Tag Archives: Libby Emmons

Get to know the plays & playwrights

Get to know the plays and playwrights for Sticky 552, the last Sticky of our mini season.

Sticky 552 Beauty Bar, 249 5th Avenue, Brooklyn, 11215 Thursday, April 2, 7:30 pm $10 advance, $15 at the door, via www.stickyseries.bpt.me 

Not Again, by Cecilia Copeland, directed by Michele Travis

nolovelost, by Michael Domitrovich, directed by Ali Ayala

Brandenburg Gate, by Libby Emmons, directed by Michele Travis

Lipstick, by Amina Henry, directed by Ali Ayala

Re Ducks, by Libby Emmons, directed by Ali Ayala

Love and Order, by Johnny Blaze Leavitt, directed by Ceren Zorlu


On the inspiration for “Not Again… ” Finding myself in a situation that keeps repeating like a bad dream that I can’t wake up from. It’s like being trapped in a nightmare, but I’m not asleep. Every time I think it’s not going to happen, it happens again. I want to wake up.

Cecilia Copeland, writer, Founding Artistic Director of NYMadness, Indie Theatre Hall of Fame and Kilroy’s Nominee. Her plays have been Produced or Presented at the Culture Project, Cherry Lane Theatre, Ensemble Studios Theatre, HERE Arts Center, INTAR Theatre, The Anarchist Theatre Festival of Montreal, Venus Theatre, 13th Street Rep, The Chain Theatre, IRT Theater and IATI Theatre among others. Her Full Length Plays include RCulture, Light of Night (Kilroy’s Nominee), Tiene Duende -It Has Soul (semifinalist for MultiStages New Works Competition), COURTING (semifinalist O’Neill Playwrights Conference and Winner of Best New Play Stage Left Productions), BIOLIFE (semifinalists O’Neill Playwrights Conference and The Emerging Playwrights Prize at The Marin Theatre, Finalist for Mabou Mines Residency), “The Wicked Son” (Top Three Best New Jewish Plays, Jewish Plays Project). Awards include Special Effects Grant Metro Screen Australia for her film Amusement Bomber and the Lennis J. Holm Playwriting Scholarship from University of Iowa Writers Workshop for her Honors Thesis One Woman. She has been published by The International Center for Women Playwrights, Indie Theater Now, NoPassport Press and RAABE-Verlag in Germany. Copeland is a member of the League of Professional Theatre Women, and alumna of New Perspectives play lab, University of Iowa Theatre BA with Honors and a Minor in Dance, Ohio University MFA in Playwriting.

On the inspiration for “nolovelost” I wrote this play to figure out if true love can survive a progressive liberal arts education.

Michael Domitrovich is obsessed with Sticky so he’s done lots of plays with them. Most of them were directed by Ali Ayala. Dirtfag was published in the 2009 New York Theatre Review. Other plays have been performed at Theater for the New City, DR2, 59E59, EST, Galapagos, the Bowery Poetry Club and La Mama etc. as well as the Avenue Theater in Denver, CO. He writes books, articles, recipes and poetry. He also works as a psychic. His website is ediblespirit.com

On the inspiration for “Lipstick” I was inspired by a bit by comedian Bill Burr in which he talks about the crazy pressure men out on each other to be masculine. It’s like this crazy pressure! Also, I’m interested in men who are brave enough to embrace their feminine sides.

