Arts & Entertainment

Local writer takes performance to stage in NYC

fee2c38f00b12a0331aa_9181c9587ff5717c66c0_tammy.jpg
Thomasine "Tammy" Crawford
fee2c38f00b12a0331aa_9181c9587ff5717c66c0_tammy.jpg

OLEAN, NY – It’s always a rewarding feeling when hard work pays off. For Thomasine "Tammy" Crawford, dreams became a reality when her play, "Inside Himself," was picked up by the Midtown International Theatre Festival in New York City.

“I remember logging into my email at work and seeing the word ‘congratulations!’ and froze,” Crawford said. “I read the email and remember looking out of my office to see if someone could look at this with me and tell me if it was real or not.”

Ever since Crawford was a child growing up in Olean, she followed a call for writing. She recalled an early writing experience with a lifelong friend. “When we were kids, we found some continuous computer punch paper and I hand wrote a story about a senator's daughter who was kidnapped,” she said.

Sign Up for E-News

When she was in her 30s, Crawford continued to write short stories, which she sent  to magazines with hopes of being published. No luck. She even began a novel 15 years ago. At first a publisher showed interest. When she completed the novel, however, the publisher was no long accepting unsolicited manuscripts.

Crawford found herself at a standstill. She didn’t write anything for several years until her uncle suffered a stroke in 2008.

She recalled visiting him. “He stood there talking to me, seemed completely healthy, but I couldn't understand a word," she said. "He looked at me as though he was completely sure of what he was saying, but it was entirely nonsensical to me.”

At that moment, Crawford got the idea for “Inside Himself.”

“In my crazy brain, I saw two men coming out on stage with a spotlight on each of them,” Crawford said. “They were the same man, but one just had the stroke and the other was the man who he still thought he was. One spoke gibberish, the other, his clear thought.”

She had not written a play for the stage but was familiar with scripts because of her experience with Olean Community Theatre. She had been in “Mame” and “Sylvia.” She began researching the process of script writing and then wrote a script.

Crawford’s mentor, Mara Mills, assisted in refining the script and helped her incorporate the play into Crawford’s communications curriculum at Jamestown Community College in Olean where Mills taught with Crawford.

A few years later, Mills brought the production to JCC in Olean, arranged readings of the script with actors in the Westchester County area, and sent the play to a variety of theater entities

In December of 2015, the Midtown International Theatre Festival accepted it. A grant from the Cattaraugus Region Community Foundation not only assisted with the development of the show but with a follow-up workshop where discussion on aging awareness, family support and stroke education would take place.

 “It's been quite a learning process, dealing with a working director and experienced cast,” Crawford said.  “I remember thinking to myself, this is not community theater anymore.”

Crawford continues to write short stories and scripts. Her “Act Your Age” will be produced by OCT. She is also in the process of reworking her play, “The Bishop’s Committee,” which concerns a group of Catholic women in the 1960s learning of injustices in the Catholic Church.

# # #

Sarah Negron accompanied Crawford on her trip to New York City for the Midtown International Theatre Festival. Read her account of what it was spending time with playwright by clicking here.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Greater Olean

Becoming English in 90 Minutes

It was our first day in the country. The smell of fish'n chips filled the air, and the Wig and Pen was the place to be as England prepared to take on Sweden in the quarterfinals of the 2018 World Cup on Saturday.  Wearing blue and yellow was a death sentence. The streets were lined with fans dressed in red who stood in pub lines extending for blocks. We had one goal: Convince the locals ...

Understanding the Tough Times at The Buffalo News Can Lead to Brighter Future for the Newspaper 

Given the fiscal state of the news industry, the changes underway at The Buffalo News are not unique. To offset revenue losses, newspapers across the nation have bid farewell to longtime reporters, eliminated once-popular sections and removed jobs that involved covering important beats, such as education, the environment and transportation. 

What makes the ...

Grandpa Practiced Sustainability

My grandpa was of the Depression Era. Sustainability wasn’t “a thing” back then — it was just the way you lived. Though he was raised in a time when you were thankful to be able to put a good meal on the table, he likely had a standard of life that we would consider average or middle class today. He didn’t grow up in a slum or shanty town, but he did understand the ...

