Good news about Jesse and Grace

Hi everyone,

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.

A love story

Hi everyone,

(Ilga, David, Carol, Sandy, Dave)

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.

(Cory, David)

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!

Another production of SOMEBODY CATCH MY HOMEWORK

Hi everyone,

Yesterday Sandy Asher learned that her play inspired by my poetry, SOMEBODY CATCH MY HOMEWORK, will be produced in South Carolina in April. We knew about the upcoming tour in and around Ames, Iowa in February and March so this is new and welcome news. Here’s the description.

Somebody Catch My Homework
A Comedy by Sandra Fenichel Asher
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.
Touring local elementary schools in April 2019
Public Performance
April 20, 2019 at 2:00 p.m.
Humanities and Performing Arts Center – Studio Theatre

If any of you or someone you know lives in the vicinity of Ames, Iowa or Spartanburg, South Carolina area, let me know and I’ll get more information about how to attend the public productions.


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.

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.