ONSTAGE Playwrights 2017: Meet Barbara Blumenthal-Ehrlich

Every year we interview our winning playwrights, and this year is no exception!  Join us over the coming weeks as we post more interviews with playwrights, along with information about each play’s director and cast!

Barbara has participated in our past ONSTAGE fests, and shared a beautiful short play with our We’re Not Playing Initiative last fall, but this marks the first time one of her pieces has made it to the final line-up.  Her play, SPARK is a lovely bit of femme powered magical realism about a dissolving marriage.   I love the simplicity and the power of this piece and I know our audiences will too.  I absolutely cannot wait to see this play come to life! 


If you could have one super power, what would it be and why?

Unlimited energy (no need for sleep). Because there’s always more that needs to be done!

Describe your writing space…

My kitchen when my family’s not around. The library when they are.

What is the title of your play?

Spark

How did this year’s ONSTAGE theme inspire you to write/share this play?

Joan and Steven’s marriage has imploded, and he’s running away with the travel agent who booked their anniversary trip. That’s a pretty big hot mess. But when she finds solace in house full of whirring appliances, she realizes that maybe there’s hope after all.

What play (by another playwright) have you read a gazillion times, and what about that play keeps you coming back to it? 

Master Harold and the Boys by Athol Fugard. I’ve read and seen this play a zillion times and continue to be in awe. It’s perfectly crafted, deeply felt, and crazy intense. It’s alternately life affirming and depressing as hell. Most impressive is how Fugard masterfully personalizes the complexities of Apartheid in the finely layered story of three interconnected lives.

Do you have any upcoming productions elsewhere that our readers should know about?

SACRED SPACE in the Neil Labute New Theatre Festival in St. Louis, (July). And, SHUT UP AND DANCE, in the Women in Theatre Festival in NYC (June).

Please share a brief synopsis for a full-length of yours that our readers should know about!

STILL LIFE: Lydia’s daughter, Jackie, hasn’t returned home since a series of subway bombings in an unnamed city. Now she’s stuck waiting for news with her annoying son-in-law, Donald, and a mysterious millennial photographer who won’t stop following her. A darkly comic look at the way we adjust to life and loss in a terrorist age. (Produced in Seattle at Forward Flux Productions, and a reading this month at Cherry Lane in NYC)

Barbara’s Bio:

Full lengths produced at Northern Light (Edmonton, Alberta, Canada), Overtime (San Antonio), Forward Flux (Seattle) Trustus (Columbia, S.C.), Trinity Rep (Providence), the New York International Fringe Festival, off-Broadway Summer Play Festival, and more. A contributing writer to the upcoming 2017 national tour, THE GRIEF DIALOGUES. Plays have been developed in NYC at Playwrights Horizons, Second Stage, EST, ARACAworks, Rattlestick, and regionally at Actors Theatre of Louisville, Geva, Victory Gardens, Elephant Theatre, Hangar, among others. Winner of the 2016 Beverly Hills Theatre Guild Julie Harris Award, Capital Stage Playwrights’ Revolution, and a runner up in contests that include the Sundance Playwriting Lab, O’Neill Playwrights Conference, Bay Area Playwrights Festival, the Heideman Award and Princess Grace Fellowship. Her play STILL LIFE was named to the Kilroy List (honorable mention) and nominated for the Susan Smith Blackburn Award. Published by Smith & Kraus, Applause Books, and Indie Theatre Now.

If you want to learn more about Barbara, you can do so at barbarablumenthalehrlich.com or follow her on Twitter @1BarbaraBE

 

And don’t forget to grab your tickets to the 2017 Female Playwrights ONSTAGE Festival: Hot Mess running July 6-8 at the First Congregational Church in Prescott, AZ.

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ONSTAGE Playwrights 2017: Meet Ellen Davis Sullivan

Every year we interview our winning playwrights, and this year is no exception!  Join us over the coming weeks as we post more interviews with playwrights, along with information about each play’s director and cast!

