Anne Hamilton/Hamilton Dramaturgy


Anne to direct THE STACY PLAY in Central Park, NYC

Great news! I’ll be directing a walking tour version of my play THE STACY PLAY-A LOVE SONG-VOLUME I on May 19, 2012 in Central Park! I won a Curatorship from the League of Professional Theatre Women’s 30 Plays in 30 Years Event. My play will take part in eight locations, like a modern pageant play which follows one woman’s journey through her own soul. It will start on The Mall and Literary Walk, and will end at the Bethesda Fountain. The event will be free. Stay tuned for more!

The site for Anne Hamilton's staging of THE STACY PLAY on May19, 2011



Interview with Kamilah Forbes, Artistic Director/Actor/Curator

Kamilah Forbes Interview 2010

Kamilah Forbes
On December 9th the League of Professional Theatre Women will honor Kamilah Forbes with the Josephine Abady Award, given to an emerging director or producer of works of cultural diversity. Miss Forbes is an actor, director, curator and producer who develops creative works by, for and about the hip-hop generation. She is currently the Artistic Director of the Hip-Hop Theater Festival. Anne Hamilton recently interviewed the NYC-based artist. 

AH: FIRST OF ALL, I WOULD LIKE TO SAY CONGRATULATIONS. HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT WINNING THE ABADY AWARD?

KF:  I’m a little speechless because I’m in such awe of the other honorees as well as the organization, so I’m very, very honored. The recognition means a great deal.

AH: I THINK THAT IT’S IMPORTANT TO LEARN ABOUT A WOMAN’S EARLY GROWTH AS AN ARTIST. CAN YOU TELL US WHAT KINDS OF ARTISTIC ACTIVITIES YOU TOOK PART IN AS YOU WERE GROWING UP?

KF: I took piano lessons and I went to a lot of theater growing up in Chicago. Based on my musical influences, I would write hip-hop lyrics at that time. I was very much involved in my drama program in high school, which led to me wanting to study theater in college. I was involved in the acting and directing program at Howard University and did a little bit of producing.

AH: AND YOU ALSO STUDIED AT OXFORD.

KF: Yes, at the British-American Drama Academy (BADA). I’m in love with the classics. I’ve always been in love with language, whether it’s hip-hop or Shakespeare. You know, it made my decade, just to be in the same room with Ben Kingsley and to study with him. I studied with Fiona Shaw as well.

AH: TELL US ABOUT SOME OF THE SHAKESPEAREAN ROLES YOU’VE PLAYED.

KF: I’ve played Rosalind in AS YOU LIKE IT. That was with the WSC Company in Washington DC. I was part of the Folger Shakespeare Theater Educational Troupe. I did ROMEO AND JULIET, and MUCH ADO. In The Scottish Play, on the main stage of Folger Shakespeare, I played Hecate, which is a role that’s generally omitted. She’s the queen of the witches.

AH: HOW DID YOU GO FROM HECATE TO HIP-HOP?

KF: Well, I think my interests always co-existed, and it was just a matter of my two worlds bumping into one another. When I studied at Oxford, I would attend classes about scansion and diction during the day and then I would be running to London to see DE LA SOUL at night.

My college professor Sybil Roberts really encouraged us as theater makers to challenge the boundaries of performance and take experimental risks.  I decided to pull together a collective of poets and DJs, and began to workshop a concept for a play I was writing called RHYME DEFERRED. The DJ definitely laid the score of the play. I worked with dancers and choreographers whose background was in hip-hop dancing and popping and locking and break dancing. I was interested in using the dance as storytelling tools.

I asked myself, “How can this kind of movement truly tell a story just as any posse or other Broadway choreography would?” And the poetry and the language wove together. In this 1997 workshop I was experimenting with what Hip-Hop Theater as an aesthetic could potentially look like.

AH: TELL US ABOUT WORKING WITH DEF POETRY JAM.

KF: I served as the producer for the HBO show, which basically meant I just did what I did for the festival. I curated. When the show started to move towards Broadway, I worked with the director Stan Lathan as an associate director for the Broadway tour. I got to work with a lot of these poets in a lot of different ways. Several of them had written long-form work that I had presented in the festival. And then in this iteration, they were performing their three-minute, shorter work as well.

