"The Motherf*%#er With the Hat" - August Krickel reviews the new Trustus show

"We're the theatre that curses and does nude shows," Trustus co-founder Jim Thigpen joked in the very first issue of Jasper. And how. The Mother*#%$er With the Hat features plenty of full frontal male and female nudity, liberal use of the title expletive along with its many cognates and derivatives, plus violence, and drug and alcohol abuse. Or, as an old roommate used to say, that's four-star entertainment right there for sure. Director Chad Henderson notes in the program that author Stephen Adly Guirgis chose the title as a disclaimer to signify the intensity of the subject matter, a sort of "let the buyer beware" warning so that the audience has no illusions as to the grittiness of the themes or dialogue.  That said, there is plenty of comedy, a few moments of tenderness and compassion, and a lot of insight into human nature, however dysfunctional and self-destructive that may be.  The play's five characters are low-lifes, addicts, ex-cons, alcoholics and/or scumbags, but thanks to the commitment of the performers, and some creativity from Henderson and scenic designer Kimi Maeda, we sort of kind of care about them, at times anyway.

Jackie (Alexis Casanovas) is newly paroled and newly sober; his AA sponsor Ralph (Shane Silman) now sells nutritional supplements instead of drugs, and has stayed sober for 16 years in spite of a tumultuous marriage to Victoria (Michelle Jacobs) whom he met, you guessed it, at a meeting. Jackie's cousin Julio (Joe Morales) has likewise channeled his energies into therapeutic massage and perfecting his recipe for the perfect empanada, but is ready to stash a handgun or channel his inner Van Damme in a rumble. Veronica (Raia Jane Hirsch) still uses, and may be cheating on Jackie with the titular character, who could just as easily be called "some dude who may be doing my girlfriend." Or Jackie may just be paranoid, and in need of a refresher course on the Twelve Steps.  All five actors believably flesh out these damaged characters as they navigate the choppy waters of recovery, relationships and betrayal. At one point, Silman and Casanovas are so intently arguing with each other that one gets the impression that they have forgotten the audience entirely, and instead just really want to win the argument, using the playwright's words. Equally impressive is the way that the actors bare their souls on stage while baring everything else, yet manage to stay in character, and never miss a beat. The dialogue is very honest, which again explains the play's title, since people use the term so frequently these days, especially in the sub-culture we see depicted here.

 

Guirgis has a way of relaying fairly profound thoughts and ideas via the natural cadences of simple and ineloquent people. At some level, all the characters realize how badly they have messed up their own lives, and how tenuous their grasp on stability is. Yet "the space between who you are, and who you think you are, is pretty wide," as Cousin Julio tells Jackie - cautionary words for us all. Morales, deadpan as Julio, provides most of the wisdom in the first act, which is in many ways a comedy, although one peopled with sad, tragic figures. The second act is more of a serious drama, although full of hilarious lines, most spoken by Julio.  Guirgis once worked on an episode of The Sopranos (as did two of the original Broadway cast, including the original Victoria, Annabella Sciorra, aka Tony's crazy goomah Gloria Trillo.) Before I spotted that in the program, I leaned over to my friend and whispered "Tell me this isn't Christopher and Adriana," the similarly struggling and clueless addicts from that series.   "What are we, Europeans?  I'm from the neighborhood," Jackie protests when faced with a difficult choice. There are a number of modern playwrights who use the natural rhythms of common urban speech to depict "real" life in the big city, including David Mamet, Martin McDonagh, and Neil LaBute, all performed by Trustus over the years.  In fact, this work could almost be reasons to be pretty, Pt. 2, if that LaBute play had focused on losers and substance abusers. Directed a few years ago by Henderson, reasons featured similar themes of commitment and infidelity, similar challenges of growing up and getting serious about life, similar blunt language, similar argument and fight scenes, and similar scene transitions.

