Send "Mud Offerings" to MALCS!?!!?!
Hey everybody! So, my proposal to perform my solo play "Mud Offerings" at the MALCS (Mujeres Activas en Letras y Cambio Social) Summer Institute at Cal State University in LA was accepted, and I'm making plans to travel there at the beginning of August. But... I need your help! I'm seeking donations to help pay for travel and housing expenses to get me there.
So, tell me about "Mud Offerings"...
"Mud Offerings" started as a letter I wrote to the Vírgen a couple of years ago. I was mad at her, and I had some things to say. I had critiques. I had questions. In a workshop with solo playwright and performer Adelina Anthony, "Teatro Q," I transformed the letter into a dramatic monologue, and "Mud Offerings" was born, though I didn't know that's what it was quite yet. Workshop participants laughed, cried, and also warned me to not let go of the piece, even though it was sure to offend, or at the very least, surprise my audiences. Talking smack to the divine and/or to beloved cultural icons, is, you know, dicey in some circles.
I developed the piece further during a residency at the Alma de Mujer Center for Social Change, through performances with community partners Teatro Vivo and Resistencia Books, and through collaboration with dramaturg Ana-Maurine Lara, and directors Dino Foxx and kt shorb. I'd say it was through soul searching and conversation with Austin Project sisters that I finally figured out how to make some kind of peace with the Vírgen, though, which eventually found its way into the play and into its... hmm... I guess you could call it call it a "surprising" ending.
The good news - "Mud Offerings" has been supported through City of Austin Cultural Contracts twice now, was named the "Best of the Fest" (Wild Card Night!) at FronteraFest, and, drumroll please... is the 2011 winner of the Jane Chambers Playwriting Contest!
Wow - a national playwriting award, y'all! Can you believe it? I can't! I still feel relatively new to calling myself a playwright, and this is just plain thrilling. My first solo play, "Muntu," was all about Austin, written for Austin audiences, so I never put a whole lot of effort into performing the piece outside of Austin. With "Mud Offerings," it's a different story, though... I've always had a hunch that this play could reach a much broader audience, and, gracias a la Vírgencita y las ladies of the Jane Chambers, my hunch seems to have been correct!
So, I think it's time, now, to use this momentum to get the play out there on a national scale. And that's why I want to take it to MALCS. As part of the Jane Chambers gig, I'll be performing "Mud Offerings" at the ATHE Conference in Chicago, right after MALCS; I'll also be taking the play back (an expanded version of what I did a year ago) to the Women at Work Festival at Stage Left Studio in New York, NY, in September. Thanks to the Jane Chambers, I've got funding for those two adventures, but not for MALCS.
Ok, so, tell me about MALCS...
Why is it so important for me to go to MALCS? Why not just skip it, since I've got these other gigs coming up? Yes, I asked myself that too, especially when I realized I did not have the money to go! Well... I kinda see the MALCS crowd as exactly, precisely, my target audience. It would just be silly to take the play all over to this that and the other place without taking it to the mujeres who are likely to love it the very most! This play's for everybody and anybody who's ever struggled with faith, with doubt, with questions of what it is that sexuality, desire, violence, and betrayal mean for us in the present historical moment, but... I think other progressive Chicanas, Latinas, and Native American women working for revolución and liberación are going to really "feel" me more than pretty much anybody else. The play's a commentary on, among other things, the Chicana feminist movement, academia, you know... all that stuff the MALCS mujeres are into! How could I not bring them this play? I just know they'll want to teach it in their Chicana Feminisms 101 classes (if the universities are still letting people teach that kind of thing... God I hope so...), if they can just see it!! And that'll mean so many more young Chicanas, Latinas, Native American women, women of color, queers, people of color, allies, will be learning how to ask the hard and scary questions... of each other, of ourselves... even in the face of the institutions that we both revere and fear the most...!
Hey, or at least that's what I hope.
Let's talk dollars and cents.
So, that's where you come in. For all that to happen, I've got to get to MALCS first. I'm hoping to raise a measly $500 (really not that much compared to "real" fundraising, right?) so that I can pay for plane tickets, housing, and conference registration without going into debt.
If I were to reach 125% of my fundraising goal, I'd be able to pay for all those "fancy extras" while I'm on the road like, um... food... and cab fare, also without going into debt. Which would be really nice.
If I were to reach 175% or, hey, let's say 200% of my fundraising goal, I'd also be able to pay for those same sorts of "fancy extras" not only in Los Angeles, but also when I take this show to Chicago and New York. Which would be truly awesome.
And now, tell me about what I really care about... KARAOKE.
And, get this. Support my play, and I will serenade you. Yep, that's right. You've heard the stories. I'm not only an award-winning playwright, but also a prize-winning karaoke soloist (Que viva el Fuchsia Time!!). Anybody who donates $10 or more will see a karaoke number of your choice (include a request in your "comments") broadcast to my YouTube channel created expressly for this purpose: http://www.youtube.com/karaokeisgoodnow. Donate $25 or more, and I will personalize the lyrics for you. Most likely on the spot. Yes. I am that good. (Hehe, or at least I try...)
Ok ok, let's wrap this up!
Thanks for reading, y'all. If you're seeing this link, it's probably because you've supported my work in the past, and I really, really, really appreciate you so so so so soooooo much already. I can't believe I'm asking you for yet another thing, but... hopefully if you've kept up with me for this long, then you think it's worth it... and not just for me, but for all the folks I'm writing about and for.
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- (23 days)