Sometimes a play lands in your reading list that is just so on theme it hurts. Ellen Davis Sullivan’s The Fruit Salad of Shame is probably the messiest play in the bunch this year – just ask her director, Layla Tenney, who’ll be prepping the food that makes it a literal hot mess before every show!  Of course, we’re no strangers to fast clean-ups after a messy piece (just ask anyone who’s been in a Jen Huszcza play, LOL) so I’m actually really excited about sharing Ellen’s play with our audiences!  But first, read our interview with her below.


If you could have one super power, what would it be and why?

If I could have a super power I would want to be able to snap my fingers and insert people into the bodies of people who are very different from them so they could understand what it’s like to be someone else.  Of course that’s what I try to do when I write but it would be a lot easier to do it by snapping my fingers.

Describe your writing space…

I write at my desk in my home office surrounded by piles of papers (scripts and short story drafts and one unfinished novel).  Many of the piles are neat, others, not so much.  I top the piles with whatever gives good vibes, like souvenirs of art exhibits, old postcards and theater programs that inspire me to be creative.

What is the title of your play?

The Fruit Salad of Shame

How did this year’s ONSTAGE theme inspire you to write/share this play?

This is the messiest play I’ve ever written and so it seemed to fit the theme perfectly.  It started one evening in my book group when one of the members began to tell us about the politically incorrect fruit in the salad.  Luckily for me, several theaters have been willing to take on a ten-minute play that requires serious clean up after each performance including the Boston Theater Marathon.

What play (by another playwright) have you read a gazillion times, and what about that play keeps you coming back to it?

I’m drawn to David Ives’ Venus in Fur which I saw on Broadway with Nina Arianda who gave an amazing performance.  Because I repeatedly find myself writing about issues of women and power, I’d love to understand how Ives creates the menace and control Vanda gathers and exerts in the play.  Also, I can’t believe it was written by a man.

Do you have any upcoming productions elsewhere that our readers should know about?

The Fruit Salad of Shame is being given a reading as part of Clamour Theatre Company’s Five at Seven at the Urban Bean Coffeehouse in Orange Park, Florida on June 23rd.

Please share a brief synopsis for a full-length of yours that our readers should know about.

One of Those Women is a gender-bent play about women’s reputations and what happens when a daughter worries that her widowed mother’s love affair is dangerous.  The lover is a disbarred lawyer and the daughter has been doing some digging.  What she’s learned has convinced her this individual is no good.  Her mother claims she’s in love, but who with: Billie or Billy?  And will she have the courage to stand up to her daughter and live the life she wants?

And don’t forget to grab your tickets to the 2017 Female Playwrights ONSTAGE Festival: Hot Mess running July 6-8 at the First Congregational Church in Prescott, AZ.

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ONSTAGE Playwrights 2017: Meet Anne Flanagan

Every year we interview our winning playwrights, and this year is no exception!  Join us over the coming weeks as we post more interviews with playwrights, along with information about each play’s director and cast!

Anne Flanagan is a two time ONSTAGE Playwright (2016 and 2017) and fabulously funny to boot! Last year’s play, THROWN FOR A CURVE, was one of my favorites, and absolutely bonkers.  This year’s winning play, THREE GHOSTS OF ELIZABETH BATHORY, is another wild ride told in three scenes sprinkled through the second act.  I don’t want to ruin it for you, but let me just say that it is most definitely a hot mess and I love it!  This writer has a flare for fun (don’t miss her bio at the end – what a wild and interesting human being!) and we are so glad she’s part of the ONSTAGE posse.


If you could have one super power, what would it be and why?

TIME TRAVEL!   I’d dip in and out of eras I romanticize (like the 1920s for clothing/decor or the 30s for music) as well as scenes from my own past, for pure enjoyment and/or to see loved ones I miss terribly.  I’d also welcome the chance to re-visit one or two pivotal turning points in my life and choose a different path.  Who knows if the other direction would turn out any better, but I’d like the chance to try.  (Of course I’d also try to un-do some catastrophic world events, but if all the Sci Fi tropes are to be believed, I’d only end up making it worse.)

Describe your writing space…

A shabby chic-esque office in the middle of a f*cking construction zone.  (The house next door is being demolished/rebuilt.  I know I said that last year, but THAT was the house to the right – this year, it’s the one to the left.  I am soon to be surrounded by tacky, oversized McMansions like the little house in Pixar’s “UP.”

What is the title of your play?

