Jesse and Grace live performance today

BULLETIN: More poems from the students at Sanibel School. Check them out!

Hi everyone,

Sandy AsherI’m pleased to report that the award-winning play Sandy Asher wrote based on our script, JESSE AND GRACE, is being performed today, tomorrow, and Saturday at Carpenter Middle School in Plano, Texas. David from 417 MagazineThe book version is being read by a couple of editors so we hope to see it published as a book one of these days. In the meantime our pair of fourth graders are doing just fine on school stages and we’re proud of them.

For anyone interested in bringing the play to his or her school, here’s a helpful link. https://www.dramaticpublishing.com/p2240/Jesse-and-Grace:-A-Best-Friends-Story/product_info.html

We also collaborated for the school play, SOMEBODY CATCH MY HOMEWORK, which Sandy wrote based on my poetry from several books. It, too, is available through Dramatic Publishing.

Jesse and Grace go to Texas

Hi everyone,

Got a lot done yesterday. I needed the day to focus.

Jesse and GraceIn the meantime I heard the good news from Sandy Asher that her play based on our script, JESSE AND GRACE: A BEST FRIENDS STORY, will make its next staged appearance February 25-27 at Carpenter Middle School in Plano, Texas.

Here’s how our publisher, Dramatic Publishing, describes the play. If you know of a school or other suitable venue where there might be an interest in producing the play, I hope you’ll pass along this information.
DavidSandy Asher
“A best friend is the best kind of friend of all.”

Winner of the AATE Unpublished Play Award

AATE Distinguished Play Award Winner

By Sandra Fenichel Asher. Developed from the poetry of Sandy Asher and David L. Harrison.
Cast: 1m., 1w., 2 either gender, plus puppets; may be expanded to a total of 21 m. and w. without puppets. Commissioned by Pollyanna Theatre Company, Austin, Texas; a winner of the American Alliance for Theatre and Education’s Unpublished Play Award; and a Purple Crayon Players’ PLAYground Festival selection, Jesse and Grace uses art, music, puppets and poetry in unique ways to create a child’s world that’s entertaining, convincing and tourable. Jesse and Grace have been best friends since birth, almost 10 years. Their moms were best friends before they were born. It never mattered that Jesse is a boy and Grace is a girl. They always understood each other, protected each other, comforted each other, and shared their jokes, toys, dreams, and love of poetry and basketball. But now they’re in fourth grade and about to celebrate their 10th birthdays. When Grace writes a birthday poem and gives it to Jesse one Monday morning at school, their classmates begin a routine of nonstop teasing: “Jesse’s got a girlfriend! Gracie’s got a boyfriend!” Denial only makes things worse. Hurt and confused, Jesse crumples up the poem and throws it away. Now it’s Grace’s turn to be hurt and confused. Before long, the two have stopped speaking to each other. Each goes in search of a new best friend and soon finds that no one else fills the bill quite as perfectly. Try as they might to avoid each other, they’re in the same class, and all eyes are upon them. Every encounter breeds more teasing, humiliation and anger. Then everyone is invited to a skating party in celebration of Grace’s birthday. Unable to avoid each other—or the teasing—at the rink, and secretly longing to forgive and forget, Jesse and Grace finally discover that “A best friend is the best kind of friend of all.” Pollyanna Theatre Company’s Jesse and Grace was nominated for B. Iden Payne awards for Best Youth Theatre Production and Best Actress in a Youth Theatre Production. Area staging. Approximate Running Time: 45 minutes.

More good news about WALKING TOWARD AMERICA

BULLETIN: For anyone planning to attend my convocation talk in Stone Chapel this morning at 11:00, this just in from Drury: “We encourage you to use the parking lot that is most convenient for you during your visit back to campus. All parking lots will be available for alumni parking during Reunion weekend.” This applies to the general public as well.

