Former Arizona Attorney General Grant Woods has authored a play to be performed this weekend, July 23 and 24.

Former Arizona Attorney General Grant Woods has authored a play to be performed this weekend, July 23 and 24.

Yesterday, I had coffee with a friend whose life goal is to locate paid work that allows him to do whatever the heck he wants to do. The fact that he is successful at it, and that he is a lawyer, makes me all the more envious. For he has found ways to minimize the daily-grind parts of the legal profession and to maximize the collaborative, business-building, soul-nourishing parts of his career.

Well, screw him.

Of course, I don’t mean that. I really am very happy for him, and for that small subset of others who manage to make their avocation their vocation, who move their most creative work to center stage.

And the stage is where you’ll find the work of another such creative guy, Grant Woods.

I have previously praised the drive of former Arizona Attorney General Woods to nourish his musical and theatrical impulses. You can read about a few of them, here, here, and here.

This weekend, his playwright chops will be on display. “The Things We Do” is Grant’s play, which will be performed this Saturday and Sunday, July 23 and 24. It will be featured at TheaterWorks in Peoria as part of a New Works Festival. Here is how it’s described:

“A very clever and very real comedy telling the story of Bill, Sarah, Ted and Alice, a group of not-so-young professionals discovering once the kids are grown, you may find yourself searching for very different things in life. Follow their journey as they discover the intricacies of modern love and the myriad ways humans deal with the complexity of our associations.”

Tickets and more information on all the plays are here.

And be sure to read another news story about Grant’s writing life here.

Theaterworks new works festival 2016 Grant Woods-page0001

Bringing legal topics to life, either on the stage or screen, takes a special ability. On this Change of Venue Friday, I recommend to you two such endeavors.

The first is a terrific staging of the classic book To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee.

If you’ve never been to the Hale Centre Theatre in Gilbert, it’s worth the drive. All of its shows are performed in the round, which lends them a sense of intimacy with the audience.

And this production is directed by the great playwright and actor D. Scott Withers. Performances run through June 30.

More information and a link to ticket sales are here.

And here is more information and history about the Hale Theatre concept, “believed to be the longest, continuously-operating center stage theatre in the country.”

Meanwhile, up in Phoenix, there is a documentary screening that takes us to more modern legal battles.

“Two Americans” screens this coming Monday, June 18 at the Phoenix Center for the Arts. It is being brought to Phoenix by No Festival Required (see what they’re up to here). More detail on the film is here and here.

Here is a trailer for the documentary.

The filmmakers state that opposing viewpoints will be displayed in the documentary, so I look forward to seeing how they achieve that. Here is how they describe their work:

“The life of a 9-year old child is forever changed when ‘America’s Toughest Sheriff’ arrests her Mexican parents for working at a local carwash. Fighting to rescue her parents from deportation, Katherine Figueroa becomes the poster child of a movement to oust Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio from office. Exposed by the media, Kathy’s family is challenged to overcome their fear of living in Arizona. But when Sheriff Joe uses his power to retaliate against the County Board, it’s the legality of his actions that is questioned. Now the Sheriff’s fate hangs in the balance of an FBI criminal probe.

“Enter the heart of an American family living in the shadows of a state that has criminalized their existence. Walk in the shoes of a public official who has won enormous political gains by incarcerating ‘illegals’ as he stares down criminal charges of his own. Kathy needs her family. Joe needs the power of his badge. ‘Two Americans’ will examine the very personal impact of U.S. immigration policies.

“In a Nation home to over 5 million American children who live in unauthorized immigrant families, Arizona has led the way in the emergent practice of using local police to enforce federal immigration law. But who wins when State laws deter employers from participating in the local economy, the labor pool evaporates, and 35% of the city’s population are viewed with suspicion? An American public that does not feel the direct impact overlooks these very troublesome consequences. This documentary will allow viewers to experience the issue from opposing viewpoints and draw their own conclusions.”

You can buy tickets at the door, or in advance here.

Have a great weekend, and I hope to see you Monday night.