Catch-all Catch Up: Books, Theatre, Theatre, Books

I read a fabulous debut book last week, Dia Reeve’s Bleeding Violet. The main character, Hanna, is bipolar, biracial, and bicultural. She wears only purple and talks to her dead father, so, yeah, she’s kinda strange. But when she comes to Portero to find her estranged mom, she finds a town that’s stranger yet. I love the lush horror of this book. Gorgeous descriptions, unusual plot, characters who are ugly and broken and lovable all the same. The monsters are genuine and scary, not the kind you want to make out with, and happiness doesn’t come without a price if it comes at all. I highly recommend.

We also saw a great show last week, Synetic Theatre’s Antony and Cleopatra. If you live in DC, I highly recommend this company’s silent Shakespeare series. They’ve done Hamlet, Macbeth, Midsummer, and Romeo & Juliet (my favorite). I know: Shakespeare without the words? But their blend of movement, combat, and music is entrancing. They’ve won a ton of Helen Hayes awards for their shows, especially for the astounding choreography.

Steve just found out this morning that he’s getting commissioned to write a play for a local theatre! Not sure I can divulge the details yet but I’m very proud. This is his second paid commission his year, plus he’ll have two plays in the CapFringe Festival this July. One will be the debut production from his new theatre company, Bright Alchemy, which he and several other CUA grads have just formed. They’re focusing on devised work. And speaking of, there’s a symposium at Georgetown this Saturday on techniques and the process of creating devised theatre that sounds pretty fascinating. It’s free to the public, or you can watch it streaming on Arena Stage’s website.

I FINALLY received some new books yesterday that I’m eager to dive into: C.J. Omololu’s Dirty Little Secrets and Jen Nadol’s The Mark. Oh, and speaking of awesome new releases: if you haven’t read Ally Carter’s Heist Society or Maureen Johnson’s Scarlett Fever, I highly recommend both of them, too. I devoured the ARCs. The former is a glam spy caper, like a teenaged Ocean’s 11 but with an awesome girl in the Clooney role. And the latter is hilarious and romantic and really, really fun.

Last but not least, I surpassed the 30K and 100 page mark of my new WIP last week. I’m so excited. I am crazy in love with this book. That first kiss in a secret room scene that I skipped ahead to write? I’m actually ready to write the first half of the chapter. And I’ve shared these pages with another Alpha reader and I can’t WAIT to hear what she thinks.

What have you been reading/writing/watching this week?

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