Playing On Air

By Maynor Alas

What I appreciate about Urban Arts is its commitment to not only the students of the Academy, but also to their alumni. The alumni program run by Anna Strout, is constantly reaching out and offering support through myriad learning and cultural opportunities, demonstrating that UAP cares about everyone that comes through its doors.This week, several LifeStories students and alumni, including myself, were invited to a series of play readings at BRIC House in Downtown  Brooklyn. It was a tech rehearsal for Playing on Air, a program which produces short plays that get  distributed online and on the radio. We got to see the inner workings of dissertation chapter 4: observing tech people running back and forth, spotlights and floodlights shifting on stage, writers and actors dialoging about how they could tweak lines and actions to better fit the piece. It was a great learning experience with several great plays and other actors we have  had the opportunity to work with like Nilaja Sun and Bobby Moreno.

The one I was most looking forward to was saved for last. When I found out it was the too awesome to be true trio of our Artistic Board Chair Rosie Perez along with the legendary John Leguizamo and my personal icon Bobby Cannavale, I knew I was in for  something special and they did not disappoint. They starred in a play called “Crazy Eights” by Pulitzer winning playwright David  Lindsay-Abaire (Good People, Rabbit Hole, Shrek the Musical), a friend of UAP and a writer here on several 24 Hour Play  productions. He is one of my favorite playwrights and his ability to write perfectly metered comedy along with the chemistry of the cast made for a magical scenario which I’m looking forward to experiencing again. Getting to meet up with them after admission essay writer and share our mutual admiration was such a bonus for us.