Good way to end a week

BULLETIN: Happy Easter to those who celebrate this day. Happy Sunday to those who do not.

Hi everyone,

Sandy Asher poses outside her Lancaster City Home. Photo:Shahan

I heard from Sandy Asher yesterday with not one but two nice pieces of news. First, Sandy’s wonderful picture book, CHICKEN STORY TIME, has been nominated for the Kansas Reading Association’s 2018 Bill Martin Jr. Picture Book Award! Way to go Sandy! If you haven’t picked up a copy of her book, you need to pronto.

The second piece of good news is that SOMEBODY CATCH MY HOMEWORK, the play that Sandy wrote based on poems from my collected works (at the time), is about to be performed again, this time at The Episcopal Academy in Newtown Square, PA on May 19. I’ve seen it performed more than once and love it each time. It opened with its world premier here in Springfield at the Vandevort Theatre in 2004. I don’t know how many times it has been performed. Maybe Sandy will remember. I believe it was also performed in Europe on one occasion. If I’m wrong about that, it makes a good story.

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.

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.

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

Please pass it on!

Thank you!


Congratulations, Sandy. Way to go!




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 .

There are still a very few tickets available for performances of “Walking Toward America.” For info, see

Thank you.


Good news from Sandy Asher

Hi everyone,

As you may know, Sandy Asher’s play, WALKING TOWARD AMERICA, is being featured this fall at 407 W. 41st St., New York, NY as part of United Solo Festival at Theatre Row. It’s an honor to be selected and Sandy, who writes plays as Sandra Fenichel Asher, has every right to be pleased. Even better, the first performance of the play, which is performed by Annie Montgomery, is sold out.6023_WalkingTowardAmerica_Promo1 (1) A second show has now been added for Thursday, October 1 at 9 p.m..
Sandy Asher
The website has been updated:, and folks can link from there to online and phone ticket ordering at Telecharge. According to Sandy, “Tickets are $19.25, plus small fees. And they’ve already begun to sell, so the race is on! We had quite a few people who couldn’t get tickets for the 9/27 performance, so we’re hoping to sell this one out, too, and maybe line up a third. Fingers crossed!”

If you are going to be in the New York area on October 1, you would want to order your tickets now. Seating capacity is limited so you could miss an opportunity to see the play. The play is based on the real life story of a friend and neighbor of ours, Ilga Katais-Paeglis Vise, who, as a young girl, fled 500 miles with her family across frozen, war-torn northern Europe as they worked their way toward America and eventual freedom. It’s a compelling story and I highly recommend it.