Filed under: Dramaturgy, HD Clients, NYC Theatre, Playwrighting Awards, Script Development, Theatre, TheatreNow! Podcasts, Women Theatre Artists, Works by Women | Tags: Anne Hamilton, Columbia University School of the Arts, Dramaturg, Dramaturgy, Hamilton Dramaturgy's TheatreNow!, http://hamiltondramaturgystheatrenow.com, Maria Alexandria Beech, New Works, New York City theatre, NYC, NYC Theatre, Playwright, Script Development, Women Theatre Artists, Works by Women, www.hamiltonlit.com
The New American Voices Festival
@ Queens Theatre
Presents a reading of
Saturday, April 12 – 8pm, in the Studio Theatre
written by Maria Alexandria Beech
Directed by Michelle Bossy
Featuring Olivia Negron*, Claudia Acosta, Cathy Curtain*, Rock Kohli* and Chris Henry Coffee*
A freelance writer and her mother live a quiet and secluded life in New York, except when a frozen chicken and other objects crash on the floor. That’s when a mysterious couple who moved in below knocks on the door. A funny and tender play about life choices and cultural assumptions, with a fascinating group of characters including an ex-lover, an Indian salesman, and a newborn baby.
Maria Alexandria Beech’s play Infinity Pond, commissioned by Primary Stages and Aspen Theater Masters, was selected for the new Palm Beach Theater Festival. Alex is commissioned to write a play for Teatro Luna in Chicago in 2014, the first play in its Five in Five Series by women playwrights. Her play, Breaking Walls, was produced at The Cherry Lane Theater. Her play, Little Monsters, was produced by Primary Stages and Brandeis Theater Company. Her translation of Eduardo Machado’s The Cook was produced by Stages Theater. Her musical CLASS, with composer Karl Michael Johnson, will be workshopped in Michigan in the summer. Since 2006, Alex has been a member of The Dorothy Strelsin New American Writers Group at Primary Stages (where she wrote Class, Charity, Bonds, Little Monsters, Homebodies, and currently, ISLANDS). She’s also an alum of the Hispanic Playwrights Lab at Intar (Gloria).
Alex earned a BA (cum laude) and Masters in Fine Arts in Playwriting from Columbia University, and a Masters in Fine Arts in Musical Theater Writing from New York University. Her awards include The Aspen Theatre Master’s Visionary Award (2009), and Outstanding New Script Award at the Planet Connections Theater Festivity for What Are You Doing Here(2011). Alex is a member of the Dramatists Guild in New York.
Michelle Bossy is a New York based director and producer dedicated to bringing new plays to the stage. She is the Associate Artistic Director of Primary Stages, where she produces new American plays, and where she has also served as Assistant Director, Company Manager, and Artistic Associate. She produced the World Premiere of Dread Awakening and directed and produced the premieres of Un Plugged In (by Brian Pracht); South Beach Rapture (by David Caudle); and Sarajevo’s Child; Cumberland; Low Brow; and Missing Mike Vitelle. Recently, she directed the world premiere of Little Monsters by Maria Alexandria Beech at the Brandeis Theater Company, and High School Confidential for Primary Stages. She directed developmental readings of Eat Your Heart Out by Courtney Baron (Perry Mansfield New Works Festival), Bicycle Girl by Rogelio Martinez (Repertory Theater of St. Louis), Gloria by Maria Alexandria Beech (EST), Mercy by Adam Szymkowicz, and May Day by Molly Smith Metzler, among many others. Michelle is the Director of the Dorothy StrelsinNew American Writers Group, where she has worked with over twenty emerging writers. Michelle holds the first undergraduate directing degree from Webster University’s Conservatory of Theatre Arts. She is the Co-Founder and Artistic Director of the Plum Theatre Company. She teaches acting and playwriting for the Einhorn School of Performing Arts (ESPA) and directing for Syracuse University. Member: Lincoln Center Director’s Lab and the League of Professional Theatre Women.
Filed under: Dramaturgy, Playwrighting Awards, Recent Successes, Script Development, Theatre, Women Theatre Artists, Works by Women | Tags: 10-minute plays, Advocacy for Women, American Plays, Anne Hamilton, Dramaturg, Dramaturgy, Gender parity, Hamilton Dramaturgy, Ink, Little Black Dress, Monologues, New American Plays, New Roles for Women, OFEM, Playwright, Script Development, Staged Reading, Women Theatre Artists, Works by Women, www.hamiltonlit.com
I am very pleased that my short play OFEM has been chosen as a semi-finalist for Little Black Dress Ink’s 2014 Female Playwrights Onstage Project. It will be featured in an Ithaca, NY reading on May 4th. If chosen as a finalist, it will have a reading at the Center Theater Group in Los Angeles later this year.
