Poet and debut novelist, Cheryl J. Fish, joins Mary Jane for readings and a workshop
Felt Estate, Holland, MI
GVA studio, Grand Rapids, MI
Bay Books, Suttons Bay, MI
TBD, Kalamazoo, MI
Mary Jane writes plays, comedy sketches, short stories, poems, and essays. She recently completed her debut novel, Waffle House and is searching for a publisher. She's published Color Me Happy: A Memoir in Poetry, Painting, and Prose along with a nonfiction book, Yes, And! Harnessing the Power of Improvisation to Transform Your Life and Work.
June 2023 - Poetry Reader and On-Demand Poet at Festival of the Arts GR
December 2022 - Writer for 24-Hour Theater Festival, One-Act Play, Roach Revolt
June 2022 - At the 2022 Annual Convention of the National Federation of State Poetry Societies, Mary Jane's poem, "Blueberry Rain," receives the Miriam S. Strauss Memorial Award, HM5. Read the poem and all the other winning entries here. Attended Scriptoria, weeklong writing workshop.
April 2022 - Presenting "Improvising Your Way Home," at the Kalamazoo Poetry Festival.
February 2022 - Award-winning poem and installation, “Slips,” on exhibit in the juried WordView show at LowellArts, attended Elizabeth Kerlikowske's poetry workshop, Revision Heaven, and Linda Nemec Foster's ekphratic poetry workshop.
February 2021 - Associate Artist at Atlantic Center for the Arts’ 180th residency with Master Artist Randall Silvis, novelist, playwright, essayist, and screenwriter. He's a Senior Fulbright Fellow, Thurber House writer-in-residence, and Pabst Endowed Chair for Master Writers. His awards include the prestigious Drue Heinz Literature Prize, three National Playwrights Showcase Awards, two fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, and he is a Pabst Endowed Chair for Master Writers.
October 2020 studied the art of Memoir writing with Carol Rottman.
February 2020 - 10-minute play, Catch Phrase, produced by 24-Hour Theater and directed by Will Gearring, was performed at Dog Story Theater to a sold-out audience.
February 2019 - attended a three-week writers' residency with Bonnie Joe Campbell at the Atlantic Center for the Arts in New Smyrna, FL. Bonnie received the AWP prize for short fiction, has been awarded a Pushcart Prize, was a finalist for the 2009 National Book Award in Fiction. Her novel, Once Upon a River, is now a feature film.
Along with working on her novel, Mary Jane writes poetry, essays, short stories and plays.
Mary Jane says, writing shows for The Second City was like getting a Ph.D. in writing at gun point. She's grateful to be alive and grateful for the experience.
Published and/or Produced Works
• One-woman show Epiphany 3:29
• One-act play, Lakefront Property, Winner of the Ben Franklin Playwright Award.
"If everything went as planned, you wouldn't need to improvise. But, it doesn't, so you do. Sharing the secrets improvisers use to solve problems quickly and well on stage, Mary Jane equips you to do the same at work and at home. Stories, examples, and more than 60 exercises provide a humorous, practical approach to ensuring you don't just manage change or merely survive the unexpected. Instead, you can seize the opportunity and thrive."
This a textbook, a guidebook, and a good read. Mary Jane's experiences from her time at The Second City provide real-life examples as a catalyst for innovation. With a firm belief that collaboration is a key to the future of our economy, this book can help accomplish that vision. John R. Berry, author of Herman Miller: The Purpose of Design