Three Ghosts of Elizabeth Bathory

How did this year’s ONSTAGE theme inspire you to write/share this play?

Elizabeth Bathory was a sixteenth century Hungarian Countess who (allegedly) killed 600 virgins and bathed in their blood to preserve her own youth and beauty.  Fairly hot & messy, no?

What play (by another playwright) have you read a gazillion times, and what about that play keeps you coming back to it?

I don’t tend to re-read a play several times (unless I’m acting in it) but one that recently knocked my socks off was Ironbound by Martyna Majok.  The idea that random chance greatly affects one’s “success” in life; that effort does not necessarily triumph over circumstance is a common theme in my own work and this deceptively simple character study, insightful and unsentimental, will ultimately break your heart.

Do you have any upcoming productions elsewhere that our readers should know about?

Adulthood Nightmares just closed a run at the InspiraTO festival in Toronto, Canada and Three Ghosts of Elizabeth Bathory will, for the second year in a row, be featured in Roebuck Theatre’s Thalia festival in NYC.  I’ve also got a piece in the anthology 222 Comedy Monologues from Smith and Kraus that’s expected to hit book stores in July.

Please share a brief synopsis for a full-length of yours that our readers should know about.

In my comedy/farce Artifice (www.DramaticPublishing.com), visual artist Payne Showers finally gets his Big Break. He dies. At a subsequent auction of his work, we learn one guest may be a murderous gangster, another a gun toting psychopath, that Gandhi and Goebbels were, in fact, not the same man, and rumors of Payne’s death have been greatly exaggerated.

Anne’s Bio:

Anne Flanagan is a playwright, teacher and woman’s health advocate based in Los Angeles, CA.

Flanagan’s plays include Lineage, Artifice, First Chill, Skirts, and Death, Sex & Elves.  Her work has been produced throughout the US and internationally.  Anne is the recipient of several writing awards and zero sports trophies.  In 2016, Anne was a top 12 finalist for Project Greenlight’s “New Normal” contest and in 2017 she won five dollars from the Super Lotto.

Publications include her comedy Artifice (Dramatic) as well as many short play and monologue anthologies from Applause, Smith & Kraus and the like.

Anne has taught public school in New York’s South Bronx and LA’s South Central.  She’s worked as a Private Investigator on the mean streets of Los Angeles (and the not so mean streets of Sherman Oaks).  She’s climbed Machu Picchu,  used hot coffee as a defensive weapon, had a gun pressed to her forehead, spied on thieving bartenders, built a house alongside Jimmy Carter, got lost in Watts holding a giant pineapple, and never mastered the metric system.

If you want to learn more about Anne you can do so at www.anneflanagan.net  or follow her on Twitter @angrytimmyprod

And don’t forget to grab your tickets to the 2017 Female Playwrights ONSTAGE Festival: Hot Mess running July 6-8 at the First Congregational Church in Prescott, AZ.

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ONSTAGE Playwrights 2017: Meet Katherine James

Every year we interview our winning playwrights, and this year is no exception!  Join us over the coming weeks as we post more interviews with playwrights, along with information about each play’s director and cast!

Katherine James is another ONSTAGE alum (with plays in four of our six fests!) but she’s also worked with us as a Partner Producer, director, and actress!  She’s one of those super talented souls you dream of working with, so we’re kind of in awe of, and deeply in love with, this amazing human!  Katherine’s play, ZERO-SIX-TWO-EIGHT is a powerful monologue about a man suffering from PTSD.  Reading it brought tears to my eyes, and I’m very excited to be directing it for our July production.


If you could have one super power, what would it be and why?

Time Travel. I would love to go backward in time and hang out with artists like Virginia Woolf and Louisa May Alcott and Gwendolyn Brooks and Jane Austen. I would love to go forward in time to figure out exactly what we have to do to fix the present so that the future isn’t a complete nightmare. There are so many things to work on and I would love to know the ones to concentrate on. I would devote ALL MY CREATIVE TIME to making art that would make a proven difference in the future.

