Meet our Sedona Playwrights!

Oh my Gosh, I’m so excited about our upcoming Sedona reading of ONSTAGE semi-finalists!  (Probably because I’m from neighboring Prescott – so there’s a soft spot in my creative heart for those beautiful red rocks!)  The reading will take place at 5 pm on Sunday, April 26 at the Sedona Arts Center (15 Art Barn Rd. Sedona, AZ) and is being produced by Kate Hawkes, artistic director for Red Earth Theatre!

So, without further ado, let’s meet these fabulous playwrights!

Ewbank HeadshotMelanie Ewbank is an award winning actress and playwright with numerous Los Angeles and regional theater credits as well as film and television credits. A staged reading of her full-length play I Found Baby Jesus in the Cat Box was produced by Pasadena Playhouse, and her one-act play Platitudes of Perfect-ness took first place in Knoxville Writer’s Guild’s 2012 writing contest. She has worked as a voiceover artist in Los Angeles, and is the audiobook co-narrator for Suzanne Brockmann’s Troubleshooters series.

 

playwright jenJen Huszcza is a playwright currently based in Los Angeles.  Three of Jen’s plays (Rinse, POP, and Flowers) were performed in Little Black Dress INK’s first three festivals. 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.  She wrote and acted in Gunfighter Nation’s collectively written piece, LA History Project: Pio Pico, Sam Yorty, and the Secret Procession of Los Angeles, presented at the Lost Studio in 2010.  She has guest-blogged for the Los Angeles Female Playwrights Initiative. BFA in Dramatic Writing and MFA in Musical Theatre Writing both from NYU. *Jen’s play Flowers was a 2014 ONSTAGE Project finalist for Planting the Seed!”

Brock & Sharon @ graduation 1Sharon Goldner is in love with the alphabet.  She learned early on that she has a knack for manipulating the alphabet into doing whatever she wants, like making phrases, sentences, and dialogue.  This made no sense to a variety of gym teachers  Sharon had through the years;  all they wanted her to do was climb a rope. The funny thing?  Upon graduating college, no prospective employers ever asked if she could climb a rope.  Anyway, Sharon took her love for manipulating the alphabet and turned it into plays.  Nineteen theaters from Off Broadway to California (and all in-between) have proven to Sharon that the whole rope climbing business doesn’t matter because thus far, there have been 28 productions of her work;  publications of her plays; awards; and one fellowship in Canada, where Sharon was one of only three playwrights chosen for the honor, world-wide. So right about now Sharon wants to say, “Take that, gym teachers!”  But she’s too nice to say it, so she’ll just think it.   *Sharon’s play Little Swimmers was a 2014 ONSTAGE Project finalist for Planting the Seed!”

Christine FosterChristine Foster - An award winning playwright, Christine’s work has been produced in Canada, Australia, Denmark, Mexico, Korea, the UK and the US. She has penned book and lyrics for five musicals as well as many scripts for CBS, CTV, CBC, History and Disney’s Family Channel and was the co-founder of  Cliffhanger Productions in Toronto which brought world mythology to family audiences and won a Dora Mavor Moore Award in 2004. She was recently artistic director of The Diez Minutos Festival in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, where she also directed several mainstaage productions. She is currently producing a Kipling Festival and writing and directing in the UK where her full-length black comedy about the Black Death, Four Thieves’ Vinegar is under option with a London theatre.

Anne DimockAnne Dimock is an author, librettist and playwright. Her plays and an opera have been produced in California, New York, Minnesota, and Hawaii. Her dramatic writing focuses on comedies, adaptations, and always includes strong roles for women. Her plays include Roxanne(dot)com, Debbie Does Death and Woman Bakes American Flag Cake (The Matriot Act). She is currently working on a cycle of short plays inspired by her favorite novel – Herman Melville’s Moby Dick.   Anne is also a narrative writer working in fiction and nonfiction. Her nonfiction book, Humble Pie – Musings on What Lies Beneath the Crust, was a finalist for a Minnesota Book Award. She has received awards, fellowships and residencies for her narrative writing. She is currently working on a YA novel set in 1962-64, and a nonfiction book about the links between consumer product consumption, mental illness and hoarding.

