Welcome

Welcome
John William Tuohy lives in Washington DC

Laws I'd like to see happen

Body Cameras
The state and federal governments need to regulate body cameras on cops. We need a uniform national law that requires every police department in America to issue body cameras and regulate when they are turned on and off and that states that cops must inform people they are recording when entering their home. Traffic ticket fines would pay for the equipment.

Nursing Home Cameras:
We should make it possible for families to be able to watch over their loved ones living in nursing homes by mandating cameras be allowed inside rooms to monitor and have a record of care received.


DUI Laws:
Have a national mandate that says that a person with a four time DUI conviction will have to blow into a breathalyzer to start their car for as long as they drive. However we should also allow offenders to apply for a limited permit if they prove they've changed.

Underage Drinking:
Fix the law so that an underage drinker who calls 911 for a friend during an emergency won't face criminal charges. It would promote safety and I think it would be better overall in ensuring people don't die in situations like that.

Pill Bottle Caps:

The nation is in the grip of an opioid overdose epidemic. If a doctor prescribes a patient with opioid medication, we should require that a new type of locking type of be placed on the bottle and have a numerical locking device with a combination.

Animals and Pets:
If a person is convicted of cruelty towards animals while a child is present they should face a very stiff fine of at least $500 and 1000 hours of community service.

Schools:
All schools, public and private, must have a concussion committee to help student athletes with concussions. The team will be responsible for concussion education and recovery plans. It should be uniform across the United States.
The “zero tolerance” policy for bad behavior in schools doesn’t always make sense. You don’t punish a kid for life for making a childish decision. The school administrator’s should be required to exhaust every effort before taking a student out of school.

Rape

Eliminates the statute of limitations for rape cases that covers only new offenses and isn’t applied retroactively. Think Bill Cosby on this one.


and other stuff.....


Mail-in ballots should be able to be dropped offed or mailed to any elections office in the state, not just in the area where the ballot was issued.

We need to severely, drastically limit law enforcement’s ability to seize private property under the policy of asset forfeiture so that only a conviction will be required to hold the property. The cops have abused this law way way way behind its intent.  

Enough is enough. Motorists should not be allowed to hold a wireless telephone or “electronic wireless communication device” while driving. Instead, the device must be mounted in a place “that does not obstruct the driver’s clear view of the road and does not interfere with the deployment of an airbag.”

Children younger than 2 years old must be required to ride in a rear-facing child passenger-safety seat. This is only common sense but still…..

All single-toilet restrooms in businesses and public buildings must be gender-neutral. Otherwise gender-neutral toilets are an idiotic idea that will end up costing taxpayers billions in law suits.

Tax the hell out of cigarettes purchased.



My fellow writers, please read this

Christmas a reminder of imprisoned Chinese Nobel laureate

Protesters demand Liu Xiaobo's release even as Norway makes up with Beijing
KENJI KAWASE, Nikkei deputy editor