Describe your writing space…

The room formerly known as Jordan’s (our older son’s) bedroom. I call it “The Inspiration Room”. It is filled with our theatre books and memorabilia. It also has all other creative endeavors from travel to my grandfather’s old radio. I sit on a purple velvet couch with my candles blazing on my great-grandmother’s hope chest. Fresh flowers and a clock are sitting on my grandmother’s cast iron stove. All my shows (that are at least at a first draft stage) are individually boxed in clear boxes and ready to work on or share. There is a little tv with a cable box so I can listen to music that inspires whatever show I am working on. I feel safe and free and fantastic whenever I am in there.

What is the title of your play?

Zero-Six-Two-Eight

How did this year’s ONSTAGE theme inspire you to write/share this play?

As soon as I read the title “Hot Mess” I knew I would be writing about a man I met who suffers from brain damage. His brain is, indeed, a hot mess. His terror, his struggle to remember from moment to moment, his inability to cope with the world, his need to survive and “fix” himself completely blew me away when I first met him. The play is taken from life. I personally find the idea that my brain could shake loose and I couldn’t think or create or be “me” completely terrifying.

What play (by another playwright) have you read a gazillion times, and what about that play keeps you coming back to it?

I keep returning to Shakespeare. Shakespeare’s plays keep showing up in my plays because I have played in them since I was a kid and grew up with a father who was a full time academic and part time playwright and man of the theatre. I find that so many of those plays are like in my DNA and they just keep coming out. The full length I just wrote has HAMLET as a core. Other plays that have “shown up” and demanded to be incorporated in my plays are ROMEO AND JULIET and MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING.

Do you have any upcoming productions elsewhere that our readers should know about?

Just had my play “Muse Me” produced by Athena Cats here in Los Angeles. I wrote it for my sister who lived and died one day…but who seems to be with me all these years later. What is art? What is inspiration?

Please share a brief synopsis for a full-length of yours that our readers should know about!

FINDING COMMON GROUND is a play I am working with at the moment – rewriting it and letting it grow. Two women, one California Born Japanese-American and one White Midwestern-American, find themselves living next door to one another in 1959 in two identical tract houses. How friendship grows from what we have in common…and helps us through the crises of life that we don’t. Based on two women I knew…and the houses across the street from where I live now. As I start working through it again I fall in love with them all over again and hope I can do them justice. Since it is justice they will be seeking together side by side. I inhale, I exhale. I remind myself that, in the words of Anne Lamott, “Perfection is the Oppressor.”

Katherine’s BIO:

Katherine James (MFA from A.C.T.) has been in the theatre since her father first put her onstage in one of his shows at the age of five. An accomplished actress and director as well as playwright, she currently makes her home in Los Angeles where she is part of The Athena Cats  the Theatricum Botanicum Company and on The Seedlings (new plays) Committee. Recent projects include multiple productions of her play, THE PLAN including The GLO Project and Hall Pass. Several of her shows have been produced as part of Little Black Dress Ink. A proud member of LAFPI, her company, Free Association Theatre, has helped produce L.A.’s Swan Day.

Learn more about Katherine at katherinejamesplays.com or follow her on Twitter @katherinejames

And don’t forget to grab your tickets to the 2017 Female Playwrights ONSTAGE Festival: Hot Mess running July 6-8 at the First Congregational Church in Prescott, AZ.

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ONSTAGE Playwrights 2017: Meet Jen Huszcza

Every year we interview our winning playwrights, and this year is no exception!  Join us over the coming weeks as we post more interviews with playwrights, along with information about each play’s director and cast!

Jen Huszcza is an ONSTAGE pro!  She’s the only playwright to have had a play in every single ONSTAGE Festival to date.  Every year she sends in a few options, and every year we wind up gaga for at least one of them.  This year Jen had two pieces in our semi-finalist list: SNAKES, about two snakes discussing (and regurgitating) their most recent meals, and HOT/MESS, which is the piece you’ll be seeing in July if you make the wise choice to join us for this wild lineup of new plays!  Jen’s plays are always creative, but crisp – messy, but precise – dark, but deep and funny.  This year’s selection, HOT/MESS, is no exception as we meet The World’s Most Handsome Man in a very, very hot place…

 


If you could have one super power, what would it be and why?

I have vertigo, so flying is out. As I’ve gotten older, the aches and pains last longer, so I would like to have the ability to physically heal quickly.