DeliaWhiteheadDelia Whitehead has been an actor, director, and writer for over twenty years. She’s had the great good fortune to play many plum roles in many venues in Prescott, Arizona, and at Canyon Moon Theater in Sedona, Arizona.  Her plays have been produced in Prescott, and include Undercurrents, The Key, and an adaptation of O’Henry’s Ransom of Red Chief.   She took some time away from the stage and her pen to give full attention to her private practice doing Brain Integration Technique. Now she has finally come to her senses and realized that she’s not fully human unless she’s creating.

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Meet our Ithaca Playwrights!

Oh my gosh, how excited are we about next week’s ONSTAGE reading in Ithaca?  I’ll tell you – we’re SUPER excited!  Darcy Martin Rose of Acting Out NY and Cynthia Henderson with Performing Arts for Social Change are doing a fantastic job of making bringing our playwright’s magic to NY!

Which is why we’d like to introduce you to these fabulous writing women now!  Read all about our playwrights below, and then make sure to mark your calendars for 5 pm on April 25th at 5 pm at Acting Out NY (171 E. State St., #119 Center Ithaca
Ithaca, NY).

Denise St. PierreDenise St. Pierre‘s first short play, “Bette Davis Eyes,” premiered at the Bishop’s University New Plays Festival in 2012, and ran at the 2014 Toronto International Fringe Festival in the Site-Specific category. Her second short play, “Sehnsucht,” premiered at the New Plays Festival the following year and is currently licensed by YesPlays.com. Last year, her monologue “The Beginner’s Guide to Gardening” was a finalist in LDBI’s Planting the Seed Festival, and was read and staged in Ithaca, Los Angeles, and Prescott. Denise, a born and bred Canadian, graduated from Bishop’s University in 2013, where she studied under noted Canadian-American playwright George Rideout and served a term as the editor of The Mitre, North America’s longest-running literary journal. She now lives and writes in Brooklyn, NY, where she works at a literary agency.

Doke Hoke Donna Hoke’s work has been seen in 27 states and on five continents. Her full-length plays include THE COUPLE NEXT DOOR (currently playing in Romania, and opening April 11 at Dangerous Theatre in Denver), SEEDS (Artie award winner), FLOWERS IN THE DESERT (AACT top 20 finalist, opening March 14 in Oxnard, CA), and SAFE (winner of the Todd McNerney National Playwriting and Naatak National Playwriting Contests, current finalist Great Gay Play and Musical Contest, opening March 2016 in Buffalo, NY); she’s also authored more than two dozen short plays that have had hundreds of productions.  Donna is also the Western New York regional representative for the Dramatists Guild; a New York Times-published crossword puzzle constructor; author of Neko and the Twiggets, a children’s book; and founder/co-curator of BUA Takes 10: GLBT Short Stories. In 2012, 2013, and 2014, she was named Buffalo’s Best Writer by Artvoice, the only woman to ever receive the designation.

Celine Song headshotCeline Song is a 2014-2015 Ars Nova Play Group member, a 2012 Edward F. Albee Foundation Writing Fellow, a 2014 Great Plains Theatre Conference Playlab Playwright, a 2014 resident at Yaddo, and a IATI Theater’s 2015 Cimientos Playwright. Her plays include The Feast, Family, and Tom & Eliza. MFA: Columbia

 