AH: YOU WEAR A NUMBER OF HATS EXTREMELY WELL. WHAT DO YOU THINK CONTRIBUTES TO YOUR SUCCESS?

KF: I’ve always been interested in a lot of different sides of things. I want to know how the show is run as well as how it’s produced, because they’re interrelated. You know, being a good actor makes me even better director. Being a producer makes me a better director. Being a director makes me a better producer, just because of my knowledge of the full 360-degree circle of the theatre world. At times it’s difficult, because sometimes I can feel very schizophrenic. But when I’m truly able to focus on one thing at a time, I think each one of my interests enhances the other.

AH: IS YOUR JOB WITH THE FESTIVAL YEAR-ROUND?

KF: It seems like it. [Laughs.]  But we’ve backed away from being a year-round organization only because it gives me a lot more freedom to work on other individual artistic projects, whether as a director or an actor. Or to work on the series that I produce. It gives me a little bit of freedom for that.

AH: WHAT KIND OF ARTISTIC GROWTH ARE YOU EXPERIENCING AT THE MOMENT?

KF: I’m finding a lot of inspiration from a lot of different forms and in very unlikely places. I will go to a visual art exhibit and be so inspired in by the way in which it was presented. I’m always figuring out ways to build upon inspiration, and to incorporate this piece of inspiration into the work that I do. I’m constantly looking for ways for that to happen in very unlikely places.

AH: IT SEEMS LIKE YOUR ARTISTS ARE WELL-DISCIPLINED, WELL-INFORMED, SUPERBLY INTELLIGENT AND ALSO, THAT THEY WORK THROUGH THE HEART AS WELL AS THE MIND.

KF: Absolutely.

AH: KAMILAH, I WISH YOU GREAT, GREAT SUCCESS IN THE FUTURE IN EVERYTHING THAT YOU’RE DOING. HOW CAN PEOPLE KEEP UP WITH YOUR SHOWS AND ACTIVITIES?

KF: Thank you, Anne. They can go to the websites www.kffproductions.com and www.hhtf.org.



THE STACY PLAY to Appear in Julia’s Reading Room December 14th

On December 14th, I will direct a reading of my play THE STACY PLAY – A LOVE SONG – VOLUME I at Julia’s Reading Room in NYC. Held at the home of legendary producer Julia Miles, JRR is a program of the League of Professional Theatre Women. As a special treat, I will also direct and present a performance of my clown play BOUDOIR BENCH, which introduces a new archetype: the beautiful female clown. Please email me for more details at hamiltonlit@hotmail.com.

THE STACY PLAY was originally written as a one-act named AND THEN I WENT INSIDE. Kathleen Chalfant premiered the role of Stacy at the LPTW’s New Play Festival last November. THE STACY PLAY appeared last summer in TRANSITIONS, a juried Virtual Exhibition created by Pen and Brush, the legendary New York City women’s art collective. I have read scenes from the play at Pen and Brush and the Nuyorican Poet’s Cafe. It recently placed in the top 100 entries for the Stage Play category of the 79th Writer’s Digest competition.



Recent Successes: Playwrighting Awards, Anne on The Air, Dramaturgy, and LPTW

Playwrighting

  • Two of my plays and a poem have been selected for the juried exhibition TRANSITIONS at Pen and Brush, Inc. in NYC. ANOTHER WHITE SHIRT (play), THE STACY PLAY – A LOVE SONG – VOLUME I (play) and GONDOLIER (poem) are appearing in the virtual exhibit at www.penandbrush.org through September 3rd. I read excerpts from both plays at the exhibition’s opening on June 3rd. THE STACY PLAY – A LOVE SONG – VOLUME I is an expansion of AND THEN I WENT INSIDE, premiered by Kathleen Chalfant at the Cherry Lane Theatre last November. Thank you, Pen and Brush. I am truly honored.
  • As a playwright member of NO PASSPORT, an unincorporated theatre alliance and press, I have read from my work in our monthly HIBERNATING RATTLESNAKES event. Plays include: ANOTHER WHITE SHIRT, THE STACY PLAY, as well as TYRONE’S SLIDE RIDE, a short, humorous/dangerous tale of gentrification in Brooklyn. Please join us at future HR events at the Nuyorican Poets Café, 236. E. 3rd Street (Avenues B/C) in NYC ( http://www.nuyorican.org).Suggested admission is $5.