Describe your writing space…

I don’t have one specific writing space. I like to move around. It keeps things interesting.

What is the title of your play?

Hot/Mess (the slash is very important)

How did this year’s ONSTAGE theme inspire you to write/share this play?

When I heard the theme was Hot Mess, I immediately thought of hell with Satan as a woman.

What play (by another playwright) have you read a gazillion times, and what about that play keeps you coming back to it?

This might kill what little avant garde minimalist street cred I have, but lately I’ve been listening to the cast album of Hamilton a lot. It delights me. Look around, look around, at how lucky we are to be alive right now.

Do you have any upcoming productions elsewhere that our readers should know about?

Recently, my short play, Big Belly (which had its premiere at the Women Onstage Festival) was published in The Dionysian 003. Check them out at dionysianmagazine.com

Please share a brief synopsis for a full-length of yours that our readers should know about!

Death Valley. Two down on their luck prospectors meet three female superheroines, and somehow they end up in the middle of a war between the pup fish and the bridge builders.

Jen’s Bio:

Jen Huszcza is a playwright currently based in Los Angeles.  Five of Jen’s plays (Rinse, POP, Flowers, This, and Big Belly) were performed in Little Black Dress INK’s first five Women Onstage festivals. Big Belly and This were also read at Theatre N16’s Herstory Festivals in Balham, UK. Her short play, It Has to End in Tears, was produced by Greenlight Productions in Santa Monica in March 2015. Four of her plays have been presented as staged readings in the Monday Night Living Room Series at The Blank Theatre in Hollywood.  BFA in Dramatic Writing and MFA in Musical Theatre Writing both from NYU.

You can follow Jen on Twitter @playwrightjen!

And don’t forget to grab your tickets to the 2017 Female Playwrights ONSTAGE Festival: Hot Mess running July 6-8 at the First Congregational Church in Prescott, AZ.

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ONSTAGE Playwrights 2017: Meet Allie Costa

Every year we interview our winning playwrights, and this year is no exception!  Join us over the coming weeks as we post more interviews with playwrights, along with information about each play’s director and cast!

Allie Costa is a 10-minute play rock star!  When I put out the call last summer for socially aware or politically inspired short plays for our We’re Not Playing Initiative, Allie sent me six, right off the bat, that were completely fantastic.  I was thrilled to have her participate then, and I’m just as thrilled to have her participating in ONSTAGE now.  Her winning play, BOXES ARE MAGIC, is funny, poignant, and timely… and it will probably make you go “Awwww!” a few times too! 


If you could have one super power, what would it be and why?

If we’re going the practical route, I would select teleportation, because it would allow me to travel more quickly, to visit places I’ve never been, and to get to where I need to be in the blink of an eye.

If I were to pick something showier, I’d select telekinesis or electrokinesis, because they are awesome.

Describe your writing space.

My desk holds my laptop, a pen, and whatever pages I’m editing or otherwise working on – I often write ideas if not entire scenes down on paper before typing them up. I keep paper and a pen on my nightstand so I can scribble down ideas that strike me as I’m falling asleep / waking up / in the middle of the night, and I always carry a small notebook and a pen when I’m out and about.

What is the title of your play?

Boxes Are Magic

How did this year’s ONSTAGE theme inspire you to share this play?

When I heard this year’s ONSTAGE theme was Hot Mess, I immediately knew what I would submit. I had written Boxes Are Magic less than 2 weeks earlier, inspired by a prompt for PlayGround-LA’s Planet Earth Arts New Play Festival, which encouraged playwrights to write 10-minute plays exploring issues of planetary sustainability and caring for the natural world as well as caring for others.

What play (by another playwright) have you read a gazillion times, and what about that play keeps you coming back to it?

The plays I’ve re-read the most are productions I’ve appeared in as an actor: I’ll read the plays over and over when I’m learning lines and reviewing blocking, and I re-read them once the show is up and running to make sure I haven’t missed or forgotten anything. I love when you discover new things during re-reads, and I love when you discover new things in the moment, on stage, when the meaning and impact of a line can change depending on how it’s delivered and how it’s received.