C.J. EhrlichC.J. Ehrlich‘s award-winning plays have enjoyed over 100 productions in many states, notably of undress and panic, and around the world, from NYC to Kealakekua, HI to Wogonga Australia. Some favorite partners: Samuel French Off-Off-Broadway Fest (NYC), Boston Theatre Marathon (MA), Little Fish (Los Angeles), Source DC, Heartland (IL), OnStage Atlanta, The Last Frontier (Valdez, Alaska), Grin Theatre (Liverpool UK), Boqete Players (Panama), Pakriti Foundation (Chennai, India). C.J.’s full-length comedy collaboration THE CUPCAKE CONSPIRACY (with Philip J. Kaplan) opened Rover Dramewerks 2015 season.
C.J.’s plays are published in several Smith & Kraus annual Best Ten-Minute Plays anthologies (2011-2015), and she is a dual Heideman Award finalist. A proud member of the Westchester Collaborative Theatre and the Dramatists Guild, C.J. lists among her greatest achievements teaching her sons the fine art of the spit take. Sample pages and more at www.CJ-Ehrlich.com.

Eugenie CarabatsosEugenie Carabatsos is currently pursuing her MFA in Dramatic Writing, studying under Rob Handel. Her plays have won BroadwayWorld’s Award for Best Play in South Carolina 2013, the Trustus Theatre Festival, the Mountain Playhouse Comedy Writing Competition, the Venus Theatre Festival, the Variations Theatre Group UnChained Festival, and the Edward Hopper House Two-on-the-Aisle Competition. Her short screenplay is the winner of the Cinequest Film Festival Short Screenwriting Contest 2015. Eugenie graduated from Wesleyan University in 2010, with a BA in English.

 

me2Kay Poiro is an award-winning screenwriter and internationally produced playwright. Her stage plays have been performed across the United States and around the world, including London, Sydney, Toronto, and India. Most recently, her T.V. pilot “Brewster Commons” won Best Short Screenplay at the 2014 Harlem International Film Festival. Her upcoming events include productions in New Jersey, Sasketchewan and Johannesburg, South Africa. Kay is a member of the Dramatists Guild of America and lives in Maryland.  *Kay’s play Seeds of Rebellion was a LBDI ONSTAGE Finalist last year!*

 

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ONSTAGE Is Coming… to a City Near You!

How can it be April already?  Time is flying by so fast, we almost can’t believe it.  But we’re super excited, because it means more of our ONSTAGE semi-finalist readings are coming to a city near you!  Check out our schedule below and mark your calendars for the following dates:

4/25 – Ithaca, NY – Acting Out NY
5 pm at Acting Out NY
171 E. State St.
#119 Center Ithaca
Ithaca, NY

4/26 – Sedona, AZ – Red Earth Theatre
5 pm at the Sedona Arts Center
15 Art Barn Rd.
Sedona, AZ

5/9 – Ames, IA
Time and location TBA

5/16 – Auburn, AL – Sculpted Entertainment
4 pm at Overall Company
1001 Ave. B
Opelika, AL

5/16 – Santa Barbara, CA – Stripped Scripts
7 pm at The 208
208 W. Canon Perdido St.
Santa Barbara, CA

We’ll be posting more blog updates and posts this month, as well as introducing you to each city’s playwrights, so be sure to check back often :-)

#FemalePlaywrightsROCK!

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WTF, Indiana? The War on Women Continues

WTF_IndianaFeticideIndiana landed on everyone’s radar last week due to the passage of their Religious Freedom Restoration Act, (or the “It’s okay to be a homophobic douche if you want to because, you know, Jesus” rule) and then followed up this supreme act of insensitivity and short-sightedness by sentencing the first US woman to 20 years in prison for miscarrying a pregnancy.

The facts of the case are heartbreaking, and infuriating.

In 2013, Purvi Patel, a 33 year old woman coming from a staunchly religious family, found herself pregnant, scared, and unwed.  She reportedly sent texts to a friend about ordering abortion inducing drugs online, which the prosecution then used as evidence that Patel “murdered” her fetus, even though no trace of the drugs were ever found in Patel’s bloodwork.  Patel insists that she had a miscarriage and, terrified of her parent’s reaction, placed the stillborn fetus in a bag in a dumpster.  After her bleeding did not subside however, she sought care at a local hospital where doctors reported her to police under suspicion of feticide.