Albert Ho Chun-yan, chairman of the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movement in China, third from right, and Lee Cheuk-yan, a longtime activist on human rights in China, second from left, protested in Hong Kong on behalf of Liu Xiaobo and other dissidents at the representative office of Beijing on Sunday. (Photo by Kenji Kawase)
HONG KONG -- Christmas is a time of joy for many, even in predominantly non-Christian regions in Asia as religious connotations have been diluted over the years. Even in mainland China under Communist Party control, Christmas is about shopping, dining, partying and gathering with family and friends.
But seven years ago today, Beijing Municipal No. 1 Intermediate People's Court handed down a sentence of 11 years imprisonment and two additional years of political rights deprivation to activist Liu Xiaobo for "inciting subversion of state power."
Liu was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize the following year, but his prize went uncollected in Norway, as he was locked up behind bars and his wife Liu Xia was put under house arrest. This was the first time since German journalist Carl von Ossietzky was blocked by the Nazi regime in 1936 from going to the Nobel ceremony in Oslo that a winner had gone unrepresented.
The awarding of the prize infuriated the Chinese, resulting in a virtual cut off of official diplomatic relations with Norway. There was a clear decline in exports of salmon, a major product of the Scandinavian country, to mainland China. According to Norwegian data, exports of whole salmon fell from over 1 million kilograms in December 2010 to around 315,000 kg in January 2011 and 75,000 kg in February.
On this Christmas Sunday in Hong Kong, local activists and supporters of Liu Xiaobo marched to the official representative office of the Beijing government to protest his continued detention. Along with the release of the Nobel Peace laureate, demonstrators demanded an immediate end to the house arrest of his wife and that of the persecution of other dissidents, such as rights lawyer Jiang Tianyong, former Wukan village chief Lin Zulian, Beijing-based activist Hu Shigen and others detained just for speaking up.
Outside the main gate of the representative office, the protesters posted portraits of dissidents and a statement demanding the abolition of the laws that enable the Chinese authorities to lock these dissidents up. However, the office was closed, tightly guarded by police and no one came out to respond to the protesters.
Albert Ho Chun-yan, chairman of the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movement in China, told reporters after the demonstration that even though China looks powerful on the surface, "It appears to be so paranoid and so frightened in hearing dissenting voices."
Locking up more and more non-violent people asking for the recognition of basic rights indicates the "inside is weak and maybe quite fragile," he said.
Liu Xiaobo, a literary critic, poet, and a university lecturer, was not an armed terrorist. He was convicted of masterminding and drafting a political manifesto, called Charter 08 in 2008. The document, modeled after Charter 77 which was issued in 1977 in communist-ruled Czechoslovakia by dissidents including playwright and later president Vaclav Havel, called for the rule of law, respect for human rights, and an end to one-party rule in China on the 60th anniversary of the promulgation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
What Liu did was express his views peacefully, which is supposed to be allowed under the Chinese constitution. Article 35 clearly stipulates that citizens "enjoy freedom of speech, of the press, of assembly, of association, of procession and of demonstration," while Article 41 spells out that citizens "have the right to criticize and make suggestions to any state organ or functionary." As the Norwegian Nobel Committee wrote in the statement awarding him the prize, Liu was "sentenced for the crime of speaking.
However, the seventh anniversary of this event arrived this month just a few days after a surprise rapprochement between Norway and China. During an unannounced visit by Norwegian Foreign Minister Borge Brende to Beijing, the two governments on Dec. 19 announced a normalization of bilateral relations which has been strained since the committee in Oslo conferred the prize to Liu. Even though the committee is independent from the Norwegian government, China had cut off official ties anyway.
The two government's joint statement acknowledged the deterioration in the bilateral relationship had been "due to the Nobel Peace Prize award and events connected to the prize." It added, "The Norwegian side is fully conscious of the position and concerns of the Chinese side and has worked actively to bring the bilateral relations back to the right track."
The Norwegian part of the statement also conceded that Oslo "fully respects China's development path and social system" and highly commended its "historic and unparalleled development that has taken place." While Norway went further to please Beijing by reiterating "its commitment to the one-China policy," there was no mention about the promotion of human rights and democratic principles which is supposed to be "at the heart of Norwegian foreign policy" according to the government's official website. After the meeting with Brende in Beijing, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said that the Norwegian side went through "profound self-examination on the cause of ruining mutual trust," according to his ministry's official website.
Not only did Brende refrain from talking about human rights and democratic principles in Beijing. His boss, Prime Minister Erna Solberg, also did not touch upon these issues during her presentation about the rapprochement to the Storting, or parliament, on Dec. 19.
She underlined that it was a "major priority for my government" to normalize relations with Beijing, and now that that has been done, the government would focus on opening up "great opportunities for Norwegian industry." The prime minister vowed to "immediately resume work on a bilateral free trade agreement."
"This is disappointing," said Lee Cheuk-yan, a long-time Hong Kong human rights activist, about Norway's move.
"Other countries did not speak up for Norway and finally what happened was Norway, in a way, disappointedly surrendered to the bully of China." Talking to the Nikkei Asian Review on Sunday, Lee lamented that Norway's move "is a very bad signal to other countries which uphold human rights, because whoever is speaking out for human rights will be.. punished by China."
Although this is seen as another headwind for the human rights movement in China, Frances Eve, Hong Kong-based researcher for the Network of Chinese Human Rights Defenders, said that "no one should ever apologize for honoring Liu Xiaobo's peaceful struggle for fundamental human rights in China."
She told the NAR that "on the seventh anniversary of the show trial that sent him to prison, it's important for the international community to publicly challenge China over human rights abuses." She further called on governments to stick to their claims about the principles of human rights protection, that "their silence and acquiescence to Xi Jinping's crackdown on civil society only emboldens the Chinese leadership to continue its devastating policies."