The play I’m currently in the mood to re-read is Eurydice by Sarah Ruhl, which has beautiful language. Even the stage directions – “The Father creates a room out of string for Eurydice. […] Time passes. It takes time to build a room out of string.” – are evocative.

Do you have any upcoming productions elsewhere that our readers should know about?

Two Girls, a duologue in which two women emerge from a violent attack, was selected for the 10-10 Festival, running through July 15th at The River Street Playhouse in Ohio. The festival is being produced by Chagrin Valley Little Theatre and directed by Yvonne E. Pilarczyk and Dawn Hill. http://www.cvlt.org/87thSeason/10-10.php

Music of the Mind will be produced at Open Space Arts in Maryland this August. The story focuses on a young woman attempting to overcome the stigma of mental illness, http://www.osarts.org/spf2017

I also have exciting projects on the horizon as an actor, a screenwriter, a singer, and a director. Get the scoop at my website: http://www.alliecosta.com

Please share a brief synopsis for a full-length of yours that our readers should know about!

Testimony: When a crime hits close to home, a detective re-examines her life and her legacy.  This script recently had a developmental reading at the Hudson Theatre in Hollywood thanks to 2Cents Theatre, and I’d love to develop it further and get it up on its feet.

Allie’s Bio:

Allie Costa is an actress, writer, director, singer, and voiceover artist. Her theatre credits include Spring Awakening, Hamlet, Pope Joan, Alien vs. Musical, and Wake. Film/TV credits include 90210, Unusual Suspects, Solace, and You Me & Her. She has also appeared in commercials, narrated audio books, and lent her voice to video games. A published playwright and screenwriter, Allie’s original works have been produced internationally, including Femme Noir (Best Script, 2015 One-Act Festival), Don’t Shoot the Messenger Pigeon (Barrington Stage Company 10×10 New Play Festival), She Has Seen the Wolf (Best of PlayGround-LA), A Taste of the Future, and Can You Keep a Secret? Her critically-acclaimed duologue Two Girls has been performed in Los Angeles, New York, London, Ireland, and otherwhere. Her dream role? Starring in the TV series she wrote and created. Watch for it.

If you want to learn more about Allie you can do so at http://www.alliecosta.com or follow her on Twitter @allieacts

And don’t forget to grab your tickets to the 2017 Female Playwrights ONSTAGE Festival: Hot Mess running July 6-8 at the First Congregational Church in Prescott, AZ.

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ONSTAGE Playwrights 2017: Meet Diana Burbano

Every year we interview our winning playwrights, and this year is no exception!  Join us over the coming weeks as we post more interviews with playwrights, along with information about each play’s director and cast!

If you don’t know Diana Burbano yet, we’re here to rectify the situation immediately.  Diana is one hell of a playwright.  Her monologue, LINDA, is one of those pieces that you read and just know is going to be awesome.  Then you see one of the best actresses in Prescott present the piece at the semi-finalist reading and your jaw drops and you go “YES!”  I can’t wait to see this piece come to life in July.  And I look forward to seeing what else Diana has to say as one of the playwrights participating in the Protest Plays Project‘s Heal the Divide Initiative this fall.


If you could have one super power, what would it be and why?

I would be a time turner so I could travel through history repairing injustices, distributing condoms and feminine products and altering the patriarchal timeline.

Describe your writing space…

A big squishy mess that I share with 2 boys and 2 cats.

What is the title of your play?

Linda (Which means “beautiful” in Spanish)

How did this year’s ONSTAGE theme inspire you to write/share this play?

Latinx women are a hot mess as we figure out our place in this world. I want to inspire women everywhere to search for their own origin stories.

What play (by another playwright) have you read a gazillion times, and what about that play keeps you coming back to it?

Stoppards “Arcadia.” Brilliant, witty and doesn’t talk down to the audience. You come away convinced you understand chaos theory.

Do you have any upcoming productions elsewhere that our readers should know about?

Enemy|Flint will be presented in Pasadena in July, and Caliban’s Island will be at Creede Repertorio Co in August!

Please share a brief synopsis for a full-length of yours that our readers should know about!

Fabulous Monsters:

When punk rock exploded in L.A., Sally and Lou were there: feminists, grrrrls, queens of noise. One went pop, one stayed punk, but sparks from their tumultuous friendship remain. Decades later, can they overcome old wounds, forgive each other, and rock as hard as they ever did?

