News Release for Inked in Gray Publishing:
INKED IN GRAY: BRINGING UNTOLD STORIES TO LIFE
The Phoenix publishing company embraces stories that aren’t black and white.
[Phoenix, AZ – February 9, 2019] Two Phoenix authors with a passion for untold stories have joined forces to create Inked in Gray, a new publishing company dedicated to fiction that represents the gray shades of life. Instead of featuring only a particular genre, Inked in Gray will publish books and anthologies in many genres, with a focus on stories that appeal to young and new adult readers.
“Discrimination is everywhere. It provides justification for putting actions, people, and values into boxes, painting everything with the broad strokes of right or wrong. We’re not going to see the world and people differently until we put down that ‘brush’ and start listening to each other. Really listening.” Dakota Rayne, co-founder and editor in chief of Inked in Gray explains. “The more I open my eyes, the more shades of gray I see, and they are simply amazing. Instead of a brush, I picked up a pen and created Inked in Gray. As senior editor of Inked in Gray I hope to share these stories inked in gray: of lives fallen between the cracks of society, of values that challenge the status quo, themes and thoughts that make us challenge our own perceptions, about characters that show us that there is more beneath the surface of everything.”
On top of publishing, Inked in Gray will offer services such as editing, mentoring, and promotional coaching to give authors tools for success. Submissions will open soon, and interested writers are encouraged to follow Inked in Gray on social media to learn more.
Founded in 2018 by Phoenix residents Dakota Rayne and Carolyn Thomas, Inked in Gray is a publishing company with a number of growing philanthropic endeavors aimed at enriching local and international communities. Inked in Gray is committed to bringing stories to light that need to be told and to nurturing voices that need to be heard.
Suddenly Last Summer tells the story of Violet Venable, an affluent elderly woman grieving the loss of her son to a visiting Doctor Cukrowicz. She praises her late son, and reveals that she blames his death on his troubled young cousin, Catherine Holly, who Violet believes is in need of a lobotomy due to the appalling story she spins of her son’s death.
To talk about Suddenly Last Summer, it’s difficult (and a disservice) to separate the play from the context in which it was written. Perhaps it’s best described in the words of Elia Kazan, who directed the film version of Streetcar Named Desire, who said of Williams, “Everything in his life is in his plays, and everything in his plays is in his life.” Suddenly Last Summer opened Off-Broadway in 1958, and a film adaptation was released the very next year. It came after his most notable successes, The Glass Menagerie, A Streetcar Named Desire and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, by several years.
The script provides visceral imagery and themes which prompted me to jot down phrases like “savagery dressed in silk and velvet” that I had intended to use to describe the production as a whole, but witnessing the abruptly racist tones of the script’s ending, I no longer felt those phrases appropriate. Suddenly Last Summer is rife with challenging themes, most of which provide for a sumptuous if not acidic feast for the mind that demands the audience’s thought and reflection, but the ending leaves a sour taste in more ways than one. This is where, again, the context and content of the play is tightly intertwined with the playwright himself. Without going too deep into the modern trope of “Bury Your Gays”, Tennessee Williams lived through the implementation of the Motion Picture Production Code, which only allowed mention of ‘sexual deviancy’ if the characters involved met some kind of horrible end, essentially a punishment for their sexuality. This led to a long-standing trope of gay characters doomed to meet tragic endings, even after the Production Code was dismantled. (As a queer person myself, the lack of happy endings is damn frustrating.)
Still, Tennessee Williams’ works should be acknowledged, though not necessarily excused, as a product of their time and of Williams’ own struggles. What could be considered homophobic by today’s standards could just as easily be attributed to society-induced self-loathing from the playwright, living in an utterly intolerant society. Racist and classist tones exist in Suddenly Last Summer, though being a ‘product of the time’ doesn’t quite excuse these elements to a modern audience.
With an original script by a young playwright featuring yet another take on Peter Pan, I admittedly went into this production skeptical, but my expectations were pleasantly exceeded: East Valley Children’s Theatre has produced an absolute treat in The Lost Boys of Neverland. Tanner Morris’s script adds surprising originality to a classic tale, while the cast delivers delightful nuggets of humor and touching moments. All in all, The Lost Boys of Neverland is a smashing success with something for everyone of any age in the audience, even this jaded Millennial.
A magical premise, a folksy score, fanciful costumes, and an imaginative set make for a whimsical night of wonder in Brelby Theatre Company’s Luna & Solis. Created entirely by members of the Brelby Theatre Company, this world premiere showcases a wide breadth of local talent. It’s a delightful experience perfectly suited for the space that boasts a broad array of talents in shadow work, puppetry, and creativity on all levels.