From the Black Box to a Glass Box

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Write Out Front at the Drama Book Shop

On Friday, playwright and author Jenny Lyn Bader sat in front of her computer as usual. For over a decade, she's been writing in her apartment in the Upper West side — but today she is sitting in a storefront window at the Drama Book Shop.

She and 125 other New York City playwrights are no longer behind the scenes. This month, they are the scene.  

During "Write Out Front," produced by Theaterspeak, the playwrights will take turns typing their next play so that passersby can read it as its written.

“People think of writers reading in bookstores, but don’t see writers writing in bookstores,” said Bader. “I think it is good to attach the image of concentrated work to writing.” 

Bader is working with several other writers on a play about immigration called “I Like To Be Here.”  Produced by Theater 167, it is scheduled to open at the New Ohio Theater in September.

Recently, Michael Price from the Bronx passed by and found himself reading the screen. “This is art,” he said. “It takes a lot of energy from one soul to actually sit and write.”

The playwright J.Stephen Brantley will be writing in the window at 5 p.m. Aug. 6. He has a challenge for those who come to see him: bring a flashcard with one word written on it, and he'll do his best to work it into his play. “Bring me a challenge,” he said. “Bring me an idea, who knows what I’ll do.”