Diana’s Bio:

Diana Burbano, a Colombian immigrant, is an Equity actor, playwright and teaching artist at South Coast Repertory and Breath of Fire Latina Theatre Ensemble. Full length plays: Fabulous Monsters about women in punk rock, Silueta (With Tom and Chris Shelton) about feminist artist Ana Mendieta. Policarpa which will have a Rough Draft Residency at the Drama League in May. Picture me Rollin’ was featured at the Hollywood InkFest, 2017, Other plays: Enemy|Flint, Caliban’s Island, (published by YouthPLAYS)Libertadoras, Vamping and Linda  were written for the 365 Women a Year project and have been performed around the world. Rounds Per Second is featured in Smith and Kraus’s 5-minute play anthology.

You can learn more about Diana at dianaburbano.com or follow her on Twitter @loladiana

And don’t forget to grab your tickets to the 2017 Female Playwrights ONSTAGE Festival: Hot Mess running July 6-8 at the First Congregational Church in Prescott, AZ.

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ONSTAGE Playwrights 2017: Meet Micki Shelton

Every year we interview our winning playwrights, and this year is no exception!  Join us over the coming weeks as we post more interviews with playwrights, along with information about each play’s director and cast!

Micki was one of our very first ONSTAGE Playwrights!  Her play, THE FACE IN THE MIRROR was part of the Dirty Laundry fest – which was only 6 years ago, but feels like forever! – and so it’s super exciting to have a new play by Micki in our lineup this year.  Micki’s new play EVOLUTION FAST TRACK is all kinds of funny, with three cave-women discovering language, skeletons in their closet, and… coffee!


If you could have one super power, what would it be and why?

It would be teleportation and a voice that soothes and heals the soul injures of all who injure others (through anger, abuse, greed, war, ego, and so on) opening the person’s spirit to kindness so that all their future actions would be open-hearted. My name would be “Siren,” and while people might misinterpret that as a bad thing, my singing would do only good.

Describe your writing space.

Since I’ve written and edited language arts textbooks for decades, I have an office in my home. My desk faces a big window overlooking a pine and juniper forested street; I have 4 floor-to-ceiling bookshelves. My cat is often on the desk and sometimes walks across my computer “helping me write,” or he sleeps on one of the other two desk chairs. However, sometimes I don’t want to be in my office, so I write at Wild Iris Coffeehouse in downtown Prescott, on the road; or when I awaken with a brilliant idea, I write on my bed.

What is the title of your play?

Evolution Fast Track

How did this year’s ONSTAGE theme inspire you to write/share this play?

Good question. First off, I didn’t know that there was a colloquial term “a hot mess.” Thus, I wasn’t working with the idea of overwhelmed women, so it’s kind of funny that I ended up with what I have. I just started thinking about things that are hot and imagined a campfire. I wondered who would be sitting around this campfire—cavewomen of course—and from there, the women wrote its first draft. I’m sure it has nothing to do with the fact that I am crazy tired of hearing people just assume that everyone has issues with their mother, and by implication that mothers are ultimately to blame for every kind of issue or flaw anyone has to deal with.

What play (by another playwright) have you read a gazillion times, and what about that play keeps you coming back to it?

Beyond Therapy by Christopher Durang. I first saw it performed at City Lights Theatre Company in San Jose. I so wanted to play Charlotte, the female psychologist;but memorization is hard for me. So a few years ago, I organized a reading of the play at The M.A.D. Linguist and got to read Charlotte. What a delight!

Do you have any upcoming productions elsewhere that our readers should know about?

Evolution Fast Track, the same play that is in Female Playwrights ONSTAGE, opens this week at Theatre Artists Studio in Scottsdale, AZ as part of the studio’s “Summer Shorts.” It runs June 15th to the 25th.

Please share a brief synopsis for a full-length of yours that our readers should know about!

