Shualee Cook – Playwright, Composer, Lyricist

Latest News

July 9th, 2020

Started the week by finally finishing the first draft of my new play,¬†Choleramusik, and turning it in to the theatre that commissioned it. This script has somehow managed to be the most wildly ambitious, shoot-for-the-moon thing I’ve written insofar as practical production considerations are concerned while also being the shortest full length play that I’ve ever managed. By a LOT.¬† So that’s an unexpected combo. But perhaps that makes sense, as it’s a play about 19th century composer Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel’s most ambitious, largest scale work – that still managed to fit into a compact thirty minutes. It’s very possible that listening to her beautiful cantata over and over, I ended up borrowing form as well as content. Anyhow, it’s 90 minutes, but still big and strange and feels like Checkhov and Virginia Woolf got in a terrible three vehicle pileup with a symphony orchestra touring bus, and I have no idea if it works, but I’m quite eager to find out.

And today marked my first ever virtual development process, working with the fine folks at Parity Productions in New York via the interwebs. Definitely a new experience, but felt surprisingly natural for the most part. I found myself acclimating rather easily to the actual rehearsal parts. The technology can deliver that fairly well. What it can’t quite replicate is the ten minute break, the myriad small, easy interactions that somehow thrive within what seem to be such rigid confines. None of the lovely conversations that brew up while waiting for the coffee maker to do its thing, or while standing together talking as we wait to use the single tiny bathroom in the rehearsal space one by one. Yes, they’re strange things to feel romantically nostalgic about, but I do anyway. Nevertheless, this cast is amazing, and I’m already getting good work done, and it’s lovely to see some familiar faces again, even if it’s through a digital window.

 

86271706_10158018308153024_1408229405951524864_oJune 15th, 2020

Wow. Just realized I hadn’t updated the latest news section of this site in right about six months! Which makes a little more sense when you factor in the specific six months it’s been … ’cause yeah. Quite the ride. In any case, here’s the quick catch-up. Been working on a brand new play that I should be finishing in the next few days. Can’t officially talk about it yet, but there are some exciting possibilities brewing around it that I’ll hopefully be able to share shortly. Also, looking at a potential virtual reading of one of my latest works sometime next month. More details to come. So really, most of my latest news is more like “latest hints of things that will be news later.”¬† EXCEPT FOR:

This huge news that I somehow completely spaced on posting for six months. I was awarded an Artist Fellowship from the Regional Arts Council at the beginning of the year, along with nine other incredible artists (including my wonderful novelist friend Kea Wilson – yay!). It is a tremendous honor, and pretty much solely responsible for the fact that I’ve been able to make ends meet and still get any writing done at all during this pandemic. So thank you, RAC. This fellowship has been a literal life saver for me. Here’s some more details and info on my amazing cohort:

2020 Artist Fellowship Page

 

December 17th, 2019
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An Invitation Out is open and running at Quantum Dragon Theatre in San Francisco! I just saw it over the weekend, and it’s a smart, incredibly energetic production with a lovely cast! If you’re in the area any time between now and December 29th, come check it out! You can get tickets here:
An Invitation Out Tickets

November 6th, 2019

New poster by Marisa Darabi for Quantum Dragon’s production of An Invitation Out in San Francisco! Can’t wait for this one!

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October 26th, 2019

I’ve had to keep this under wraps for a while now, but it’s officially announced so I can finally share that I’m a recipient of the third annual Parity Commission this year, alongside incredible playwriting badass Gina Femia! The awards ceremony was last week, followed by a table read of my winning play, Cercle Hermaphroditos, and I’m already so grateful to have met so many wonderful actors and playwrights! Very excited to continue this collaboration with a company doing such vital work! Here’s a brief article from American Theatre magazine about the commission:

American Theatre Magazine article

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SEPTEMBER 14th, 2019

So I’m super late in finding this, but here’s a cool video review of Tesseract Theatre’s workshop production of Earworm back in May. Got some great footage from the show, so check it out!