Amina Henry is a poet-playwright who creates poetry for the stage. Recent productions include: Happily Ever at Brooklyn College, An American Family Takes a Lover, produced by The Cell: a 21stCentury Salon and presented by Theatre for the New City (New York, NY), Water produced by Drama of Works (Brooklyn, NY) and The Minstrel Show, produced as part of the 2013 Bring a Weasel and a Pint of Your Own Blood Festival 13th Street Theater/CSC. Her work has been developed/presented at: Little Theater at Dixon Place, Oregon Shakespeare Festival in the 2013 Black Swan Lab Series (Ashland, OR), Kitchen Dog Theater, The Brick, HERE Arts Center,The Cell: a 21st Century Salon, HERO Theatre, the Hive Theater, Shakespeare’s Sister Company, the Bowery Poetry Club and Brooklyn College. She was a 2012-2013 Core Apprentice playwright at ThePlaywrights Center and a 2013 Finalist for the Leah Ryan FEWW Playwriting Prize for her play Bully. She was a featured playwright at the2013 Black and Latino Playwrights Conference at Texas State University. Publications include Hello, My Name Is Joe in the compilation 24 Gun Control Plays, published by NoPassport Press. Amina Henry is a graduate of Yale University, NYU’s Performance Studies MA program and Brooklyn College’s MFA Playwriting program, lead by head weasels Mac Wellman and Erin Courtney.

On the inspiration for “Re Ducks” Much like Pauline Reage returns to the Château, I felt myself compelled to find out what happened to the ladies of Puff Puff once their dastardly plans have run their course. Could there possibly be a downside renting your womb to your transsexual boss, who only wanted you for an incubation chamber?

On the inspiration for “Brandenburg Gate” Cecilia Copeland asked me to write a short play for and undergrad acting showcase, specifically for two actors just finishing college. This is what I came up with.

Libby Emmons is a playwright and theater maker, whose plays include Puff Puff (Festival of the Offensive, NYC 2014, winner “Most Offensive”), Radio Mara Mara (The Kraine Theater, FringeNYC 2013), Zeropia (Clubbed Thumb Biennial Commission 2009), The Girls from Afar (East/West Players, LA, 2010), “Animal/Animal,” (Best Short Plays, 2013, Smith & Krause), “The Worm Turns at the Fort Peck Hotel,” (New York Theater Review 2009), and many more. She is co-founder of 10-minute play series Sticky, Bowery Poetry Club 2007-12, now Beauty Bar, Brooklyn. Libby is a graduate of Sarah Lawrence College (BA), Columbia University School of the Arts (MFA), and blogs the story of her life at li88yinc.com. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband, son, and a very mean cat.

JBL 001

On the inspiration for “Love & Order” I had been giving a lot of thought to how we all casually lie, even unintentionally, and how that affects the world around us. And after conversation with a group of friends about dating etiquette in the information age, the script just started to take shape in my mind.

Johnny Blaze Leavitt is an actor, playwright, producer and comedian, Johnny is happy to be part of Sticky, the 10-minute bar play series. His one-act play ‘Acushla’ recently had a successful 2 week run at the American Theatre of Actors and his two-act S&M romantic comedy ‘Hurt So Good’ is currently under consideration
for a movie adaptation. Recent TV/Film/Internet appearances includes ‘MYTH, A Short
Film’ (Loosely Translated Prod.), ‘Remedy’ (The One That Got Away Prod.) and the web
series ‘Hot Mess’ (Amy Kersten, Prod.). Johnny can also be spotted doing stand-up comedy around NYC (including Caroline’s on Broadway) and performing monthly as a zombie Dean Martin in ‘The Rat Pack Undead’ cabaret. Thank you to Joe, Leighton and Alexa for their amazing work and to the American Theater of Actors. SAG-AFTRA/EMC

 

On her inspiration for “A Strange Serenade” I originally wrote A Strange Serenade for a one-act musical festival. I wanted to submit something, but I don’t write music. So I cheated. I always loved the barbershop quartet in Music Man, and I thought it would be funny to have a quartet act as a Greek chorus. 

 Mim Granahan began writing plays at a very early age, and performing them for her mother with a cast of puppets. More recently, many of her one-act plays have been produced in New York City, including Cougars in the Outfield (published in the Book of Estrogenius 2010), The Tale of the Gaoler and the Witch (Verse Play Winner, Turner Cassity Literary Festival 2014), and Episode (called “the triumph of the evening, a taut and absorbing thriller” by Martin Denton of nytheatre.com). Mim directed her full-length play, Bromance of the Exes, for the 2013 Planet Connections Festivity and her most recent play Making History is currently being produced by Dysfunctional Theatre. As an actor, she has appeared in numerous classical and contemporary plays and several indie films. You can visit Mim’s website at freewebs.com/mimgranahan.