Prosecutors went on to charge Patel with both fetal homicide and neglecting a child, charges that completely contradict one another since the first allege that the baby was born dead, while the second requires the child be living in order to neglect it.  State attorneys argued, however, that both charges could apply “by expanding the notion of feticide to an unsuccessful attempt to end a pregnancy.

If you’re not simmering in rage by now, you should be.  Patel, a woman in need of help both social and physical, will now be serving 20 years in prison for miscarrying her baby instead of receiving the assistance she needs.  Even IF she had used the abortion drugs prosecutors say she ordered, 20 years is a long damn time for a confused, scared woman to lose to the prison system just because she wasn’t ready/prepared/able to be a mother and made a desperate decision.  If unintended pregnancy and abortion weren’t clouded by such terrifyingly contradictory legislation and societal shame, women like Patel would have healthy access to the support they need instead of being left with only desperate options.

And there are 37 other states with similar laws restricting the rights of pregnant women under the guise of “protecting fetuses.”

An excerpt from The Guardian better articulates this point:

As Lynn Paltrow, the executive director of the National Advocates for Pregnant Women, told me last year about laws aimed at drug-using pregnant women, this kind of prosecution “is about making pregnant women – from the time an egg is fertilized – subject to state surveillance, control and extreme punishment.”

And, as with other laws that hurt pregnant women, Indiana’s feticide law was not intended (explicitly, anyway) to be a policy that affected women: it was supposedly designed to target illegal abortion providers. But despite the anti-choice insistence that women are “victims” of abortion providers, the history of how similar laws are used show just how much it’s women – and women of color in particular – who are directly impacted by “fetal protection” policies.

Feticide_mapProponents of laws like the one applied in Patel’s case believe that these laws will protect fetuses, but the fact is that they end up putting the women carrying them in danger.  Which points to a bigger problem:  anti-choice supporters believe women are merely vessels for procreation— like curvy little easy-bake ovens— who, once pregnant, should be quiet, humble, and compliant, and never, ever, question their new role as fetus incubator.

But anti-choice proponents forget that not every woman is able or ready to carry a child to term.  Abortion has been, and will always be, an act that women will fight for.  Feticide laws and anti-abortion laws won’t prevent women from seeking abortions—prior to Roe v. Wade, nearly one-fifth of maternal deaths in America were due to illegal abortions… Yes, that means there are women out there who will risk death to end a pregnancy.

Which is why over-reaching laws like this scare the shit out of me and should scare the shit out of every woman who thinks her body is her own.

Because at the heart of this story is a woman who felt trapped and terrified by her pregnancy, who shared those fears with a friend, and—when she miscarried—was sentenced to jail for having them, setting the terrifying precedent that any woman who expresses doubt during her pregnancy can be charged with feticide if she later miscarries or has a stillbirth.

What you can do:

  1. Raise awareness by sharing Ms. Patel’s story!
  2. Sign the petition to pardon Ms. Patel.  If we get enough signatures, the white house will have to respond, which in turn raises awareness and keeps Ms. Patel’s plight in the public arena.
  3. Here’s another petition to the Indiana State House, Senate, and Governor Mike Pence.
  4. Or you can contact Governor Mike Pence via email and snail mail.
  5. Share our artwork on your social media to raise awareness!
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Guest Post by playwright Anne Hamilton

Anne Hamilton at GPTC 2012For the past year I have had the pleasure of being involved in Little Black Dress INK’s Female Playwrights ONSTAGE Project.

Now in its fourth year, the competition is the brainchild of Playwright and Educator Tiffany Antone, who currently resides in Texas. This national festival of new work has a different theme each year and utilizes a peer review process to identify semi-finalists, whose short plays or monologues are then read in different cities across the country. Finalists are chosen from those events. They enjoyed a staged reading at the Los Angeles Theatre Center last year, followed by a production in Arizona in January.

