Teresa Mella Fogel
I have been writing since I was a little girl, poems, short stories, plays. My life took a different direction and for 35 years I worked in the financial industry and raised my children. During that whole time my true passion kept tugging at me, but responsibilities, life and lack of confidence kept me on the wrong path. During those years I dabbled in short stories, took a few classes, and even had a few magazine articles published. Stress and a health crisis made me realize that it was time to follow my inner voice. I retired from my financial profession and embarked on the second act of my life. I attended the Yale Writers Conference which happened to have a Playwriting tract and slowly began to find my voice. It was exciting to hear Yale actors read my work on stage; it was a wonderful experience. Trying to expand my knowledge of the theatre I signed up to be part of a staged reading group as an actor. And while I won’t be receiving a Tony anytime soon, I learned much from that experience. I became a member of the Dramatist Guild and began classes towards their certificate program. I joined a theatre group in Norwalk, CT filled with many wonderful actors who read my work and shared their feedback with me. Among many rejection notices there have been some high points. One of my plays was published, one won a short play competition, and a full length was a semi-finalist for the Garry Marshall Theatre in LA. Since then, I’ve had several works produced at a local theatre and am currently working on a play that will highlight my Cuban heritage.
MORE ABOUT ME
I joined a theatre group in Norwalk Connecticut that included some well-known actors. Needless to say, I was intimidated; imposter syndrome was alive and well taking residence in my head. Over a few weeks I started to feel comfortable and even brought in some work for actors to read. I enjoyed watching pieces being performed at these meetings and learned from the feedback given. Working in the corporate world for many years I developed a tough skin but felt very exposed the first time one of my pieces was read. While some of the feedback was difficult to hear it helped me move my work forward. I submitted a piece to be considered for their playwrights’ festival and was excited when it was chosen. The president of the board wanted to direct it and had already asked two seasoned members to perform. My euphoria ended when the president had to take a step back and I had no one to direct. Lucky for me one of my actors also directed so he directed and acted in my piece. As rehearsals went on I learned to change lines where needed and how to work a scene more efficiently. My husband proudly invited all our friends to the performances, I felt almost naked! Opening night, I felt like I had jumping beans in my stomach and had trouble putting a whole sentence together. All my stress was needless, the performance of my piece went wonderfully well with the audience laughing in all the right places and giving loud applause for the performance. This was the validation I needed to know that writing plays not only made me happy but that I had talent and something to share with the audience.
WHAT I'M WORKING ON
I am working on a full length play that revolves around a Cuban mother and daughter and how their experiences after leaving their homeland changed both their lives.
woman, mother, inter-faith, Catholic, Jewish, hispanic, humor, satire, drama, family perceptions
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