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meet the plays and playwrights

Meet the plays and playwrights for Sticky 552.

Sticky 552
Beauty Bar, 249 5th Avenue, Brooklyn, 11215
Thursday, March 5, 7:30 pm
$10 advance, $15 at the door, via www.stickyseries.bpt.me

Morning of Truth, by J. Michael Grey, directed by Ali Ayala
Kissing Weird by Liam Kuhn, directed by Ali Ayala
Where We Ended Up by Judith Leora, directed by Michele Travis
Apple Martini, by Anthony Noack, directed by Michele Travis
Soft Song Like Doves, by Libby Emmons, directed by Eliel Lucero

J. Michael Grey, writer "Shamed to the Heart"

J. Michael Grey, writer “Morning of Truth”

On his inspiration: “I didn’t have any inspiration for a play, but I wrote one anyway. I listened to my characters.​”

Over the past several years J. Michael Grey has written many pieces for Sticky.  He now is producing the first Sticky spin-off in Normal, Illinois where he directs and acts as well.
www.facebook.com/normalsticky

Libby Emmons, writer of Ipsa Domus

Libby Emmons, writer “Soft Song Like Doves”

On her inspiration: “I have a house guest. He’s been there for a long time. He even has his own keys. He’s probably in my house right now. That’s why I wrote the play.”

Libby Emmons is a playwright and theater maker, whose plays include Puff Puff (Festival of the Offensive, NYC 2014, winner “Most Offensive”), Radio Mara Mara (The Kraine Theater, FringeNYC 2013), Zeropia (Clubbed Thumb Biennial Commission 2009), The Girls from Afar (East/West Players, LA, 2010), “Animal/Animal,” (Best Short Plays, 2013, Smith & Krause), “The Worm Turns at the Fort Peck Hotel,” (New York Theater Review 2009), and many more. She is co-founder of 10-minute play series Sticky, Bowery Poetry Club 2007-12, now Beauty Bar, Brooklyn. Libby is a graduate of Sarah Lawrence College (BA), Columbia University School of the Arts (MFA), and blogs the story of her life at li88yinc.com. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband, son, and a very mean cat.

Liam Kuhn, writer "Kissing Weird"

Liam Kuhn, writer “Kissing Weird”

On his inspiration: “I wrote Kissing Weird about a year and a half ago, with Sticky specifically in mind. A lot of my stories and plays tend to take place in bars anyway, but usually seedy, shot-and-a-beer type places where the seats are duct tape and pleather and your feet stick to the floor. I set this play in more of an upscale, silly kind of bar and then tried to think of who would go there, and why. The characters kind of took over from there.”

Liam Kuhn is a writer and television executive. His plays have been performed in New York, California, Vermont, New Hampshire, Oregon, Ireland and England. His first play, Absolving Buckner, was published in New Playwrights: Best New Plays of 2002, by Smith & Kraus. He recently began acting in some of his shorter plays, to the delight of no one. Kissing Weird is his third play to be produced as part of Sticky, and he’s glad to be back and thanks everyone involved with the production. Liam studied English and Creative Writing as an undergrad at Dartmouth College and has a Masters in Writing from the National University of Ireland – Galway. He lives in New Jersey with his wife, daughters and dog, Madigan.

Judith Leora, writer "Where We Ended Up"

Judith Leora, writer “Where We Ended Up”

On her inspiration: “I realized recently that some of the most intriguing, awkward and contentious experiences I’ve had in bars have been with day job colleagues.  So I decided it was about time to write about that.