I grew up in Connecticut Foster Care, this is horrible.

Office of the Child’s Advocate investigating 3 deaths of foster kids in 1 month


HARTFORD — Several children who were in foster care died in Connecticut in the last month, leading to some serious questions.
The Office of the Child’s Advocate is investigating why and how three children in the care of the state died.
“These deaths are enormous tragedies,” said Faith vos Winkle, of the Office of the Child’s Advocate. “When the state steps in to take on the parent role, we need to make sure we’re doing it as effectively as we can, keeping kids as safe as we can.”
The children include Michael Shore, 14, who was killed while walking on Route 8 in Naugatuck; Michael Citron, 13 months, who was found unresponsive in a Bridgeport home; and Noah McCoy, 6, who was ejected from a pickup truck on Christmas morning after it hit black ice.
Police say that Shore had some type of emotional interaction that caused him to get out of a car and try to cross Route 8 in Naugatuck on December 22. He was hit by a northbound car, and then thrown into the southbound lane and hit by another car.
“We’re in the early stages of reviewing the cases,” said vos Winkle. “When we look at a case like Michael’s, we want to know was he getting the support and services he needed? Did he have the right foster care match, considering his family history? Was the boy getting everything he needed to stay regulated and supported — everything necessary to his well-being, since arriving in state care?”
According to the OCA, Shore’s father, Michael Shore Sr., of Plainville, was arrested in May 2016 on more than 100 counts of sexually assaulting two girls under the age of 18 over a six-year period. He has pleaded guilty to those charges and will be in court next on January 20.
“Because these were children in foster care, who died in an untimely way, they will look into the full circumstances that led up to their deaths,” vos Winkle said.
According to police and the OCA, Noah McCoy, 6, died on Christmas morning in a crash on I-91 north in North Haven. He was in a pickup truck with two other kids and a 23-year-old woman, who was driving. However, McCoy was the only one not wearing a seatbelt, so when the truck hit black ice and flipped over several times he was ejected. He died on Wednesday from the injuries he sustained.
No information was provided on what caused Michael Critron’s death in a Bridgeport home, and the medical examiner is apparently still investigating.
The OCA says all three cases were submitted to the Child Fatality Review Board to be looked at.

“The child fatality review process rests within [our office], so all untimely and unexpected deaths of children are reported to us and the medical examiner,” vos Winkle added.


Report: Foster care has unhappy ending for many
By Linda Conner Lambeck

Ronaele Williams was 16 when she entered the state’s foster care system.
She wasn’t thinking about anything but getting through high school as she bounced from placement to placement, four in all.
“It was really scary, because I didn’t know what I didn’t know,” said Williams, who ended up being one of the lucky ones.
Now 20, she’s living with a friend and her family in New Haven and making her way through college.
Most foster children aren’t as lucky, and continue to need significant support once they turn 18 years old and leave the system, a report released Thursday by Connecticut Voices for Children says.
In 2016, 79 percent of those who aged out of foster care had a high school diploma, compared to 90 percent of all Connecticut adults.
Only 42 percent leave care with a job, and half of those are working just part time.
On average, only 15 percent will go on to get a vocational certificate or licensure.
More than 13 percent leave care pregnant or parenting at least one child.
Follow-up with youth who age out found at least 29 percent had been incarcerated between the ages of 19 and 21.
Source: Connecticut Voices For Children.
At least half of the aged-out youth rely on public assistance, one in five leaves the foster care system without a high school diploma and only 11 percent go on to earn an associate or bachelor’s degree.
“The state needs to do more to prepare them to be self-sufficient,” said Nicole Updegrove, an associate policy fellow at Connecticut Voices for Children, and one of the study’s authors.
The report suggests that though some progress has been made in recent years, it is not enough. The state Department of Children and Families, Updegrove said, now manages to keep more children with their families or relatives. More, however, needs to be done when such arrangements can’t be made, the study says.
Cut loose at 18 or 21
Over the past five years, 1,374 youths have aged out of the state’s foster care system. For many, the cut-off age for receiving services is 18. Those who are still in school, or who meet specific guidelines can stay to age 21. Most who age out leave without a job. By age 21, only 16 percent are working full-time.
This year, 565 foster care recipients are enrolled in some post-secondary program.
DCF Commissioner Joette Katz, who participated in a youth forum Thursday at the State Capitol, said the success of foster children once they leave the system is perhaps the most important measure of how well the agency is serving youth.
“Nationally, we know that the outcomes for children who leave foster care are not good,” Katz said. “(There is) lower educational achievement, greater poverty and homelessness, less success in employment, and greater involvement in adult mental health and criminal justice systems. Unfortunately, Connecticut foster care faces these challenges as well.”
Katz said the state needs to build on existing strengths.
“We need to continue to work to engage youth, to listen to them, and to remove barriers to their success,” she said.
Also during the public forum, several lawmakers said they are focused on making the system better.

