywriting in the city took a different turn. It started out as a personal blog about my success and struggles as a playwright in L.A. But I quickly realized that I wasn’t that interesting. The solution? Invite my friends to contribute stories. The first person I asked was the fantastic Alejandra Cisneros and she wrote a story called “On Being A Stage Manager”.  Her contribution is the most popular article at the blog with 567 reads! American Theatre Magazine also featured the piece on their Facebook page.

I then had the good fortune to attend the TCG National Conference in Los Angeles as part of the Young Leaders of Color. I was suddenly faced with the reality that being a theater artist was a career choice that was feasible. Why? Because theater is a $1.9 billion dollar industry and my work most definitely has a place in those numbers.

My attendance at Theatre Communication Group’s conference opened many doors. I was asked to share the story about my first play for their 50th Anniversary video campaign called I AM THEATRE. This opportunity helped to renew my commitment to a career as a writer. Later in the year I was invited to travel to New York and attend TCG’s Fall Forum on Governance. I met many amazing playwrights, board members, artistic and managing directors from theater companies across the United States.

The biggest lesson I learned is that there needs to be more representation of people of color at events where the future of theatre is being discussed. The group Individual Artist Collective was created as a result of this observation. Our goal is to raise $10,000 to send five artists of color to TCG’s 2012 conference in Boston. Our website will be up in a few days so you can follow our progress. Our next event is to host a Welcome to Los Angeles brunch for playwright Tanya Saracho. Her play El Nogalar will open on January 28th at The Fountain Theatre.

2011 had its lows but the highs were amazing. I can still feel their ripple effects. Therefore, it was kind of appropriate that a pipe in the bathroom sink of my apartment burst during the Christmas break. I came back from visiting family to water everywhere. It was a hassle a first until I realized how perfect it was for the year to end this way. The water has washed away all traces of the lows. I now stand on new wood floors and look forward to a brand new year.

The following people deserve a mention for being awesome and inspiring my artistic soul in 2011:  Tony Bartolone, Alejandra Cisneros, Anthony Aguilar, Juan Ramirez, Angela Imperial, Luis Alfaro, Marcos Najera, Desi Molinari, Kimberly Simpson, Jose Cruz Gonzalez, Jesus A. Reyes, Camille Barrat, Maria Ayon, Raquel Sanchez, Caroline Kuntz, Laurie Woolery, Diane Rodriguez, Anthem Salgado, Shana Kogan, Madeline Sampson, Melissa Gordon, Hilda Sandoval, Alida Gunn, Lizett Alvarez, Ena Valladares, Monica Chavez, Bobby Plasencia, Ramona Gonzales, Carmelita Maldonado, Diana Romo, Claudia Duran, Sheila Korsi, Tara Lewis, Babbs and Maria Lopez,  Julissa Lopez, Liana Arauz, Dove Pressnall, Edgar Miramontes, Oscar Basulto, Blanca Melchor, Lynn Haro, Kristoffer Diaz, Dafina McMillan, Emilya Capachero, Julie Taymor, Federico Patino, Jesus Gonzalez, Rajiv Joseph, Octavio Solis, Natalie Mann, Prof. Argelia Andrade, Prof. Rod Moore, Prof. Rick Murray, Karen Anzoategui, Stephanie Berlaga, Tim Burton, Francisco Goldman, Hector Tobar, Junot Diaz, Henry David Hwang, Voltaire and Sor Juana.

Thank you to everyone who reads pLAywriting in the city. We have a lot planned for the blog. Our hope is that it can become a site where theatre that is neglected by the mainstream media can have a home.