Speaking of those transitions, I griped and moaned like a...well, like the title of this play, over another recent production where the actors did choreographed actions as the scenes changed. Here, it works perfectly, and indeed enhances the material. Henderson keeps his cast in character, or stylized versions of their characters, as they act out brief, pantomimed representations or summaries of what they are feeling. Sure, it keeps the action and pace flowing while the cast and stagehands change the scenery, but the mini-vignettes work quite well on their own. Nowhere is it better, or more appropriate, than when Hirsch sees the walls literally and figuratively closing in on her, and rushes to push back in vain.  Kimi Maeda's scenic design is created with an artist's eye, and incorporates three revolving, triangular set pieces, each forming part of the interior of three apartments.  Anything the actors need to touch - a chair, a door, a table, even a boom box - is physically present on stage, while everything else - a window, a lamp, the headboard of a bed - is painted onto the colorful walls with simple, broad strokes. Henderson mentioned the cartoon-like echoes of artists like Roy Lichtenstein in his interview with Jasper, but I was actually reminded of the work of Toulouse-Lautrec, and of local artist Page Morris, who coincidentally was featured in an exhibition just a couple of blocks down Lady Street from the theatre during opening weekend.    .

As I have written previously, back in the day Trustus used to do shows like this all the time: controversial, raw, edgy, unknown outside of New York, and featuring crazy titles. In fact, I found myself mentally casting this c. 1990, with Firdous Bamji and Erin Thigpen in the leads, and maybe Linda Pollitt and George Altman (or Jayce Tromsness) as Victoria and Ralph.  Here, there isn't a lot of controversy per se, apart from, well, OK, the title, the language, and the nudity. The themes are relatively straightforward, with no message beyond acknowledgement of humanity's flaws, and how we all have to strive to overcome those to get through one day at a time, even if we occasionally act like idiots and jeopardize it all. Consider yourself warned, or encouraged to see the show, depending on how much you enjoy challenging material, and how willing you are to laugh at the disturbing absurdities of human existence.

The Mother*#%$er With the Hat runs through Sat. Feb. 23rd; contact the box office at 803-254-9732 for ticket information.

~ August Krickel

Marauding Zombies, Playful Amphibians, and That Mofo With the Hat - What to See on Stage This Weekend

George Romero's low-budget, cult hit from 1968, Night of the Living Dead, was the granddaddy of all modern zombie stories. Zombies had been around before, but were usually depicted as corpses animated by some controlling voodoo master. Romero took the basic idea of hordes of the undead from Richard Matheson's novel I Am Legend, made them less vampires and more corpse-like, yet still eager to chomp your flesh and turn you into one of them, and his world-view of a zombie apocalypse took off, influencing everything from the Resident Evil and Silent Hill video games, to director John Landis's classic video for the Michael Jackson song "Thriller," to the current hit comic book and cable tv series The Walking Dead. We're still fond of this exchange from the Joss Whedon-produced series Angel, written by Steven S. DeKnight (now the show-runner for Spartacus) : CONNOR (Angel's mortal son, who hates him): He looks dead.

ANGEL (the "good" vampire with a soul) : He is dead. Technically, it's undead. It's a zombie.

CONNOR: What's a zombie?

ANGEL: It's an undead thing.

CONNOR: Like you?

ANGEL: No, zombies are slow-moving, dimwitted things that crave human flesh.

CONNOR: Like you.

ANGEL: No! It's different. Trust me.

Zombies are all the rage in Columbia too, with an annual Zombie Walk (Crawl? Lurch?) each Hallowe'en. High Voltage Theatre is currently producing a stage adaptation of the original Romero film, running this weekend and the next, Friday and Saturday nights, through Sat. Feb. 15th, at the Tapp's Art Center on Main Street. For information or reservations, call: 803-754-5244. And you can read a review at the Free Times.

Over at Richland Mall in Forest Acres, Columbia Children's Theatre is opening their new production of A Year With Frog and Toad, the Tony-nominated (seriously!) musical by Robert and Willie Reale, based on Arnold Lobel's series of children's books. The cast includes local favorites such as Jerry Stevenson, Lee O. Smith, Bobby Bloom, Sara Jackson, Paul Lindley II (doubling as musical director) Toni Moore, and Elizabeth Stepp (who also choreographs.)

From press material:

Arnold Lobel's well-loved characters hop from the page to the stage in A YEAR WITH FROG AND TOAD, the Theatre of Young Audiences version of Tony-nominated musical. This whimsical show follows two great friends -- the cheerful, popular Frog and the rather grumpy Toad -- through four, fun-filled seasons. Waking from hibernation in the Spring, Frog and Toad plant gardens, swim, rake leaves, go sledding, and learn life lessons along the way. The two best friends celebrate and rejoice in their differences that make them unique and special. Part vaudeville, part make believe, all charm, A YEAR WITH FROG AND TOAD tells the story of a friendship that endures, weathering all seasons.

