Tuesday, November 30, 2010

So, did you hear?  Anne Hathaway and James Franco will co-host the 83rd Academy Awards on February 27th.   Cool.  Maybe that's just what the Academy Awards needs... some new blood and fresh air.

It's the same with the movie industry... it desperately needs new blood and new voices.   I only think about "the Academy" (the one everyone thanks in their acceptance speeches) a few times a year -- about who will host the show, who they'll honor, who they'll nominate, and finally, who will they award those precious little statues to next year.

But, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences does many more things year round... especially for screenwriters.  Here is a compilation of sound advice from seasoned screenwriters about the art and craft of screenwriting.  These videos are produced by the Academy to inspire new writers.  Many more videos are available to watch on the Academy's website  http://www.oscars.org  The advice is insightful... writers who appear in this video were nominated for the Oscar or won.

One of my favorite screenwriters is Callie Khouri, whose first script won her an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay in 1991...  she wrote Thelma & Louise. 

So check out the Academy's website now and not just in February when you download the list of nominees for your office Oscar pool.  The Academy is working hard to dazzle you, movie lovers and writers, not just on Oscar Night.

Enjoy, take notes... and start planning that Oscar party.  Who will you be wearing?

Until next time.

Thursday, November 11, 2010


"You're nothing but a radical with a rake!" a NYC land owner says to a young farmer who is caught trespassing on his vacant lot with hopes of planting a garden.

The play starred Michael Soldati (as Paul) and Cris Morales (as Adesh). This one-act comedy by playwright Janet Lawler and director Chrysta Naron received 3 performances as part of Thespian Production's Year End Event III.  The show was recorded on Joria Productions' Main Theater on November 6, 2010.

Enjoy some highlights from the performance..  and continue to  Dream Green!  

CLICK ON LINK BELOW TO WATCH VIDEO... (warning: some explicit language)

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Scene from the one-act play Extreme Green by Janet Lawler

Well, I survived my play being performed and so did the audience.

Extreme Green premiered in NYC this past weekend in a Thespian Productions Showcase.  It went very well.  Whew!  Live theater is one nail-biting event.  So many things can go wrong (and right) and the playwright just has to sit there and trust his actors and director. 

Extreme Green is about a NYC land owner who deeply resents it when a young, idealistic farmer decides to grow vegetables on his vacant lot.  It's a social comedy... about the local food movement.

The audiences really related to it, especially about buying organic, local and cage-free and experiencing the recent food movement in our country as a revolution!  In the play, Adesh, the land owner refers to Paul, the young farmer, as a "radical with a rake".

The play was directed by Chrysta Naron, who did an amazing job.  The actors (Michael Soldati and Cris Morales) received great feedback, especially on their final show.  Thanks to them both for giving hours of rehearsal time and three performances.  With just twenty minutes together on stage, they convinced the audiences -- as extremely different as they are as characters/actors -- that they could unite for a better cause (growing an organic vegetable garden)... while also making a fast buck doing it.

Many people have asked me where I got the idea for the play.

I read about an idealistic group in NYC who were throwing seeds on vacate lots in the city (to grow flowers and beautify empty lots) but it was a problem when those lots didn't belong to them.  Did these do-gooders have the right to transform lots without permission from the land owners?

And, thus, the play was born.

What's next for Extreme Green?  Well, I just might shoot it as a short film come spring.  It will also be performed in more community theaters.  Somehow, I see the play moving forward.

It seems a play destined to bloom further.

Big thanks to all who spent their hard-earned "cash flow" on tickets to see my play (especially in these tough times) and for supporting Off-Broadway arts.

It was an incredible weekend in a tiny theater.

Until next time.

For those interested in Extreme Green for their theaters, workshops or student drama clubs please visit: