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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2017 ONSTAGE semi-finalist readings: Prescott, AZ

Our final semi-finalist reading of the season is here – we promise we’re not going to cry.  What a joy it’s been to share such an incredible bill of plays thus far!  And our Prescott plays are no exception.  If you’re in the Prescott area on June 3rd, we hope you’ll join us for some tingles and laughs – and three local playwrights! – at Prescott Center for the Arts’ Stage Too @ 7pm!

The reading is being produced by 2016 ONSTAGE alum and 2017 ONSTAGE semi-finalist, Amber Bosworth.  Amber has now officially participated in just about every aspect of the ONSTAGE fest (Playwright, Actor, Director, and Partner Producer) so she’s all kinds of awesome in our book!  Thank you, Amber, and thanks to the PCA who has shared their stage with us previously for readings and quite a few of our full productions.  Prescott is Tiffany’s hometown, and it’s a wonderful creative home to many talented artists.

And mark your calendars for July 6-8, since that’s when this year’s winning plays will be presented at the First Congregational Church theatre in Prescott, AZ!  More details on that (and our list of winning plays) to come…

Meanwhile, read all about our Prescott semi-finalists below!

What’ll It Be?, by Amber Bosworth    

Amber Bosworth has been committed to theater since she was a kid. She served five years in the US Navy as an Air Traffic Controller to help pay for college. She now works for Lockheed Martin Flight Service and spends most of her free time writing and acting on any stage that will have her. She has been involved with Seatbelts Required, Harvey, Dead Mans Cell Phone, and Educating Rita. Her first love has always been writing. After twenty years of following the sensible path, Amber has finally started to follow her dream as a writer. She has just finished her Masters in Creative Writing from Full Sail University and plans to spend more time writing.

Linda, by Diana Burbano  

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. dianaburbano.com

Full Circle, by Mikki Russ 

Mikki Russ resides in Northern Arizona. She has been active with Little Black Dress Ink as an actor in the past, and is thrilled to be a semi-finalist as a playwright for the Sixth Annual Women’s Playwright Festival. Mikki is grateful that Little Black Dress Ink is such a vibrant platform for female voices to resonate from and looks forward to participating in future endeavors

Spark, by Barbara Blumenthal-Ehrlich 

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. barbarablumenthalehrlich.com @1BarbaraBE

Evolution Fast Track, by Micki Shelton

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.

Just Deal, by Robin Brooks

Robin Brooks is an award-winning playwright and screenwriter. Her work has placed in the Kennedy Center’s American College Theater Competition, the Austin Film Festival, and the PAGE International Screenwriting Awards. She is a member of the Dramatists Guild, and she is a 2017 finalist in the Henley Rose Playwright Competition for Women. She is currently working on a modern adaptation of an Anton Chekhov parlor play. Find her at screenplaywriteher.weebly.com.

Springful, by Bex Frankeberger    

Bex Frankeberger is a Southern California native now living in Brooklyn. She is graduating with a degree in Dramatic Writing from NYU this May and hopes to pursue playwriting while somehow paying rent. She is obsessed with Elena Ferrante and Dostoevksy, and also the moon. Some of her favorite playwrights include Sarah Kane, Maria Irene Fornes, Sarah Ruhl, Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, and Will Eno. Please talk to her about your Zodiac sign, and if you are in any way connected to the other love of her life (her first being the moon), actor Paul Dano.

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Feedback: Oh no! – Guest Post by Kay Phillips

 

By guest blogger (and 2017 ONSTAGE semi-finalist) Kay Phillips

 

It’s a Saturday in 1993, Mom let you borrow the Ford Taurus and you’re cruising. Sun out, windows down, headed to the mall. With a hopeful heart, you tune the radio to KISS 102.7 hoping to catch that new Ace of Base, it’s-

FEEDBACK.

Ugh. That sizzling, sonic pork fat that screams “nope” in the most obnoxious way possible.

In the writing world, feedback can be a crapshoot. But far too often, I’ve found it similar to that sketchy radio reception. I send out hopes, dreams and effort only to receive noise in return. Not so with the ONSTAGE Peer Review process and here’s why.

First, the ONSTAGE readers are my peers. Womenfolk. Ladies. Not a group of dudes mansplaining what they’re sure I meant to say or flat-out dismissing my work altogether because they don’t “get it.”

Second, there are rules. From jump, Tiffany Antone lays down the law: “…the comments section is an opportunity for you to give *helpful* and constructive feedback to the playwright, or to make notes to us about the script’s running time/sensitive nature/requirement…

“It is not a place for you to practice your snark.”

Yes, honey. YES. I’ve read for several playwriting competitions and let me just say, the level of snark from my fellow readers never ceases to amaze. As a reader, if a piece rubs me the wrong way, it’s my job to let the writer know why. What about that character didn’t ring true? At which point did I lose interest? Comments like “Yuck!” and “What the hell did I just read?” serve no-one. Nobody’s requiring thesis-level analysis, but we owe the writer a modicum of specificity.

Like moms have been telling toddlers for generations: use your words.

Otherwise, it’s just noise.

I’ve been submitting to ONSTAGE for years. Some years I’m accepted and the news is sweet. Totally triumphant, fist-in-the-air Ace of Base moments. Other years, the news is, well… Vengaboys. But it’s always, always news I can use.

 

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And the 2018 Female Playwrights ONSTAGE Festival Theme is…

WOW – it’s official!  Our 2018 festival theme is here, and we’ll begin accepting submissions on June 1!  (So check back here on the 1st… but you can get writing now!)

This year’s festival theme is VOLUME CONTROL.  Playwrights are invited to submit short (think 10 minutes or less) plays and/or monologues written on this theme.  In the past we’ve had great success with short scenelets as well (10-minute plays comprised of a couple of scenes, which we can sprinkle throughout the line-up).

**LBDI strongly suggests you do not submit plays or monologues longer than ten minutes.** Keep in mind that in all instances, shorter truly is better.  Plays running longer than ten minutes stand very little chance of making it into the festival, as we strive to produce as many playwrights as possible.

Remember:  Little Black Dress INK utilizes a peer review process for evaluating plays.  By submitting to this fest, you agree to participate in this unique opportunity to help select plays for production.

Once our submission window is closed, you will receive a selection of plays to read and score using the LBDI online eval form.  You MUST read and submit your evaluations by the required date in order for your play to remain in consideration.

Submitted works will be read by other participating playwrights and LBDI artistic personnel.  By submitting to the festival, you agree to share your work for review in this process.

** NEW for 2018**
LBDI will utilize an online submission form this year – DO NOT email scripts to us – please wait for the form to open (June 1) and follow directions there.  Thank you, thank you, thank you!

As usual, LBDI will be producing readings of the top scoring plays at locations nation-wide.  The top eight to ten scoring plays will also move on to full production with Little Black Dress INK in 2018.

Submissions will be accepted June 1 – July 15

ADDITIONAL ONSTAGE RESOURCES FOR PLAYWRIGHTS:

  • Four time ONSTAGE Playwright, Jen Huszcza, and I talk about the ONSTAGE festival and what I’m looking for in festival submissions HERE
  • I’ve also written a few tips for submitting to short-play festivals HERE and shared some thoughts on how I build our festival line-ups HERE

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2017 ONSTAGE Semi-Finalist Readings: Sedona, AZ

We have been fortunate enough to have Kate Hawkes involved in the Female Playwrights ONSTAGE Festival every year since its inception!  She’s participated as a playwright, actress, director, and for the past four years, as a partner producer through her company Red Earth Theatre!  We ADORE her, and this year we are thrilled to have her participating again as a playwright, director, and partner producer.  You can read more about Kate below, along with our other fabulous Sedona semi-finalists… then get your booty over to the Sedona Hub on May 23rd at 7pm for a fabulous night of plays by these awesome female playwrights!

Pusherman, by Kay Phillips

Kay Phillips is an award-winning screenwriter and internationally produced playwright. Her stage plays have been performed on five continents, including performances in London, Sydney, Toronto, and Johannesburg. In 2015, her full-length play “The Ladies of Friscitana, Texas” was workshopped with the Modern Day Griot Theatre Company in Brooklyn, NY and her play “She Keeps This Family Together” debuted off-off Broadway with The Gallery Players in NYC. Upcoming projects include the world premiere of her play “The Unders” in Los Angeles. Kay is a member of the Dramatists Guild of America and lives in Arizona.

Gel Us, by Paige Zubel     

Paige Zubel is a recent graduate of the University of Houston where she received her BFA in Playwriting and Dramaturgy. She is an internationally produced playwright, with notable productions in her hometown of Houston, TX (Sunday Flowers, $12.50/Hour), New York City (The Pull of the Moon, In Full Bloom), and Scotland (Under Covers). Her script The Pull of the Moon is published through One Act Play Depot. She is presently a Literary Intern at InterAct Theatre in Philadelphia. See more at paigezubel.com.

Benchwarmer, by Miranda Ray

Miranda Ray was raised on a small island in the Pacific Northwest. At present she travels and works full-time as a ghostwriter. Visit her online at www.mirandaray.com, or find her on Instagram!

 

Mel and Mona, by Suzanne Bailie

Suzanne Bailie wrote her first play while living on a coffee farm in the jungles of Hawaii. It was produced by a local theatre company and she hasn’t stopped hitting the keyboard since. Suzanne is a member of the playwright group, Driftwood after Dark, located in Edmonds, Washington.  A couple of her favorite activities are drinking strong coffee, creating colorful donkey collages.  Her short plays and monologues have been produced across the United States, United Kingdom, South America, South Korea and Australia. Her published plays include, The Raspberry, Baby Jesus Does Not Kill Ninja Zombies and The Blankie.  Suzanne’s inventive and quirky poetry continues to be included in many anthologies and magazines.

The Scorpion and The Songbird, by Marguerite Louise Scott

Marguerite Louise Scott is an actress and writer whose play “Not Me” was produced in the 2010 Estrogenius Festival in NYC and published in the 2010 Book of Estro. She performed her solo show, Collage: “True” Stories from the Inside, at Coho Theatre in Portland, Oregon. She currently lives in Santa Fe, NM where her short play, Pigeons, was produced in the 2016 Benchwarmers Series at the Santa Fe Playhouse. She studied acting with Barbara Marchant at the William Esper Studio in NYC and is currently playing the role of “jovial, stupid and unpleasant-looking” Parsons in a play version of George Orwell’s frighteningly current and relevant novel, 1984, running March 30th – April 16th at the Santa Fe Playhouse. She is also creating a book about hiking with her Siamese cat, Puffin, as well as a full-length play dealing with sexual assault, politics, and cover-ups.

The Worst of All Evils, by Philana Omorotionmwan   

Philana Omorotionmwan is originally from Baton Rouge, LA. Her writing frequently explores how the processes by which we are “othered” can often restrict us from experiencing the fullest expression of ourselves. Her play BEFORE EVENING COMES was developed as part of the Bay Area Playwrights Festival, the Br!nk New Play Festival, and the La MaMa Experiments Series. FIREFLIES has been developed at the UC Berkeley TDPS New Play Reading Series and STRONG FACE was recognized by KCACTF Region II as a Finalist for the NPAT Award. Production of Philana’s short plays includes THE SETTLEMENT (Ensemble Studio Theatre) and BLACK BOYS DON’T DANCE (Manhattan Theatre Source), and her ten-minute play DIS DA HOOD was a finalist for the 2016 Heideman Award. Philana earned her BA from Stanford University and is currently pursuing an MFA in Playwriting at Ohio University. philanaplays.weebly.com

Pebbles to Butterflies, by Kate Hawkes

**In addition to being one this year’s semi-finalists, Kate is also our Sedona Partner Producer!  Learn more about Kate below, and be sure to visit www.redearththeatre.org to learn about her theatre company, Red Earth!**

Originally from Australia, Kate holds degrees in Education and Counseling, and an MFA in Directing from the University of Portland. She is a freelance theatre professional, educator, and Horse Gentler/Guide for Communication.

Kate created Performing Wellness ™ and later co-founded the Well Arts Institute in Portland, Oregon. While there she created, produced and directed 7 Performing Wellness productions working with partners including Oregon Health Sciences University, the VA, the MS Society and different theatre companies. She was the Education/Outreach Director and Artistic Associate at Artists Repertory Theatre, (Portland) and was adjunct faculty in the Theatre & Communications department for 18 years at Linfield College.

She is co-founder (2013) and Producing Artistic Director of Red Earth Theatre based in Sedona, Arizona, currently operating as ‘nomadic’ theatre partnering with different organizations creating theatre all over the place. Red Earth also manages Sedona Hub a new performing arts venue available to the entire community.

