Rachel Teagle is a playwright, librettist, and comedian who grew up in the Silicon Valley, moved around the country, and settled in Minnesota. She helped found the Atlanta Fringe Festival and the Twin Cities Playwright Cabal. She has written many successful adaptations of classic literature for Serenbe Playhouse's award-winning family play series, most recently Robin Hood. She was awarded the Leah Ryan's Fund for Emerging Women Writers prize for her play The Ever and After. She currently resides in St. Paul with her partner, two small kids and a rescue dog. For more, visit rachelteagle.com
The Twin Cities Playwright Cabal is seeking new members to join our professional support group and be an active participant in future projects. The Cabal is specifically interested in expanding our perspectives and deepening our reach into the community.
Cabal members should be:
Ambitious, professional playwrights – people writing or seeking to write professionally with a demonstrated interest in improving their craft and working toward larger opportunities
Women and/or gender nonconforming people – we’re excited and invigorated to uplift these voices that are traditionally underserved by the theatre community
Willing to share producing duties for our reading series and actively engage in supporting the work of other cabal members
I had a new play reading scheduled for February 28th with the Playwright Cabal, and as of February 1st, I had about 25% of a play.
I had started writing this piece years ago for a contest that called for plays with polyamorous characters. And, as is my process, I didn’t write the piece on time, sat on it for a few years, and picked it back up for something else. Specifically, I lost a notebook in which I had written a song for the skeletal sock puppet heads to sing, and I didn’t want to rewrite it. I had submitted the fragments for a few development opportunities, but hadn’t bit the bullet and really written it. Then, when the Cabal presented the opportunity to read a new play, I decided to recommit to my little polyamorous Orpheus riff, and put the show description on the website.
I’ll have tons of time when I go home for Christmas, Rachel thought. I’ll definitely get it finished then.
Fast forward to February 1st, and low and behold, there was still the same fragments I’d submitted years ago. But now, I had a whole Cabal and talented director Daisuke Kawachi breathing down my neck.
So, I wrote a draft in a week, read it in my house with a bunch of super smart actors, and got very helpful feedback. I even got an assist from my toddler, who jumped right up and took her own scribbly notes (in my notebook). I was pleasantly surprised to discover that I had a play, or at least, the start of a play. And, luckily, I had a few more weeks to make it better.
I am consistently delighted by the wealth of talent we have here in the Twin Cities. Daisuke has a great rolodex of actors with new work experience, and we were able to get Stephanie Bertumen, Victoria Pyan, Pedro Juan Fonseca, Megan Burns, Hope Nordquist, and Gabriel Murphy to sit down with us and try to make a play come to life. If you can get these good-looking smart people to act at you, please do.
The play follows a throuple – David, Meredith, and Robin – who travel into the underworld when
one of the partners is lured down by an imaginary cat. It deals with mental health issues, the difficulty of being in a relationship with someone who’s struggling, and my antipathy toward Bruce Springsteen. It grew by leaps and bounds between rehearsals and I know there’s lots more room to grow, too.
Finally, it was time for the reading. The Cabal has been working with the White Page Gallery to host our Fresh Pages reading series. For Heather Meyer’s reading last month, there was a large and elaborate abstract sculpture installation in place, which made the reading feel extra art-y. My reading fell between exhibits, so we had a blank space in which to make our underworld.
For the previous reading, a golden Feedback Feedbox was carefully crafted, so that audience members could submit written feedback and we could avoid awkward talkbacks. That carefully crafted Feedbox was, of course, completely forgotten this month, so we used this Triscuit box instead.
All in all, it was moving and exciting and it made me want to keep this piece alive. Not too bad for a play that didn’t exist four weeks ago.