Strengthening protections
State Sen. Dante Bartolomeo, D-Meriden, said a law passed in the last session could begin to address some concerns.
“It has three components that will be effective as of Jan. 1,” Bartolomeo said.
The law gives children age 12 and older a stronger voice during hearings, requires youth advisory councils at certain child care facilities, and will survey foster children exiting the system to better recruit, train and retain high-quality foster parents.
Williams, who knows the foster care system from the inside, said there needs to be a safety net for young people like her.
“I constantly felt I was bothering people, taking up their time when I had questions,” she said. “You feel like a burden sometimes when you don’t want to be.”
Williams, who is in the process of transferring from Gateway Community College to the University of Connecticut to study human development, said foster youth need more help to prepare for their future and to maintain connections.
She also wants access to someone who can answer questions, even for those who have officially exited the system. “so we don’t freak out,” she said. “There may be something we forgot to ask.”
The Voices report recommends that DCF adopt innovative policies in case planning, and better educate youth about post-secondary policies and support once they leave the system. The group recommends a guaranteed 90-day transition period, homelessness prevention and better data collection so those aging out don’t “face an abrupt cliff once they become legal adults.”

Steve McQueen shoes and a new hat...what else do you really need in life?


(I just woke up)

I love Roy Roger's Burgers


I love Roy Rogers. We have near my home in a town called Ranson West Virginia. The food is fresh and hot, the staff always seems happy and the the dinning area is always clean. Our Roy's has a TV area with a fake fire place but its cozy and relaxing. 



Photo's I've taken: Northern Maine



Frankie's in Waterbury


When I was a teen in Waterbury (Connecticut) Frankie's Hot Dogs, started by a man named Frank Caiazzo, was the best place in town to eat and hang out. All these decades later, Frankie's is still fantastic.   



The only known photo in existence of American legend John Grizzly Adams, 1856

That's Grizzly Adams on the right


In 1855, Adams suffered head and neck trauma during a grizzly attack in the Sierra of California. His scalp was dislodged, and he was left with a silver dollar-sized impression in his skull, just above his forehead. Adams had made pets of several grizzlies, and often wrestled with them while training them and in exhibitions. During one such bout, his most delinquent grizzly, General Fremont (named for John C. Fremont), struck Adams in the head and reopened the wound. It was subsequently reinjured several times, eventually leaving Adams' brain tissue exposed.

The damage was further exacerbated while Adams was on tour with a circus in New England during the summer of 1860, when a monkey he was attempting to train purportedly bit into the wound.[47] After more than four months performing with his California Menagerie, complications from the injury led to Adams' inability to continue with the show. After completing his contract with P.T. Barnum, he retired to Neponset, Massachusetts, where he died of illness (possibly meningitis) just five days after arriving at the home of his wife and daughter.

Goods words to know





Ultima: In Latin, ultima is the feminine form of the adjective ultimus ("farthest or last"), the superlative form of ulter, meaning "situated beyond.

My new books (That I've researched and worked on for several years)




What the hell happened to CBS Sunday Morning?