Judith Leora‘s work includes: Recent: NYC Icon Plays/Ego Actus, One Minute Play Festival:  Indie Theatre Edition; Elijah (reading) – Lone Star Theatre, Gideon (production), UMass at Lowell, The Raven (co-librettist) Notes From a Page, Emerging Actors Theatre March 2012. Numerous short plays produced in New York, including multiple plays with the ESPA Detention series, New York Madness, One Minute Play Festival.  Managing Director of New York Madness.

Anthony Noack, writer "Apple Martini"

Anthony Noack, writer “Apple Martini”

On his inspiration: “Inspiration comes from disparate places: A bartender who used to get drunk and blend things that shouldn’t be blended, a conversation in broken english via text messages, and stories heard about language teachers overseas. A request to write a play set in a bar brings them together.”

Anthony Noack is a writer from Melbourne, Australia. His plays include Brighter Whiter and The Gift, which premiered at the Melbourne Comedy Festival in 2011, and Banana Republic, which premiered at the Melbourne Fringe Festival in 2012. He is currently developing his new
play Gingerbread.

Sticky 552
Beauty Bar, 249 5th Avenue, Brooklyn, 11215
Thursday, March 5, 7:30 pm
$10 advance, $15 at the door, via www.stickyseries.bpt.me

It felt like a question about our marriage: talking Sticky with David Marcus

When Dave and I started Sticky in 2000, which you can read about here, we could not have guessed that it would still be happening 15 years later. Not only is this thing we created still happening, it’s happening without our creative involvement. (I mean Dave’s going to host the show Thursday, and Ali’s directing my play Ipsa Domus, but we’re not like deciding things or running around to rehearsals.) So I figured I’d talk to Dave about that.

This is us in 2002 in the space where we produced our last Philly show. I think Dave is showing Libby how to work his Palm Pilot.

This is us in 2002 in the space where we produced our last Philly show. I think Dave is showing Libby how to work his Palm Pilot.

Libby
Do you remember when we were doing Sticky at Bar Noir in Philly and Brad Rothbart asked us if we could forsee a Sticky ever happening that did not have us at the helm? Do you remember what we said?

Dave
I recall Brad asking if there could be a Blue Box production without us, which I think is a different question. I said no. I don’t recall what you said. A Sticky without us is not the same. Sticky is a form we invented, but one which anybody can use. I remember sensing that Brad’s question was about more than art though, it felt like a question about our marriage, about the way we choose to relate to each other. When we run a show it kind of revolves around us, Everybody else, (though to a lesser extent Scholnick, Matt or Ali, our co producers) seem to be in our orbit. But I think that’s how we wanted it. At least it’s how I wanted it.

Libby
I don’t remember what I said either. Alot of our marriage has been about art. There’s always like this external thing that we’re beholden to, and until 5 years ago that main thing has been art projects. It’s interesting because over those past 5 years– since C was born– we’ve worked much more independently, and the blue box designation has faded. I do things under li88y inc, like Puff Puff, or How to Sell Your Gang Rape Baby for Parts (that’s right kids), and you do freelance writing or Spotlight Right. Even Sticky is on this new site. It’s like the new blue box production is our kid. I wonder if we’ll do more big art projects together or if that’s run its course. What do you think?

Dave
It’s hard to say. I suspect we will at some point. There is so much to do now that everything is a blur, so it’s the stuff lands that we focus on, not the stuff that needs nurturing. Right now our individual projects are the ones landing, so it’s what we do. When it was just the two of us it was easier to throw spaghetti against the wall. But these things have a way of coming around.

Libby
How does it feel to have Sticky happening here in Brooklyn, under the guidance of Ali Ayala, Eliel Lucero, and Michele Travis, and out in Normal, IL, with J. Michael Grey at the helm?

Dave
It feels wonderful. These are all accomplished and talented artists. I’m really grateful to see Mike doing it in Illinois and for the producers who we have here at Beauty Bar. I’ve always thought theater has to be faster, drunker and more social, so anytime anyone is moving in that direction I’m happy. And its humbling to have people want to do it with the name Sticky. A lot of times, when there is innovation in any area you see the initial cats who envision the thing eventually overtaken by the ones who can perfect it. I’ve always thought of us, as producers anyway, as the former. We don’t have the patience or desire to run a big theater company, to have a huge impact, we just have fun and try to present good work. It it can spread and grow through the artistry and hard work of others then I think we did what we can do.

