I received my royalty statement from Dramatic Publishing the other day. I have two entries in their catalog, both thanks to my multi-talented friend SANDY ASHER. In 2004, she wrote SOMEBODY CATCH MY HOMEWORK, a play inspired by various poems from my work, both published and un-. A few years later she and I teamed to write a long story in free verse, JESSE AND GRACE, A BEST FRIENDS STORY, also published by Dramatic.
JESSE AND GRACE has done well and Sandy won two coveted awards for it — AATE Distinguished Play Award and The Charlotte B. Chorpenning Playwright Award. It wasn’t produced during the past six reporting months but SOMEBODY CATCH MY HOMEWORK was. I was pleased to see in this new statement that it has recently appeared in Missoula Children’s Theatre (Missoula, Montana), Oak Farm Montessori School (Avilla, Indiana), and Saint Thomas More High School (Milwaukee, Wisconsin).
Think of a story about a new girl in a 4th grade class that has a lot going on. It’s sort of like a musical (really does have music) but when kids stop to perform, my poems come out of their mouths instead of songs.Is that cool? I think so!
The week has been busy and pleasant. Made good progress on the manuscripts I’m tweaking. Had an excellent meeting yesterday with my editor for one of them. May have found a publisher for my autobiography, which I’ve nearly finished writing.
If nothing happens, I expect to finish the last of the revisions by the end of next week. By then I hope to see some sketches from an old friend and widely known artist with whom I may collaborate on a new, speculative book.
SANDY ASHER sent word that a new production of SOMEBODY CATCH MY HOMEWORK is coming up inIndiana. Details to follow. Of the many projects that Sandy and I have tackled together over the years, this play has been the most enduring. Our other play together is JESSE AND GRACE, A BEST FRIENDS STORY.
Cast size: 2m., 2w., 1 either gender. Expandable to 13 roles, plus extras as desired.
Livestream and Record & Stream Rights Available
Awards: The Charlotte B. Chorpenning Playwright Award
A light-hearted, high-energy look at one eventful day in the life of fourth-grader Samantha, the new girl in town, who has lost her beloved cat, Corky. At the bus stop, Samantha meets three wacky new friends who welcome her into their class, which just happens to be studying the animal kingdom. Their search for essay topics takes them from a dinner table’s chicken thighs to the pasture of a bull not pleased to see visitors. A wayward wad of bubble gum, tuba practice and a sticky baby sister later, the busy day finally peaks with the rescue of Corky. Nineteen humorous—and sometimes serious—poems by David L. Harrison are woven into the script as dialogue. Instead of bursting into song, the characters break out into poetry! Incidental music composed especially for this play is available. Highly tourable by five actors. Somebody Catch My Homework also offers creative opportunities for a larger cast and/or audience participation.
Yesterday Sandy Asher learned from Marjorie Bicknell,
Philadelphia Regional Rep for the Dramatists Guild of America, that we’ve been accepted to present a reading of Jesse and Grace, A Best Friends Story, (adapted for ZOOM reading
or radio by two actors of any age) as part of a project called Footlights Readings. A total of eleven readings will be presented between February and July. Ours will lead off the schedule on February 9. All readings will be on Zoom. They are free and open to the public. More details as we get them. We have a director and have rehearsed twice during the process of honing the manuscript down to meet time requirements. There’s more work ahead but it’s all good and I look forward to the event.
Last night we attended the world premier production of Sandy Fenichel Asher’s compelling play, DEATH VALLEY, A LOVE STORY, at Springfield Contemporary Theatre, beautifully performed by Andie Bottrell, Rachel Jamieson, and special friend Sarah J. Wiggin. The play was inspired by the true story of Carol Emerson and the loss of her partner, David Nutter.
(cast, director Alan Souza, Sandy, Carol
At dinner prior to the play we sat with Sandy, hubby Harvey Asher, Ilga Vise, Carol and partner Dave Bender. Sandy pointed out that this was a gathering of three of her “muses.” She wrote her play, WALKING TOWARD AMERICA based on the experiences of Ilga, DEATH VALLEY, A LOVE STORY based on Carol Emerson’s story, and SOMEMBODY CATCH MY HOMEWORK based on my poetry.
After the play there was a reception to meet and greet and one of the actors, Cory Kilburn, who appeared in SOMEBODY CATCH MY HOMEWORK (2002) reintroduced himself to me. What an extra treat that was!