I’ll tell you what happened to it, it got hijacked by the PC crowd who transformed what was once a warm, inclusive, tolerant program into an agenda based program that treats   Christians with sniggering contempt.
Here’s an example. On Christmas morning, the program reported on everything around the Christmas season but failed to make note of Jesus Christ or the Christian version of what Christmas is.
A friend of mine, loyal to the show, noted that Charles Osgood did sing a Christmas song. True, he did. He sang I’ll be Home for Christmas, which the program correctly described as a “Yuletide tide classic.”  Correct because my ancestors pagan ritual of leaping over a burning log (Hence the Yuletide) has nothing to do with the birth and mission of the Christ child.
I’ll be Home for Christmas has nothing to do with the meaning or the purpose of Christmas in much the same way that really good Chinese carry-out has nothing to do with the Dali Lama or a delicious hot pastrami on rye has to do with Hanukah.     
Then they trotted out a story about Hanukkah “Menorahs: let there be light. A look at the history and artistry of a Hanukkah tradition.” An another feature on non-Christian beliefs one “The Dalai Lama on seeking joy: Looking beyond religion and national boundaries, the spiritual leader says seeking commonality - with as little as a smile - can solve the world’s divisions”
Okay fine. Eastern religion and Judaism. No problem. So why not give a third to the birth of Christ? How difficult would that be….two words…..Jesus Christ… but not a mention was made of him or his effect on the human race and our history.   
It’s not like they ran out of time and couldn’t possibly mention Christian Christmas. They did stories on Boys Town, actor Adam Driver, another on a water tank’s sonic splendors from around the world, a few moments about nature, a piece about a “The Cheese Nun” and something about Poinsettias.
The program noted the weeks passing of “Three inspiring individuals” ….let me take that out of PC terms and write it in plain English for you, they noted the passing of three women, leaving out all men, or 50% of the world’s population.  
There’s a reason for CBS choosing all women for their short list of inspiring individuals. It’s what intolerant liberal progressives do; divide and conquer. They refuse to see people as individuals but instead divide and subdivide certain people into their types of groups. Doing that makes it easier to create those groups into victims of society as needed. And that’s why you’ll see a secular progressive group made up of straight white Christian males. According to the lefts rule, those men are victimizers and never victims.   
Anyway, the three inspiring women included Zsa Zsa Gabor. Why or to whom the nine times divorced-cop slapping Zsa Zsa Gabor is inspiring to anyone is a mystery to me.
Their second choice for inspiring individuals was a women China Machado, a model and professional girlfriend whose life mantra was “I think it’s crucial to be happy.”…she thought it was crucial, she wasn’t sure.
The third choice was semi-inspirational. Cindy Stowell was a champion on the TV show “Jeopardy” and then she died. Her family contributed her winnings to cancer research.
Despite CBS’s inability to find inspiring men who died that same week…oh let’s face it, they didn’t even look for men…..a whole bunch of impressive men did, in fact, die last week. Here’s a partial listing
George Michael, British singer (Wham!) and songwriter ("Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go", "Careless Whisper", "Faith")
Eliseo Subiela, Argentine film director (Man Facing Southeast, The Adventures of God).
Richard Adams, British author (Watership Down)
Felix Krivin, 88, Ukrainian-Israeli writer and poet
Gil Parrondo, 95, Spanish art director and production designer (Patton, Nicholas and Alexandra, Travels with My Aunt), Oscar winner (1971, 1972).
Edwin Reinecke, U.S. Representative (1965–1969) and Lieutenant Governor of California (1969–1974).
Bronson Thayer, banker and civil leader
Meto Jovanovski, Macedonian writer.
Tim Pitsiulak, Canadian artist.
Heinrich Schiff, Austrian cellist.
Piers Sellers, British astronaut and meteorologist, pancreatic cancer.
William Abitbol, French politician.
Carlos Averhoff, Cuban jazz saxophonist.
Bodil Kaalund (da), Danish painter.
Solomon Levy, Mayor of Gibraltar (2008–2009).
Andre Martel, member of the New Hampshire House of Representatives (1998–2002, since 2012).
Ruud Merx, Dutch musical composer and trombonist (Johann Strauss Orchestra).
Andrés Rivera, Argentine writer.
Kenneth Snelson, sculptor (Needle Tower, Six Number Two)
Franca Sozzani, Italian journalist, Editor-in-chief of Vogue Italia (since 1988).
Robert Tucker, American dancer and choreographer (Shenandoah).
Sir Dwight Venner, Vincentian banker.
Miruts Yifter, Ethiopian long distance runner, Olympic champion (1980),
Welington de Melo, Brazilian mathematician.
Sidney Drell, American physicist.
Weston Noble, music educator and conductor
Toby Hemenway, author and educator
El Hortelano, Spanish painter
Patrick Jenkin, Baron Jenkin of Roding, 90, British politician, Secretary of State for Social Services (1979–1981), Industry (1981–1983), and Environment (1983–1985).
Archie Miyatake, Japanese photographer.
Lionel Blue, British rabbi, journalist and broadcaster,
Hugh Iltis, Czechoslovakian-born American botanist
Andrei Karlov, Russian diplomat, Ambassador to Turkey (since 2013)
Anupam Mishra, Indian author, journalist and environmentalist.
Larry Que, Filipino newspaper publisher and columnist
Aleksander Shlepyanov, Russian screenwriter and art expert
Arve Bringaker Norwegian art historian.
Enrique Cirules, Cuban writer.
Brendan J. Dugan, academic administrator, President of St. Francis College (since 2008).
Bobby Guanzon, Filipino journalist and politician, cardiac arrest.
Sata Isobe, Japanese volleyball player, Olympic champion (1964).
Vibeke Knudsen, Norwegian diplomat, ambassador to Colombia (2009–2016).
Jack V. Lunzer, Belgian-born British industrial diamond merchant and museum curator (Valmadonna Trust Library).
Léo Marjane, 104, French singer.
Gustavo Quintero, Colombian singer-songwriter.
Heinz Ulzheimer, German athlete, Olympic bronze medalist (1952).
Sven Zetterberg, Swedish blues musician.