In 2014, the theme was Planting the Seed, and my play OFEM, inspired by my experience as a CSA member at Blooming Glen Farm, was a finalist. It was read in Ithaca, NY, and Los Angeles before being given its premiere in Arizona. Indie Theatre Now will publish OFEM and all the finalists in an online volume of 11 plays.

This year’s theme is Outside the Lines, and my two character drama THE SHOEBOX is a semifinalist. This short play reunites two high school classmates to reminisce in a late night phone call after their homeroom teacher, a nun, has passed away. Theater Unbound in Minneapolis gave it a staged reading along with five other pieces in March. The festival is still unfolding in events across the country.

Tiffany summarizes her goals on her website: “Little Black Dress INK is an experiment in support, inspired by recent revelations in numbers on the subject of just how few female playwrights actually get produced. Through outreach, education, and producing opportunities, Little Black Dress INK strives to create more production opportunities for female playwrights while also strengthening the female playwright network.”

I have found this competition to be a highly effective and rewarding way of reaching those goals. It grows every year, and currently involves 35 new plays and over 60 artists in eight cities. 2016 submission guidelines will be posted on www.littleblackdressink.org on October 1, 2015.

Anne Hamilton has 24 years of experience as a dramaturg. She is available for script consultations and career advising through hamiltonlit@hotmail.com. Her play WHO’S ANDY WARHOL? was performed at The Lost Theatre in London in October, 2014. She will teach a playwriting workshop at the Philadelphia Writers Conference in June 12-14, 2015.

This article also published in Anne’s Page & Stage column in the Bucks County Women’s Journal (April/May 2015 issue). www.buckscountywomensjournal.com

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Playwrights Playing Everywhere

Female Playwrights ONSTAGE cropWe have so many awesome and wonderful women working with on our 2015 ONSTAGE Fest this year, that we can hardly stand it (and you can bet your sweet bippy we’ll be singing their praises a plenty as we move forward with all of our awesome semi-finalist readings).

In the meantime, here’s a rundown of where our semi-finalists will be read:


SANTA BARBARA, CA – Producer Kate Bergstrom with Stripped Scripts
An Announcement by Nancy Cooper Frank
Chicken Shoot by Jennie Webb
Edna and Furber by Patricia Mew
If I Were a Man by Mercedes Segesvary
Muse Me by Katherine James
Tweak by Diane Sampson

SEDONA, AZ – Producer Kate Hawkes with Red Earth Theatre
Bottom Line by Melanie Ewbank
Down There by Sharon Goldner
Green Dog by Delia Whitehead
Senor Adria by Anne Dimock
This by Jen Huszcza
Winter Light by Christine Foster

AMES, IA – Producer Charissa Menefee with Iowa State
A Thousand and One by Mary S. Parisoe
Three Lessons In Living  by Amy Schleunes
Running Lines by Jen Huszcza
Ephemera by Beth Kander
My Heart & I  by Jaisey Bates
Nothing in Particular  by Rhea MacCallum

ITHACA, NY – Producers Darcy Martin Rose with Acting Out NY, and Cynthia Henderson with Performing Arts for Social Change
Striae by Denise St. Pierre
Secondhand Gifts by C.J. Ehrlich
Seven Minutes in Heaven by Eugenie Carabatsos
Survival Strategy by Donna Hoke
The Feast by Celine Song
Time Slot by Kay Poiro

AUBURN, AL – Producer Amber Hanel with Sculpted Entertainment
Blue Light by Molly Pease
For Anyone Who Cares by Hannah Baker
Nonsynchronous Reflection   by Susan Goodell
Pythagorian Triplets by Bridgette Dutta Portman
The Exchange by Katherine Koller
With my Eyes Shut by Kira Rockwell

MINNEAPOLIS, MN – Producer Anne Bertram with Theatre Unbound
(This reading took place on Tuesday, March 10)
Slut by Nayna Agrawal
The Shoebox by Anne Hamilton
Working Late by Rachael Brogan Flannery
After the Chicken Dance by Jaclyn Grogan
At the Gates of the House of the Mother of Waters by Eli Effinger-Weintraub
Solo Journeys by Kirsten Van Ritzen

 

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Those are my Girls

By Guest Blogger, playwright Jen Huszcza

aw_yeah_by_rizusaur-d516inwTiffany has blogged and talked about the peer review of submissions for the Onstage Project festivals many times. This year, I thought I would add my own two cents as someone who participated.

