DAPT'D — Redefining how authors promote, and how readers engage. http://daptd.com/home Redefining how authors promote, and how readers engage. Sat, 13 Apr 2013 18:06:56 +0000 en hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.3.1 Dapt’d 2.0 http://daptd.com/home/2013/04/08/joinus/ http://daptd.com/home/2013/04/08/joinus/#comments Mon, 08 Apr 2013 19:53:24 +0000 Dapt'd http://daptd.com/home/?p=883

The Backstory

A little over a year ago, Dapt’d set out to find new ways to publish and promote great titles.  Now, Dapt’d is shifting its concentration away from traditional notions of publishing to focus on the curation and commerce of authors’ existing titles.  Our new site will be launched in Summer 2013.

What’s the deal?

Promoting your back catalogue can be difficult.  Books that fall out of print no longer earn you revenue.  There are only so many times you can ask your Twitter or Facebook followers to check out your older work.  What if you had new, unique versions of your existing titles to draw in new audiences — backed by video segments, interviews and other exclusive content that you didn’t have to create?

That’s where Dapt’d comes in.

We create a special edition version of your novel that’s packed with additional features. We prominently showcase you and your title on our website, supplemented with original video and editorial content that we produce. You blast out notices to your network of fans, friends and connections. We share revenue from the new sales.

Think of this as the “remastered” edition of your work!

How do I fit in?

We are currently searching for authors in all genres of fiction (nonfiction to come soon) interested in being early participants for our new site launch, and having their titles upgraded into special editions exclusively available through our site.

Sound interesting?

Talk with us directly further details!

 

 

 

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The Angela Crossley Trilogy http://daptd.com/home/2013/02/03/angelacrossley/ http://daptd.com/home/2013/02/03/angelacrossley/#comments Sun, 03 Feb 2013 16:36:52 +0000 Dapt'd http://daptd.com/home/?p=828 For the first time, get all three of Vincent Cobb’s Angela Crossley murder mystery novels together in one trilogy edition. These books are dark, thrilling, sordid, and laced with paranormal sexual energy. This new edition is a monster bargain at 700+ pages, in both eBook formats from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and as PDF, as well as print-on-demand. *Soon to be available from iTunes.

Book synopses:

NEMESIS

A murderer stalks the Midlands, and Angela Crossley seems to be the one detective who might crack the case. Especially because she’s been drawn in by a young seer named Connie who has borne witness to brutal events that have trapped her in perpetual childhood. But Angela’s quest goes deeper than merely into the mystery afoot. She must divine what Connie and her visions have to do with Angela herself. Is she who she believes herself to be, or is she rather someone she has yet to discover? Can she bring the murderer to justice and help Connie to regain wholeness? Vincent Cobb’s Nemesis is Crossley’s first tale, the beginning of a complex journey, and Angela Crossley is on her way to becoming a force to be reckoned with.

CONTRITION

Someone is murdering children in an unspeakably horrible way. Yet, despite their profanity, the murders seem somehow religiously motivated. Perplexed by the seemingly contradictory clues, Angela Crossley allows herself to be called away from a possible appointment to the FBI and takes on the case, exercising her developing ability to see beyond the here and now and to look for signs that lie beneath. She teams with Pauline, whose mysterious beauty and passion bring new meaning to Angela’s life, and learns too late just how very invested Pauline really is in catching this hideous killer.

REVELATION

Angela Crossley is just learning to accept her newfound psychic power, and she embarks on a mission to employ her ability to read the future and to hear the thoughts of others, and prove herself worthy of her new position as a Detective Chief Inspector at Scotland Yard. A murder mystery that has all London talking about the possible return of Jack the Ripper offers Angela the perfect arena in which to encounter both her inner demons and the forces of evil around her. In its time, she knows, everything will be illuminated, and all will be revealed; but can she survive long enough to know the outcome?

The Angela Crossley Trilogy is written by Vincent Cobb.

Cover design by Edward Ludvigsen, featuring Anna Marie Sell.

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On this day, the day the world ends: A wish list http://daptd.com/home/2012/12/21/on-this-day-the-day-the-world-ends-a-wish-list/ http://daptd.com/home/2012/12/21/on-this-day-the-day-the-world-ends-a-wish-list/#comments Fri, 21 Dec 2012 17:34:09 +0000 Edward Ludvigsen http://daptd.com/home/?p=789

I really hope today is the end of the world. And by that I mean this world, and onto a new one.

I generally disregard the Mayan calendar hubbub with my own typical brand of snark and irony. That said, of all the various interpretations of the Mayan calendar curiosity, I do indulge in a bit of hope and inspiration from those that speculate this moment is a pivot, or a beginning rather than an end. A new human renaissance, if you will. Some refer to it as a “shift in our collective consciousness.” Presumably, for the better.

That sounds pretty dope.

I am not a person of any particular faith. I don’t believe in fate, stars aligning, and nothing in this world drives me crazier than simplistic explanations for complex issues, divined as a result of absolute allegiance to a creed or dogma. I believe that people make choices to lead, or follow, a it’s people that craft the world around them, be it good, bad, self-serving, innovative, or backward. Wild cards like the natural world and the baffling behavior of some keep us on our toes and keep us guessing.

But I’m not above taking a step back and looking into the sky or dusty Mayan ruins to try and see a bigger picture, and tease myself with the notion that this could be it. This could be a real moment of collective growth, amusingly suggested by 2000 year old Mesoamerican calendar makers. Maybe they saw something we haven’t, or that we haven’t seen yet.

One can cherry pick the evidence (and one often does), but I like to think that there is actually evidence for this. There are terrible events that might suggest an end to one way of being, and a kind of reboot to our thinking about ourselves and how we move forward, both in this country and around the world. There are also fantastic innovations and hints that we are entering a new age.