Cheap Food and Sex:

Who better to reveal one’s foibles than one’s kids? Supporting his mom’s inner work—to heal her inner child she carries a baby doll—can’t prepare Garth for Frank’s psychotherapy. When a chance encounter brings together mother-son Mars and Garth and father-daughter Frank and Serena in the Arizona desert, we have the catalytic catapult for comedy. Vegetarian Garth and his flower-child mother, and faux-macho Frank and his NYC daughter, Serena, may seem like oil and water, but love has a way of mixing opposites.

Micki’s Bio:

Micki Shelton grew up in Scottsdale, Arizona. After studying playwriting at South Coast Repertory’s Professional Conservatory, her first full-length play, Circles, was included in Ashland, Oregon’s 2nd Annual New Plays Festival. She has written 5 full-length plays and about 20 short plays.

A resident playwright at Theatre Artists Studio in Scottsdale, AZ, her play Medea’s Ghost premiered there in 2010. In 2012, Fred and Mary: An Unconventional Romance, a quasi-historical play, received its world premiere at Prescott’s Elks Opera House as part of Arizona’s Centennial Celebration.

Other credits include productions by City Lights Theatre Company (San Jose, CA), Arizona Classical Theatre (Prescott, AZ), South Coast Repertory’s Summer Series (Santa Ana, CA), Phoenix AZ’s Fringe Festival, several short plays at Theatre Artists Studio (Scottsdale, AZ), The@trics, and Prescott’s one-day play festivals. Her newest play, Discovery is now seeking its first production.

If you want to learn more about Micki you can do so at mickishelton.com

And don’t forget to grab your tickets to the 2017 Female Playwrights ONSTAGE Festival: Hot Mess running July 6-8 at the First Congregational Church in Prescott, AZ.

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Announcing the 2017 ONSTAGE Winning Line-Up!

Every year, it gets harder and harder to select a final line-up.  Maybe it’s the fact that this year’s theme drew such a wild variety of work that I feel like – were the opportunity there – I could have done two weekends with two different festival line-ups and both would have freakin’ ROCKED!

But – although we’ve grown – we haven’t unlocked two-weekend status yet.

So I had the difficult, but beautiful challenge, of creating one final and winning line-up.

I’ve got to say, it’s going to be a kick-ass evening of work!  Please scroll down to see our official selections for the 2017 Female Playwrights ONSTAGE Festival: Hot Mess.  We hope you’ll join us July 6th – 8th in Prescott, AZ for this new play event.  Our non-profit this year is Days For Girls, with a portion of proceeds benefiting this most excellent and necessary organization – so you can have an awesome time, while also doing some good, which is really all kinds of fantastic!

Tickets are available HERE.  Stay in touch with us via Facebook and Twitter for more updates.

The 2017 Winning ONSTAGE Plays and Playwrights include:

Zero-Six-Two-Eight (monologue), by Katherine James
Boxes are Magic, by Allie Costa
Spark, by Barbara Blumenthal-Ehrlich
The Worst of All Evils, by Philana Omorotionmwan
Evolution Fast Track, by Micki Shelton
Three Ghosts of Elizabeth Bathory, by Anne Flanagan
Co-workers, by C.J. Ehrlich
Linda (monologue), by Diana Burbano
Hot/Mess by Jen Huszcza
Mommy Knows Best (monologue), by Tiffany Antone
Fruit Salad of Shame, Ellen Davis Sullivan
Educated Fleas Do It, by Karen Loseff Lothan

While not part of the winning line-up, the following plays/playwrights did make this year’s list of finalists (and made our final decision extra difficult):

Gel-Us, by Paige Zubel
Springful, by Bex Frankeberger
Killing Barbie, Sharon Goldner
My Pretty Pink Rifle, by Jennifer Walton
Full Circle, by Mikki Russ
What’ll it Be?, by Amber Bosworth
Bodega Pricing, by Reina Hardy

Thank you to all of this year’s participating playwrights.  Your work inspires us, motivates us, and is what keeps the ONSTAGE festival alive and thriving.  Thank you, thank you, thank you!

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2018 ONSTAGE Fest – Submission Window is Now OPEN!

It’s heeeeeere!  Click THIS LINK to be taken to our 2018 ONSTAGE Submission form.  Please carefully read the guidelines posted above the form, and be sure to follow all the directions.
We can’t wait to read and celebrate your awesome work!

Submissions accepted June 1 – July 15

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