Kate has worked in all aspects of theatre from management to teaching, producing directing, acting and writing. Playwriting credits include Sky….Diamonds, a full length play about a family living with Alzheimer’s, nominated for a Flagstaff Arts Council Viola Award in 2014. Loplop and the Queen, was written for the week-long celebration of surrealists artists Max Ernst and Dorothea Tanning and played March 2015 at the Sedona Heritage Museum in Sedona.

For way more go to www.wellnesswithkate.com

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ONSTAGE 2017 Semi-Finalist Readings: Los Angeles, CA

Who’s looking to spend time amongst some of the most AWESOME female artists in LA this Sunday?  Well, get your calendars out, because you are in luck!  The Los Angeles installment of our 2017 ONSTAGE semi-finalist readings will go up at this Saturday (May 21) @ 2 pm at the always awesome Samuel French Bookshop (located at 7623 Sunset Blvd., 90046) !  This year’s event is hosted by the Los Angeles Female Playwrights Initiative, with wrangler-in-chief (and fabulous playwright in her own right) Jennie Webb doing her magic to make it all go like butter.  Jennie and the LAFPI have assembled such a kick ass roster of talent for this reading that we kind of can’t handle it.  So make sure you get your booty over to the Samuel French Bookshop (7623 Sunset Blvd., 90046) this Sunday, May 21st at 2pm for some fantastic new plays helmed by fantastic LA directors, and performed by fantastic LA actors!

And in the mean time, why not read up on the fab female playwrights whose work you’ll be going to hear?

HOT/MESS by Jen Huszcza

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.  **Jen has two plays in this year’s semi-finalist list: HOT/MESS and SNAKES**

Something Wicked, by Elizabeth Coplan

Elizabeth Coplan is a forty+-year PR and marketing veteran. She is an author (most recently Just a Little More Time) and playwright. Her critically acclaimed play Hospice: A Love Story (also an LBDI semi-finalist) ran for six weeks at the Group Rep in Los Angeles in the summer of 2016. During the run, Elizabeth discovered that sharing her own story about death and grief encouraged others to share their grief stories. Fellow playwrights sent her short plays on the topic, and out of grief came art in the form of the Grief Dialogues.

Grief Dialogues is an artistic movement and website supporting essential and healthy conversations. It is also a live theatre production and will premiere on September 8, 2017 at the Seattle Death Salon co-sponsored with University of Washington School of Social Work, the Order of the Good Death, People’s Memorial. The 90-minute production is followed by a discussion moderated by grief counselor Dr. Sharon Stanley.

Elizabeth is president of the board for People’s Memorial in Seattle, Washington and a trustee of Bainbridge Performing Arts on Bainbridge Island where she lives.

Zero-Six-Two-Eight, by Katherine James

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 (http://www.theathenacats.org) 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 Daywww.katherinejamesplays.com

Boxes Are Magic, by Allie Costa

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. http://www.alliecosta.com

Mommy Knows Best,  by Tiffany Antone

Tiffany’s plays have been read and/or performed in Los Angeles, New York, D.C., and Minneapolis.  Her play Twigs and Bone was a 2014 Great Plains Conference selection and received a developmental workshop production by Acadiana Repertory Theatre in 2015. Tiffany’s play The Low Tide Gang was a 2016 O’Neil semi-finalist and her play Cricket Woman Mother Earth (or) A Nasty Comeuppance, was a 2011 O’Neil finalist. Her plays Ana and the Closet and Twigs and Bone were both Jerome Finalists and O’Neil semi-finalists for 2009 & 2010.  Her play The Good Book is available through Samuel French. Tiffany is also a contributing writer for LAFPI.com and Howlround.com.

You can find Tiffany’s plays on the National New Play Exchange, or read more about her work at www.TiffanyAntone.com.

Priorities, by Teresa Peterson

Teresa is a writer, director and actor who honed her talents in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. Her plays have been performed in the San Miguel International Diez Minutos Festival and in Ashland, Oregon’s Moonlight Festival. New works with hints of dark comedy are in the wings.

