Working Title: Serpents, Sea Spray and Seeing Another Year

This week Will Leschber speaks to Rachel Bublitz about her new world premiere play.

Here we are: another year, another day, another play. Welcome 2016. What will you bring in with the tide of time? What’s that now? You’ll bring in El Nino? Oh, cool. I guess we could use the rain. Oh, there’s more? You’ll bring waves of unspeakable sadness and unparalleled joy? Wow. Does one always come with the other? Can I just get a side of “it’s all good” and a garnish of resolution? Would that work? I guess, we’ll see.

This is a time of year for new beginnings, and nothing says a new beginning like a world premiere play. Of Serpents and Sea Spray is a new play by award winning playwright, Rachel Bublitz and it opens January 7th at Custom Made Theater. Serpents tells the story of a young girl who in the wake of tragedy must journey out in search of the ancient winged horse Pegasus and along the way somehow make sense of the hardships she’s endured. The play is described as a fantastical adventure of self-discovery and I can think of no better way to commence a new year, a new day, and a new play than indulging in a little journey of self discovery.

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Rachel Bublitz is a Bay Area playwright, founder of both the 31 Plays in 31 Days Project, and the Loud & Unladylike reading festival, plus member of PlayGround’s Writers Pool. To wet your whistle, and prep for the play via 80’s pop culture, Rachel suggested an excellent film pairing, a tonal story companion, and way to blend the link between stage a screen. Here’s what she had to say:

“There is a movie that I think would go well, it’s one of my favorites so it may be leaps and bounds above my play, but I think it captures magic and fantasy and the gray areas in between reality and fantasy in a beautiful way. The movie I’d recommend is: “The Adventures of Baron Munchausen.”

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“I saw it with my dad when I was younger, and as a kid who was constantly making up stories and pretending the world was however I wished it to be, it was this beacon telling me that I never had to stop doing that. I also really loved all the layers that I thought I totally understood as a child, but now, when I watch it with my kids, I realize I had no clue about really. And it’s gorgeous; the severed heads are gorgeous, the moon is gorgeous, even Baron Munchausen’s wrinkles are gorgeous.”

Terry Gilliam’s film, The Adventures of Baron Munchausen is a trip…like most Gilliam. There’s so much whimsy and exuberance, it’s hard to resist. So do yourself a favor seek out this 1988 gem, and then seek out Of Serpents and Sea Spray. Both will be an adventure to begin an magical new year upon.

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Of Serpents and Sea Spray runs Jan 7th-30. The Adventures of Baron Munchausen can be found for rent on the usual platforms (Google Play, iTunes, Vudu, etc). More info about Rachel can be found on her website: www.rachelbublitz.com.

The Real World, Theater Edition: The Proposal

Barbara Jwanouskos, with her first blog of 2015.

It’s the first full week end of the new year, and probably, a lot of people headed back to regularly scheduled work hours, including myself. On the blog, we’ve all been talking about how 2014 was momentous in many ways, but frankly kicked our asses in others. And as Ashley alluded to Wednesday, at our semi-annual TPub blogger meeting in December, we talked about setting a theme of down-time and balance for January. I personally could relate to the tech week haze that she compared it to in her column.The end of last year and beginning of this has been a series of last minute, last chance, better-late-than-never attempts to get things together in my life.

I’ve been thinking a lot about this column, how it relates to the others, and where I fit in. How does the content I provide balance out with the other bloggers? One thing I started to incorporate last year was a series of interviews with local theater makers, but the difference from general artist interviews anywhere I wanted to present was that these should be interviews specifically about the art and craft of writing and creating new work. So, not to take thunder from Adam Szymkowicz and his wonderful series that everyone should read, I Interview Playwrights, but I wanted to take my own stab at finding out what is at the heart of creative process and how does it manifest?

So, here’s my proposal to you. It’s a new year, so that means new beginnings. What if I were to shift this column to incorporate more local theater artist interviews? Can I get a slow clap!?

Thank you, Jean-Luc. Thank you.

Thank you, Jean-Luc. Thank you.

With this (semi) new endeavor, we’ll get to hear from people all around the Bay making theater. I’d like to spread far and wide. Get to know people and companies and new work I don’t know about. Learn more about what they do to build a performance, where are the challenges, where are they able to keep hopeful?

So, please! If you’d like to send me to interview you or someone you think is making great work, please get in contact with us. I would prefer not to share my personal email on the blog, but you can tweet at me @bjwany or send me a message in the comments section. I might not be able to do them all in the timeframe you’d like since I’ll have a list of folks scheduled I’m working from too, but I would love to hear from about who you’d like to know more about!

Thank you and more interviews soon!

Barbara Jwanouskos is a Bay Area based playwright and member of Just Theater’s 2014-15 New Play Lab. Find her on twitter @bjwany.