Rosary O'Neill! New Orleans' Playwright Steps Into NYC Off, Off Broadway Scene
New York City is a tough place to root yourself into the solid earth. To travel there (now get the metaphor) you have to navigate waters that are shark infested. Ferocious currents can take you out onto the seas of such black, depressing career oblivion that you are drained of your resilience and vitality to persist. Or you may be cruising along making apparent headway when a huge roller (seamen's term for freak wave) capsizes you and your flesh is feed for the voracious predators who troll the waters. But if you make it through all that, you breathe a sigh of relief and step onto dry land. You think you've made it! But then you realize that the process begins all over again. And it's worse. Now you face the most deadly of all creatures, LAND SHARKS!
Thousands of actors, playwrights, fine artists have been churned by the city's fish bellies. Others have returned to the GPS grey zone with barely a ripple. To stay and really "make it," you need money, a lot of money to live in the Big Apple. "Summertime" in this city? Never. Here the livin' ain't never easy. If you've seen Glenngary Glenn Ross by David Mamet, then you know as coffee is for closers, New York is for closers.
How do you make yourself a closer in New York? If you are like Rosary O'Neill, coming from an alternate paradigm of flora and fauna, in her case, the magnolia blossoms and torpid summers of New Orleans, you embrace the challenge, dress for the daily tempests and, with enthusiasm and verve, "get on with the show!" Rosary, has sustained the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, her family home destroyed. So in light of such experiences and others, New York, though cold, offers less heartbreak for her, and in fact, it has offered its love.
Rosary O'Neill is the playwright-in-residence at the National Arts Club. During her years in New York, she has staged readings of various scenes of her plays as works in development there. The membership and her followers have embraced this southern lady with a N'awlins accent and have been enthusiastic about her offerings which have mostly been about New Orleans or dealt with renown celebrities or artists (Marilyn Monroe, James Dean, Montgomery Clift, John Singer Sargent, Degas).Continued on the next page