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Kudos to Amtrak for Supporting the Arts


I am sure some folks will be annoyed that a struggling government enterprise  like Amtrak has announced its plans to host an expanded #AmtrakResidency for writers. (Thanks to Tom Feister for making me aware of this.) For my taxpayer money, I love to see it used in this nontraditional manner.

To quote Amtrak:

#AmtrakResidency was designed to allow creative professionals who are passionate about train travel and writing to work on their craft in an inspiring environment. Round-trip train travel will be provided on an Amtrak long-distance route. Each resident will be given a private sleeper car, equipped with a desk, a bed and a window to watch the American countryside roll by for inspiration. Routes will be determined based on availability.

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis and reviewed by a panel. Up to 24 writers will be selected for the program starting March 17, 2014 through March 31, 2015.  A passion for writing and an aspiration to travel with Amtrak for inspiration are the sole criteria for selection. Both emerging and established writers will be considered.

Residencies will be anywhere from 2-5 days, with exceptions for special projects.”

Here’s hoping it is so successful that, as my pal Feister has suggested, they offer a similar program for artists.

Adam Szymkowicz on Clown Bar, Compulsive Love

Clown Bar
Clown Bar

February 27 is going to be a great day for writer Adam Szymkowicz for two reasons. First up, previews will start on the Pipeline Theater Company production of his clown noir play, Clown Bar (February 27 & 28 at 8PM) at the Parkside Lounge (317 E. Houston St., New York, NY) before starting a run of Fridays & Saturdays at 9PM performances from March 1 – March 23, 2013.

Secondly, the first episode of the Szymkowicz-written web series, Compulsive Love, will premiere on February 27. Compulsive Love has the great tag line of “A show about a man being punched in the face by love and the women wearing the brass knuckles.” In this interview, we discuss both projects.

Tim O’Shea: Am I correct in thinking that Clown Bar is partially a musical? Did you always envision the project having music?

Adam Szymkowicz: It has four songs in it.  There is a character who is the singer in the bar and he sings all the songs.  Sometimes I like to put one or two songs in my shows, though I can’t say why this play has four songs in it except to say it always did.

Continue reading Adam Szymkowicz on Clown Bar, Compulsive Love

Blog Now Features Tumblr and Twitter Streams

New Tumblr and Twitter streams for the right side of the blog
New Tumblr and Twitter streams for the right side of the blog

I am happy to announce that thanks to my finally mastering WordPress widgets, after a few years of ineptitude, I am now able to keep this blog a smidge more fresh.

How may you ask?

Look to the right of this post. Hopefully you should see my Tumblr and Twitter feeds. While I am striving to develop more interviews for this blog, in the interim, my RSS feeds should hopefully equally entertain my long-time readers.