Diplomats, groundbreaking academics, artists, writers of acclaim, magnificent sports figures…and CBS chose Zsa Zsa Gabor but also chose to not mention anything about the Christian celebration of Christ’s birth.
Of course none of this was a mistake. Rather it is part of the left’s war on Christianity which the main line media holds in contempt. For them Christianity is not the religion that was used to build our national moral code and push our culture forward. No, for them Christians and Christianity is the stuff of superstitious whose churches pews are filled with the perpetually deluded, the ignorant and the bigoted.
The lefts mission, backed by overzealous activist judges and pushed by programs like CBS Sunday Morning, is to push America and her people as far away moral values as they can.

Primarily what they oppose is an absolute moral order that Christianity demands of its followers, like the recognition of things as absolutely evil or absolutely good. The left hates that because their success depends upon their success in pushing all things moral into a vast grey area where there is no sin of virtue and most importantly of all, no judgement that they don’t control.    

We decided to try something new for our Christmas meal, prime rib instead of ham of turkey

...its easy to cook. We bought four pounds (Way to much meat for two people) dried it for several hours and salted it. We baked it in an over for 25 minutes on 550 and then turned off the oven and let it sit there for an hour and a half....worked out well








He's listening to a lecture "Why dogs aren't allowed on the expensive new couch" and as you can see he's deeply moved.


We joined the Episcopalians again for Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve












NYCPlaywrights December 24, 2016

NYCPlaywrights December 24, 2016

*** NYWINTERFEST THEATER COMPETITION ***

BEST PLAY $2,500

Best Director, Actress, Actor and Singer $500 each

Best Musical Score $300

Best Original Play, Stage Manager and Set Designer $200.

All genres are welcome, including MUSICALS. 
PLAYS OR MUSICALS BETWEEN 10 AND 90 MINUTES 

ONE ACT PLAY WELCOME 

Our 10th  Festival Season
There is no question why NYWINTERFEST has taken the world of playwrighting festivals by storm, becoming one of the largest festival in the country in just 6 years.

FEW SPOTS LEFT IN FEBRUARY TO HAVE A CHANCE TO PRESENT YOUR WORK ON STAGE

for more info




*** PLAYWRIGHTS OPPORTUNITIES ***

The Princeton Theatre Group invites submission of scripts to be considered for the 2017 New Works Festival 
Two categories ~ One-Act Scripts and Ten-Minute Plays 
Winners will receive a staged reading by professional actors during Festival 56, Illinois’ largest summer theatre festival. The New Works Festival will also include a playwrights’ reception and opportunities to receive feedback of the winning works. No entry fee — No cash prizes 

***

Source Festival seeks 10-Minute Plays of any genre (comedy, magical realism, drama, etc.) that relate to the theme listed below. This theme is inspired by the festival's Full-Length Play; please read the summary below for more information about the Full Length Play.

