Day 6

Met one of our Typhoon writers today Don Nguyen. His play Red Flamboyant will be presented on Friday March 4 at Rich Mix @ 7pm. Based on the true life story of a Vietnamese woman living with HIV and her fight to find her voice and speak up for the needs of people like herself and others, an uplifting and moving story told with a great deal of humor and warmth. I’m discovering playwrights here have an enormous amount of development time and readings of their plays but less make it to production. There appears to be a large number of writing programmes at virtually all major universities so you have a good number of graduates coming through every year. The writing is rigorous but in the UK perhaps we are stronger on the actual productions, there’s more of a developed vocabulary between writer designer and director. A playwright might have many opportunities for his/her play to be developed but less chance of a production than the UK. Is this a consequence of high costs and the competitive fund raising involved with full productions – is this what we in the UK have to look forward to with the constant erosion of state support?

Ventured to the High Line in the afternoon – built on the disused tracks of the freight rail line running from Guggenheim and through the meatpacking district on the West side of Manhattan. Despite sub zero temperatures it was worth a visit and a fantastic way to see New York above the street level and from unexpected angles.