Theatre in an Animal Shelter? … Generosity and Creativity

Why in the world would anyone want to do a play reading in an animal shelter? Why violate the advice given by sage vaudevillians in the days of old: never act with children or animals. Because THE PET PLAY, my latest comedy about obsessive pet owners, and the search for unconditional love, features pets. And ┬áthis a great thematic fit with one of the finest animal shelters in the country: SAVE – A Friend to Homeless Animals (

And because we non-profits have to start thinking outside the box (what box? you might be thinking): the “we-are-struggling-and-can’t-afford-to-do-anything-generous-for-another-organization” box. There are a lot of things we can offer each other: entertainment, art, shared audience, space, talent, etc. SAVE is offering a space for this reading of selected scenes, and publicity, and they have a wide audience that has never heard of Dramatic Question Theatre ( And I have a play that touches on a subject near and dear to SAVE’s heart, and the willingness to put together this unique fundraising event to help support SAVE and the production of the play in New York in early 2018. SAVE volunteers have been super generous with their time, help, and guidance. And I have been super creative with putting together this evening of entertainment, and snacks, followed by fireworks. Ok – I don’t get credit for the fireworks, Montgomery Township does.

Come support this endeavor and be part of the paradigm shift!


Thursday June 29, 2017 – tour of SAVE at 5:30 PM, reading doors open at 6:00PM, play reading of selected scenes followed by refreshments, 6:30 – 8:30 PM, fireworks (weather permitting) at approximately 9:15 PM. Tickets $20 on line, $25 at the door, donations gratefully accepted and shared between SAVE and DQT.

Buy tickets or make a donation here.

Thank you!

Winner of Bryce Harper signed Baseball!

Part of the support for our developmental reading of “Manuel versus the Statue of Liberty” came from an online raffle of a Bryce Harper (Pitcher, Washington D.C. Nationals) signed baseball. The raffle closed on July 5th, and of course I was incredibly busy with the NYMF 2014 reading, and life afterwards, and the excitement of being invited back to NYMF in 2015 with a full production. But I am a woman of my word, and I just drew the lucky winner’s name from a completely randomized, shaken-up-many-times box of names (as witnessed by my husband who videoed this). So congratulations to Jonathan Libman on winning this coveted prize, and thanks to all who supported the reading.

Special shout out to Michael and Erica for providing this prize!

Letters of Intent and other Grant applications

Why is it so hard to send out Letters of Intent (LOI) and grant applications? Why do I check the directions a hundred times, and review the letter 80 times before I send it out? Why does it take 2 hours, when I think it should only take 15 minutes?


That’s the short answer. I am afraid of being ruled out for one little mistake. I’m afraid the recipient will flinch because the musical has some political content. I’m afraid my wording is confusing. Afraid I am too detailed, not detailed enough, boring, too inflamatory…you name it. I’m even afraid of using a comma incorrectly. Oy.

So I printed out the two letters of intent I am working on (one grantor doesn’t even give me instructions which is super-fear producing), and I read parts aloud at the last DQT meeting. My fellow playwrights listened to my spiel about the NYMF Developmental Reading Series, and the description of my show, and why this was an important step for me. Then we dove in and read what I actually wrote – which needless to say was somewhat scattered, and vague. So then they told me how I should write what I said before, because it was better, and clearer. They also helped me figure out what parts to cut out entirely.

The lesson learned – read this sort of stuff to other people who “get” what you are aiming for, but don’t know your project perfectly. Pick people who like you and are generous of heart – not bitter negative people who hate everything. Get their feedback. See what parts of your project generate smiles, eye twinkles, laughter. Put that in the LOIs and grant applications.

Ok – enough procrastinating for me. Time to do another LOI that will hopefully entice the foundation to ask for a full application.

What is your experience in applying for grants like?Main Entrance