Danes in an Alley

Are you ready for a fresh take on Hamlet? Our closing piece at the 2014 Lit Crawl in San Francisco’s Clarion Alley was Melinda Marks’ award-winning short play, “Danes in Purgatory,” originally created and performed at San Jose State University’s 48-Hour Play Festival in September. In case you weren’t there to witness it, here are Melinda Marks, Ryan Alpers, Jeremy Ryan and Brian Van Winkle performing her piece:

Feeling inspired? We’re currently seeking submissions for our upcoming shows and would love to read your work! Send submissions <2000 words to playonwordssj@gmail.com.

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Kirstin Chen’s “Boys on the Roof”

Happy Monday!

We’re excited to kick off this week by featuring Melinda Marks’ performance of “Boys on the Roof,” a wonderful short piece by fiction writer and regular POW contributor Kirstin Chen. We were lucky enough to read an excerpt of her new novel, Soy Sauce for Beginners, back in February, and were delighted to receive this submission in time for our Lit Crawl show. Here’s Melinda “Boys on the Roof” on October 18 in San Francisco’s Clarion Alley:

Thanks, Kirstin, for your beautiful words, and for joining us last weekend! What a treat.

“Skin Puddles” on our first birthday

On this day in Play On Words history, we hosted our first show at San Jose’s Blackbird Tavern, featuring the work of Ryan Alpers, Leah Griesmann, Eric Sneathen, Adam Magill and Melinda Marks. We are so grateful to Chris and Leah of the Blackbird for their encouraging and helpful partnership for our three San Jose shows, and are so sorry to hear that the Blackbird has shut its doors. [Note: If you liked the Blackbird, you’ll certainly love Naglee Park Garage, their sister restaurant.] It is thanks in part to them that Play On Words has gained momentum in the last year–and we hope to continue growing, performing and reading your work.

It’s fitting, then, to feature Nicole Hughes’ first reading of her own work for Play On Words on our blog today. Nicole is one of POW’s three co-founders, a recent MFA grad from San Jose State University, the former acting director of the Center for Literary Arts, and the current events manager for Kepler’s Books in Menlo Park. Here she is knocking it out of the park with her reading of “Skin Puddles” last Saturday in Clarion Alley in San Francisco:

Congrats, Nicole! And happy birthday Play On Words!

100 Word Stories–Live

How short can a story be, and still be a story? This Saturday, Julia Halprin Jackson read 5 one-hundred-word stories at Play On Words’ Lit Crawl show in Clarion Alley. See if you can count along to “When Life Gives You Lemons,” “Bilingue,” “Crunchy,” “Like,” and “Career Day”:

If you like writing flash fiction, please send to us at playonwordssj@gmail.com. Our inbox is hungry for submissions.

“Unigirl,” by Leah Griesmann

We chose Leah Griesmann’s “Unigirl” for the Lit Crawl reading in part because it fit our San Francisco setting so well. The entire story, which you can read at Pif Magazine, is masterfully written, but we only had time to read a brief excerpt. Leah was unable to join us on Saturday because she is en route to a writing residency at the MacDowell Colony, a wonderful honor and opportunity. Here’s a clip of Melinda Marks performing an excerpt of “Unigirl” at Clarion Alley this past weekend:

We hope to film or tape Melinda reading the story in its entirety soon. Stay tuned for more Lit Crawl recordings this week–and please submit to our next show!

Lit Crawl Success!

We did it: we filled San Francisco’s Clarion Alley last Saturday night for our Lit Crawl debut. What a terrific night. We couldn’t have done it without the support of the amazing Lit Crawl crew–Renee Senogles, Andres Bella, Lisa Church and Travis Peterson–as well as Lyra Halprin, our day-of photographer, and Rick Alpers, our trusty videographer. A million thanks to all of you who came out to revel in good words.

And, for those of you who missed it, here’s our first installment from Saturday night’s show, featuring Andres’ introduction and our re-production of Brian Van Winkle’s brilliant play, “The Way I Picture it In My Head,” as performed by Brian Van Winkle, Melinda Marks, Jeremy Ryan, Ryan Alpers, and Michael Weiland. Enjoy.