The show runs through Sun. Feb. 17th; contact the box office at (803) 691-4548 for information.

Meanwhile, down in the Vista, Trustus Theatre opens Stephen Adly Guirgis's The Motherf@*#&er With the Hat, directed by Chad Henderson, with a score by Preach Jacobs, scenic design by Kimi Maeda, and featuring Alexis Casanovas, Shane Silman, Raia Jane Hirsch, Michelle Jacobs, and Joe Morales.

From press material:

ADULTS ONLY PLEASE: language, nudity, sexual situations, & violence

"This sexy and modern show was nominated for Tony Awards, Drama League Awards, Outer Critics Circle Awards, and Drama Desk Awards – TRUST US, it’s more than the title that’s provocative about this show."

Struggles with addiction, friendship, love and the challenges of adulthood are at the center of the story. Jackie, a petty drug dealer, is just out of prison and trying to stay clean. He's also still in love with his coke-addicted childhood sweetheart, Veronica. Ralph D. is Jackie's too-smooth, slightly slippery sponsor. He's married to the bitter and disaffected Victoria, who, by the way, has the hots for Jackie. And then there's Julio, Jackie's cousin … a stand-up, "stand by me" kind of guy. However, when Jackie comes home with flowers to find a strange man’s hat by his and Veronica’s bed, these characters careen forward as Jackie goes in search of the hat’s owner. What follows is an examination of trust, lust, loyalty, and true love.

You can read an interview with director Chad Henderson here.  Contact the box office at (803) 254-9732 for ticket information.

An interview with Chad Henderson on The Motherf**ker with the Hat

 

Jasper had the chance to sit down with Chad Henderson, director of the next play on the Trustus Main Stage, The Motherfucker with a Hat. We had a few questions for Chad and -- turns out he had a few answers that we're happy to share with you now.

 

1. So who wears what hats in the production of the play MFWAH?

 

Well, I’m happily wearing the directing hat for this project. I’ve got a great cast too! I’m excited that we’ve got some new talents making their Trustus debut with this production. Alexis Casanovas, who got his MFA in Acting from Rutgers, is playing our protagonist Jackie. Playing his girlfriend Veronica is Raia Jane Hirsch, who studied theatre at TISCH in NYC. Shane Silman, who many know from his recent work on his adaptation of “Plan 9 From Outer Space”, is playing Jackie’s AA sponsor Raplh D. We’ve also got two Trustus Company members in the show: Michelle Jacobs playing Victoria (Ralph’s wife) and Joe Morales playing Julio (Jackie’s Cousin).

 

We’ve also got Preach Jacobs compiling the score for this show from his music catalogue and Kimi Maeda has designed an unbelievable set. She’s designed a set comprised of three rotating periactoi (three-sided revolves) which allow us to create a lot of movement with the set and get the story moving at a great pace.

 

 

 

2. What about this play made you want to direct it?

 

Initially, the language was what keyed me into this show – by that I mean the actual words on the page…not the naughty words (of which there are plenty – wink). I’ve been a fan of Stephen Adly Guirgis’ work for a few years now. I’ve seen his scripts produced by NiA, Trustus, and Theatre South Carolina – and every time I’m impressed with how musical the language and word choices can be. He writes in a way that reflects actual conversation. Not to mention, his characters are often quirky and dangerous. Motherf**ker certainly exhibits these qualities, and many critics felt that this show was a prime example of his use of language and his creation of realistic characters that live on the edge – whether they intend to or not.

 

Ultimately, I like plays that explore human relationships. This script explores many points-of-view concerning love, lust, loyalty, and betrayal. Without talking too much about my personal history, I responded to a sense of dark familiarity with the relationships being explored in the story. Some of the things being said, I’ve said. Some of the situations the characters find themselves in are ones I’ve been in before. This show is about a lot of the things we can’t talk about in polite company. We have to wait until we’re around our closest friends – where the truth will sometimes surface (but not always). And that’s really what the show is about: friendships. I think they’re confusing at times – don’t you?

 

 

 

3. What have been your greatest challenges and how have you met them?

 

I anticipated a lot of challenges with this show because the language is so specific, and I also wanted to ask for a lot of bravery from the actors. However, that all seemed to fall into place very early on in the process.