Anne On the Air

  • My blog https://hamiltondramaturgy.wordpress.com features TheatreNow! podcasts as well as my columns on Healing through the Arts for opentohope.com and interviews given to various stations.
  • On June 24th, I served as a guest commentator for the upcoming L.A. Theatreworks audio presentation of Lee Blessing’s GOING TO ST. IVES. The topic was Mothers and Sons in Blessing’s play, OEDIPUS REX, THE GLASS MENAGERIE and ALL MY SONS. The segment will be aired on NPR as a companion piece to the rebroadcast of the play, set for July 24th. Check my blog and website for the exact times and member station call numbers.

L.A. Theatreworks has a large catalog of audio recordings of important plays performed by leading actors. Its website is a terrific resource at www.latw.org.

  • I launched the audio podcast series TheatreNow!, an oral history of leading American female theatre artists, at https://hamiltondramaturgy.wordpress.com . The inaugural segment features playwright and librettist Quiara Allegria Hudes, who wrote ELIOTT, A SOLDIER’S FUGUE, and the libretto for IN THE HEIGHTS (2008 Tony Award winner for Best Musical, and 2009 Pulitzer Prize for Drama nominee). Please listen to additional guests already online including: Ruth Margraff, Claire Lautier, Valentina Fratti, and Catherine Filloux, Yvette Heyliger, and Yvonne Farrow.  Upcoming guests include:  Lynn Nottage, Anne Kauffman, Kamilah Forbes,  and Maria Alexandria Beech.

Dramaturgy

  • I served as a script development consultant to Tina Andrews for her groundbreaking period drama CHARLOTTE SOPHIA, about the wife of King George III. Please see the Testimonials section for Tina’s comments on this wonderful collaboration.
  • I am currently approaching theatres hoping to gain a production for Warren Bodow’s drama FRONTING THE ORDER, which I also dramaturged. The five character ensemble piece explores the ethics and practicality of using deception to gain a short term profit, and we see a premonition of the conflicts of our 21st century information age. Please send all inquiries to me at: hamiltonlit@hotmail.com . Warren is the retired President of radio stations WQXR and WQEW and received great reviews from The New York Times for RACE MUSIC last year on Theatre Row. The Cherry Lane Theatre will  present a staged reading of his new play later this summer.
  • Broadway legend George Marcy performed his musical play THE BALLAD OF GEORGIE PORGIE (co-written with Bob Goldstone, who also serves as Musical Director) on June 9th at Don’t Tell Mama in NYC. Carol Lawrence and Chita Rivera were in attendance. George will perform the show again at DTM at 8pm on September 9th. Here are his comments: “Anne Hamilton, with her insight, creativity and knowledge, is responsible for guiding THE BALLAD OF GEORGIE PORGIE to where it is today.” Tickets are $20 through www.donttellmamanyc.com This show is terrific! Don’t miss it!

LPTW Activities

  • After a whirlwind year of serving as Co-Secretary of the League of Professional Theatre Women, I have resigned in order to focus on hosting and producing a new League oral history podcast series. I will interview League members in the audio series LPTW Voices: Women Have Their Say. Many thanks to the League for this opportunity, and also to all the Officers and Board members who serve our constituency so faithfully. I treasure my League membership.
  • I still serve on the LPTW’s Mentoring Committee under Chairwoman Margery Klain. The committee is dedicated to providing mentoring opportunities to female theatre artists who are members of the League. Please see www.theatrewomen.org for an application.


WORKS BY WOMEN – A NYC Advocacy Group

WORKS BY WOMEN – A New Theatre-Going Advocacy Group in New York City

By Ludovica Villar-Hauser

© 2010

This article was originally published in Hamilton Dramaturgy’s ScriptForward! (Volume 6, No. 22) in June 2010

About two years ago I became a very active member of the League of Professional Theatre Women.  I became Chair of the International Committee and recently was elected the Vice President of Programming.