Upcoming Events

Thu, July 19, 1:00 PM

Olean

Fossils: Clues to the Past

Education

Carousel_image_afd68efb1a8dec240892_2018_final_taste_art_in_the_park_poster

Sun, July 22, 11:00 AM

War Veterans Park, Olean

Taste of Olean / Art in the Park

Arts & Entertainment Food & Drink

Mon, July 23, 12:00 PM

Allegany Public Library, Allegany

SBU's Quick Center ArtMobile

Education

State Grant Wil Help Ellicottville Brewing Company Expand in Cattaraugus County

July 18, 2018

ALBANY, NY – Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo on Tuesday announced the grand opening of Ellicottville Brewing Company's fourth location in Cattaraugus County.

The company's new 75,000-square-foot facility in Little Valley allows for the expansion of commercial production and bottling operations and the addition of 40 new full-time jobs. Ellicottville Brewing Company, which distributes its ...

Quick Center’s ArtMobile Embarks on 10th Year of Summer Visits to Area Libraries 

ST. BONAVENTURE, NY — The Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts at St. Bonaventure University kicks off its 10-year anniversary this month participating in the National Summer Reading Program, making stops at public libraries across New York and Pennsylvania.

“This is one of the Quick Center’s most ambitious summers to date,” said Sean Conklin, assistant curator of the ...

Four area students receive Murphy scholarship

Four area high school graduates each recently received a $10,000 John J. Murphy Family Scholarship managed by the Cattaraugus Region Community Foundation.

Tyler Lashway of Port Allegany High School; Emily Rohrs and Anna Seamon, both of Allegany-Limestone Central School; and Olean High School’s Natalie Sova each received the John J. Murphy Family Scholarship.

The $10,000 scholarship is ...

'A Day in the Life': One Transportation Supervisor Serves Portville and Olean

PORTVILLE, NY – A whiteboard with dozens of destinations and vehicle numbers written in various colors sits inside the Portville bus garage, ready to be changed at any moment. David Youngs, the transportation supervisor of the Portville and Olean School Districts, knows that before 2 almost every afternoon, he is likely to receive an email changing the entire meticulously planned ...

'A Day in the Life' Follows Della Moore of the African American Center for Cultural Development

OLEAN, NY – When Della Moore walks down the street, she greets everyone she passes and makes sure to ask, “How are you doing?” 

From the moment I joined her at the 7-Eleven on a cloudy, cold December morning until we finished making our stops along State and North Union streets, she remained ...

'Day in the Life' Follows Warehouse Selector Justus Elliot

OLEAN, NY -- For Justus Elliot, time and pace are essential. As a warehouse selector for Olean Wholesale Grocery Co-Op, most of the 21-year-old’s job calls for efficiency.

“Everything is time-based," Elliot explained. "One hundred percent is the norm, and it’s what we work for every day. If our score is less, then we are moving too slow, and we kick it into ...

Happy Veterans Day, Mom

What began as an attempt to boost her GPA soon turned into a 22-year career for my mom, Ramona Lee Discavage.

On the first day of her freshman year at St. Bonaventure University in 1989, members of the Army ROTC Seneca Battalion helped incoming freshmen move their stuff into their dorm rooms.  Afterward, they invited all of the freshmen to a lunch.

“When they described the ...

Lynn Kemp: ‘Best Soldier I Could Be’

Lynn Kemp is nearing 95 and knows he has lived a good life.

“The good Lord has been awful good to me,” recalled the lifelong resident of Shinglehouse, Pennsylvania. “I never refused an order. I tried to be the best soldier I could be. I don’t know what your relationship is with God, but mine is pretty close.”

Born Oct. 29, 1920, Lynn grew up in a home on Turkey ...

WW II museum provides role models for young people

When Steve Appleby asks area students if they know Snoop Dog, Eminem, Kanye West, the Kardashians, Parris Hilton or Miley Cyrus, they answer yes. Then Appleby will ask which of them knows Jason Dunham is, and the students will not have a clue.

Appleby will explain that Jason Dunham was a Marine from Scio, in Allegany County, New York, who was killed in Iraq in 2006 after jumping on a grenade ...