Writing a ten minute play is a challenge. Grab the audience, get to the point as quickly as possible and resolve the situation in reality-time, all the while, keeping the viewer engaged and unsuspecting of the play’s outcome. And, of course, there’s all that dialogue. But, I love dialogue, snappy not sappy.

“Priorities” is real time…decisions and choices to be made ‘in the now’. Haven’t we all been there, tackling a truly difficult decision in the moment? Gregory and Claire’s particularly uncanny situation       gives new meaning into how to deal with the improbable.   Of course, there are consequences.

Lesbian Lipstick, by Allison L. Fradkin

Allison L. Fradkin is quite the play girl. Scriptly speaking, her plays lift the curtain on topics and populations that are often upstaged: women, queer folk, people of colorful stories. Her work has been featured in festivals with Modern-Day Griot Theatre Company, Theatre Out, Ensemble Theatre of Chattanooga, The Kennedy Center, 20% Theatre Chicago, and The Women’s Theatre Project, among others. As a complement to her playwriting endeavors, Allison performs in community theatre, inhabits the role of Literary Manager for Pride Films & Plays, and acts as Dramatist for Special Gifts Theatre by adapting scripts for actors with disabilities. Currently, she is working on a musical parody of The Golden Girls commissioned by Chicago’s Gorilla Tango Theatre. Visit Allison backstage at allisonfradkin.blogspot.com.

Co-Workers, by CJ Ehrlich

C.J. Ehrlich’s award-winning plays have been performed in many states, notably of undress and panic, around the US and on five continents. Full-lengths include: The Cupcake Conspiracy: “Terrorism is Easy. Marriage is Complicated” (w/Philip J. Kaplan): performed in NE, TX, HI, WA, NY; finalist, Getchell award; Mountain Playhouse International Comedy competition. Zane to Gate 69 (TX, AK) The Maltese Babka (NY, AK). Published: Best American Short Plays of 2014-15 (Applause/Hal Leonard); five S&K Best Ten-Minute Plays anthologies; Heuer: Rutledge. C.J. is thrilled and honored to again be part of the Female Playwrights Onstage project with her brand new piece, Co-Workers (no heroes were harmed in the writing of this play). With great appreciation to the actors, Kila, Jennie, and Tiffany, who makes all good things happen. Visit at CJ-Ehrlich.com.

 

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Girl, You Know Its True Colors: Guest Post

 

By 2017 ONSTAGE semi-finalist, Allison Fradkin

 

 

Lipstick on your teeth means you’re messy.

Lipstick on your collar means you’ve messed around.

Lipstick on your stage means you’re a hot mess, a circuitous compliment that also applies to the characters appearing in my play, “Lesbian Lipstick.”

The superficial synopsis:

The Very Gay Cosmetics company not only takes pride in their products; they put pride in them. But what happens when their products become contaminated? Chick Van Dyke, a Very Gay beauty consultant, is about to find out. When a customer crashes her product demonstration party, Chick is disappointed to discover that ever since the woman began wearing Very Gay’s cosmetics, she’s been, well, keeping a straight face. Can Chick and company solve the mystery of the disappearing dykedom?

The exfoliated explanation:

I set the story in the 1980s, a time when society was at once progressive and regressive. In our quest to go back to the future, specifically the clean-cut white-bread conservatism of the nifty fifties, we revived the sexism, heterosexism, and consumerism exuberant in that era.

“Lesbian Lipstick” enables five women to deconstruct these timeless institutions. They do so with the help of something seemingly superficial but conspicuously compulsory: make-up. For these women, wearing cosmetics is not a means of concealing their true selves. It is a way of signifying their desire to shatter stereotypes, subvert gender norms, and reject and resist all the insidious “isms.” Thanks to Very Gay Cosmetics, the ladies are able to lay the foundation for a revolution in which women of all sexual orientations can beautify (and beaut-defy) societal roles and expectations.

Parity is part and parcel of prosperity, and the characters that make up “Lesbian Lipstick” inhabit an alternate universe in which being gay and lesbian is acceptable. But anything that deviates from that inflexible either/or binary is initially cause for suspicion and censure. The lesbians have fought long and hard to attain the same rights as their gay male counterparts, so what will happen when they encounter someone whose sexuality is queer-cut but not clear-cut?

 

Let’s hope there’s a pot of lip gloss at the end of the rainbow.

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