If any of my plays ever needed a developmental workshop, it’s MEDICA. And thanks to Working Title Playwrights, this surreal, sci-fi, darkly funny, bloody, relentless alternate reality play about female surgeons in wartime got one as part of The Ethel Woolson Lab.
“The Woolson,” is a super opportunity, providing a juried selection process, several months with a dramaturg and a full week of rehearsal (and rewrites) and discussion with top-tier Atlanta actors and directors, culminating in a staged reading for an audience.
And I couldn’t be more thrilled to have director Amber Bradshaw at the wheel, with dramaturg Patricia Henritze helping me help the play find its road.
UPDATE: The workshop was the week of November 13, with the public reading on November 19. I learned a lot about the script and wrote a new draft during that time. The reading featured Shayla Love, Jacob McKee, Kathleen McManus, and Chad Martin.
It was 90 degrees, half the cast was wearing wool or a corset, and fire ants attacked the majority of the crew while they wrangled props, light shields, and hundreds of feet of extension cords.
It’s a strange and special moment when you first see—in the flesh—characters you’ve been creating in writing for four years.
Thanks to photographer BreeAnne Clowdus and the staff and artists at Horizon Theatre.
Actor’s Express here in Atlanta is in their second year of this expertly-run little festival of new works by mostly area writers. Pleased to be a part of it in December 2016 with this play that started out as 48-hour play project (4:48, thanks to Edith Freni and Paula Vogel) through Emory University’s Breaking Ground in the summer of 2015.
December 2, 2016, 8pm
Directed by Lisa Paulsen
Featuring Jennifer Alice Acker, Stacy Melich, Stephen Ruffin, and Joe Sykes
Couldn’t be more honored than to be on the docket with two other lady playwrights and also to get to work on this play at a theatre with guts and heart and a beautiful aesthetic. Read The American Theatre article here.
My play, THE FLOWER ROOM, which was hatched as part of the 4:48 Bake-Off at Emory University in August of 2015, was workshopped with the other 4:48 plays (by Johnny Drago, Edith Freni, and Michael Winn) as part of Emory’s Brave New Works in February 2016. We all started with the same source material—a book called SEX AT DAWN—and after the initial summer drafts, took off in our own directions. One fact that won’t be surprising: the play is about sex.
My musical (with composer, Aaron McAllister), lift, was presented, along with seven other musicals, at the National Alliance of Musical Theatre’s Festival of New Musicals in October. This opportunity was more about the exposure than the production, as we presented just 45 minutes of the show with the hopes that a producer or theatre dug what they saw. We got the cream-of-NYC’s-crop of musical theatre actors, a great team of passionate advocates for new musicals, and an audience made up of 400 industry invitees and attendees from around the world. This is a big deal in the musical theatre writers’ world, and we were pretty darn excited to be a part of it.
I’ll be participating in two different sessions of Emory’s collaborative and developmental theatre workshop event, Breaking Ground 2015, this June and July. Click the link for a full schedule of public performances. Though this project is much more about the process than the product.
One, INSIDE VOICE, is helmed by two of my favorite artists, David Crowe and Patricia Henritze, and puts women at the forefront. I’m bringing in a short piece that, set on the frontlines of no-man’s-land, imagines a world where all doctors are female.
The other, 4:48, proves writers are nuts. We have to write a whole play in 48 hours, and we don’t get the specifics of the assignment until the morning of the first day. Read more about it here.
After a chance meeting on LinkedIn of all places, Dr. Erik Abbott, AD of Actors Repertory Theatre of Luxembourg, and I embarked on a production of the first play I ever wrote: GREYHOUNDS (originally produced in NYC in 2006). Erik’s English-speaking company was looking for a play for two women, and mine fit the bill. They performed it in a great little cafe in the city center and, apparently, a good time was had by all. The theatre was a dream to work with—I only wish I could have been there to cheer them on in person.
Here are a couple of reviews (in English):
Luxemburger Wort (June/2015): Greyhounds, by Actors Repertory Theatre, A Journey You Won’t Forget (PDF)
Luxembourg Chronicle (June/2015) (PDF)
Christmastime in Florida. A magical yet very confusing combination. Luckily, I couldn’t focus on the 80-degree weather because I was in a rehearsal room with a truck-load of talent all trying to take SPLIT IN THREE’s script to the next plateau. The passionate, smart, hilarious collaborations that occurred around that table, under the leadership of my bud, Justin Anderson, will get this play in fighting shape for its April world premiere.
We worked for three days, I wedged in a very late night of rewrites, there were designer meetings, and then we did another public reading followed by a talkback.
There was crying and a lot of laughing.
Thanks for snapping these shots, Janine Wochna.
Now on to the next draft!