Every year for the last four years, I have sent scripts to Tiffany for the Onstage Project; then a month or so later, she will send me anonymous scripts by other playwrights to read.

I was unenthusiastic about reading submissions the first year. I had read scripts professionally and burned out on it. However, for these last two festivals, it was interesting to see how other playwrights handled the themes of Planting the Seed and Outside the Lines.

This time, there were two scripts in my pile that I really liked. One was called Slut about a young Indian woman trying to find love away from her traditional and television watching parents. Her characters were living beings, and that’s hard to pull off in short plays. The other play was called Down There and it was about a woman and her talking vagina. She had me at the talking vagina.

Then, I was excited to see both plays were semi-finalists.

Those are my girls! I exclaimed to my computer screen.

Then, I realized it was probably better to say: Those are the plays-written-by-women-which-I-thought-highly-of!

It was also exciting to put a playwright to the play. Slut was written by Naya Agrawal, and Down There was written by Sharon Goldner.

I don’t know these two playwrights personally. We don’t all hang out in the female playwrights cave or go to female playwright bridge nights. Still, it was really fun to meet their girls (I mean, their work).

In my middle age, I no longer gush, so I apologize if I ever meet these two ladies and seem standoffish. But Naya and Sharon, I liked your plays a lot.

As a reader, I can not put what appeals to me as a formula or some specific standard. I will say that I look for creativity. I look for something I have never seen before (I have read a lot, so there is a lot I have seen before). I wasn’t counting pages as I read these plays. Instead, I didn’t want these plays to end. They reached out from the page and grabbed my imagination. I still think about them and smile.

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Meet our Minneapolis Playwrights!

Holy cow, holy cow – we are SO excited about next week’s ONSTAGE reading in Minneapolis that we can hardly stand it!  Anne Bertram with Theatre Unbound is absolutely rocking our world with her dedication to this event.  Huzzah!

So, without further ado, allow us to introduce you to the awesome female playwrights whose work is getting read this Tuesday, March 10th at 7:30 at The People’s Center Theatre (425 20th Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55454).  If you’re in the neighborhood, we hope you’ll join Theatre Unbound for a lovely evening of awesome new work by these FABULOUS female playwrights!

Jaclyn Grogan HeadshotJaclyn Grogan (AFTER THE CHICKEN DANCE) is a playwright, a nomad, and an extroverted introvert. Her dark comedies, dream plays, and farcical shorts explore the absurdist themes by which she lives, including the ultimate struggle for control in an illogical universe in which no control is to be had. Ever. Jaclyn’s plays have been performed in cities across the country, including workshops at academic conferences, staged readings, and productions at regional theatres. In May 2015, Jaclyn will receive her MFA in Playwriting from Southern Illinois University. She also received her undergraduate degree in English and Theatre Studies from Wellesley College. Prior to writing plays, Jaclyn served as a college counselor for high school students within the Texas public school system. In her unstructured spare time, Jaclyn lives vicariously through documentary-style crime television. Jaclyn will never drive a vehicle with a personalized license plate should she ever need to run from the law.

Playwright Nayna Agrawal

 

Nayna Agrawal (SLUT) is an MFA in stage and screen writing student at Northwestern University.  Her plays have appeared in Chicago, Ithaca, New Bedford, Seattle and Evanston.  She was a writing intern with HBO last summer and the winner of an Emmy Foundation scholarship.
**This is Nayna’s second time as an ONSTAGE Semi-finalist.  Her play, Purple Eggs, was a 2014 ONSTAGE semi-finalist in our Planting the Seed Festival.