***

Watermelon One-Act Festival (Baltimore MD)
We welcome all original and unpublished works between 10 and 45 minute total running time (includes set up/breakdown and curtain call). Twelve to sixteen entries will be selected based on the quality of the writing, story/plot, and character development. Minimal technical requirements is advised as there are only 60 minutes for a technical rehearsal, all props and actors must fit into a 10- by 10-foot space (prior to set up and after breakdown), and there is no technical award. 

*** FOR MORE INFORMATION about these and other opportunities see the NYCPlaywrights web site at http://www.nycplaywrights.org ***



*** HAPPY HOLIDAYS *** 


Christmas pantomimes in London
It wouldn't be Christmas without a pantomime. Oh no it wouldn't...

‘Sleeping Beauty’ is not a satirical drama about Brexit Britain - it is a panto that will delight audiences young and old with a raucous retelling of the popular fairytale. But creators Susie McKenna and Steve Edis know the anarchic, rapid response possibility of the art form, and it’s the first show I’ve seen to have the nads to really pile into the depressing absurdities of this year, most specifically in a very, very funny song called ‘Never Ask the People What They Want’ that’s about as cathartic as it gets. (Or it is until the bit where Gavin Spokes’s Dame Nanny Nora comes on in what I will only describe as a frock with a very special flag on it, which caused most of the adult audience to lose their collective shit).

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‘Mother Goose’’s struggle is presented via two spirits: Virtue (played as being all sugar and spice) and the camp, swaggering, scene-stealing Vanity.

The best scenes were the silliest: a performance of ‘Twelve days of Christmas’ performed at ever-increasing pace inevitably went awry with comical consequences, and some heckling from the crowd spiced things up. The dance routines were strong – especially a saucy number that started with three female dancers in skimpy outfits (so far, so everyday sexism). But then they were joined – in a woke twist – by two lads in bondage gear.

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Director Kerry Michael clearly means well in his panto production of ‘Sinbad the Sailor’ but as the cast sing ‘girl power! girl power!’ in triumphant unison at the show’s finale it only takes a quick flick through the female characters for the admirable sentiment to ring hollow: the female genie subservient to an evil man, the nurse who’s actually a bloke in drag, the princess who spends the show disguised as a boy, and Sinbad’s sister Sinbadda, who we’re told is actually the hero and not her scaredy-cat bookworm brother, yet is a part so bland that I genuinely forgot she was in it at some points. 

More…


***

Cancellation of Lancaster Co. Christmas play goes viral

…In September, the Jewish parents had asked if their child could be excused from the play, and were told yes. After the decision to cancel the play in November, their child was harassed at school, according to the story on LancasterOnline, despite the district's assertion the child was not the cause of the play's cancellation. 

A reporter for Lancaster Online who spoke with the family wrote that the child had been "harassed by classmates" and that they had temporarily left the county out of concern.

The family could not be reached by the paper either Thursday or Friday for further comment, according to the story.

Philly.com has not been able to determine the identity of the family to reach out to them independently.

When news stories,  which portray the school’s move as part of a “war on Christmas," broke on Fox and Breitbart News Network, the school received more than 200 complaints.

When the parents saw the reader comments to the Breitbart story suggesting their address should be published, they pulled their child from school and temporarily left the area, according to the LancasterOnline story. 

“There’s no way we’re going to take a chance after the pizza incident,” they told the Lancaster reporter.

The reference was to a Dec. 5 incident. Edgar M. Welch of Salisbury, N.C, was arrested after he fired an assault rifle in a pizza restaurant in northwest Washington, D.C, after reading a fake-news story that said suggested Hillary Clinton was running a child sex ring out of the location.