 

So in all reality, the greatest challenge I had with this show was learning to trust myself in a new way. It’s been over a year since I’ve worked on a non-musical – which I had wanted to do for quite some time. While the approaches to directing a musical and a non-musical have similarities, they do diverge from each other at many points. I knew that this show had a title that would be singular in Columbia. Therefore – I wanted the production to be singular as well.

 

I’m the type who’s always thinking about “what’s next?”, “what do people want?”, “what’s exciting right here and right now?” So, with a mind running on various cylinders at one time I kept feeling like I couldn’t wrap my head around what the final product would be like for The Motherf**ker With the Hat. There was light at the end of the tunnel however because I was able to work with scenic designer Kimi Maeda and score composer Preach Jacobs.  Now we’ve got a hip-hop score that’s definitive to the Trustus production, as well as a scenic concept that I haven’t seen explored in other productions throughout the country.

 

 

 

4. The play has a "bad word" in it -- a lot of playwrights would have substituted another word to avoid controversy, this one did not. Why do you think that is?

 

In an interview about the show Stephen Adly Guirgis said that he titled the show “The Motherfucker With the Hat” so it would serve as a disclaimer. In other words, you know what you’re getting into. It’s not family friendly – and that’s because it’s about adult life….or “real” life. It can be expected from the title that we’re going to be examining some of the more difficult human experiences.

 

I don’t want to be misleading though…this show does have a lot of comedy in it. Guirgis is a brilliant writer, and I think those who are unfamiliar with him will have a great time experiencing a script by one our more prominent playwrights of the last decade.

 

5. Can you talk a little about the set design?

 

The scenic design by Kimi Maeda is just as “in transit” as the main character, Jackie. From the moment of the inciting incident of this show, we follow Jackie through a series of circumstances and choices that make him careen forward through his already difficult life. He’s in and out of apartments continuously and Kimi’s set allows us to go there with ease. Three rotating periactoi (three-sided revolves) cover the stage, allowing the audience and the characters to move through space and time in an engaging way. In my opinion, plays should often equate to a theatrical EVENT; turning a show into an experience that the actors and the audiences can travel through together. In other words, once the curtain speech has ended I like to make people feel like the safety bar comes down on a rollercoaster and you’re not admitted off the ride until it’s over. Kimi’s set is one of the more effective sets I’ve worked with in allowing the show to take on this “rollercoaster” quality. And boy, with these characters IT IS a rollercoaster.

 

Kimi and I had a lot of conversations about the role the imagination plays in moments of infidelity. Jealousy can begin to take control and has the potential to make someone view their life through a more aggrandized point of view. Hypothetically, if I were to find out from someone else that my wife, girlfriend, boyfriend, or whatever had slept with someone else…I might start to let my jealousy and imagination take over. I might imagine them having wild passionate sex, I might imagine them laughing at me behind my back, I may also imagine KILLING THE MOTHERFUCKAH THAT TOUCHED…see what happens? Haha, the darker side of creation can just take off in moments like that.

 

What Kimi did to respond to that idea was to lace Lichtenstein inspired elements into the set. Making the whole show take on that paneled “comic” style look. Both Lighting Designer Danny Harrington and Costume Designer Brandi Smith have made bold choices to marry the other visual elements into this unique pop-art inspired world.

 

 

6. Of the actors in MFWAH, who, or whose role, do you think the audience will be talking about after the play is over?

 

I think audiences are really going to enjoy watching this cast work together. They couldn’t be a more diverse group with varying ranges in experience, style, approach, and education. However they ALL bring these characters to life beautifully, and more importantly AS AN ENSEMBLE!

 

Trustus audiences will be seeing Alexis Casanovas and Raia Jane Hirsch on the Main Stage for the first time, and I think they’re going to be viewed as very welcome additions to the Trustus family. Alexis brings a lot of swagger and heart to the character of Jackie, and Raia exhibits absolute uninhibited work as Jackie’s fiery girlfriend Veronica.

 

I think audiences are going to be talking a lot about these characters that they’re playing. We pull for both of them, and this show takes them on a journey where their strength is constantly challenged. Jackie is a recovering addict and Veronica is a current addict – so their dynamics are always running on two different cylinders. I tell ya – I know a few couples like that.

 

 

7. What's this I hear about a "hat night" and whose brilliant idea was this anyway?

 

HAT NIGHT?! You mean one of the coolest opening night events this season at Trustus?