Granted, one could say “dude, you’re a white guy living in New York in the U.S. You have no comprehension of the horrors and difficulties people face in other parts of the world, and therefore your reference and vision is limited to a regional experience.” That’s true. But I like to think I’m a ‘think globally, act locally’ kind of dude, and that choices we make in our own regions will have ripple effects globally.

So a quick wish as this world (hopefully) ends, and a new age begins–

•I wish that our thirst for greater access to better education drives new paradigms
Evidence

•I wish that we see stunning, and unexpected innovation to come from stunning, unexpected places.
Evidence
Evidence

•I wish that innovation in agricultural and clean water efforts explodes.
Evidence
Evidence
Evidence

•I wish that social entrepreneurship in developed regions drives upward mobility in less developed regions.
Evidence
Evidence

•I wish that digital technology helps us to reconnect with the analog world and cherish it anew.
Evidence
Evidence (yes cheeky link, but I see more of know more about the people in my life than i did before I joined.)

•I wish that when faced with violent acts perpetrated against innocents, we can engage in rational discourse, in which parties even at either extreme end of an argument are willing to rethink fundamental viewpoints.
Evidence: It’s out there, I see it and hear it. But I am withholding, as I’m not trying to start the obvious debate. Again, this is a wish list.

I’m not naive. I realize that all things take will, cooperation, money (shit tons of it), and time (also shit tons). In that order. I live and work in the world of creative technology design and development. Within the small segment of people I know and work with, the intelligence, ethics, and drive to innovate on a professional and human level is staggering. That can only be just as rich, if not more, in other places.

The truth is that we actually do know how to communicate and work together to move forward when there is a common need. We do know how to put all our personal baggage and beliefs aside for a moment to focus on collective solutions. But perhaps being able to do that in longer lasting ways is the first and most fundamental part of a human renaissance. A new kind of “we” that transcends but doesn’t eliminate the “I.” We are the music makers and we are the dreamers of the dream*.

I have not just hope for the new year, but true excitement. See you in 2013.

 

*Yes I am misquoting O’Shaughnessy, but i like this better.

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The Culture of the Swim Meet http://daptd.com/home/2012/08/01/the-culture-of-the-swim-meet/ http://daptd.com/home/2012/08/01/the-culture-of-the-swim-meet/#comments Wed, 01 Aug 2012 15:15:40 +0000 Dapt'd http://daptd.com/home/?p=748 The following is reposted from Carla Stockton’s blog. Check out all her fantastic content.

In 1993, my daughter was a sophomore in high school, and, having swum competitively since she was a 6-and-under, she was in an elite championship meet at Hamden High School.  I was lucky.  Swimming was a pastime for this child; she was more committed to her drama program and, while she was a talented athlete, she put very little expectation or effort into the sport.  But because I have two other children, far more invested in sports than she was, I understood what the parents around me were going through, and I recorded my observations.  Elite sports are costly endeavors, and cost is not merely a matter of money. . . .

2/24/1993

The stands are hot.  Clammy.  Outside the temperatures are in the 50′s — we’re having a February thaw — but heat’s being pumped in here as if the winter chill were permeating the natatorium.

I’m up at the top of the bleachers, having staked out a little piece of real estate where I can write while I watch, where I can be involved and yet keep a modicum of distance.  I’m here to support my kid, but luckily for me, she’s not terribly nervous about any of it; she’s here to have fun.  What a thought.

The many mothers and several fathers in attendance have shed their sweatshirts; experience has taught them well, and they dress in layers.  The blue jeans will soon come off as well; rarely do parents attend swim meets clad in more than shorts and tees.

“I’m a wreck,” says Sue as she places her multitudinous bags near me to my left and begins to lay out the day’s food and towel rations.  She’s a trim, agile, 40-something mom, here with her youngest child, a Division One college swim team hopeful.  “This meet means so much to Emily.  See that young man standing with her coach?  He’s the Assistant Coach from the U of A — he’s here to see her.”  I nod appreciatively.

The woman who has settled in to my right sighs as she sheds a layer of clothing. “I sure am glad I knew enough to wear my summer things today.”  Her daughter approaches during a break in the warm-up, and Sue and I no cease to exist for her.  “How you doing, Sweetie?  You looked like you were draggin’ out there?”

“No, Ma.  I’m okay!”

“You sure?  You want me to get you some food?”

“No.  I told’ja I’m okay.  I just ate before warm-up.  I’m fine.  Leave me alone.”

“You need to swim fast, Baby.  Only one more chance after today to make nationals.”

“Yeah.  Like I didn’t know that.  Geeze.  I gotta go.”

“Wait.  I. . . .” Mom is interrupted by the sound of the announcer’s voice echoing from the pool deck; the mic sounds hollow, and the spectators strain to hear if he is saying something important.

“This is the last call for timers, Ladies and Gentlemen.  If your team is not sufficiently represented, your swimmers will be disqualified.  Any questions about that should be directed to the meet director. . . .”  His voice is lost in the sound of coaches calling sprint warm-up instructions.

Ready. . . hup.”  Sound of feet beating on the water, hands flailing splashes upward.  “Ready . . . hup.”  Beat.  Beat.  Beat.  “Ready . . .hup.”

Sue shifts her weight and sighs audibly.  “This has got to be the hottest pool in the State of Connecticut.  Why are we having this meet here of all places?”

“Just be grateful this isn’t the Dragon Classic.  That meet is so over-enrolled.  They pack ‘em in here like coals in a hibachi.  Yuck.  I hate that meet.”

