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Death by Email and Web Conference

Photo: Martine Kei Green-Rogers

Part of the Invisible Diaries series:

Week 6 / Day 3


First task of the day – which happens every Wednesday – is to catch up on emails. Mondays, Tuesdays, and Fridays tend to be my busiest days, so I try to set aside time on Wednesdays and Thursdays to address the backlog of emails. Between school, LMDA and my freelance dramaturgy, playwriting and directing adventures, I tend to receive a ridiculous amount of emails. On a good day, I get around 100 work-related emails that I need to address – on a bad day, it can be closer to 300. Since the pandemic began, the emails have gotten worse. Those things that would have been a quick phone call or a quick office stop have now become emails. It can occasionally be slightly overwhelming thinking about the amount of time I spend in front of my computer or on the phone. I wonder how I get anything done – yet, somehow, I do.

Some fun projects are buried in the mountain of emails, though. I am working on The Killing Fields by Anya Pearson with Seven Devils this year, so spent some time connecting with the director (Benny Sato Ambush), Artistic Director (Jeni Mahoney), and of course the playwright herself. Plugging everything into the calendar always takes time, but it is the only way I semi-manage to stay organized.

I also attended the Association for Theatre in Higher Education Focus Group Meeting as the representative for the Dramaturgy Group. We talked about the struggles of planning a conference – which I understand on so many levels – and, of course, because my brain is fried, I asked a question that came out all wrong. What I was hoping to ask was ‘is it possible to wrap all of the things we were talking about into one transaction when we register for the conference’ (because I know me and if I have to do multiple transactions I won’t do it), but instead I get to live for all eternity sounding like an idiot who is advocating for fraud with university funds.

Sigh… Is it possible to give up on the day and get back in the bed, wake up, and start over?

The one upside is that I got to see some of my favorite ATHE people on that call – so I am just going to suck that one up and move on.

Fortunately, I then had the most amazing conversation with my collaborators at the Kennedy Center for the Arts about an upcoming show – an adaptation of A Wind in the Door by Jacqueline Goldfinger. We are crossing our fingers that it will still happen. It is so difficult these days working on projects – they are here one minute and possibly gone the next. I am excited about the project, and working with Jackie and the director (Nicole Watson), so I am just going to will the universe into letting it happen!

One of the other things these conversations today reminded me of is that it is almost impossible to plan/schedule anything in the time of the coronavirus. So many projects have shifted their timetables that it is hard to commit to anything without fear that something else will be scheduled directly on top of it.

Now it is about 3:57pm. My plan for the rest of the day is to walk my dog in about an hour and then jump on a call with one of my playwrights. I am looking forward to that conversation. The play (the one I mentioned yesterday) is a lot of fun. By that time, it will probably be around 7pm.

Where did my Wednesday go? I have no clue, but at least I get to spend some of it with this cutie!


Martine Kei Green-Rogers is an Assistant Professor at SUNY New Paltz and President of the Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas.

Her dramaturgical credits include: The Greatest with the Louisville Orchestra; Four Women Talking about the Man under the Sheet and Silent Dancer at Salt Lake Acting Company; Fences and One Man, Two Guvnors at Pioneer Theatre Company; Clearing Bombs and Nothing Personal at Plan-B Theatre; Sweat at the Goodman; productions of King Hedley II, Radio Golf, Five Guys Named Moe, Blues for an Alabama Sky, Gem of the Ocean, Waiting for Godot, Iphigenia at Aulis, Seven Guitars, The Mountaintop, Home and Porgy and Bess at Court Theatre; The Clean House at CATCO; Hairspray, Shakespeare in Love, UniSon, Hannah and the Dread Gazebo, Comedy of Errors, To Kill A Mockingbird, The African Company Presents Richard III, A Midsummer Night's Dream and Fences at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.


Headshot photograph by Joe Mazza.

Other photography courtesy of Martine Kei Green-Rogers.


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