 

Anne Hamilton at GPTC 2012Anne Hamilton (THE SHOEBOX) is a NYC-based freelance dramaturg and the Founder of Hamilton Dramaturgy, an international consultancy. She holds an MFA from Columbia University School of the Arts, and has worked with Andrei Serban, Michael Mayer, Lynn Nottage, NYMF, Niegel Smith, and Classic Stage Company. She created Hamilton Dramaturgy’s TheatreNow!, and her specialties include new play development, production dramaturgy, new musicals, career advising, advocacy, and oral histories. She was a Bogliasco Foundation Fellow. www.hamiltonlit.com

**This is Anne’s second time as an ONSTAGE Finalist.  Her play, OFEM was a 2014 Finalist in our Planting the Seed Festival.

EliEffinger-WeintraubEli Effinger-Weintraub (AT THE GATES OF THE HOUSE OF THE MOTHER OF WATERS) is a playwright and prosaist celebrating the magical in the mundane​. Gadfly Theatre Productions premiered her play Girl Gumshoe & Detective Dad in October 2014; she is a many-time writer for Theatre Unbound’s 24:00:00 Xtreme Theatre Smackdown; and her short plays have appeared in festivals around the country. Her prose publications, both fiction and nonfiction, run the gamut from Steampunk Tales and Electric Velocipede to Alyson Books, Seal Press, and Llewellyn Worldwide. Eli is honored to be part of the writing team for Theatre Unbound’s collaborative Title IX project about women in sports, which begins touring in September 2015. Eli lives in Minneapolis with her wife and frequent inspiration, visual and fiber artist Leora Effinger-Weintraub.

Kirsten_Van_Ritzen (2)Kirsten Van Ritzen (SOLO JOURNEYS) is a professional actor and comedienne who has received acclaim across Canada for her performances in theatre, comedy, TV, film and radio; she has also performed in Orlando, Chicago and L.A. Kirsten has written and performed several solo plays including ALL MY DAY JOBS published in the anthology ONE FOR THE ROAD: NEW PLAYS FOR ONE ACTOR (Signature Editions). She is the author of THE COMEDY DIVA DIARIES (iUniverse) a humour novel about a female comic trying to make it in Hollywood. A member of the Playwrights Guild of Canada, Kirsten has two full-length plays in development THE TRIPLEX and MAD LADY PEEL.  Wishing success and inspiration to my colleagues on all your creative journeys!  www.kirstenvanritzen.com www.comedydivadiaries.com @mscomedydiva

Rachael Brogan Flanery Color HeadshotRachael Brogan Flanery (WORKING LATE) is an actress and writer in the Twin Cities. She has her MFA in playwriting from UCLA and BA in theater from the University of Iowa. Her plays have been produced in Aspen, CO., Iowa City, IA., Los Angeles, CA., Minneapolis, MN., Prescott, AZ., and New York, NY. She is currently performing her one woman show “Shades of Ginger” as part of Theatre Unbound’s 2015 Girl Shorts. She is co-founder of Twin Cities’ theater company: Table Salt Productions and has performed in many of their shows since 2009. She is thrilled to be involved in LBDI Female Playwrights Onstage for the second time. In her spare time she is a wife, mother, and teacher.

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ONSTAGE at Theatre Unbound!

2014logoI met Anne Bertram at the 2014 Great Plains Theatre Conference.  Her play, The Good Fight, was so AWESOME, I knew I had to get to know this playwright!  My hope at the time was that maybe she would want to write something for our 2015 ONSTAGE Festival, but lo and behold, she decided to come on board as a Partner Producer instead – she is just that awesome!

Anne is the Executive Director at Theatre Unbound, a Minneapolis based theatre company devoted to delivering thought-provoking live theatre conceived and created by women, and providing audiences with engaging, rarely-seen perspectives on issues that are relevant and universal.

