How much do you listen?

Smart Writer’s Guide to Notes! Writers get notes: suggestions about how to rewrite a particular piece of work. Notes may be as informal as your boyfriend’s comments on that last chapter or as rigorous as a sit-down with an influential producer. When do you listen? When do you not? Choose just a few people you […]

15 Resolutions that Writers Need 2015

Whether you’re a newcomer to writing or an established pro, I know you’ll find value in my list of crucial do’s. 1. Do the prep work.  Writing is a series of decisions; some are made prior to the actual composition.  These include calculating the time-frame of your story (chronology), deciding on cast of characters, establishing […]


It’s official! Diana is commissioned by Jennifer Decker, Artistic Director of Mildred’s Umbrella Theater Company in Houston, TX, to write a new play based on the true life story of Aspasia, a powerful Athenian courtesan of the 4th century B.C. Deadline for delivery of The Brazen Harlot is March, 2015.             […]

Death Be Not Predictable – NYT Review

“How do you think he looks? Better?” the dying man’s wife asks a visitor to his hospital room. The hopefulness in her voice is unmistakable. But the gaunt 38-year-old patient is clearly not long for this world. Still, his wife babbles on about his future, using words as a wall to hold back her despair […]

BWW Interviews: Jennifer Decker and Diana Amsterdam Talk CARNIVAL ROUND THE CENTRAL FIGURE

Continuing their 2013-14 season, Mildred’s Umbrella Theatre Company is producing Diana Amsterdam’s CARNIVAL ROUND THE CENTRAL FIGURE. In the play, Kate visits the deathbed of a close friend and through a series of theatrical dreams and nightmares must acknowledge that no matter how much denial, positive thinking or prayer people practice to avoid death, the […]

Fast Girls hits the stage running

Fast Girls, by Diana Amsterdam, is a fast-paced comedy that reads very much like a classic 1980’s sitcom. Set in 1988 New York City, the show focuses on Lucy, who just broke up with her long-term boyfriend Sidney. To deal with the break-up, she’s been filling her nights with one-night-stands, random flings and general promiscuity. […]

Next Up – “FAST GIRLS” by Diana Amsterdam

A precursor to Sex and the City, this fast-paced comedy is a buddy story about two single women during the late eighties, when the sexual revolution had hit a definite snag. Lucy Lewis loves men, being single, and playing the field; she is a successful career woman and a “fast girl.” Her neighbor Abigail McBride […]

Review: Carnival Round the Central Figure

HOUSTON—Sometimes when a piece of theater challenges me, I look for answers in the play’s title. So soon after seeing the Mildred’s Umbrella regional premiere of Carnival Round the Central Figure, I sought meaning from carnivals. In the U.S, we tend to think of carnivals as a kind of temporary low-rate amusement park, where we can […] Review: Carnival ‘Round the Central Figure

Comedies don’t come much darker than Diana Amsterdam’s “Carnival Round the Central Figure,” a hard-core but justified lampooning of the strange etiquette we adhere to when watching loved ones pass away. Amsterdam’s relentless script, which premiered in a student production 16 years ago, makes a glib burlesque out of the oblique religious platitudes, idle chitchat, […]

Phone It In: Carnival ‘Round the Central Figure (Video Review)

After reviewing several depressing productions lately, we’re pleased to see that AndrewAndrew’s latest insta-review is of a comedy. Albeit a pretty dark one. Carnival ‘Round the Central Figure at IRT Theater centers on a dying man’s struggles to make sense of all of the ineffectual, and sometimes untrue, sayings and beliefs people offer as comfort […]