In August 2009, I attended the first meeting of 50/50 in 2020, hosted at the Julia Miles Theatre, home of The Women’s Project.  50/50 in 2020 was founded by: Melody Brooks, Artistic Director of New Perspectives Theatre Company; Julie Crosby, Producing Artistic Director of The Women’s Project; and Susan Jonas (Co-author with Suzanne Bennett of “The 2002 New York State Council on the Arts Report on the Status of Women in Theatre”), who is on the faculty at Ithaca College.

50/50 in 2020’s mission is: To work proactively for parity for professional women theater artists.

You can check out and join the Facebook page at: http://www.facebook.com/5050in2020?ref=ts and visit our new blog at http://worksbywomen.wordpress.com/

I was very impressed with Julie Crosby’s very clear call to action, to “put your money where your mouth is” (i.e. support women’s work).  It’s simple.

I decided to make my contribution to the 50/50 in 2020 campaign by creating a theatre-going group, first on Facebook and then on MeetUp.com, to see the work of women theatre artists. Our mission is to see as many productions written, directed and/or designed by women theatre artists as possible. To date we have 268 Theater Goers which we hope to grow to 1,000 members by this time next year.  The group has seen 35 shows – with May being our best month yet – we saw seven shows!  At least 50% of our productions are by League of Professional Theatre Women members (sometimes more).  That is, however, not a criteria – simply a happy accident!

We ask producers, artistic directors, theatre owners, etc. to fill out a form (provided by us) with their production’s details, from which we create the posting for the “MeetUp”. We ask for a minimum of four weeks’ notice so that we can schedule efficiently. To date the group has been run by myself, producer/publicist Lanie Zipoy and actress Helen Stern.  The productions which fit the criteria best are selected. They must be written, directed and/or designed by one or preferably more than one female theatre artist! You’d be surprised by how few Broadway shows, for example, hire women in these three categories.

We have been featured on Martin Denton’s site: nytheatre.com (http://www.nytheatre.com/nytheatre/poy_current.php) and In The Know (http://web.mac.com/melmaxnyc/melissamaxwell.com/In_The_Know/Entries/2010/4/25_Theatre_by_Women.html)

It is important to note that Martin Denton has dedicated an entire section on his site to works written by women and has pledged to review of them as many of them as humanly possible this year.  Check out the site and you’ll see how well nytheatre.com is doing!

Something to think about:

According to Ellen Donkin’s book GETTING INTO THE ACT, in one season in the late 17th century, a full third of plays in London were by women or based on works by them. In London’s 1788-89 and 89-90 seasons, fewer than 10% were by women. In 1989 and 1990 slightly fewer than and slightly more than 10% in London were by women, while in the US, slightly fewer than 10% appeared in regional theatres and fewer than 5% appeared on Broadway. “After the initial decline in the early eighteenth century,” Donkin writes, “the numbers have leveled out at seven to ten percent for the past two hundred years, as if an unofficial quota had been imposed.”

Once we become a theatre-going group attending ten or more productions a month – serving 1,000 plus members (or more) – I feel it will be time to go to Phase Two of the initiative. This will be to encourage women across the country to start their own Works by Women theatre-going groups.  Phase Three is to encourage the group to exist internationally outside the USA.

Check out and join Works by Women on MeetUp.com: http://www.meetup.com/WorksbyWomen/

SEE YOU AT THE THEATRE!

 

Ludovica Villar-Hauser is a director/dramaturg who has lived and worked in NYC for the past 25 years. She is originally from London and in a past life owned and operated the Greenwich Street Theatre, where she produced as well as directed. She very much enjoys focusing on the creative aspects of theatre and loves directing more than almost anything.

 

 

Want to See Work by Women?

Join Works by Women: http://www.meetup.com/WorksbyWomen/

Advocate through 50/50 in 2020: http://www.facebook.com/5050in2020?ref=ts

Follow Plays by Women at: http://nytheatre.com/nytheatre/bywomen.php



ScriptForward! #22 – A Specialty Newsletter for Scriptwriting Professionals

Greetings!

