Covid Epicenter

I did come back to Los Angeles. Then my roommate situation fell through, so I moved into a studio and adopted a dog. Her name is Cookie, and she’s a primary reason I am staying (relatively) sane during this pandemic. I never used to understand dog people and now I’ve become one, so that’s a change.

“It’s soft, it’s empty, and it’s about my size — must be for me!” – Cookie

I got covid in November. I was in bed for five weeks but still able to prepare basic meals for myself and go on at least a short walk with Cookie every day. My main symptom was exhaustion. It sucked but it’s a great relief to not have to worry about catching it for awhile, especially knowing that people can get it even when they’re being careful (the only place I ever went was the grocery store, and always masked). It’s weird being at the epicenter but not really feeling it — a Minneapolis friend asked what it’s like to be in LA right now and I said well, if you’re temporarily immune and you only leave your apartment to walk your dog, it’s like being anywhere else.

I’m taking an online television structure class with Kevin Townsley at Script Anatomy and it’s terrific. It took some effort for me to admit to myself that, despite years as a professional writer, I’m a beginner when it comes to TV structure, and it’s going to take some time before I really know what I’m doing, and that’s okay. I’ll get there.

And of course, like many people, I have less energy than I did before the world shut down, and before the former President of the United States started laying the groundwork for an attempted coup. It’s hard to believe I will ever be able to consistently work more than 2-3 hours a day, AND I know I did it before, and I’m hopeful that when I can experience human community in the physical world again, I’ll have a new appreciation of how valuable these relationships are, and have more resilience against the sorts of small grievances that used to feel like the end of the world.

I’m also on Twitter now (@katherineglover). I’ve had the account forever but I only started using it in July. I don’t ever want to be one of those people who go to parties and still can’t stop checking their phone, but at this particular moment of history that isn’t a concern.

I hope everyone’s staying as safe and sane as possible.

George Floyd and Journalism Fails

I wrote my first essay on Medium last month analyzing how most print coverage of the George Floyd protests violated basic rules of journalism.

I’ve been in Minneapolis since March. After two months in LA I came back to get the rest of my things (as planned) and then, well… I decided to stick around for a bit. I’m staying with a friend. Most of my stuff is in LA and I may drive back again in August, but 2020 is not the best year for making plans, so who knows.

Moving to Los Angeles

In less than two weeks, I start driving to my new apartment in LA.

Last May I was watching an episode of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend for the third time (the one with the song “Research Me Obsessively”) and I had a thought that I have had many, many, many times before: “Man I would LOVE to write for a show like this. That would be a dream job — but I’d have to live in LA, and I could never could do that because [long list of reasons].”

This time, however, I stopped myself and wondered, wait a minute, are those real reasons? Or are those just excuses because I’m afraid of failure?

Within a month the decision was made. There was nothing holding me in Minneapolis; my former partner moved out last December, and my apartment is still a minefield of memories. It’s a good time for a change.

I love how TV has evolved as a medium, I love all the amazing shows that are coming out faster than I can keep up with them, and I love the idea of working collaboratively.

My desire to collaborate is new; I blame Ben Krywosz and the Nautilus Music-Theater studio, which I participated in a couple of years ago. The workshop is supposedly designed to teach you about music theater and artistic collaboration — and it does — but it also secretly teaches you be a better human being. It gives you skills to better connect with people in all contexts.

The workshop changed my view of the collaborative process — at its best, collaboration is not about compromise, but about multiple visions colliding and clashing until a new vision emerges — something beyond what any individual in the group could have ever come up with on their own. I want to be a part of that, in any way I can.

I also hear rumors that TV writers get paid a living wage.

I have no idea what my life is going to look like over the next couple of years, but I’m excited to find out.

What I’ve Been Working On

I’ve been fortunate enough to have back-to-back projects since July, which has been exhausting but also wonderful. I often have a hard time motivating myself without deadlines, so the result has been constant writing, which is, after all, my favorite thing. (Even when I hate it.)

#1: Dead Zones – an episode of the upcoming anthology podcast Down By the Lake, produced by Alayna Jacqueline, who is a fellow member of the Playwright Cabal. A diverse group of algae must overcome their differences and learn to work together in order to achieve a common goal: killing a human. The series is scheduled to drop in 2020.

#2: The Box (or Untitled Katherines Project) – a 20-minute musical by myself and composer Katherine Bergman, commissioned by Nautilus Music Theater for performers Andrea Leap and Joel Liestman. It will appear as part of Nautilus’ “Rough Cuts” series some time in 2020, with further development TBD.

#3: Faster – in a future where bionic athletes dominate elite sports, two natural runners grapple with what it means to be a winner, to be human, and to be your best. Phase one was a staged reading on December 10 as part of New Leaf, a new play reading series co-produced by The Playwright Cabal, Sophie Peyton, and Arts’ Nest, supported by a grant from the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council.