“Carla, what do you suppose they’re talking about?”  Sue is staring helplessly at the coaches in mid-discussion; the officials clear the pool.  There is last-minute adjustment of equipment, and the meet is about to begin.”

“Dinner, Sue.  What else could they be talking about?  No one’s swimming yet.  It’s too. . . ”

I break off.  The Darien team is beginning their ritual cheering.  Acoustics of the pool intensify the shouting.  It reverberates from the concrete walls to the concrete floor, bounces off the steel beam rafters and resounds on the naked ear.  No one’s throat is strong enough to succeed in conversing over the cacophony of cheering that ascends the bleachers.  A whistle blows.  Cheering stills.  Absolute silence for a moment as the assembly holds its collective breath.  Swimmers congregate behind the blocks.  The official commands, “Backstrokers in the water.”  A new chorus of cheering.

The pre-meet party atmosphere dissolves.  The girls assembled in neat little groups of four behind each block stop chewing on their goggles.  They pull at the bottoms of their suits, adjust their caps. Goggles are strapped on; backstrokers enter the water.

“This is the 200-yard Medley Relay.  Take your mark. . . .” The starter horn beeps, and the race begins.  Waiting swimmers watch intently, straining, calling to temammates to move faster.  The first heat is small — only two swimmers in the water.  From somewhere on the deck, a coach’s whistle bleats out the rhythm for the breaststroke leg.  Teammates yell.  “GOPHYLLISGOGERIGOSTEFANIEGO.”

The yelling on the deck is wild. This is a close race.  In the stands, the intermittent “Gobaby” “GoJody” “Harder, Susan” are replaced by a frenzy of yelling.  Everyone’s baby is commanded to “Pickitup,” to “Dig, baby, dig,” and “Getherpassher.” Lanes three and four are neck and neck.  On the last leg of the freestyle — “C’mon Melanie.” “GoKatie.” “FlyJessica!” – a girl from the Wilton team pulls ahead.  Excitement explodes.

“Excuse me,” a fit older woman taps me on the shoulder.  “Is there a bookstore nearby?  My daughter isn’t swimming for at least an hour yet, and she needs a book for an English assignment.”  I give her directions.  As she prepares to leave, she moans, “God this place is miserable.  We’ll be here till 6:30 at least.”  I nod, understanding her frustration; we have been assembled since before noon.  “I wish,” she goes on; “that Y meets were governed by the same 4-hour time rule they imposed on USS meets.”  I agree with her, but she has already left to seek out the Walden Bookstore across the street.

I watch her climbing down the bleachers and think about the amount of time we spend here together, these other parents and I.  And how many more hours we spend driving children to practice, to meets, to the gym for training.  And how very hard our children work, developing their sport, participating in other activities at school, studying for high grades, attempting to juggle a social life.   What is the ultimate goal?  Do we know?

“Oh God, Carla.”  Sue tugs on my arm.  The last heat of the 200-yard freestyle is up.  “Emily is swimming.  Oh God.  Oh God.”  She rubs her hands together, clutching her stopwatch, and moves closer to the railing, bracing herself as she prepares to record Emily’s time.

The referee’s whistle shrieks.  Sue sucks in her breath.  “This is the final heat of the 15 and older girls 200-yard freestyle.  Take your marks. . . BEEP.”

A crashing splash resounds as six bodies hit the water in nearly perfect unison.

Emily takes the immediate lead.

From the snack bar downstairs,  the smell of popcorn wafts into our awareness.  “GOTIPPIGO.”  “GOEMILEEEEEE.”  The popcorn smell seems to add to the warmth.  Sweat beads have gathered on Sue’s brow and upper lip.  She presses her bottom lip over her upper one and sucks away the moisture.  She fans herself.  Emily heads into the turn after the 125.

“She’s off her time.  Ohgodohgodohgod.  She’s way off.  Nearly a second at the 100, and she’s not making it up.  He’ll think she’s clutching.”

“He’s no fool, Sue.”  I reassure her.  “He knows about training schedules.  Emily’s in double workouts, weights and. . . ” Emily is coming in for the finish.  She’s a full length ahead of the competition, and her time is 85/one-hundreths of a second slow.  Sue rocks in place, tapping her forehead on the railing in front of her, blinking furiously.  We are joined by Emily’s coach and a handsome young man in a suit, carrying a swim bag proclaiming ARIZONA SWIMMING and bearing University of Arizona colors.

“Sue Smith, this is Jim Lutz,” offers the Cheshire coach.

Sue wipes the sweat from her palms and offers a weak right-handed clasp.  The Arizona coach smiles deeply.  “Emily’s swim was lovely.  I can see the training strain in her stroke.  She’ll be awesome at seniors when she’s tapered.”

I can almost feel Sue’s body relax.  She smiles now.  The Arizona coach takes his next cue from her grin.  “You easterners think Arizona is hot?  This pool is ridiculous.  Whew.”  He blots his forehead, pulls at his collar and stretches his neck.  “Let’s go outside where we can talk in peace. . . and cool.”

The third heat of boys’ breaststroke is in the water, and the parents around us are screaming “GOJEREMY” “GOMIKEY” “GOJASON” in discordant unison.  A woman I have never seen slips into the seat next to me.  “I went out in my shirt sleeves to get cold and came back in to warm up,” she admits.  “I’ll probably get pneumonia,” she suggests.

“No,” I disagree.  “God protects the innocent . . . and swim parents.”  She laughs feebly and looks around for her place in the bleachers.  It wasn’t a funny joke, but it released a bit of tension.

The Cheshire coach takes the seat that Sue just vacated.  “Oh boy, why do they have the heat on in here, will you tell me?”  I’m not sure if the question’s rhetorical, but he’s looking at me, so I shrug.  He takes that as a signal to go on.

