Catch My Plays in Nigeria!!!

One of the coolest things about being a playwright is learning your work resonated with people you've never met in a place you've never been.  It speaks to our shared humanity. So if you happen to be in Lagos, Nigeria this December you can see my plays at the wonderful Theatre Republic, which is a frequent haunt of Nobel Prize Winner Wole Soyinka. My plays, Things Unsaid and In a Hole, will be directed by founder Wole Oguntokun. If you go to the plays please reach out to me on social media and share pictures!!!!!

Resistance Reading List 2

#Resistance reading list! My ongoing pursuit to read more work by women, POC, immigrants, refugees, and LGBTQIA:

"Bird by bird" - Anne Lamott (funny how to on writing)

"Crumbs from the Table of Joy" - Lynn Nottage "poof!" -Lynn Nottage "Por'knockers" - Lynn Nottage "Mud, river, stone" - Lynn Nottage "Las Meninas" - Lynn Nottage (Amazing Must Read Play)

"God's Ear" - Jenny Schwartz (few things as cool as opening a play and seeing your friend thanked in the forward - looking at you Raymond McAnally)

"Born a Crime" - Trevor Noah (if you are interested in learning more about apartheid this is a good source)

"My Own Words" - Ruth Bader Ginsburg (heavy read but the RBG is blow your mind impressive)

And because I'm a dorky Sherlockian:

"Mycroft Holmes" - Kareem Abdul Jabbar & Anna Waterhouse (sigh. I had a few issues with this -the Holmes boys do not fall in love! But all in all it works. Yes, like the basketball player. He's clearly a dork as well.)

For those that gave me suggestions last time I will be reading those next! I already had these stacked beside my bed.

 

Resistance Reading List 1

 

My reading list since the election:

Ta-Nehisi Coates - Between The World and Me (MacArthur Genius Grant Winner) Lauren Gunderson - Silent Sky (play, made me cry) Lauren Gunderson - Emilie: La Marquise du Chatelet Defends Her Life Tonight (genius, play) Jessica Dickey - The Amish Project (play, made me cry) Jessica Dickey - Charles Ives Take Me Home (play) Lynn Nottage - Ruined (play, wow) Maria Semple - Today Will Be Different (funny) Suzan-Lori Parks - Topdog/Underdog (KY-woman, play) Joan Didion - The Year of Magical Thinking (play) Jen Kirkman - I Can Barely Take Care of Myself (funny)

This is why:

2016 has been an overachiever of a sh*%^& year (there aren't enough 4 letter words). Repeatedly, whether talking about personal stuff or politics I said it couldn't get worse, and then 2016 would go above and beyond and find new/creative/unpredictable ways to be an absolute cluster.

That being said... I am not letting this happen again in 2017. And I'm going to work hard to make sure next year is a better year for other people as well.

I'm paying more attention to the voices of women, minorities, LGBTQ, refugees, etc. With that in mind for the last month and a half of this bullsh*& I've been reading like my life depended on it. Maybe it does.

I would recommend any of the works above.

Please suggest more books.

A Final Word on 2016

A final word on 2016.

This is probably my favorite photograph of all time. It's definitely my favorite photograph of London. I keep it on my desk and carry it around with me in a book when I travel.

But why? Why are you all dark and goth with a picture of destruction? Not so. That is not what this picture is...

This picture was taken on the night of December 29th, 1940 during one of the worse nights of the Blitz on London. Thirty minutes into the German attack 54 fires were burning. 120 tonnes of explosives and 22,000 incendiary devices had been dropped on the financial center of the city. 160 people lost their lives that night including 16 firemen. 500 people were injured.

So where is the joy in that? Stay with me. That night, as on every night of the Blitz, a group of volunteers were running along the roof of St. Paul's - putting out fires as they started. They risked their lives as bombs fell towards the church - the largest target in central London. They couldn't stop the destruction of the city, but "God Damn It!" they were not going to let the fascist take out the heart of London.

The night of the 29th, and morning of 30th of December this small group of volunteers saved St. Paul. The rest of the neighborhood was flattened and burned to a crisp.

St. Paul's stood. The Allies declared victory in WW II. Today St. Paul's sits in the middle of one of the largest and most powerful financial centers in the world, in one of the biggest and most prosperous cities on Earth.

And yes like the US, they've had a horrible 2016. The destructive Brexit vote tanked their currency overnight and led to an outbreak in hate crime. But this is what we should remember in 2017:

There will be dark days ahead. Fascists and authoritarians are rising back to power, in part because we didn't learn our history well enough. But to this day St. Paul's is still there. And all it took to save it, and inspire the world was a handful of volunteers that said, "Not on my watch."

Here's to the new battle, in the new year, against an old enemy. I'm ready. Who's with me?

 

Play "Appropriate" Picked 4 'We're Not Playing' Festival

My newest short play "Appropriate" being done as part of the #WereNotPlaying Initiative by Little Black Dress INK!

I couldn't be more proud than to be included in the event.

For those of you actively looking for something to do on January 20th, here's your chance to join civil rights hero John Lewis and #Boycott the #Inauguration while promoting art.

My play "Appropriate" will be performed in Galesburg, IL (friends in Chicago you have alternative programing if you want it).

Plays will be read free of charge. Donations will go to the ACLU, Planned Parenthood, and the NRDC to promote their vital work as they protect our rights. I told you they would defund Planned Parenthood over my dead body and this is part of the plan.

Los Angeles, CA: https://www.facebook.com/events/896844497118081/ Galesburg, IL: https://www.facebook.com/events/1173589386091488/ Prescott, AZ: http://mickishelton.com/…/…/01/were-not-playing-brochure.pdf Sedona, AZ: https://www.facebook.com/events/144417726057578/

They are adding venues daily so I will update as I get information.

Read More Here: http://www.littleblackdressink.org/were-not-playing-a-new-play-by-raegan-payne/

 

Volunteer Journal #103 - Sponsor A Girls Education

One of the coolest things I've done this year is sponsor a student through Razia's Ray of Hope.

RRH set up a girl's primary through high school in rural Afghanistan and now a college, which trains midwives. This is incredibly important since there were virtually no health professionals in the area before the school opened.

This week I got a little hand written note from the girl I'm sponsoring. Notice the penmanship and excellent drawings!

To sponsor a girl just go here:

https://raziasrayofhope.org/sponsor-a-girl.html

It will possibly be the most fun you will have this year. #educategirls #spreadtheword