Good Soldiers

This is a play from nowhere, staring anyone. The play should be performed without fanfare in a public space (obviously, get permission from the proprietor first). The action should feel real, not theatrical, and the actors should vanish without a curtain call. When doing this kind of theatre, it’s a good idea to have one or two people who aren’t in the world of the play and can film the action/reactions and explain to the cops (if someone calls them) what is going on.

The show is written for 5 actors, but can probably be performed with fewer.

Good Soldiers

Content? Content.

Hey, so apparently at least one actual human has seen this thing! Well, either that, or a next-gen spambot. Either way I should probably upload some actual content.

First, news; the reason I haven’t been updating is because I’ve been working (yay!). Between a couple shows at Old Creamery Theatre here in Iowa and a contract to write Reginaldo Haslett-Marroquin’s memoirs I haven’t had a whole lot of brain power for the sort of short-form work that works as blog posts.

Here are a couple of audition videos I shot, not great quality but I promise I’m better live.

And here’s a little poem I wrote in the car. I tend to write poetry when I don’t have the time to do anything else. I doubt it’s of much interest to anyone (myself included) but it keeps me playing with language. Continue reading “Content? Content.”

An Open Letter to the South Windsor Board of Education RE: David Olio

Context

I sent this letter to the board of education this afternoon. Please add your voice, here is their contact page.
Hello,

I am not your constituent, I’m not even from your state. What I am is a college graduate and a beneficiary of the public school system in this country. I am also appalled by the fact that this board allowed – let alone encouraged – David Olio to retire over the manufactured controversy around his reading of the Allen Ginsberg poem “Please Master.”

It is the role of teachers to expand the horizons of their students, to provoke intellectual growth, and to challenge them to think about things beyond their experience. In this essential capacity an English teacher MUST – if they are to be considered a teacher at all – bring into the classroom materials that make their students intellectually uncomfortable. Without discomfort, without struggle learning does not occur.

Now, a teacher is also responsible for the safety of their students and for judging the material that they are prepared to productively handle. I cannot categorically say that your 17 and 18 year olds are emotionally and intellectually stunted but you, by your removal of this teacher, are. You are saying that your young adults are not equipped to think about sex and sexuality – essential parts of the human experience that each of us must come to an understanding of before we can function in society.

David Olio disagreed with you. David Olio had the audacity to function as a teacher, to respond to the questions of a student, and to create an opportunity for his class to learn something about themselves and the world they live in. You should have given him a medal.

Few enough teachers in this day and age actually teach. Too many educators are terrified that if they challenge their students they will be fired. You, and boards of education like you across the country, are responsible for releasing uneducated, unchallenged, half-formed children into the world and you should be ashamed to have failed them so badly.

So here is what I am going to do; I’ve posted this letter to my blog and to facebook and attempted to reach out to David. I’ve also reached out to several award winning authors and educators. We’re going to raise money to support David while he is in between jobs, as people who care about education and art it’s the least we can do. I’ll also be campaigning against every sitting member of this board in November and donating money to anyone running against you if David Olio is not re-hired with a full apology.

Discount this letter as the fevered dreaming of an over-indulged millennial if you want. Pretend that I’m just a lone voice in the dark. Tell yourself that you’re doing your job well. Just know that David Olio is not alone, and that he will not be forgotten.

Honestly yours,
-Per Wiger

Mea Culpa and a Preview

My metrics tell me no-one is watching this website. That’s fine, it’s not like I’ve told anyone it exists, but it does rob this apology of some of its sincerity.

If you’ve read anything that I’ve posted you’ll have noticed that the schedules I set for myself seem wildly optimistic. They were. Still, I could have kept to them if I kept having ideas for flash fiction and short plays. I didn’t.

There’s always an excuse; the set I’m building, the play I got cast in, the novel I’m working on (which is so cool, by the way) and so rather than making a different excuse every time I fail to meet my goals I’m just going to lower the bar for myself.

Every Sunday I’ll upload something; short plays, flash fiction, a reading, a preview of a longer piece I’m working on. I have a couple of ideas for gimmicky comic series that I’ll fall back on if all else fails.

For now, here are the first two pages of a short story I’ve been working on. Hopefully I’ll have it ready to shop around in the next couple of weeks – speaking of, if anyone wants to be a beta reader for me then drop me a line and we can chat.

Long Drives and Hard Times – Preview

The Crucifixion at Mount Vernon

This is a bit of a different project. I recently became fascinated with the wonderfully weird medieval cycle plays. The plays are by turns reverent, hilariously bawdy, touching, didactic, and messy. They are highly localized to the town that they were staged in, and the way they were produced – divorced from time and space, serialized out of order – is as post-modern as anything we do in theatre today.

To get my head around these bizarre artifacts I wrote a snippet of my own cycle play, which I’ve attached here. I’ve also uploaded my bibliography and a short response to the project.

Thanks for reading and, as always, if you want to stage the play just do me a favor and ask first.

The Passion at Mount Vernon

Annotated Bibliography

Reflection