“Emily’s got some big decisions to make.”  The referee calls the girls’ 50-yard freestyle to the blocks.  A mother behind me stands up and screams.  The starter beeps the horn.  Now she is jumping up and down.  “Look at her go.”  Her daughter wins the race.  “Another two years of this, and the colleges will be knocking down our doors to get him. ”

The next heat is up.  A mid-thirty-ish mother — she seems so very young in this context — in running shorts and a tank top sitting in front of me holds her arms tightly at her chest and breathes through clenched teeth.  Her child will be up in the heat after this one, she tells her companion.  “At least I know that my mother is making pot roast and mashed potatoes for our Sunday dinner tonight.  So, no matter what happens here, I have something good to look forward to.”  She giggles a little, self-conscious but unabashed.

The Cheshire coach leans closer to me.  “Age group parents are so naïve.  They think it’s so easy to sell your kid to a school.  They should ask you and Sue Smith.”  He walks away to pace across the aisle behind the back row of stands.  His back is wet with perspiration, and he fans himself absently with a program, then stops to adjust his stopwatch as one of his younger swimmers approaches the blocks to swim the 200 I.M.

Sue returns as the announcer — finally — reads the results of the 15-and-over Girls’ 200-yard freestyle race.  Emily’s name bounces tinily from the rafters.  Sue is smiling, and the perspiration begins to accumulate on her upper lip again.

The top heat of 13/14 girls’ fly is up.  The noise level reaches fever pitch — there’s a horse race in lanes three and four.  The parents of both swimmers are diagonally behind us, to our right.  As the cheering swells –shouts in perfect rhythm with the rotating arms hitting sharply the pale blue water — the racers’ moms scream first at the indifferent pool, then at each other.

At the finish, the winner touches 3/100 of a second before the opponent.  The mothers embrace.  Both kids have dropped time to qualify for the national meet they’ve prayed for all season long.

“My heart won’t stand too many more years of this,” says the winner’s parent.

“You say that every year, and we’ve been doing this for eight years already.”

“Yeah, but the time drops are less frequent now.  I get more nervous. What if he fails?  What if he messes up?  Then the colleges. . . “  Her voice trails off as another top-seeded heat hits the water to the accompaniment of strained shouts, frantic yells.  Sue lifts her eyebrows and grins sardonically at me.  “Walk outside with me for a minute, will ya?”  My daughter won’t be swimming for another fifteen or twenty minutes again, so I gratefully accept the excuse to exit the sauna for a brief respite.

The silence bursts into my eardrums as painfully as the sunlight retracts my pupils.  The residue hum impedes my hearing at first, and I strain to see through the offending light.

“I can’t stand age group moms anymore.  Were we like that, Carla?  If they aren’t planning their trips to the Olympics, then they’re counting the big bucks the colleges are going to offer.  Is that what we got into this for?”

“I wasn’t aware I ever had a choice, Sue, to tell you the truth.”

Sue laughs.  “You’re right.  The really good ones can’t be pushed.”

“Only because they’re doing all the pushing.”

We talk about some of the kids we know who have left swimming, their parents’ disappointment, the feeling of wasted years.  They just couldn’t focus on this anymore.  I know my daughter is headed there and soon.

“They all thought those years of going hoarse in the stands, sweating out the races would pay off big time if they just kept pushing.  They saw cheap college, Olympic glory down the road.  But so few actually stick it out.  And then you get to where we are. . . .”

“So what’d Lutz say?”

“He wants her.”

“I knew he would.”

“I didn’t.”

“Will they pay?”

“Some.  Not all.  Maybe more the second year.  If she lives up to her potential.  She’s the best in Connecticut, but not so highly ranked nationwide.”

“Does she know what she’s getting into?  This is the big time.  Lots bigger than Clemson or Perdue.”

“I hope so.  I hope so.  Oh, it’s all so nerve-racking.  This might e the best money she’s offered, but . . . .”

“I guess it’s a decision she’ll have to make on her own.”

“Yeah.  I don’t know what to tell her.”

“Don’t’ look at me.  I’m no help.  I was in the same boat last year.  Should I encourage my kid to turn down Yale if he’s accepted and take the scholarship from TEXAS?  Do we fly to Arizona to look at their program, knowing full well that he’ll never have the choice to quit if he takes it?   Or do we grit our teeth and spend the rest of our lives treading water so he can . . . Well, you get the picture.  Only time will tell if he made the right choice.”

“It was so easy when they were little, and all we worried about was if they’d win the high point trophy they were drooling over at Age Groups. ”

“Amen to that.  Shit.  I have to go back in there.  It’s feeling good to shiver a little, but my little girl — who’m I kidding?  She’s no such thing anymore! — is going to swim the 100-free, and I need to be there.  Thank goodness she’s going to be applying to drama programs; swimming will be secondary.”

Sue laughs at me.  ”Right,” she says.  “But then you’ve got number three!”

As I re-enter the stadium to watch my daughter swim her race, I feel a wave of familiar humidity tickle my nose.  A rush of cheering greets my ears, and I faintly hear Sue’s voice behind me.

“You fool.  You love this.  We all do.”