Here is a guest post I wrote for Little Black Dress Ink’s website. It gives a little bit of background on how I was inspired to write OFEM.
OFEM – A Comic Monologue on American Food Attitudes
I have been eating organic food for about fifteen years. I needed to regain some health after the exhaustion I felt after graduating from Columbia University and starting my career as a dramaturg in New York City. I started ordering deliveries from Urban Organics, based in Brooklyn, after a recommendation from Lynn Nottage.
In 2004, I moved to Bucks County, Pennsylvania, a beautiful region filled with farms and natural reserves. I was lucky enough to get in on the ground floor of a Community Supported Agriculture project at Blooming Glen Farm. As a CSA member, I often visited the farm to help with chores, like replanting onions, helping to hang garlic in the barn, and at the end of the season, to pull up tomato vines from the fields so the farmers could prepare the soil for the next season’s planting.
While on the farm, and also while hanging out with health-conscious new friends, I noticed that there is a particularly ferocious atmosphere in Bucks County with regards to food. Some are outright food preachers, espousing one type of diet over another, and some are more low-key but equally obvious about showing their attitudes, usually with a gesture of rolling eyes, or a sharp intake of breath when an opinion is mentioned that they don’t agree with. I’ve never been in a place where food attitudes were so important socially.
One day I was considering this fact, and I started thinking about writing a monologue that would push the envelope on dramatizing the food attitudes of urban and rural Americans.
As a serious example of such dramatization, I remembered an excellent monologue named A CHIP ON MY SHOULDER by Carol K. Mack, which appeared in the League of Professional Women’s New Play Festival in 2009 at the Cherry Lane Theatre in New York City. In it, a woman named Annie, played by Kathryn A. Layng, gives a speech at a podium thanking Monsanto for its strides in food manipulation and production. She refers to an implanted electronic chip which the company has offered, and is now becoming a normal part of American life. It was a truly intelligent and chilling piece.
With admiration for Carol’s satire, I was inspired to move in the other direction, and my mind took a wildly comic turn. What if a group of female farmers, due to their feminist leanings, decided only grow to food that is round, or round-ish? What if they went further and banished phallic-shaped objects from their diets? What would cause them to do such a thing? And what if we visited them on the day that this new food movement was rolled out to the public?
And so, OFEM, or, the Ovo-Farmer’s Emerging Network was conceived.
Its leader, Sally Parsons, is giving a speech to launch the network, and stands at the podium in iconic magnificence, like Rosie the Riveter and Emma Goldman combined. Her speech has the passion of an early 20th—century union organizing appeal. As she rails against the “Farmer Man”, she goes over the top with a litany of vegetables and fruits which will and will not be grown by OFEM. And at the end, like a suffragette leading the charge to new freedoms and rights, she invites her listeners to participate in the movement and usher in a new era for humanity.
Sally is over the top, and obviously, her message is larger than life, but it makes a point about attitudes toward food consumption, both slightly mocking, and also, deeply respectful, because it points to the power – the anarchism, one could say – of influencing society’s attitudes by taking independent control of food production. I love her enthusiasm. Isn’t it anarchic to make a stand against oppressive food attitudes? And also against mainstream food growth systems, whether they’re corporations, or family businesses?
OFEM expresses what I consider a lot of time to be the silliness and offensiveness exhibited by privileged, wealthy foodies. I want to say to them, “Come on, people, it’s food. It’s nutrition. Be thankful for the hard work of the people who labor to bring it to you.”
At the same time, I respect their choices. Food consumption involves personal, ethical, financial and sometimes medical choices that I might not be aware of. So in the end, who am I to judge?
I hope that everyone will enjoy Sally’s speech. Who knows? Maybe I’ve created a viable movement! Power to the farmer!