 

Yes, we had someone post on the Trustus facebook page that they hoped there’d be a “hat night” for the show. I believe it might have been the editor of Jasper magazine (insert winky emoticon here). So, myself and Larry Hembree thought we could turn it into a fun contest online.

 

So here’s how it works: audiences come on opening night, and they wear a hat. My awesome marketing interns Rachel and Victoria will be going around and taking pictures of those wishing to compete for a Trustus Flex Pass. On Saturday the 9th, we’ll upload a photo album on facebook and tag the shots. Whoever’s photo has the most “likes” by midnight on Saturday the 16th will win a Trustus Flex Pass (8 tickets to Main Stage shows). 2nd place wins 4 tickets, and 3rd place wins 2 tickets. So – there’s more than one chance to win some tickets to Trustus shows! Plus…it’s fun to wear a hat and have everyone call you a “motherf**ker” all night.

MATURE AUDIENCE ONLY: language, sexual content, nudity, violence -

BIO Chad Henderson* (Director) is the current 2012 Jasper Magazine Artist of the Year in Theatre. This year will mark a full decade in Columbia for Chad, four of them at the University of South Carolina and six of them as a Company member here at Trustus. Past Trustus Directing Credits include: Next To Normal, Avenue Q (Winner “Best Local Production”), Passing Strange (Runner-up “Best Local Production”), Spring Awakening, Assassins, The Last 5 Years, reasons to be pretty, Swing ’39 (World premiere), The Lieutenant of Inishmore, Southern Baptist Sissies, Hedwig and The Angry Inch, and Dog Sees God: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead (Winner “Best Local Production). Chad has been in residency twice at The Studios of Key West, and has also directed at The Columbia Children’s Theatre, Workshop Theatre of South Carolina, Theatre South Carolina, Spartanburg Next Stage, and The Spartanburg Youth Theatre.

Jasper chats with Shane Silman, Director of Plan 9 from Outer Space, Live and Undead

When Jasper walked into the back room of the Tapp's Building on a cold day in January, you could tell that, though the folks sitting behind a long folding table were quiet and contemplative, something cool was going on. We'd heard that there were to be auditions for a stage play of the absolutely horrible movie, Plan 9 from Outer Space, so we thought we'd pop in and see what was up. It was almost as cold inside as out, as Billy Guess motioned us into the space and we stood at the back for a while observing what was going on.

Behind the table in warms coats and, in a few cases hats, sat Shane Silman, Nick Dunn, Chris Bickel, and Kara Nelson. Before them a middle-aged man read from a script marked "Confidential" in red letters. Nobody looked impressed. (He didn't make it into the play.)

Flash forward just three months and a successful Kickstarter campaign later, and here we are on the brink of the premiere of the live action play Plan 9 From Outer Space -- Live and Undead based on the film by Ed Wood. Jasper checked in with director Shane Silman yesterday to see if we could tie up any loose ends. We gave him six questions  -- and he gave us plenty of answers.  Have a look below.

1. What should viewers NOT expect from the show?

They should not expect to be bored. If at any time the audience gets bored, we've failed. But we have taken extreme measures to make sure that we do not fail. Everything is on our side. All we need now are the Live Earth Audiences.

2. What's been the greatest challenge?

The greatest challenge has been fighting against time itself, our universal adversary. The amount of time, money, and sheer human effort that it took to get 25 people together in a room, all at one time, over the course of three months, over and over again, and the myriad setbacks and struggles that we encountered - and are still encountering, even in this final week - in bringing Ed Wood's universe to life, have been unexpectedly Biblical in scope and difficulty.

As a result, I have a completely renewed respect for Ed Wood, the man and the artist, and the trials that he faced in bringing his stories to the world. Creating art - whether visual, film, or performance - is not an easy job. Far from it. Our task, as artists, is to make it look easy.

3. Do you recommend folks who haven't seen the film watch it (or Ed Wood) before attending?

Absolutely. I highly recommend seeing the film before coming to see the play. Don't believe the claims of “Worst Movie Ever Made.” Although flawed, certainly, it is nevertheless incredibly entertaining. In my opinion, the “Worst Movie Ever Made” should equal “The Most Boring Movie Ever Made,” and Plan 9 is definitely not boring. Viewing the original film first will only enrich the experience of the “Live and Undead” version that we have created.