She’s right.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Are you an Olympic-grade parent? http://daptd.com/home/2012/07/24/olympicparents/ http://daptd.com/home/2012/07/24/olympicparents/#comments Tue, 24 Jul 2012 19:53:36 +0000 Dapt'd http://daptd.com/home/?p=728 DAPT’D wants to know what makes you run . . .
As the parent of a gifted, passionate athlete, who may or may not be headed someday to the Olympics, you and your child are definitely inspired by Olympian feats. You schlepp practice, give up family vacations to competition-related events, and maintain the obdurate conviction that what your kid does is important.
  • We want to know why you do it?
  • What keeps you committed?
  • What keeps your child committed?
  • What does s/he get from the training and the competition?
  • What do you reasonably hope s/he will achieve?
We WANT TO HEAR/SEE YOUR STORY!! Here are some ways you can send us your tale:
  1. Take a video of you or you with your children — it can be any video that you want to make, one that documents your day, shows your practice routine, captures the essence of competition, combines any of these or just has you talking to the camera. Show/tell us what you love and what you hate about your routine. Respond to the YouTube video and add the tag OlympicParent.
  2. LIKE “Munich Memoir” on Facebook. Post a story and/or photo on our wall. What is your child(ren)’s sport? How much time does s/he put in, and how much time do you invest? Are you involved as an official, beyond your capacity as a parent? What is your most cherished role in the life of your athlete?
  3. Follow us on Twitter, and tweet us what you and your athlete hope to achieve by your hard work and dedication, or tweet a link to a video.
DAPT’D will feature some of the videos on this website, and will highlight some stories on Facebook and Twitter. Twenty participants will be chosen to receive a digital copy of Munich Memoir: Dan Alon’s Untold Story of Survival for participating in this project.
By responding and uploading content as part of this project, please take care to conceal names of any minors participating in any videos, photos, or blog posts. Dapt’d may republish your contributions for the purposes of further discussion and exposure, and cannot be responsible for spreading sensitive information.
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Clybourne Park — Adaptation Supreme http://daptd.com/home/2012/06/10/clybourne-park-adaptation-supreme/ http://daptd.com/home/2012/06/10/clybourne-park-adaptation-supreme/#comments Sun, 10 Jun 2012 17:00:34 +0000 Carla Stockton http://daptd.com/home/?p=432

Beneatha: An end to misery! To stupidity!  Don’t you see there isn’t any real progress, Asagai, there is only one large circle that we march in, around and around, each of us with our own little picture in front of us — our own little mirage that we think is the future.

Asagai: That is a mistake. . . . It isn’t a circle — it is simply a long line — as in geometry, you know, one that reaches into infinity.                                                                         A Raisin in the Sun, Lorraine Hansberry

The Cast of Claybourne Park, directed by Pam MacKinnon

Levels of adaptation abound in Clybourne Park, the much-venerated play, exquisitely written by Bruce Norris and divinely directed by Pam McKinnon,  now playing (and about to close!)  at the Walter Kerr Theater.

The play begins with an adaptive look at Mr. Asagai’s proposition that misery reaches in a line into infinity, a riff off one defining moment in A Raisin in the Sun,  when Walter Lee Younger tells Mr. Lindner, “We have all thought about your offer, and we have decided to move into our house because my father — my father — he earned it for us brick by brick.  We don’t want to make no trouble for nobody or fight no causes and we will try to be good neighbors.  We don’t want your money.”

In Act I of Norris’ play, which opens in 1959,  Mr. Lindner stumbles into a moment of high misery in the lives of a couple named Jim and Bev, who are packing up, preparing to move somewhere closer to Jim’s work, somewhere new, without the ghost that haunts them where they are.  Lindner brings Jim and Bev the news that the “colored, er, Negro” family to whom they have sold the house has refused his generous offer to buy their resolve to interlope into this community, the all-White Clybourne Park, and he begs them to renege on their agreement to sell.  Jim refuses, and Act I ends with all the characters onstage bracing themselves for an onslaught of permutations.

Sounds serious, doesn’t it?  But in this play, in the hands of this writer, this director, these actors, it’s deadly funny; the first act bristles with a constant underpinning of tragedy, but the dialogue is almost banal in its silliness, and the way in which each of the characters has adapted to his/her pain keeps it from being anything short of brilliant in the way it echoes back the a mirror image of how we humans interact, deal with sorrow, talk about race, bury ourselves in polite discourse  rather than engage honestly with one another.

The second act fast forwards to 2009.  The process of white flight that has turned Clybourne Park into a less valued Black neighborhood is in the process of reversing itself, and three white and two black characters sit in the now dilapidated house — the one that belonged to Jim and Bev and then to the Youngers — to discuss the plans that Lindsey and her husband Steve have to gut the place and build anew.  Their blueprint for the renovation does not meet community standards for preservation of the historical integrity of the neighborhood, and the dialogue that ensues over details degenerates from politically correct euphemisms into a stinging, biting exchange of racial/social/personal insults.  Each of the characters, enslaved by the restrictions of good intentions, sheds his/her mask and lets fly with what is really the point, and the point is that there is no genteel way to negate the fact that everyone there is both right and wrong, self-righteous and selfless, condescending and conciliatory, bigoted and open-minded.  A workman enters abruptly from an excavation project outside and lays at their feet the physical embodiment of Asagai’s hypothesis. 

None of the characters remains onstage to look at what’s been dragged in; they exeunt,  and the audience is left to inhale all the noxious fumes of its existence without the buffer of their alter egos onstage.

It’s a powerfully emotional moment, with none of the manipulative hyperbole you might expect.  It’s clean.  It comes from the soul.  And it sets your heart racing.  