We absolutely can’t wait to work with Theatre Unbound this month – they’re going to be reading our first group of Semi-Finalist plays on March 10th at The People’s Center Theatre (425 20th Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55454)

While Theatre Unbound gets busy casting an rehearsing and doing all the wonderful things they do, we thought it would be fun to share a few interview Q & A’s with you!

LBDI:  What motivated you to become a part of the ONSTAGE Project?

ANNE: We want to get to know more playwrights!

(YAY!  We love that answer!)

LBDI:  Why do you love female playwrights?

ANNE: Well, let’s see, here’s the mission statement: “Theatre Unbound delivers thought-provoking live theatre conceived and created by women, providing audiences with engaging, rarely-seen perspectives on issues that are relevant and universal.” We exist to champion women theatre artists.

LBDI: Which theatre-makers inspire you and why?

ANNE: Anne Bogart, because she has evolved a beautiful and useful framework for developing theatre.  Katherine Hepburn, because when she wasn’t getting parts offered to her, she backed the stage production of and acquired the film rights to “The Philadelphia Story” – she made her own opportunities. Izumo no Okuni, because she invented kabuki.

LBDI: What is your spirit-animal?

ANNE: It’s either the snowy owl or Homo sapiens (the company vote was divided)

LBDI: Paper or Plastic?

ANNE: BYOB! Canvas shopping bag.

We can’t wait for our playwrights to be heard in Minneapolis!  We’ll be posting a little more information about them this week, so check back soon to read their bios and find out a little more about each playwright’s piece.

Until then…

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Our 2015 ONSTAGE Semi-Finalists

Outside the Lines poster_webIt’s been an awesome couple of weeks over here at Little Black Dress INK— full of fantastic new plays and incredible peer-reviews—and we are feeling oh-so grateful to everyone who shared their work, time, and talents with us!

That said, our 2015 ONSTAGE Project is underway with the Outside the Lines new play festival, and we are absolutely THRILLED to announce this year’s ONSTAGE Semi-Finalists:

A Thousand and One by Mary S. Parisoe
After the Chicken Dance by Jaclyn Grogan
An Announcement by Nancy Cooper Frank
At the Gates of the House of the Mother of Waters by Eli Effinger-Weintraub
Blue Light by Molly Pease
Bottom Line by Melanie Ewbank
Chicken Shoot by Jennie Webb
Down There by Sharon Goldner
Edna and Furber by Patricia Mew
Ephemera by Beth Kander
For Anyone Who Cares by Hannah Baker
Green Dog by Delia Whitehead
If I Were a Man by Mercedes Segesvary
Muse Me by Katherine James
Non-synchronous Reflection by Susan Goodell
Pythagorian Triplets by Bridgette Dutta Portman
My Heart and I by Jaisey Bates
Nothing in Particular by Rhea MacCallum
Running Lines by Jen Huszcza
Secondhand Gifts by C.J. Ehrlich
Senor Adria by Anne Dimock
Seven Minutes in Heaven by Eugenie Carabatsos
Slut by Nayna Agrawal
Solo Journeys by Kirsten Van Ritzen
Striae by Denise St. Pierre
Survival Strategy by Donna Hoke
The Exchange by Katherine Koller
The Feast by Celine Song
The Shoebox by Anne Hamilton
Three Lessons In Living by Amy Schleunes
This by Jen Huszcza
Time Slot by Kay Poiro
Tweak by Diane Sampson
Winter Light by Christine Foster
With my Eyes Shut by Kira Rockwell
Working Late by Rachael Brogan Flannery

Each of our playwrights will receive at least one reading with one of our partner producers in either Santa Barbara, CA; Sedona, AZ; Auburn, AL; Ames, IA, Minneapolis, MN, or Waco, TX before moving on to our live-stream reading in LA, and final production in Prescott, AZ.

Welcome to the party, ladies!  #FemalePlaywrightsROCK!

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