Filed under: Dramaturgy, Script Development, Theatre, Translations, Women Theatre Artists, Works by Women | Tags: @AnneHamiltonlit, Academia, Anne Hamilton, Cathy Turner, Dramaturg, Dramaturgy, Duska Radosavljevic, Expanded Dramaturgies, Hanna Slattne, International Theatre, London Theatre, New Works, Playwright, Script Development, Synne K. Behrndt, Theory, UK Theatre, Women Theatre Artists, Works by Women
I discovered this magnificent resource on the artistry, practice, and theory of dramaturgy and want to share it with everyone! I used the authors’ book Dramaturgy and Performance in my class at Muhlenberg College a few years ago. It is a wonderful textbook.
This site documents, frames and disseminates aspects of research carried out by Cathy Turner and Synne K. Behrndt. Theywork together and separately to research dramaturgy (and sometimes the dramaturg). They also share their individual research interests.
In addition to and as part of their academic research, Synne works as a dramaturg for companies such as Fevered Sleep (UK) and others. Cathy works as an artist with Wrights & Sites.
There is a ‘Porous Dramaturgies’ in the side bar on the site for posts relating to the project between Cathy at the University of Exeter, working together with Duska Radosavljevic at the University of Kent, Hanna Slattne of Tinderbox (N.Ireland) and Shadow Casters (Croatia).
Filed under: Dramaturgy, HD Clients, Playwrighting Awards, Script Development, Theatre | Tags: Anne Hamilton, Comedy, Dallas, DEELMAYKER, Dramaturg, Dramaturgy, Hamilton Dramaturgy, McKinney Repertory Theatre, New Play Competition, New Works, New York City theatre, NYC, NYC Theatre, Playwright, Script Development, Warren Bodow, www.hamiltonlit.com
Congratulations to Warren Bodow, whose play DEELMAYKER has won third place in the 3rd Annual McKinney Repertory Theatre’s New Play Competition. It will receive a reading tonight at 7:30pm in McKinney, Texas, just outside of Dallas. I have worked as Warren’s dramaturg to develop the comedy for the past two years. Previously, it received readings in New York City and Tucson, Arizona, before being chosen for this national award.
DEELMAYKER, the main character’s email address, features the loveable Bernie Harris, a successful 65-year-old media broker who wants to keep on truckin’ but is challenged by a client base that is shrinking and a business environment that is pushing him to the sidelines. As he struggles to win the trust of a much younger client, and with problems in his marriage, Bernie strives to make the perfect deal, and learns if he has what it takes to face the new realities of a world growing young.
McKinney Repertory Theatre
111 N. Tennessee Street
Warren G. Bodow is a “second-act” playwright, having turned to this craft following a thirty-year career in broadcasting. He has written six plays, all of which have been produced in festivals or as fully-staged box-office productions. His second play, RACE MUSIC, was performed on Theatre Row and received critical acclaim from The New York Times in 2009. A native of Syracuse, New York, he graduated from Syracuse University and served as chair of the Newhouse School Advisory Board. He lives with his wife, Ellen, in New York City and in Tucson, Arizona. His book THREE SHORT PLAYS ABOUT LOVE was published by Hamilton Dramaturgy Press in 2011.
Filed under: BCWJ Page & Stage, Career Advising, Dramaturgy, Playwrighting Awards, Script Development, Theatre, Women Theatre Artists, Works by Women | Tags: Anne Hamilton, BCWJ, BCWJ Page & Stage, Director, Dramaturg, Dramaturgy, GPTC, Great Plains Theatre Conference, Hamilton Dramaturgy, Last Frontier Theatre Conference, New Works, PlayPenn, Playwright, Script Development, Seven Devils Playwrights Conference, Women Theatre Artists, www.hamiltonlit.com
Here is my latest article for my Page & Stage column in the Bucks County Women’s Journal. You may download the article here: BCWJ Article – Preparing for Theatre Conferences by Anne Hamilton
Preparing for Theatre Conferences
By Anne M. Hamilton, MFA
Every year I attend the Great Plains Theatre Conference in Omaha, Nebraska. For a week, Metropolitan Community College hosts a multifaceted developmental program which includes productions, five MainStage readings, workshops, and more than twenty PlayLab readings.
The process starts when the conference puts out a call for play submissions in the fall. Plays come in from all over the world, are read and evaluated, and then the final plays are chosen. The process is similar for other play development conferences like Seven Devils, the Last Frontier Theatre Conference, and PlayPenn in Philadelphia.
When playwrights are looking to develop their work, they often send out their scripts to gain the widest range of experience. Having actors, directors and dramaturgs read the scripts in front of an audience allows the playwright to hear her work, and determine which areas are working, and which can be strengthened.