CAST & CREATIVE

Bev/Kathy Christina Kirk
Russ/Dan Frank Wood
Francine/Lena Crystal A. Dickinson
Jim/Tom/Kenneth Brendan Griffin
Albert/Kevin Damon Gupton
Karl/Steve Jeremy Shamos
Betsy/Lindsey Sarah Goldberg

Creative Team

Written by Bruce Norris
Director Pam MacKinnon
Set Designer Dan Ostling
Costume Designer Ilona Somogyi
Lighting Designer Allen Lee Hughes
Sound Designer John Gromada
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Why Munich Memoir is Important http://daptd.com/home/2012/06/05/why-munich-memoir-is-important/ http://daptd.com/home/2012/06/05/why-munich-memoir-is-important/#comments Tue, 05 Jun 2012 16:29:37 +0000 Dapt'd http://daptd.com/home/?p=698 In August, 1972, Dan Alon flew with joyful anticipation to Munich and the fulfillment of a dream he had inherited from his father, that of fencing in an Olympic Games. A mere month later, he was the shell-shocked veteran of a horror no one in their wildest imaginations ever conceived as possible at an Olympics venue, the massacre of eleven athletes, Dan’s teammates and friends.

It took Dan thirty-four years to evoke the strength to tell the story, another six to get it into a book and on the market for popular consumption. Before we wrote the book, our agent pitched it to traditional publishers, and all agreed that it was a great story, a well-executed proposal, but, they averred, it wasn’t important enough to put into a production schedule. One house actually confided that it would be impolitic for them to promote a story that depicted Israelis as the victims of the Palestinians, since it has become fashionable to side with Palestine, to identify the Israelis as terrorists inflicting harm on an indigenous people.

Dan and I decided not to qualify those kinds of reactions with responses. Palestine’s plight is no justification for the brutal killing of eleven athletes at an Olympic Games, and we were convinced of the dire importance of the story. We determined to publish it ourselves.

“We need to tell the story,” insisted Dan. “Before the 2012 Olympics. If we don’t tell it as it happened, it could happen again.” He is right. There were so many factors — mistakes, missteps, miscalculations — that led to the massacre that could have been averted had anyone been present along the chain who could see the big picture and articulate the direction the inconsistencies led. The IOC was obdurately naïve and insensitive in their oversight of the games, the Israeli government and Mossad were uncharacteristically and arrogantly over-confident and reliant on the Germans, and the Germans were insufferably incompetent and concentrated on erasing the SS image from their last German games at Berlin in 1936.

My passion for the book is far more fundamental. We all forget that at any moment we can be called on to walk away from a trauma or a tragedy that will leave us scarred, will rob us of our fundamental desire to continue, will cause us to question our own personal existence and the justification for our own lives. Dan’s story is a testament to human reliance.

Nearly broken Dan Alon’s fragility cost him dearly, including the forfeiture of the sport of fencing, which was the one thing that had always defined him, had always connected him to a supreme mission. It took time, re-focus, patience and love on Dan’s part and on the parts of those within his circle, but he did it. And today he is happy, fulfilled, whole. He is a beacon for the rest of us who need to believe that whatever threatens to knock us over can be sidestepped as we proceed forward.

Dan Alon’s experience is proof that one can triumph over hatred and violence without resorting to either oneself. Evil forces will always seek targets, and some of us will have to face those destroyers, whose vile hearts deserve no victory. Dan Alon’s story proves that there is a way to overcome, a means by which anyone might rise above suffering and triumph peaceably.

Most importantly, as we are learning more graphically every day as our soldiers return from their posts in Afghanistan and Iraq, every one of us is likely to meet someone who, like Dan Alon, has suffered a terrible loss, a terrible ordeal, a terrible shock. It’s all too easy for onlookers to be dismissive. “Time will heal you.” “You will find a way to just move on.” Empathy is difficult in those circumstances, and Dan Alon’s revelations open the pathway to deep understanding.

Dan Alon’s story can help us learn to listen, really listen to the underlying emotions of survival. We can learn to be of practical help, to rejoice with the survivors in being alive and revel in gratitude. And maybe we can shorten a fellow human’s process toward acceptance and self-forgiveness.

“Munich Memoir: Dan Alon’s Untold Story of Survival” is available here.

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Farewell to Great Gossip and a Fondness for Cigars http://daptd.com/home/2012/05/17/farewell-to-great-gossip-and-a-fondness-for-cigars/ http://daptd.com/home/2012/05/17/farewell-to-great-gossip-and-a-fondness-for-cigars/#comments Thu, 17 May 2012 09:58:52 +0000 Carla Stockton http://daptd.com/home/?p=687 David Heymann, who was a very special friend to all of us at DAPTD, was a character out of one of his own books.

When he died last week, he left a storied past, to be told and re-told for years to come in conflicting versions by the many people who deeply loved him. His was a tale full of myth and legend, and David seemed to derive satisfaction from keeping everyone guessing.

Heymann was the prolific author of salacious bestsellers about people in the news, people who, like himself, were enveloped in controversial lives characterized by at least a modicum of mystery and complicated by a large measure of paradox.

His books were popular because they cut right through the extraneous details of his subjects’ lives and went right to the heart of the public’s interest in them. He explored their sordid affairs, extolled their smallest virtues, examined their tortured souls; and he wrote as though he knew them each personally, as though he were a confidant and trusted comrade. Which may or may not have been true. Poor Little Rich Girl: The Life and Legend of Barbara Hutton, his story about the famed Woolworth heiress, was actually recalled because Heymann’s material was deemed questionable. His pronouncement, in Bobby and Jackie, A Love Story, that Bobby and Jackie Kennedy fell into bed right after JFK’s funeral was met with a resounding mixture of “Aha!”s and disbelief, as were his revelations about JFK Jr in American Legacy: the Story of John and Caroline Kennedy.

But people didn’t read David’s books for the scholarship; they read them for the titillation. He knew that, and he loved it.

