THE DREAM AT WORK:
Nearly 48 years after ‘I Have A Dream’,
seven women playwrights share their
visions for gender and racial equality
in the American theater workplace
A LIVE WEBCAST DISCUSSION
Wednesday May 25th, 2011 at 3:00PM
Featuring Alex Beech – Radha Blank – Bridget Kelso – Mona Mansour*
Winter Miller – Dominique Morisseau – Deepa Purohit – Betty Shamieh
LIVE Q & A – Tweet your questions to #NEWPLAY to join the discussion.
#NEWPLAY TV is a shared-resource of the U.S. new works theater sector
and an initiative of American Voices New Play Institute at Arena Stage.
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* Please note that due to an unavoidable conflict in Adaora Udoji’s schedule, Keith Josef Adkins, co-founder of The New Black Fest, will moderate this discussion.
Meet the Writers
Alex Beech Alex Beech’s latest play, Little Monsters, recently ended its run at the Brandeis Theatre Company in association with Primary Stages. Her two-woman show, What Are You Doing here, will be produced at the Planet Connections Festivity in June of 2011. Her plays have been produced and/or developed at The Cherry Lane Theatre, Intar, BlueBox, The Flea, Planet Connections Festivity, Teatro Luna, and other theatres. Her translation of The Cook by Eduardo Machado was produced by the Stages Theater in Houston, and her translations of The Camels (Luis Ayllon) and Hitler in my Heart (Noe Morales Munoz) were presented at the Lark Play Development Center where Alex is an associate artist. She is the recipient of an Aspen Theatre Masters Visionary Award, and is writing a commissioned play on the Aspen Ideas Festival. She earned a BA and MFA from Columbia University, and will earn an MFA in musical theater writing from NYU.
Radha Blank’s plays include American Schemes, seed, HappyFlowerNail, nannyland, Reverb and Kenya. Awards and Fellowships include New Professional Theatre’s Writers Award, NY Foundation for the Arts Fellowship, Nickelodeon’s Writers Fellowship and The Public Theaters inaugural Emerging Writers Group Fellowship. Her work has been developed and/or presented by The Classical Theater of Harlem, The City Parks Foundation, Dixon Place, The Public Theater, The Lark, Here, Voice & Vision’s Envision Retreat, The Hedgebrook Women Playwright’s Festival as well as several seasons of The NYC Hip Hop Theater Festival. Her play seed just received The National Endowment for the Arts Distinguished New Play Development Award and will be presented this fall in New York City. Her latest play, Casket Sharp, explores gang rites and death rituals in a deprived town.
Bridget Kelso is an actor, writer and teacher. She is a proud member of the Public Theater’s 2009 Emerging Writers Group, and is working on a series of plays that incorporates traditional African theatrical techniques. She is especially interested in exploring the ways that identity, spirituality, social justice and the arts intersect.
Mona Mansour’s play Urge For Going just finished a run at New York’s Public Theater. Previously, the play was read at The Public (New Work Now) and Theater J in Washington, D.C and was part of last summer’s Ojai Playwrights Conference. Mona completed a year in The Public’s Emerging Writers Group, where her play The Hour of Feeling was read in The Public’s Spotlight Series (directed by Mark Wing-Davey). The Hour of Feeling will workshop at Powerhouse Theater/N.Y. Stage and Film this summer. Television writing credits: “Dead Like Me,” (Showtime) and “Queens Supreme,” (CBS). * Please note that due to an unavoidable scheduling conflict, Mona Mansour is no longer able to participate in this event.
Winter Miller is a member of 13P. Plays include: In Darfur (The Public), Paternity (Cherry Lane), The Penetration Play (13P), and upcoming The Arrival and Amandine. In Darfur was also staged for a one-night SRO performance at the 1800-seat Delacorte, a first for a play by a woman. In Darfur won the PWC and the Guthrie’s Two-Headed Challenge. Fellowships: Sundance, Cherry Lane, Hedgebrook and Voice & Vision. MFA Columbia.
Dominique Morisseau is a playwright and actress, a 2011 Public Theater Emerging Writer’s Group Fellow and a member of the 2010-2012 Women’s Project Playwrights Lab. Her play, FOLLOW ME TO NELLIE’S, will be produced this July with Premiere Stages. Dominique is a Jane Chambers Playwriting Award honoree, a two-time NAACP Image Award recipient, and a PONY Award nominee.
Deepa Purohit is the Co-founder/Artistic Director of Rising Circle Theater Collective, a theater company devoted to telling the stories of people of color -www.risingcircle.org. Writing: Flight (in development), Exiled, LotusMart Ohio. With Sanjit De Silva: Grace – 2010 Eugene O’Neill Playwrights Conference Finalist/ 2010 Lark Play Development Center Playwrights Week finalist, American Family Project (2007), and Pulling the Lever (2004). Deepa has taught students from low income communities in New York City and beyond for over ten years. Teach For America Alumna (Baltimore ’92) BA: Northwestern University. Masters in Public Health:Columbia University.
Betty Shamieh’s off-Broadway premieres are The Black Eyed (New York Theatre Workshop) and Roar (The New Group), which is currently being taught at universities across the country. Her recent European productions in translation include Again and Against (Playhouse Theater, Stockholm), The Black Eyed (Theater Fournos, Athens), and Territories (2009 European Union Capital of Culture Festival). A graduate of Harvard College and the Yale School of Drama, Shamieh was named as a Playwriting Fellow at Harvard University’s Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Studies in 2006. Shamieh recently was selected as a 2011 UNESCO Young Artist for Intercultural Dialogue.
Bridgit Antoinette Evans (webcast producer) has spent 10 years investigating the intersection of art and social change, as an actor, producer and President of Fuel | We Power Change, a creative studio that partners high profile and emerging artists with human rights organizations for human rights campaigns and media productions. For Fuel, Evans is the executive producer of the charity music single This Is to Mother You featuring Sinead O’Connor, Mary J Blige and Martha B that raises funds for survivors of child sex trafficking; executive producer of the South African staging of Suzan-Lori Parks’ Venus that raised funds for domestic violence survivors in Capetown; creator of the Live for Darfur Artists Campaign chaired by Don Cheadle that catalyzed over $10 million in donations for global NGOs; and a popular lecturer on creative social entrepreneurship at leading universities in the US, UK, France and South Africa.