Not surprisingly, I haven't yet received a reply to my letter to the theater owner. No doubt they simply want me to go away so they can forget about their bad behavior and pat themselves on the back for having gotten rid of a pest who simply wanted them to live up to their word. Or at least have the decency to offer an explanation. An apology, I'm sure, would be too much to expect.
But as one door closes, another opens. I just sent off a comedy about a theater trying to cast Shakespeare's "Cleopatra and Antony" (yes, you got that right), and have an acceptance from an off-Broadway theater in NYC to produce it on Sept. 7-8. I'll have to bear the costs of rehearsal space myself (hope it's not too much), plus a small fee to the theater, but better that than no production at all.
In addition, I had some nice comments recently from an online workshop where I participate from time to time. Concerning a short play set in an old-age rehab center where a lonely man and a widow are recovering from serious injuries, one playwright wrote: "I absolutely loved your wonderful little play. It was by turns funny and touching and thought-provoking, and I really enjoyed the contrast between the man and the woman. I have almost no critical comments - just want to say how entertaining it was to read, and how it seemed so fresh, without a single cliche in it. So much humor in his retorts to her, and in her asides while she's rambling on. This is EXCELLENT work and I suspect you will get numerous productions of it. I wish I could offer help but you don't need any! Thanks for sharing such a good piece of work with me."
There was also a recent contest where playwrights were asked to come up with a short dramatic adaptation of a major literary work, intended for HS or college students. I picked the "Divine Comedy" (why do anything easy?) and spent four days writing a parody in which a HS girl (Donna) undergoes a parallel Dante-inspired journey of her own, accompanied by her Uncle Virgil, Aunt Bea, and two "cameo" characters playing all kinds of minor parts. My reviewer:
"This play written for high school and possibly college & Middle School is excellent in that regard. The play sets a tone of casual discovery which will permit students to explore this great work. To do that it doesn't skip the hard questions nor does it try to answer them. My thought is it would wet the student's appetite for these issues like God and the nature of sin, the presence of the devil and the after life.
I particularly like the voice in this work. It is mature yet fun loving, it is clear without being doctrinaire and it is respectful to Donna and young people in general. It actually reminds me of Boccaccio in its light and easy humanity."
Neither of those comments is equivalent to acceptance by a theater, but it's nice to know my efforts aren't totally hopeless.