Heymann began his life as a scholar; his first book was a book about Ezra Pound, a subject that couldn’t be more academic. And even that set off a minefield of protests because David chose to approach his subject from a road far less traveled. The book, entitled Ezra Pound, The Last Rower: A Political Profile, was called “well documented and highly informative” by its devotees but made Pound scholars livid over some of its allegations. Still, it failed to sell well, leading David to make one of his best-known pronouncements: “Never write a book about a poet;” I can see him pausing for effect, squinting at his listener as though searching for just the right words. “If you want to sell books.”

That he chose Ezra Pound as his first subject was telling. Most people don’t realize that David was a poet, that he earned a degree in Creative Writing Poetry at The State University at Stony Book (NY) and that he published a well-received collection of his own poetry entitled The Quiet Hours. The obits in the NY Times, the LA Times and elsewhere allude to Heymann’s checkered background. Did he try to commit suicide and then run away to Israel? When he was conscripted into the Israeli army did he sidestep by working for Mosad? Did he write in the nude? Most of us who knew him will tell you that everything you’ve heard is true. And false. That was David Heymann. He was a complex man, whose captivating personality was layered in dichotomies.

But there are a few universal truths about C. David Heymann, irrefutable and immutable now that he is gone. He was a gentle, tortured soul. He worried furiously over whether he had hurt others, and when he knew he had, he worried even more furiously over how to make amends. He loved deeply and intensely, but he was a writer, and his need to be more expressive than by merely saying words could be misconstrued for an inability to feel emotions at all. He would rant and rave and carry on about things that seemed minute in relation to the cosmos, but when there was something really important, he was often frighteningly quiet. He was a true friend in more ways than one, and he fretted over the well-being of those he cared for; but if he felt betrayed, he could cut a person off without the slightest remorse.

The most salient feature of David’s undeniable kindness was his generosity. He was always willing — even eager — to share his expertise, his knowledge, his insight, even his publishers and agent (I’m sure to his agent’s chagrin) with those he felt needed a break. He needed a lot of love, craved nurturing, and as a result, he reached out and gave of himself in ways that few men who have achieved his level of success ever do.

A loneliness descends as we realize that from now on we will crave the gentleness of his ever-present concern, that we shall henceforward be deprived of the smell of his cigars, the rasp of his laughter, the hoarseness of his complaints, and the explosion of his ever-present anger over the oddly insignificant.

We shall miss C. David Heymann and can only hope that wherever he is he is still telling his stories. In all their myriad versions.

Internationally renowned, Pulitzer-nominated C. David Heymann has authored a book of poetry and a number of best-selling works about famous Americans, including Poor Little Rich Girl: The Life and Legend of Barbara Hutton, A Woman Named Jackie: an Intimate Biography of Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis, and Liz: An Intimate Biography of Elizabeth Taylor, each of which has been adapted into an award-winning miniseries.  RFK: A Candid Biography of Robert F. Kennedy, became a Golden Globe nominated television event, and The Georgetown Ladies’ Social Club will be the next of his books to be turned into a series for the small screen. Heymann lives with his wife on Manhattan’s Upper West Side.

 

Books by C. David Heymann

The Quiet Hours (poetry)

Exra Pound: The Last Rower

American Aristocracy: The Lives of James Russell, Amy and Robert Lowell

Poor Little Rich Girl: The Life and Legend of Barbara Hutton

A Woman Named Jackie: An Intimate Biography of Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis

Liz: An Intimate Biography of Elizabeth Taylor

RFK: A Candid Biography of Robert F. Kennedy

Bobby and Jackie, A Love Story

American Legacy: The Story of John and Caroline Kennedy

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Reaching Beyond Chickdom http://daptd.com/home/2012/05/14/reaching-beyond-chickdom/ http://daptd.com/home/2012/05/14/reaching-beyond-chickdom/#comments Mon, 14 May 2012 15:49:52 +0000 Carla Stockton http://daptd.com/home/?p=665 Check out the annals of adapted novels, and seek out the women’s work that has made it to film.  Most of it — please don’t mistake the word most for the word all — is pretty superficial stuff, easily translated into slick, pabulum-y entertainments that require little intellectual engagement on the part of the audience.  It’s not an accident that females writers’ work has been so easily reduced.  There have been precious few female authors who have modeled great writing, and few of those have held themselves to any rigors of cerebral analysis because in order to be heard, they have lived up to expectations.

Like the proverbial chick flicks their books become, women’s writing has too often been about sex and fashion, about willing subservience to the will of men, about subjects with little depth. Too often, women’s books are written without investigative reason, failing to pierce the surface of appearance.  As though women are afraid to plumb the layers of meaning in the human comedy, their books glide over issues and content themselves with hollow characters built on stereotypes.

Some of the women who have achieved “stardom” as writers have had moments of brilliance, but rare is the woman with the fearlessness of a Russell Banks or Philip Roth or William Faulkner; they are not likely to flex intellectual musculature for any length of time, fearing that their readers might be repelled.  Recently, I have found that superstars Alice Walker, Erica Jong, Faye Kellerman and Edwidge Danticat have achieved moments of true, seering brilliance, but each of them has stopped short of digging even deeper — though, admittedly, they are all still writing, talent doesn’t die, and Danticat is impossibly young .  There is one writer who never disappoints me, however, even when I don’t particularly like a book she has written: Toni Morrison.

Toni Morrison (AP)

Margaret Garner, the woman whose life and photograph inspired Toni Morrison to write Beloved

Morrison is an academic, yet her work is never inaccessible.  Nor does it seek the lowest common denominator.  She has resisted film adaptations, knowing that films can degrade the integrity of the original work; when Beloved became an Oprah Winfrey vehicle that failed, she blamed the medium itself.  In fact, speaking with Boris Kachka in New York Magazine, Morrison admitted ambivalence toward the very idea of Oprah’s involvement with the book.  “She told friend she didn’t want Beloved to be a film,” reports Kachka.

