What I’m doing with my Summer Vacation, Part 1

Wow, what a week. I started it with being a part of the #1mpf, 5th Annual 1 Minute Play Festival in Atlanta, as a director (the previous years spent as a playwright). 2 nights of over 90 1 minute plays, 14 directors, 13 clumps of 5 to 8 actors.  This year was extraordinary as I came in last minute, pulled together a fantastic cast (again, thank you to Amanda Cucher, J.L. Reed, Nicola Vann, Parris Sarter, and the ever wonderful Pat Young.)  Thanks to @DominicDandrea for taking a chance with me.

But now.

It’s time to introduce the new draft of  The Last Time We Were Here in a showcase one weekend only performance! I was brought on as dramaturge and it’s been wonderful to work with Jessica De Maria (playwright), Jen Acker (director), and Jeremiah Hobbs (Composer) for the first time. Don’t miss having the chance to be one of the first people to fall in love with this show. Friday 8pm, Saturday 8pm, Sunday 5pm. Seating is limited so make a reservation!

Branden Hembree as Jacob in The Last Time We Were Here

Branden Hembree as Jacob in The Last Time We Were Here

The Last Time We Were Here

Branden Hembree (Jacob) and Kristina Adler (Grace)

The Last Time We Were Here, Let's Collide

Branden Hembree as Jacob in The Last Time We Were here, playing with his band.

1 year later





Jo Howarth Noonan


A year ago, On a Sunday, Jo and I met for our recently agreed to weekly walks, only 2 weeks in the making. I made her laugh so hard, she had to stop walking for a moment, and she repaid me immediately. We stood and laughed until we had tears in our eyes. She asked for some advice on audiobook narration and seemed really excited by what I said. Said she would try it that week. She divulged some dreams she had been having and her interpretations of them. I remember when our walk was done, I realized I’d forgotten to ask her for some advice on a personal situation I was experiencing, and I thought to myself, it’s okay, you’ll talk to her next week on your walk. Also, I reminded myself, make ticket reservations to see her in SYLVIA, her current production at Stage Door Players.

Make them for the following weekend, I thought to myself as I drove off.
Monday came, and she and I exchanged some texts and fb messages, mostly her supporting me through whatever tantrum I was going through.
Tuesday came and went. Pretty fast. Because it wasn’t until Wednesday morning that I realized, Damnit. I didn’t talk to Jo yesterday. It’s okay. I’ll send her a message later. I got in my car and began my drive to the drama camp I was teaching for when Stacy (my best friend) called me. She asked if I’d seen on FB that morning about Jo.
I hadn’t.
There was still hope in the morning.
By afternoon, it had disappeared.
Jo didn’t return to us in a way that was familiar to us at the time.
It’s beyond comprehension all the moments taken for granted.
I still do it. Even after that week. You’d think I’d know better.
I know what Jo would say to me, “Well, you can’t expect to stop being human. You can only increase your awareness how to be better. Be ready to fail at that all the time.”