Libby
Speak for yourself! I still want a venue. I would be a kick ass venue owner. I have it all planned out, even the part where the place doesn’t go broke. Do you think Sticky still has a place in the NYC indie theater scene? There’s loads more bar play shows happening now than there were when we started.

Dave
I wasn’t sure if Sticky had a place, but given that there are people here, and in Illinois who won’t let it die I guess there must be. Sticky is the embodiment of my theories on theater. The idea of event over object, the low overhead, the profane rather than sacred nature of it, the whole notion of being in a room together. I’m not sure the other bar series are quite the same, most don’t have quite the same slacker quality. But in general I’m always happy to see theater move off the stages and into more social environments. I have little doubt it is the future of the form, and that’s probably why it’s being propagated so regularly now.

You can come see Sticky this week! It’s on Thursday.
Beauty Bar, 249 5th Avenue, Brooklyn, 11215
Thursday, February 5, 7:30 pm
$10 advance, $15 at the door
via www.stickyseries.brownpapertickets.com

introducing the plays & playwrights

Introducing the plays and playwrights for Sticky 552.

Sticky 552
Beauty Bar, 249 5th Avenue, Brooklyn, 11215
Thursday, February 5, 7:30 pm
$10 advance, $15 at the door, via www.stickyseries.brownpapertickets.com

Ipsa Domus, by Libby Emmons, directed by Ali Ayala
Shamed to the Heart, by J. Michael Grey, directed by Ali Ayala
Quiet Bar by Brooke Berman, directed by Michele Travis
Dolor by Hal Corley, directed by Michele Travis
Puff Puff, by Libby Emmons, directed by Michael Domitrovich
Sing Your Song Quickly, by David L. Williams, directed by Eliel Lucero

J. Michael Grey, writer "Shamed to the Heart"

J. Michael Grey, writer “Shamed to the Heart”

On his inspiration: “Ali asked me to write a play, so I did. If I blurbed about the inspiration of the story inserted in the play, it would give it away.​”

Over the past several years J. Michael has written many pieces for Sticky.  He now is producing the first Sticky spin-off in Normal, Illinois where he directs and acts as well.
www.facebook.com/normalsticky

Hal Corley

Hal Corley, writer Dolor

On his inspiration: “Years ago, over late-night drinks a friend announced that “the saddest thing in the world” to her was, “a single woman alone at a table in a restaurant…” Without parsing the feminist angle, I immediately challenged the very premise, that mere solitude doesn’t bespeak loneliness.  Within minutes we were arguing heatedly about the essence of sadness, its triggers, its mysterious, subjective nature. I’m not sure if it became a game of one-upmanship, but the debate seemed all about quantifying and ranking our compassion.  I never forgot the exchange, and one day decided it might serve as a barometer for a relationship at a crossroads.  The result, the odd little Dolor. ”

Hal Corley:  Hal has developed his plays with major regional theaters, and two, An Ounce of Prevention and Finding Donis Anne,  have been widely performed (Seattle Rep, Syracuse Stage, Walnut Street, and in NYC, Atlanta, LA, Boston and Charlotte). Three scripts, Mama and Jack Carew, Easter Monday and ODD are published by Samuel French. His Treed is published by Playscripts as one of Great Short Plays Volume 10, and 27 of his one-acts have been produced in 17 states and Canada in the past 5 years. He has three times been a semifinalist in the O’Neill Competition, including in 2013 for his new play, Weak Trembles.

Libby Emmons, writer of Ipsa Domus

Libby Emmons, writer “Ipsa Domus” and “Puff Puff”

On her inspiration: “I finished reading all the Harry Potter books and didn’t want to let go, and having something to do with finding a home in your head.”