Hi everyone,

Here’s some impressive news from Sandy Asher. I’m delighted to pass this along. Writing plays is a very different proposition than other forms of writing. With picture books, you have an artist for a partner who does much of the visualizing. In most writing, you may occasionally employ dialog but in plays it’s all about dialog and how adept you are at “hearing” not only how people sound but how they react to one another. You imagine each scene, place your characters like pieces in a chess set or a doll house, then bring them all to life on a public stage where so many, many things can (and frequently do) go wrong.

Sandy has published dozens of plays for children and is frequently awarded recognition at the highest level, but she also writes for adults and WALKING TOWARD AMERICA, her play about Ilga Vise, which I just saw in New York, is a stunning example of what a wonderful actor (Annie Meek Montgomery) playing multiple roles, can do when the playwright provides the right words, vision, and grasp of the drama inherent in the story.

So here’s what Sandy just told friends, and I want to share it here.

Dear friends,

“Walking Toward America” is the only show in the history of the United Solo Festival to sell out 5 performances and actually schedule a 6th show: this Saturday, October 10 at 4 p.m. That’s the good news.

The bad news is that we weren’t given much time to let folks know about it.

But the good news is that there are still plenty of tickets available. Or maybe that’s bad news? Anyway, if you were thinking of attending, please order your tickets now! And if you’ve already attended and enjoyed the show, please tell others. ALL attempts to help spread the word will be deeply appreciated. Full details on the show, the festival, and tickets at http://walkingtowardamerica.wordpress.com.

Please pass it on!

Thank you!

Sandy
http://gofundme.com/walking
http://sandyasher.com
http://walkingtowardamerica.wordpress.com
http://usawrites4kids.blogspot.com
http://americatheownersmanual.wordpress.com

Congratulations, Sandy. Way to go!

XO,

David

New news about WALKING TOWARD AMERICA

Hi everyone,

Many of you know about Sandy Asher’s upcoming play in New York. I look forward to being in her audience this coming Saturday. I asked Sandy for an update and this is what she sent. Read on!
Sandy Asher
Dear Friends,

In less than one week, “Walking Toward America” opens at the United Solo Festival at Theatre Row in New York City. My play tells the story of one immigrant family’s remarkable journey from a war-torn country to safety and freedom. The time is 1944-45 and the places are Latvia, Germany, and America, but the situation is all too familiar.

In light of current events, our production team has decided to donate everything earned from ticket sales, royalties, and our GoFundMe campaign over our very basic expenses to Church World Service, the organization that helped bring Ilga Vise and her parents — the subjects of our play — to the United States and that is still doing such important work with refugees today.

Please help support our telling of this story and CWS by sharing, tweeting, and/or donating at http://gofundme.com/walking .

There are still a very few tickets available for performances of “Walking Toward America.” For info, see http://walkingtowardamerica.wordpress.com.

Thank you.

Sandy
http://gofundme.com/walking
http://sandyasher.com
http://walkingtowardamerica.wordpress.com
http://usawrites4kids.blogspot.com
http://americatheownersmanual.wordpress.com

Another friend headed to NYC

Hi everyone,

Fantastic news from Herman Johansen. Herman Johansen3 I’ll let the letter speak for itself.

Headed to FringeNYC – The New York International Fringe Festival this August.
Dear FringeNYC Participant,

That’s right, Participant! CONGRATULATIONS! Your production of Fading Light has been ACCEPTED, and on behalf of The Present Company and the entire FringeNYC team, we want to welcome you to FringeNYC. We have chosen you to participate because we believe you will make an invaluable contribution to this year’s festival. It is our goal to make FringeNYC the most dynamic festival possible, and we invite you to help make this happen!

Herman, who lives in Los Angeles, is a gifted actor and director who is adding film credits to this repertoire these days. Here’s his website. http://www.hermanjohansen.com . I’ve read the script for FADING LIGHT, the play that won him the right to be produced in NCY this summer at FringeNYC. All I can say is that audiences will soon be adding Herman playwright to Herman’s list of accomplishments. Congratulations, Herman!