I wrote a play back before the turn of the century and was lucky to have it performed as a staged reading by John Tessmer and his La Jolla Theater Ensemble in late 2017. Fast forward to 2023 and SILKWORMS has just finished a 3-weekend fully staged run at Lamplighters Theater in La Mesa California. I was invited to the auditions and was able to help select the cast. I was however not invited to the rehearsals…which was fine with me. I don’t consider myself a director and I am probably way too close to the story to have been able to help the actors bring their own take to the characters. Besides, I was lead in another play that overlapped with this production.
SILKWORMS is a semi-autobiographical (OK, mostly autobiographical) play set at Christmas about three generations of American women, the oldest of whom emigrated from Italy in 1905 when she was a young girl. It is a story of personal growth, reconciliation, deepening understanding, and new beginnings. It is about me, my mom and my grandmother.
After the staged reading, I tweaked the play a bit, removing a character that didn’t really advance the story. My connections at the local theaters led to it being selected for staging. We had several sold out houses and great response from those who saw it. At this point it is almost ready for publishing. I need to sit down with the director and incorporate the few changes that emerged as the actors were finding their characters. Next step is to find a bigger stage! If you know any artistic directors, let me know and I’ll send them a copy of the play.
As a side note, the painting used for the program was created by my Ukrainian refugee house guest and was donated as a raffle item during the run of the play with proceeds going to the theater. I’ll have more information about Vira Ustianska in my next blog post.