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Okay, Bye at Steppenwolf.

16 May

I’m thrilled to announce that my play, Okay, Bye will be presented by Steppenwolf as part of its First Look series this summer. What’s even better is that it will be directed by one of my oldest friends in the world, Margot Bordelon.

The whole she-bang opens August 9th and pertinent details/ticket purchasing can be found here.

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At an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting, two thirty-somethings recognize each other from their high school days. Back then, they didn’t have much in common: Meg was an “alternative” and Jenny was a “Goody-Goody.” But now both their lives are on the brink of implosion. Jenny, sure that Meg’s bleak, sardonic humor is just a front, insists that a slumber party is the answer to all their problems. But it’s not the 90’s anymore, and it might take more than pedicures and Pretty in Pink to fuel a friendship that makes life worth living.

Quick and Dirties.

30 Apr

I’m so happy to announce that m new play, Okay, bye. is going to be part of The Claque’s Quick and Dirties. This is an incredible development opportunity- two weeks of rehearsals and two staged readings. I’m thrilled to be working with Liz Carlson of Naked Angels fame as director and I’ll see you all this Spring.

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Okay, bye.

23 Feb

I’m back in New York after eight beautiful months in New Zealand and I have a new play to show for it. Okay, bye. is a different for me in several ways. First, it’s my attempt at writing a thoughtful, naturalistic play. (Of course, it didn’t come out that way.) Second, it’s the first play I’ve ever written that could be described as a drama. 

Okay, bye. is about two women who meet again in a small town A.A. meeting during America’s longest snowstorm in history, just after the U.S. Supreme Court has declared a right to suicide. With CVS selling suicide kits on its’ shelves, a planned suicide is the perfect excuse for these two 30-somethings to catch up.  Okay, bye. is a play about disappointments and what we can or cannot live with. 

The wonderful folks at The Lark Playwrights Development Center have given me a round table reading on March 6th. It will be directed by the fabulous Morgan Gould and read by two long term collaborators and friends, Megan Hill and Darcy Fowler. 

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The Chalk Boy in Las Vegas!

9 Dec

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If you’re in or around Las Vegas, be sure to see an early Conkel play in production there. The Chalk Boy at Cockroach Theatre is getting some love

The Brooklyn Commune Project.

14 Jul

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I answered a few questions about class, queerness and being a playwright for The Brooklyn Commune Project. What is The Brooklyn Commune Project? I’m so glad you asked. 

The Brooklyn Commune Project is a grassroots initiative organized by Culturebot.org and The Invisible Dog Art Center  to educate, activate and unify performing artists of all disciplines to work together towards a more equitable, just and sustainable arts ecology in America.

You can read my interview here

Conkel Update.

12 Jun

I have an announcement that is both personal and professional. 

On July 6th I will be flying off to Auckland, New Zealand, where I’ll be living for 6 to 12 months. I’ll continue to write and work remotely and I have productions in the works for New York, Austin, London, Australia and Germany during that time as well. I’m scared and excited, but I truly hope I can maintain my presence in the New York theater scene while I’m away. 

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On a personal note, I’m moving to New Zealand to be with my partner, the most adorable kiwi of all kiwis. Until such time as the Supreme Court overturns the so-called Defense of Marriage Act, we cannot be together and live in the United States, despite the fact the marriage equality is the law of the land in New York State. 

You can learn more about DOMA’s effect on bi-national gay couples by watching this beautiful and heart breaking video. In the meantime, I will be treating New Zealand like a beautiful and remote writer’s retreat. Like Yaddo, but further!

Ensemble Studio Theatre’s 34th Annual Marathon.

6 Jun

Series A of Ensemble Studio Theatre’s annual marathon of short plays has come and gone, and I couldn’t be prouder of my little play Curmudgeons in Love. I hope the play goes on to having a larger life and I’m using some of its themes in a full-length I’m toying with. Here’s what some folks around town had to say about it:

NEW YORK POST
Another highlight is Joshua Conkel’s “Curmudgeons in Love,” in which Ralph (a hilarious David Margulies), now in assisted living, is visited by his 40-ish granddaughter Robin (Nina Hellman), who’s clearly disappointed with her own life.

“Assisted living has a nice ring to it,” she sighs.

Widowed after a half-century of marriage, Ralph has found an unlikely new love in Jackie (Martin Shakar), a male octogenarian with a hunky grandson (Alex Manette) who offers Robin a chance at romance. With dialogue so profane it would make David Mamet blush, it’s an off-kilter, alter-kocker love story.

NEW YORK TIMES
Joshua Conkel’s “Curmudgeons in Love” is the comic crowd pleaser of the evening. David Margulies and Martin Shakar play the explosive, foul-mouthed, retirement-home-resident stars in this latest addition to the inexhaustible grumpy-old-men genre. While the play is not exactly a font of subtlety, it is pure heaven to see these superannuated rascals cuss (and kiss!) up a storm.

CURTAIN UP
Joshua Conkel’s “Curmudgeons In Love” is the crowd pleaser of the bunch. With a relatively larger cast, and with a ripped-from-the-headlines flavor, it has the greatest potential for spinning out of control. It doesn’t, thanks to Ralph Pena’s fastidious direction, and the actors’ skill in reigning in the play’s over the top possibilities. David Margulies is superb as an assisted living facility resident who is not quite ready to put his life on the shelf. 

Hi! DRAMA
The most fully realized work was the last, Curmudgeons in Love, by Joshua Conkel in which nurse Daniel(Veronica Cruz), granddaughter Robin (Nina Hellman) and grandson (Alex Manette) conspire to reunite grumpy old Ralph (David Margulies) and Jackie (Martin Shakar). The rabid nasty but loving quips may be shtick but they are so well-done that this is a perfect and perfectly enjoyable play wonderfully directed by Ralph Pena.

Cast: Veronica Cruz (Daniela), Nina Hellman (Robin), Alex Manette (Brant), David Margulies (Ralph), Martin Shakar (Jackie).