Another reason to watch Plan 9 from Outer Space, the movie beforehand, is that it may help you win your very own copy of it. We'll be giving away 9 brand new special edition DVD copies of Ed Wood's original film before each performance, based on correct answers to a list of 'Plan 9'-related trivia questions devised by me.

And yes, I also highly recommend the film Ed Wood, starring Johnny Depp as Ed Wood. In addition to being a terrific film in its own right, Johnny Depp is especially brilliant as Ed Wood. I would also recommend any of Ed Wood's other films, although I might be biased, since I'm a fan.

4. Who is the most likely of your actors to steal any given scene?

One of the things I really love about this story is that even though it's a huge ensemble cast (18 people), there's not a single thankless role. Everyone gets a chance to shine, everyone has great moments, and every character has classic Ed Wood dialogue - except, of course, for the non-speaking zombie roles. Their reward is that they're the stars of the show in the way that the shark is the star of Jaws. They're iconic, they're everyone's favorite characters from this story, everyone's there to see them, and they didn't have to memorize any lines.

Chris Bickel is incredible as Criswell, Mandy Applegate is perfect as Vampira, Scott Means is the ultimate Zombie, Larry Hembree is the best Bela Lugosi we ever could have hoped for, Nathan Dawson and Emily Meadows are adorable as Jeff and Paula Trent, and Nick Dunn is especially hilarious as Eros. And the list goes on and on. Everyone has the opportunity to steal any scene that they're in.

If I had to choose one person, though, I would have to single out Gerald Floyd, as The Alien Ruler. He's only onstage for about 7 minutes, but he is absolutely going to steal the entire show. He's a comedic genius, and this role couldn't be more perfect for him.

5. What is the appropriate alcohol to drink while watching the play -- and will it be available at the Tapp's Center?

Ed Wood's drink of choice was Imperial brand Whisky, although I'm not sure if that even exists anymore.

The Whig will be operating a cash bar at Tapp's during the show, so whatever gets it happening for you, dive in.

Just designate a driver, be responsible, and watch out for Flying Saucers.

6. Anything else you want to say?

The only other thing I'd like to say is that our main goal with this show, from the very beginning, was to have fun. We've been having fun with this story and laughing and having a blast in private rehearsals, nearly every night, for almost three months. And now we're finally ready to let the rest of the world in on it. We want to share the laughs, the excitement, and the fun of what we've been creating all this time. We're inviting everybody to this show as if it were a three-day party, with Plan 9 at the core of it. We're going out there to honor Ed Wood and the spirit of his work, and to just have fun with each other. We want you to have just as much fun as we're having onstage, and we hope to see you there.

For more information on Plan 9 from Outer Space check out the official website.

 

Sometimes it's all I think about, too.

Jasper is hosting the upstairs performance space in the Olympia Room at this year's What's Love evening of art and performance on Feb 14 at 701 Whaley.  We've got Shane Silman, Andrew Quattlebaum, and Alex Smith recreating the Beat poets, NiA Theatre Company offering a little teaser of a play, some poets and slammers, some short films, a freaky cool little installation of altered dolls by Susan Lenz, and Dr. Sketchy.

And one of the really cool things that Jasper Magazine is doing for this year's will be a little chapbook of sexy, quirky poems about love, sex, and technology.  The theme of this year's event is "input/output," so we invited poems and fiction writers to submit poetry and flash fiction that addressed love and sex and especially the ways that technology has changed our emotional and sexual relationships.  We got about 130 submissions from 40 SC writers.  There were text message poems, Skype poems, poems about voicemail and sexting, telephones and digital cams and iphones, a faux blog by a teenage girl, and story written in Facebook posts.  Girl crushes, long-distance calls, a Grindr post, lights left on all night--oh, and a lurker.  And we narrowed it down to 17 powerful, punchy little pieces.

Poets included are:  Ray McManus, Betsy Breen, Eric Kocher, Carol Peters, Worthy Evans, Nicola Waldron, Julie Bloemeke, Dustin Brookshire, Daniel Nathan Terry, Kristine Hartvigsen, Kendal Turner, Lauren Wiggins, Libby Swope Wiersema, Ed Madden, and Barbara G S Hagerty, as well as a poignant little bit of flash fiction by Carl Jenkinson.

The book is published thanks to Jasper and to Hip-Wa-Zee.