Hi everyone,

By now many of you have spotted Sandy Asher’s post of the latest news about our play (which she wrote inspired by my poetry) called SOMEBODY CATCH MY HOMEWORK. It is about to be presented by Story Theater Company in Iowa City, Iowa, as its winter touring production. Directed by Caisha Johnson, this STC ON TOUR production will perform several shows for Ames area after-school programs in February and March of 2019 with a final showcase performance for the public on April 5 at STC’s Black Box Theater.

STC produces two main-stage productions, two black box shows, and a touring production each season as well as classes, camps, and workshops. They are particularly committed to reaching under served children. They have donated hundreds of free tickets to area social service agencies, provided scholarship aid to participants, and kept tickets reasonably priced, in their on-going effort to afford everyone the opportunity to experience live theater.

Maybe Sandy will have a better idea than I about how many times the play has been produced since it celebrated its world premier, directed by Maxine Whittaker, with original music by Ric Averill, in Springfield, Missouri, April 11-14, 2002. I remember at least once when it was produced in Europe. I’m always thrilled when a new production comes along. Thank you, Sandy, for making this happen!

Sandy and I collaborated on another play based on our novel in verse called JESSE AND GRACE: A BEST FRIENDS STORY. Again, Sandy wrote the play but in this case it was based on our story of Jesse and Grace, which we took turns writing. This one premiered in the Pollyanna Theatre Company, Austin, Texas, in June 2008, directed by Matetzschk-Campbell. That play won Distinguished Play of the Year from the Alliance of American Theatre and Education. Sandy received the honor in Chicago in 2011.


  1. Wow! Congratulations!
    That’s a funny poem – betcha the play is great!
    Just got that book of yours from the library yesterday! You were really able to get in the kid’s heads! Brings back memories of when i was a kid in school…
    Just checked and my library doesn’t have JESSE AND GRACE: A BEST FRIENDS STORY but i love the description of this tale on Amazon…
    You wrote above: “it was based on our story of Jesse and Grace, which we took turns writing.” – would you mind telling more about how you took turns writing it? Are there other stories you collaborated on with another author? I’m doing our February Wonder of Words blog on author collaborations and would be interested in what you have to say on this subject. Please email me at

    • Thank you, Yvon. JESSE AND GRACE is not out as a book (yet). Although we’ve had some strong interest from more than one editor we’ve yet to get it under contract. I’ll respond more fully on your e-mail address.

      • Congrats! I would be interesting in knowing more about how you took turns writing, too. Could you tell a little bit more about that here? Or send a link to the blog, if it features you and Sandy. Thanks.

    • Good morning, Su. I hope things are okay out there at Coyote and Antelope Ridges! As Bill Anderson says, a writer never knows when something unexpected will happen. We just need to get out of bed and be ready! (:>

  2. Okay, I’ll respond here to the question about how we took turns. The idea for this project came from Sandy, as it so often does. She had a general notion of where we might head, which we both shared, but once we began she would write a Grace poem without telling me what she was going to say, I would read the poem and respond from Jesse without telling her what I was going to say, etc. That way our telling was spontaneous and personal and related to the interior thinking of each character. How we responded to each new twist, disappointment, and insight reflected how our characters were developing.

  3. Thank you for this post, David — and for the poems that inspired the play that inspired the production that inspired the post! Many, many happy memories of the stage debut of “Somebody Catch My Homework” in Springfield, MO. Director Maxine Whittaker assembled a perfect cast, and composer Ric Averill’s music was — and still is! — delightful. Your description of our back-and-forth process for the original book version of “Jesse and Grace: A Best Friend’s Story” is accurate. And THAT was fun, too. Both plays are available from Dramatic Publishing Company, if anyone’s interested. or 1-800-HIT-SHOW. There are short excerpts of each play on the website.

  4. I know you’re aware of the Coterie theater at Crown Center in Kansas City, MO. This theater offers plays for children and has a very large following in the metro area. This might be a wonderful place for your plays.

    • Hi, Tina — Thank you for the suggestion. Yes, I am very much aware of the Coterie. It’s one of the most respected theaters for young audiences in the country. I’ve had two of my plays done there: “A Woman Called Truth” (one year on the MainStage and the next year on tour) and “Across the Plains: Journey of the Palace Wagon Family,” which the Coterie commissioned and which was chosen for the New Visions/New Voices Workshop and Symposium at the Kennedy Center. Alas, they haven’t shown interest in anything since then. That’s not unusual. Theatres are constantly changing. But maybe we need some sort of petition or protest, David!

      • Thank you for the suggestion, Tina. Any idea about how to make a contact with the folks at Coterie? I’m afraid I’m out of the theatre loop.

      • Here’s the website, David: Jeff Church is the Producing Artistic Director and Joette Pelster is the Executive Director. From the looks of the website, they’ve gone younger and lighter than when I worked with them, so maybe “Somebody Catch My Homework” or “Jesse and Grace” would be a fit for them now. Both have been there since my day, and both have worked with composer Ric Averill as well. Hearing from a “local guy” might be good!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s