Libby Emmons is a playwright and theater maker, whose plays include Puff Puff (Festival of the Offensive, NYC 2014, winner “Most Offensive”), Radio Mara Mara (The Kraine Theater, FringeNYC 2013), Zeropia (Clubbed Thumb Biennial Commission 2009), The Girls from Afar (East/West Players, LA, 2010), “Animal/Animal,” (Best Short Plays, 2013, Smith & Krause), “The Worm Turns at the Fort Peck Hotel,” (New York Theater Review 2009), and many more. She is co-founder of 10-minute play series Sticky, Bowery Poetry Club 2007-12, now Beauty Bar, Brooklyn. Libby is a graduate of Sarah Lawrence College (BA), Columbia University School of the Arts (MFA), and blogs the story of her life at li88yinc.com. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband, son, and a very mean cat.

David L. Williams, writer "Sing Your Song Quietly"

David L. Williams, writer “Sing Your Song Quickly”

On his inspiration: “I was thinking about people who burn books, and what it would take for an author to burn his/her own books.  Plus, I was thinking about the lines from William Carlos Williams’ poem Paterson which serve as inspiration for the title,  “Poet, poet! sing your song, quickly! or not insects but pulpy weeds will blot out your kind.”  They have an urgency to them, sounding equally like an exhortation and a threat.  And as a writer, maybe I just have this romantic notion that writing is dangerous and I wanted to visit the darker side of that too.”

David L. Williams is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the theatre department of Cornell University, where he was a four time award winner in the Heerman’s-McCalmon Playwriting contest.  Since then, he has written more than twenty-five plays and musicals in a variety of genres.  He is a member of the Dramatist Guild and has won the HotCity Theatre GreenHouse New Play Festival for The Winners, the Riverside Stage Company’s Founder’s Award for Ampersand, and the League of Cincinnati Theatre’s best production in the YES Festival award for Spake.  His work has been produced across the United States and internationally, including the award-winning The Starving and The Wolf Manhood, along with four selections for the New York International Fringe Festival.  He is currently working on his MFA in playwriting from the University of Nebraska Omaha, and he lives in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania with his wonderful wife Kathleen.   www.playwrightdavid.com

LABAfellow

Brooke Berman, writer “Quiet Bar”

On her inspiration: “I think I was interested, as I am still, in the gap between what people say and what they think, the banality of contemporary speech paired with enormous hunger, with big expectations, with a voracious inner life.”

Brooke Berman is an award-winning playwright, screenwriter and memoirist whose work has been produced and published across the US.  Originally trained as an actor and solo performer in the experimental theater, Brooke began performing her own work on the Lower East Side of Manhattan before receiving formal training in playwriting from the Juilliard School. Her play Hunting and Gathering, which premiered at Primary Stages, directed by Leigh Silverman, was named one of the Ten Best of 2008 by New York Magazine. Brooke’s memoir, No Place Like Home, published by Random House, was called “Highbrow/Brilliant” by New York Magazine’s Approval Matrix. Brooke’s plays include: 1300 LAFAYETTE EAST, HUNTING AND GATHERING (Primary Stages); SMASHING (The Play Company, The Eugene O’Neill Theater Center); UNTIL WE FIND EACH OTHER (Steppenwolf, The Eugene O’Neill Theater Center); THE TRIPLE HAPPINESS (Second Stage, The Playwrights Center,  ASK, the Hourglass Group, The Royal Court Theatre), among others. Her plays are published by Broadway Play Publishing, Playscripts, Backstage Books and Smith & Kraus. Brooke recently wrote and directed her first short film, UGGS FOR GAZA, based on a short story by Gordon Haber.  UGGS premiered at the Aspen International ShortsFest where it won an Audience Special Recognition award. ALL SAINTS DAY, a short film she wrote directed by Will Frears, won Best Narrative Short at the Savannah Film Festival and played at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2008. She adapted her play SMASHING for Natalie Portman and has written features for The Mark Gordon Company, Vox Films, Red Crown, and Fugitive Films. www.brookeberman.net