 I admit it.  Morrison is in many ways a god in my mind.  She achieves what I can only dream of as a writer, the creation of books that require that her reader work a bit in order to be fed and of characters who speak with distinctive, unforgettable voices.  She is a narrator you want to believe even when you know she’s fabricating worlds, seeing things no one can see; she can lead because she is authentic.

Morrison, in NY Magazine, 7 May 2012

And because I love her work, I want to emulate it in my writing, though I doubt I’ll ever get near her level of execution.  I also want to believe it is adaptable to the screen, that film need not degrade great work.  Good film has, on occasion, elevated the source material (Shawshank Redemption) or at least created a new work inspired by the original that finds its own place in the pantheon of creation(One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest).  It’s not yet happened with works as complex as Morrison’s, but it has to be possible.  The possibilities, especially now with the money being invested in PBS and Premium Cable productions, are endless; a high-quality, impeccable series could emanate from Morrison’s work, a series even she might get excited over.

An adaptation devoutly to be wished.  Especially if ‘t were written, produced and directed by women.

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Fine Art http://daptd.com/home/2012/05/05/fine-art-2/ http://daptd.com/home/2012/05/05/fine-art-2/#comments Sat, 05 May 2012 14:06:38 +0000 Carla Stockton http://daptd.com/home/?p=625

Where mad science and artistic technology converge: Daniel Fine dyes fabric for handheld projection screens for ASU's House of Spirits

Daniel Scott Fine has always been a rebel. A consummate theater person, no one has a better sense of staging, better feel for design, better awareness of light; yet he railed against the theater, proclaimed it static, powerless. He forever demanded that the theater stretch its limits, that it encompass a wider range of realities and include a broader perspective on what might or might not be real than the theater he was seeing. And today he has found a haven where he and others of like mind will develop just such theater, theater that uses technology to change its world.

Todd Baker, Rayne Stockton and George in Uptonanda, by Daniel Fine

Keith David and Sandy Duncan, in G-Spots?, by Daniel Fine

Fine has had a varied career since he founded his first theater company at age 17, and he has directed productions for professional and educational theater companies; he has also produced and directed a number of film projects, including G-Spots?, a narrative short film that won a number of festival prizes in 2000, and Uptonanda, an award-winning Mockumentary in 2004. Even before it was commonplace to see multimedia as part of theatrical productions, Daniel was employing those he could access.

In 1998, he produced and directed a dance and puppetry-infused production of King Gordogan, an obscure but brilliant surrealist play by Croatian playwright Radovan Ivsic, for which he commissioned an original soundtrack that he mixed and used to motivate his lighting design.

King Gordogan, by Radovan Ivsic, directed by Daniel Fine, Educational Center for the Arts, New Haven, CT

The following year he designed a scheme for projecting digital images to create the eerier elements of the set for a production of Sweeney Todd. Over the ten years I have known him, he has always stretched his talents to seek ways to blur the lines of theatre, film, video, performance art, and movement to tell profound stories.

Now he’s engaged in a full-on immersion into his passion, exploring ways to eradicate the distinctions that divide the media, finding answers that both excite and exhaust him. He is in, of all places, Arizona.

Gear Set-Up for Survivor's Way

Sounds counterintuitive, doesn’t it?  But Arizona State University, in the center of that bastion of redneck hostility, has a program designed with the effetely intellectual likes of Daniel Scott Fine.  ASU’s School of Theatre and Film, in collaboration with the Arts, Media and Engineering (AME) program., is pioneering digital culture and integrating it into productions in ever new and ground-breaking ways, and they are conferring Master’s and Ph.D. degrees on people like Daniel so that they can not only do more but teach as well.

In February, he designed and created the digital projections for a play called Unsung Heroes/Untold Stories at Arizona State University, a centennial celebration of Arizona’s statehood, commissioned for the Centenniel Project directed by Pamela Sterling and performed by ASU Drama department students. One vignette, about artist Borislav Bogdanovich, who moved to Arizona in the mid-1960′s, was told amid a collage of Bogdanovich’s fabulously colorful paintings, and the story almost told itself.

Digital projection of Borislav Bogdanovich's work in Unsung Heroes/Untold Stories at ASU

As the Media and Co-Technical Designer on Alex Oliszewski’s The Survivor’s Way, Daniel not only collaborated to bring over 116 lighting instruments, endless cables and adapters, 8 performer/operators including a clown, 7 cameras and a kinect into the act; he was back onstage performing with an eight foot table of gear loaded with myriad digital and analog video/projection tools.

Daniel Fine in First Processing sketch capturing basic RGB and Depth Images from XBOX 360 KINECT.

In the picture he posted on Facebook, Daniel looks like a satisfied kid in a souped up sandbox. No wonder! He’s making Theater that paves new byways, a multi-media extravaganza for the future.

An image from Survivor's Way, by Alex Oliszewski

An Image from Survivor's Way, by Alex Oliszewski

Life as a grad student has been both challenging and draining, providing a wide variety of opportunities for Daniel Fine to explore and demonstrate his vast store of talent.  In addition to his teaching assistant duties, he has been the Props Master for six productions in the theater, has served as te Media Design/Operations Assistant for an Emerge Interactive Media Festival held in March, designed media, programmed the Isadora and operated the camera for Survivor’s Way, and he is already preparing to design media for Bocon and to Assist Jacob Pinholster on POV in Fall, 2012. Additionally, he will be designing media and co-creating an original one-woman show called SparrowSong to be presented in Spring, 2013.

Fine lives with his wife the talented photographer, artist and therapist Dana Keeton in Tempe, AZ.

Daniel Scott Fine and Dana Keeton

 

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