More…

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Rockettes Not Required to Dance at Trump Inauguration, Company Says

The Radio City Rockettes performed at the “Celebration of Freedom” concert on Jan. 19, 2005, in Washington as part of the inauguration festivities for President George W. Bush. Credit Mike Segar/Reuters
Within hours of confirming plans to appear at the inauguration of Donald J. Trump, the Radio City Rockettes were plunged into a maelstrom of social media outrage on Friday amid reports that the performers were contractually obligated to dance at the ceremony or lose their jobs.

But as the day wore on, both the Madison Square Garden Company, which manages the Rockettes, and the dancers’ union, the American Guild of Variety Artists, said that any of the dancers could opt out of the Jan. 20 performance in Washington.

The day of statements followed reports that a Rockette was “embarrassed and disappointed” that the decision to perform had been made for her. The dancer’s private Instagram post was published by the gossip website Perez Hilton and quoted widely by news outlets. That dancer, Phoebe Pearl, did not respond to multiple requests for comment on Friday, nor did several of her fellow performers.

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A Very Merry Unauthorized Children's Scientology Pageant is a satirical musical about Scientology and L. Ron Hubbard, written by Kyle Jarrow from a concept by Alex Timbers, the show's original director. Jarrow based the story of the one-act, one-hour musical on Hubbard's writings and Church of Scientology literature. The musical follows the life of Hubbard as he develops Dianetics and then Scientology. Though the musical pokes fun at Hubbard's science fiction writing and personal beliefs, it has been called a "deadpan presentation" of his life story.[1] Topics explored in the piece include Dianetics, the E-meter, Thetans, and the story of Xenu. The show was originally presented in 2003 in New York City by Les Freres Corbusier, an experimental theater troupe, enjoying sold-out Off-Off-Broadway and Off-Broadway productions. Later productions have included Los Angeles, New York, Boston, Atlanta, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C.

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Spirit of the Yule, A New Holiday Musical

Celebrate the holiday season with Key City Public Theatre as they unveil the new holiday musical, Spirit of the Yule, directed by KCPT’s Artistic Director, Denise Winter, with music and lyrics by acclaimed local composer, Linda Dowdell. Spirit of the Yule, a new take on Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, is set in Port Townsend when the lumber boomtown was eagerly awaiting the railroad connection that would make it the preeminent port city in the Pacific Northwest. This musical is steeped in the history and cultural legacy that defined Port Townsend as “the city of dreams.”

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The Genius of “The Hard Nut”

In that quarter century, almost all the original 1991 cast members have gone on to other jobs, other lives, or at least other roles in “The Hard Nut.” (Morris, originally the party guest who kept getting his leg humped by the Stahlbaums’ hormonal teen-age daughter, Louise, is now Dr. Stahlbaum.) Only one person from the starting lineup remains in place, and appropriately—since that character seems, from the curtain-call decibels, to be the most beloved—it is the Stahlbaum family maid, played, in drag, by Kraig Patterson. There she still stands, in her little French maid’s outfit, plus black point shoes, on which she bourrées furiously when she needs to show someone who’s boss. “I kind of fashioned her after Naomi Campbell,” Patterson recalls. “Also the housekeeper in ‘The Jeffersons’—the one who’s always sucking her teeth at her boss.” The uniform tells it all. In front, you see the white apron and the little doily of a cap. But turn her around and you find that the dress is backless.

The maid is the tutelary genius of “The Hard Nut,” the one who embodies the spirit of the piece. Almost all the adults in the ballet behave badly most of the time, and it’s not as though they don’t mean to. Mrs. Stahlbaum takes drugs. The guests grab one another in inappropriate places. In one performance I saw, a neighbor, leaving for home, picked out a package from under the Christmas tree and took it with her. But often, in a Mark Morris piece, a sort of bumbling badness will be placed alongside goodness, and in the end goodness wins, even if in a humble way. The maid is the only person in “The Hard Nut” who selflessly enjoys small pleasures. When, at the party, the guests do the Stroll, she joins in and has a great old time, though her partner is the family’s horrible little son, Fritz. In another scene—it opens Act II—the maid is watching over Marie, who is ill. (Her nutcracker got broken; there was a war between the rats and the G.I. Joes; she fainted; everything is awful.) While Marie sleeps, the maid thumbs through a fashion magazine, and she finds a scratch-and-sniff. She scratches! She sniffs! Free perfume! What joy!

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