A new two-volume anthology of the finest works from this master American playwright and teacher.
Welcome to our campaign to publish the remarkable plays of Martha's Vineyard resident, Boston University professor, and professional playwright, Jon Lipsky, for the very first time. This page allows you to support this special project by pre-ordering your copy of one or both volumes of the book.
[Please note: If you do not wish to join Kickstarter, or can't sign in via Facebook, please make out your check to Kanta Lipsky. On the memo line please write Lipsky Anthology, and mail it to her at PO Box 601, West Tisbury, MA 02575. It will then be added to this site.]
Publishing is expensive, and though we are confident the books will sell, we can only fund the initial cost with your help. Instead of merely asking for your hard-earned money, we are offering you an opportunity to be an important part of making this project a reality. You will be the first people to receive these books, delivered right to your door, hot of the press at a tax free price.
We have the extremely good fortune of working with Smith and Kraus Publishing on this Anthology. They are as excited as we to get these manuscripts out of Jon's computer and onto bookshelves. We have reached out to some of Jon's most trusted collaborators to introduce each play with short essays written just for these books. The collaborators include Tim McDonough, Vincent Murphy, Kate Snodgrass, Jim Petosa, Stan Strickland, MJ Bruder Munafo, and Susan Thompson. We, Jonah Lipsky, (Jon's son), and Bill Barclay (one of Jon's closest collaborators), are editing this book together, and will both be contributing substantial written material about Jon's life and his special relationships to dreams, devising theater, science, teaching, and of course playwriting. The Lipsky family has also built a website that will exist as a resource for anyone who wishes to explore the writing of Jon Lipsky or put on one of his plays. You can visit it at www.jonlipskyplays.com.
The plays included in the Anthology are:
Living In Exile: a retelling of Homer's Iliad. The story is told by two actors, one male and one female, who take on different roles in the course of the evening. It is a war story that makes current the ancient myth from Homer. From Jon's notes on the play: "Why tell this war story? I think it is significant that the first war story in Western Literature (apart from Bible tales) is not about revenge but about compassion."
Walking the Volcano: 8 ten-minutes plays that are strung together in one narrative. These plays were originally written for the Boston Theater Marathon, and then subsequently put together into one coherent show. From Jon's notes on the play: "The eight 'inventions' that make up Walking The Volcano are variations on a theme. The couples in each play are dealing with the same passions but in different circumstances. And the circumstances evolve over time. It is as if we are looking in on a kind of relationship endemic to the generation that came of age in the sixties at different stages in its evolution; from the moment of falling in love to the last goodbye. Using a musical analogy, these plays are 'two-handed inventions for the late twentieth century'. "
Maggie's Riff: A bebop turn on Jack Kerouac's true life hometown teenage romance, Maggie Cassidy. The writings of Jack Kerouac are some of the earliest and most evocative street-journalist-style expositions of life in the 30s, 40s, and 50s. This play is based on Kerouac's novel, detailing his life at its most innocent. From Jon's notes on the play: "To understand this play there are only two things you need to know about Jack Kerouac: that his writing was inspired by jazz, and that he was born and buried in Lowell, Massachusetts."
Beginner's Luck: the story of King Saul and the witch of Endor from the bible. This was Jon's first play that he thought was imbued with his own authentic voice.
Dreaming with an AIDS Patient: the story and dreams of a man dying of AIDS. The dreams are embodied and acted out during the course of the play. Dream characters such as the "Weasel man" or the "Frog man" are played by an ensemble cast. Music is present throughout the play. Based on the book by Robbie Bosnak, a jungian psychoanalyst, and a good friend of Jon's.
Coming Up for Air: an Autojazzography: Stan Strickland's one man play centered on the event of almost dying when he was hit by a rogue wave while floating off the coast of Hawaii. The play incorporates music throughout and is an autobiographical reflection on love, spirituality, and artistic expression.
The Wild Place: a play based on a series of dreams had by Susan Thompson over a period of three years. She started recording the dreams when she became pregnant with her first child. As she experienced more and more of motherhood, her dreams stayed consistently intense and interesting. In 1994, her theater company, Pilgrim Theater, did a workshop with Jon where they hatched the idea of making Susan's dreams into a show. From Susan Thompson's notes about the play: "Jon suggested the title The Wild Place. My dreams were full of wild animals, muck and sweeping landscapes. Motherhood is elemental. From conception, to pregnancy, to labor and the newborn you are touching your primitive self... Of all the aspects of my life, motherhood seemed the most private and idiosyncratic. 'Who would want to see this show?' I asked. 'Everyone,' Jon replied."
The Call of the Wild: a dramatization of Jack London's novel. Actors embody the dogs of London's story as they go on their brutal journey through the Alaskan wilderness. The play deals with the brutality of the wild and most of the story is told through song. The music was composed by Bill Barclay, with two selections also from Jon's old friend and collaborator, Steve Cummings.
Thank you for reading, for participating, for ordering, for spreading the word, and for helping Jon's work reach its widest audience yet.
Jonah and Bill
Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
The challenge we face is the final push of gathering and editing introductory materials, researching the production histories of the plays, and editing and reviewing all of the written material. We have yet to design the cover of the book and still have to undertake the process of submitting and formatting the book. Smith and Kraus will do much of this work, but we are responsible for putting together all of the materials. Another challenge is the length of the process we are looking at. The publication of a book can take a long time, and so we are unable to be sure that the book will be published and in your hands by December of 2013. We sincerely hope it is. We face a challenge in that Bill and I are on separate continents and are communicating via e-mail. We have collaborated effectively over e-mail and phone calls, but coordinating the book production via e-mail is indeed a challenge.
Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.
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Pledge $5 or moreYou selected
A gift of $5 lends us your voice and support and will be listed with our deepest thanks at the release party in 2013. We will also send you a holiday card thanking you and giving you more details about the project.Estimated delivery:Add $1 USD to ship outside the US
Pledge $20 or moreYou selected
Pre-order your copy of just Volume 1 to be mailed directly to you hot off the press. We will also send you a holiday card thanking you and giving you more details about the project.Estimated delivery:Add $4 USD to ship outside the US
Pledge $35 or moreYou selected
Pre-order the complete Anthology. Volumes one and two will be inscribed by the editors and mailed to you as soon as they are printed. We will also send you a holiday card thanking you and giving you more details about the project.Estimated delivery:Add $8 USD to ship outside the US
Pledge $100 or moreYou selected
Not only do you receive inscribed volumes of the anthology, you will be thanked, in print, in the Acknowledgment section of each book, as well as on the website, forever. Additionally, you will receive an invitation for two to the release party, where donors of $100 or more will be listed and receive a special gift. We also will send you a holiday card thanking you and giving you more details about the project.Estimated delivery:Add $8 USD to ship outside the US
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