At Great Plains, a team of artists gathers for several rehearsals, and then presents the reading. A panel of professional playwrights, directors, educators and dramaturgs gives the playwright feedback, and then the playwright discusses the play with her assigned dramaturg. During the week, playwrights also take a variety of workshops, writing new work, and learning new approaches to creative inspiration.
As a Guest Artist, I really enjoy getting to know each new work, and then discussing the reading with its creator. Many scripts go on to great success with other festivals and conferences, as well as productions. It is a pleasure to continue a professional relationship with the playwrights, and to support them as they continue their submissions, and apply to professional training programs and graduate schools.
It is in every playwright’s best interest to actively research and submit to developmental workshops and conferences. The theatre starts with a rather level playing field in that every actor has to audition and learn to perform on stage, and every playwright has to submit and have her plays read and performed on stage. A conference can be a marvelous experience which pushes a writer’s career forward, and gives her a refreshing collaborative experience.
Anne Hamilton has 23 years of experience as a dramaturg. She is available for script consultations and career advising through email@example.com. Season Three of Hamilton Dramaturgy’s TheatreNow! launched with an interview with Kate Valk, The Wooster Group’s leading actress.
Filed under: Adaptations, Career Advising, Dramaturgy, New Musicals, NYC Theatre, Script Development, Theatre, Translations, Women Theatre Artists, Works by Women | Tags: @AnneHamiltonlit, Anne Hamilton, BEHOLD, Chicago, Director, Dramaturg, Dramaturgy, Hamilton Dramaturgy, Kanjy, Los Angeles, NYC, NYC Theatre, NYMF, Playwright, Process, Screenplay, Screenwriter, Script Development
I am pleased to be working with Kanjy, a new global community for scriptwriters. Through Kanjy, writers connect with colleagues, find opportunities and share their work through secure, digital portfolios.
I will be sharing Kanjy news here on my blog, as well as on my twitter account @AnneHamiltonlit.
I am often asked, “What is a dramaturg?” My answer is that I am a literary and historical advisor.
However, there are many functions and specialties within the field, and each dramaturg is an artist with unique training and experience, and a unique process. The beauty of working in this field is that I can create a collaborative relationship on every new project, based on the needs of the playwright, director, or production. New York City is my artistic home.
I love working on new projects. As a freelance dramaturg, they include new play development, historical research, and new musical development. I often try to help the playwright find development and production opportunities when the play is finished. Once playwrights are on my radar, I try to be very helpful and push their careers forward.
The essence of my practice is listening carefully to what playwrights need – sometimes they are aware of an area they want help with, and other times they just want a second set of eyes to review what’s on the page, and then a discussion on how to strengthen their vision.
I am currently working on several new plays and musicals, both privately and for organizations. Tom Cavanaugh, a long-time collaborator, has a reading of BEHOLD at the Blank Theatre in Los Angeles this month, and Warren Bodow, a second-act playwright residing in New York City and Tucson, Arizona, has just finished a new comedy called THE GUY ON FIRST BASE.
In my first year as a dramaturg for the New York Musical Theatre Festival, I am advising Alexis Fishman on developing DER GELBE STERN, which had a successful run in Australia recently and is part of NYMF’s Next Link Series, headed for a production in NY in July. Also, I’ve advised the development of PUMPED, with libretto by Marla Woodhill, JD Jacobsen and Nicole Jacobsen, and music and lyrics by the terrific new team of Kyle Ewalt and Michael Ian Walker. I’ve also helped Chicago-based singer and writer Jillann Gabrielle with her one woman show HEDDA, on the gossip columnist Hedda Hopper.
In addition, I evaluate scripts, new play competitions, teach workshops, and serve as Guest Artist at the Great Plains Theatre Conference in Omaha, Nebraska.
I work with artists across the country and across the world, from beginners to veterans. And I get a thrill out of engaging in the process which allows great theatre to happen.
Anne Hamilton is the Founder of Hamilton Dramaturgy, an international consultancy based in New York City’s professional scene, and located in Bucks County, PA. She has over twenty years of experience across the country and internationally. The majority of her clients are located in N.Y. and L.A. Her clients have gone on to win the Pulitzer Prize, the MacArthur “Genius” Award, the Tony ® Award, and a Royal Court International Residency. In 2009, STAGE DIRECTIONS magazine named her a “trailblazer” in American dramaturgy.
