And then the skies opened up…..

I was sitting on the couch yesterday, engaged in my normal Sunday morning ritual, watching bad reality tv in my pjs with a couple cats huddled on me, trying to steal attention, when my phone made the most horrific beeping noise.

Tornado Warning: Seek Shelter Immediately.

I’ll admit normally I don’t. I’ve grown up in the Midwest all of my life, and tornadoes have never scared me. I mean, it’s just wind after all, right?

Normally I hope in the car and try to sight see (Dumb, I know). 

I looked outside, nothing much, but a bit of a wind whipping the leaves around and the rain. Still, I figured, I’m actually suppose to be an adult at 28 and should start acting like it, so I grabbed a couple magazines, my cats, a half-eaten pie and went down to the basement to wait it out. 

By the time I made my way downstairs, the skies had blackened, baseball size hail rained down as twigs whipped against my house. The storm moved quickly. Ten minutes later an eery calm as my power went out.

My town, Stanford was lucky. (Yes I live in a town that is my last same name, so does my brother ironically.) Image

We just now got power back, have a bunch of down trees (my bushes were destroyed) and a few houses lost roofs. It will take a bit to clean up, but that doesn’t at all compare to the devastation that my former hometown of Washington suffered. (Two other cities close by Pekin and East Peoria aslo got hit hard.) My former apartment complex was leveled. And the town, is pretty much in ruins.


You can view more of the carnage here.

Obviously, it’s going to be a long time until most of the smaller towns hit are cleaned up. And Washington, well, it’s going to be a very long haul for them. As of now, residents aren’t even being allowed back in the town to clean up. We have months and months of work ahead.

Please if you can, donated to the red cross.

Or check out this fb page. It has alot of information on the town and how you can help.




The Prairieland Theatre Company will present “Prairie Playwrights: Four Plays Three Authors at 7 p.m. on Friday, May 31 and Saturday, June 1 and at 2 p.m. on Sunday, June 2 at the Farmhouse Banquet & Event Center in Delavan.

The four one-act plays were written by Central Illinois residents: “Art Appreciation” by Rachel Stanford of Washington; “Clean Sweep” by Gordon Petry of Pekin; and both “NIMBY” and “Returns” by Hale Garrison of Peoria.


Tickets are $8 and will be sold in advance and at the door. Please visit their fb page for more details.

Play practice today

Today, we had our rehearsal for next week’s, Life, The Universe and Playwriting: A Sexlet of Orginal Plays, for which two of my plays are being shown, and I am directing one. I use the term directing loosely, as most of my directing experience is relegated to five year-olds or cheesy plays we did in college.

I was at first reluctant to even again to direct. But I decided what the hell, you only live once!

I haven’t regretted it.

The experience has been wonderful. My actors have been helpful with their advice and thoughts on blocking.  And I feel like this will help my craft.

As a writer, my first thought is to do what I think best to complete my story. However as a director, I am seeing how this, on stage can created a bevy of problems, especially with blocking and character motivation.  I think this is something I need to keep in mind when writing my plays.

Anyway, I still have some work to do for next week’s production, so this will have to be a short post.

Peace n luv.

P.S. If you are in the Peoria, Il area on Sunday check out the show. You won’t be disappointed.


Official play announcement

If you enjoyed last season’s 4play: An Afternoon of Playreading, you’ll love Life, the Universe, and Playreading: A Sextet of Original Plays by Gary Hale and Rachael Stanford.
This year’s new plays, consisting of 4 scripts by Hale and 2 scripts by Stanford, will be read on Sunday, January 20, at 2:30pm in the Corn Stock Theatre Center.

We are very excited that this year’s play reading features 2 revised scripts by each playwright that will also be directed by each other.
Stick around afterwards for a short discussion with the playwrights.

This year’s plays are as follows:

Game On by Stanford (directed by Jillian Redman)
Three Dealt Hands by Hale (directed by Sean Howell)
Precious Pretty Puppies by Hale (directed by Gretchen Teske)
Returns by Hale (directed by Seth Hannan)
A Sunday Proposal by Stanford (directed by Hale)
Red, Blue, Whatever by Hale (directed by Stanford)