Directing again, and it feels so good.

I’m directing a play reading of Sperm Donor Wanted, by Pittsburgh genius TJ Young. Working with a living playwright is so fun. Shakespeare can’t hear me complain when he gives me a hard problem to solve, but TJ is right there, chuckling in the background.

The story is about a lesbian couple who place an ad on Craigslist looking for someone to “give us a hand” with trying to have a baby. They meet an intergenerational, interracial gay couple who decide to help. In TJ’s words:

As we are pulled back through the events that got them to where they are, the lives of these four become more entwined and complicated than they had ever planned on. They lay their story bare, sharing their deepest fears about parenthood, the secret betrayals of their relationships, and say the things they never got to say.

Sperm Donor Wanted (or: Unnamed Baby Play), by TJ Young. August 28th-Sept 1st. Proceeds benefit the Parent Artist Advocacy League

I love this play so much. Parts of it are laugh-out-loud funny; they feel like they could be sketches from Kids in the Hall. Other parts are so emotionally honest and grounded, they take my breath away.

We had our first rehearsal last night. This cast is brilliant—Katherine Mayberry, Brett Sullivan Santry, Dom Dameron, and Katherine Stein. Just last night, all of them showed me sides of their characters I had missed before. The script is rich enough that there’s space for them to imagine and interpret.

This event is a fundraiser for the Parent Artist Advocacy League‘s grants to parent artists of color. I’m so excited to get to partner with that organization, because they are doing fantastic work to improve equity in our industry.

We’re going to have a recording of this play available online for four days, beginning August 28 at 6 pm. We’ll have a talkback with the playwright, a few of the actors, the dramaturg, and me, on the 28th at 9. All the info is on our Facebook event page, and that’s where video links will go, too. I hope you can join us! Tell your friends.

For other online theater things, be sure to check out my Pandemic Plays calendar! The virus can’t stop the art.

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