Hamilton has consulted with Andrei Serban, the Joseph Papp Public Theater, the Harold Prince Musical Theatre Institute, Michael Mayer, Lynn Nottage, Yehuda Ne’eman, Classic Stage Company, B.T. McNicholl, Tina Andrews, NYSCA, Jean Cocteau Repertory Theater, Leslie Lee, Andrew Barrett, The New York City Public Library’s Schomberg Center for Research in Black Culture, the University of Iowa Playwrights Workshop, and the Great Plains Theatre Festival.
She produces and hosts Hamilton Dramaturgy’s TheatreNow!, a podcast series featuring some of the most important contemporary female theatre artists working in America. Podcasts can be downloaded at http://www.hamiltondramaturgystheatrenow.com.
Filed under: Dramaturgy, HD Clients, Playwrighting Awards, Script Development, Theatre | Tags: Anne Hamilton, BEHOLD, Dramaturg, Dramaturgy, Hamilton Dramaturgy, Los Angeles, Los Angeles Theatre, New Roles for Women, New Works, Playwright, Tom Cavanaugh, www.hamiltonlit.com
I hope that you will all join me in Los Angeles on Monday night, March 10th for a reading of BEHOLD, which I have helped Tom Cavanaugh develop over the years. It is a daring and timely play which I am very proud of.
The award-winning stage play returns to Los Angeles with a special workshop production by The Blank Theatre Company, as part of its Living Room Series.
The Blank Theatre of Hollywood as part of their Living Room Series presents a workshop production of BEHOLD a new play by Tom Cavanaugh, on Monday March 10th, at 8pm, at Second Stage Theatre. Cast for this workshop production includes David Marciano (Virgil of HOMELAND), Kerris Dorsey (Bridget of RAY DONOVAN), Blaire Chandler, David Hemphill and John Ross Clark, Directed by Christopher J. Raymond and Written by Tom Cavanaugh.
BEHOLD is about a suburban family which loses a son to a Columbine-type shooting at the local high school and how the family changes while dealing with the tragic loss. While the mother descends into depression, and the daughter into violence, the father rips down a cross representing the shooter from a hillside memorial. The central, timely question here is, “Was the shooter a victim of violence, too?”
Rather than playing a blame game, or making a political statement, BEHOLD shows the severe reactions to the loss of a son and a brother from within the family home. Only Bobby, the surviving brother, receives what he feels is a message from above, bringing compassion for the whole series of events. An extended fugue of internal monologues surrounding the father’s iconic destruction of the shooter’s cross memorial opens the second act. “Not only does the play pack a sucker punch along the lines of The Normal Heart and Death of a Salesman,” says artistic director, AJ Ciccotelli of the La Strada Theatre in New Jersey, “The play reveals the destructive force of violence in the home when the unthinkable becomes a reality.”
BEHOLD was one of three plays awarded the 2011 Pickering Award for Excellence in Playwriting and received a workshop production at the Utah Shakespeare Festival.
A twenty-two year veteran 911 operator & police dispatcher, Cavanaugh used his own experience with the murder of his grandfather, who was beaten to death in his home by three teenage boys, and manifested his responses and sentiments during that experience into the lives of the characters.
Cavanaugh, who is a graduate of the MFA program in playwriting at the Actors Studio Drama School in New York City, used his powers of healing insight when he bought a hundred cups of coffee for the people of Newtown, CT in the wake of the Sandy Hook School Shooting. “I wanted to restore some normality in the lives of the people of Newtown,” when asked by a national reporter on his motives. Tom went on to explain, “After the last camera crew leaves, the real grief begins. Hopefully this act is only the beginning to help the people of that town.”
Cavanaugh’s act of kindness caused a media sensation that brought direct donations to the people of Newtown, CT from as far as South Africa and Great Britain. Inspired by Cavanaugh’s actions, people picked up their phones and purchased goods and services from Newtown stores that were given for free with the purpose of directly helping the people of Newtown CT.
The staged reading of BEHOLD will be presented on Monday, March 10th, at 8:00pm, as part of The Blank Theatre’s Living Room Series at:
2nd Stage Theatre
6500 Santa Monica Blvd. (at Wilcox)
Hollywood CA 90038
For reservations please e-mail info(at)theblank(dot)com
Suggested Donations Start at $10.