Next Up: A ten-minute play for Girl Shorts, produced in March 2020 by Theatre Unbound.

The Joe Hill Connection

I got an email from the Joe Hill fan club earlier this year, asking about a story I wrote in college. The story won a contest, the A. E. Coppard Prize for Long Fiction. Joe Hill was the judge. He was not yet an established writer, much less a bestselling one; his first book wouldn’t come out for several years.

The head of the fan club asked for a copy of the original chapbook with Joe Hill’s introduction, and he also wanted to know if I’d be willing to share the story on the website he runs, The Joe Hill Collection. Apparently I’m peripherally famous.

Click on image for PDF of the story

I only have two personal copies left of the chapbook, but I’ve created a PDF version of the text. The story was originally published as “Raped Diaries”; I later re-titled it “The Diary Thief.”

Joe Hill’s introduction in the chapbook said, “Katherine Glover writes with a care and cool precision that reminds me of Ruth Rendell, and with a bleak, deadpan sense of humor that brings to mind the comic vision of Steven Wright. She is a writer of unmistakable talent, and Raped Diaries is as chilling a debut as you are likely to read anywhere.”

April was Unofficial Katherine Glover Month

I had three shows up in April:

Sex, War, and Syphilis, produced by Raw Sugar and Theatre Unbound as part of the WTF Comedy Festival, April 6-15 at the Crane Studio.

A Pornography Play, part of the Playwright Cabal‘s Fresh Pages New Play Reading Series on Wednesday, April 25 at White Page Gallery.

The Southern Strategy, co-edited with John Stiles, presented by American Civil Forum, April 8 and 29 at Bryant-Lake Bowl.

Up next:

Ronald Reagan: Time Traveler will be part of the Last Frontier Theatre Conference in Alaska, June 10-16.

Highlights of 2017

Things I did in 2017:

– I wrote and produced Ronald Reagan: Time Traveler, which debuted at the Minnesota Fringe Festival in August, 2017.

Raw Sugar, in partnership with Theatre Unbound, commissioned me to write a new comedy for WTF: the Women/Trans/Femme Playwriting Workshop. The play, “Sex, War, and Syphilis,” deals with U.S. government efforts during World War I to protect soldiers by policing young women’s sexuality. It will be produced, along with two other one acts, at the Crane Theater in April, 2018.

– I co-produced American Civic Forum‘s A Great and Happy People series, and put together the May show on immigration.

– I became a founding member of The Playwright Cabal, “an ambitious group of female-identified professional playwrights who promote the development of new scripted plays in the Twin Cities and one another’s success.” I am also in the process of designing our website.

– I was selected for Nautilus Music-Theater’s 2017 Composer-Librettist Studio — an intensive workshop during which five playwrights and five composers wrote songs for five performers during a two-week period. It was amazing, and radically changed my understanding of what musicals can be.

– I started writing a historical musical about the emotional battles over a Minneapolis antipornography ordinance that divided the feminist movement in the early 1980’s.

Things I failed to do in 2017:

– Update my website.

Press for Celebrity Exception at MN Fringe

We got great reviews all around, with praise for the actors’ comic timing, for director Callie Meiners, and for the script. Some samples:

“The biggest winner, though, is Katherine Glover’s boisterous and nuanced script, which dissects celebrity from multiple angles without missing a comic beat. The literal star-fucking at the heart of the play is certainly not without consequences, but the fallout never lands exactly where – or on whom – we’re trained to expect.” -Ira Brooker, Minnesota Playlist

“Can the setup sustain 42 minutes more? The answer, I’m happy to report, is absolutely yes, with some big belly laughs and a dash of surprisingly intense erotic heat.” -Jay Gabler, City Pages

“More than just your run-of-the-mill wacky romantic comedy.” – Matthew Everett

Yes, Sean Neely was Censored

“But we don’t have all the facts yet.” In nearly every conversation I had during Fringe about the Sean Neely incident, this was the inevitable conclusion. We often segued into debates about censorship in a more general or hypothetical sense, but as to whether Sean Neely’s eviction from the 2016 Minnesota Fringe qualified as censorship, most of us were withholding judgment “until the Fringe files its brief and we have both sides of the story.”

I was on board with this until I read the actual court documents.

It turns out, the Fringe has responded! Neely filed his initial complaint against the Fringe on March 16, 2016, and the Fringe filed its answer on April 19. The Fringe has not yet responded to a later Motion for Judgment, but that’s a separate step of the process; the answer is generally where the defendant lays out its defense and tells its side of the story. And the Fringe’s answer makes it abundantly clear that the festival is defending its right to censor.

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