Click here to read Hamilton Dramaturgy’s ScriptForward! #22

Welcome to the June issue of ScriptForward!, a specialty E-newsletter prepared for professional and aspiring scriptwriters by Hamilton Dramaturgy. With nineteen years of experience in New York, across the nation, and internationally, I offer this newsletter as a means of support and information to the worldwide scriptwriting community.

This month’s features:
Two of my plays and a poem have been selected for the juried exhibition TRANSITIONS at Pen and Brush, Inc. in NYC. ANOTHER WHITE SHIRT (play), THE STACY PLAY – A LOVE SONG – VOLUME I (play) and GONDOLIER (poem) are appearing in the virtual exhibit at http://www.penandbrush.org through September 3rd.

Anne Hamilton Reads a Monologue from ANOTHER WHITE SHIRT

Ludovica Villar-Hauser, a director/dramaturg, writes an article about Works by Women, a new theatre-going advocacy group she created in New York City.

My audio podcast series TheatreNow!, an oral history of leading American female theatre artists, is available at
https://hamiltondramaturgy.wordpress.com. Guests include: Quiara Alegria Hudes, Ruth Margraff, Kristin Marting, Catherine Filloux, Yvette Heyliger and Yvonne Heyliger, Valentina Fratti, and Claire Lautier.

My Burning An[swer] segment features advice on how a college student can train to become a dramaturg.

My “Recent Successes” section features many new collaborations!- Tina Andrews, George Marcy, Bob Goldstone, and Warren Bodow.

I hope that this issue of ScriptForward! will be useful to you and I welcome your feedback



Welcome to Hamilton Dramaturgy’s TheatreNow! – An Interview with Catherine Filloux, Parts I and II

Catherine Filloux is an award-winning playwright who has been writing about human rights and social justice for the past twenty years.  Her plays, and music theater pieces, have been produced in New York and around the world.

TheatreNow! Interview with Catherine Filloux – Part I

Please also visit Part II, below. (For a faster download, please close out Part I first.)

TheatreNow! Interview with Catherine Filloux – Part II

Anne Hamilton  interviewed her on June 3, 2010.

Catherine made the following statement at the NO PASSPORT conference in New York City. You can also download it  here:  Between You and Me by Catherine Filloux.

For more interviews/features on Catherine, see http://www.catherinefilloux.com/links.html

Between You and Me

By Catherine Filloux
NoPassport Conference at Nuyorican Poets Café – February 26, 2010
http://www.nuyorican.org/calendar.php?r=0&eid=350

All my plays have an American entry point.  Though “American” is not the appropriate word.  I love the United States of America: the idea that freedom is everyone’s birthright. In my play Silence of God, I exposed a secret capture plan by the U.S. to jail Pol Pot decades after the Khmer Rouge genocide.  The U.S. government always knew where Pol Pot was but was caught up in superpower politics that made it inconvenient to get him.  The U.S. government knows where Bosnian Serb military chief Mladic is (his house was just raided in Belgrade) but our priorities are elsewhere.  What is the U.S. doing in the world through its control of oil, the military complex, and its passion for fear as a tool of repression?   I think no discussion about genocide can exist without my acknowledgment of the Native American genocide. I grew up going to school in Toulon, France and my fellow students would say to me as they passed me in the hall:  “Vous avez tué les indiens.” And I would say to myself in shock and embarrassment: “I killed the Indians?” My new play involves a tribe that is suing the federal government for actions resulting in “destruction” to the tribe’s sacred cultural sites.  What’s more valuable: sacred, cultural sites or agribusiness profits?  All my plays are about my own complicity: that of being from the United States.  Rather than being some kind of punishment towards myself (or my country) I believe this work is the most hopeful, optimistic way I can find, as a theater artist, to fight repression and abuse. And to fight violence against women. The U.S. government didn’t sign the Kyoto Protocol; doesn’t believe in the ICC; waited three decades to sign Raphael Lemkin’s genocide convention; and our military pays private corporations to build land mines. It’s exactly because my immigrant parents and I loved the poetry at the heart of this nation that I am suffering at its gross misrepresentation around the world. The constitution is a document under siege. There’s only one thing holding us back from change in the U.S. and that’s the same two letters: Us.  There’s only one thing holding me back from change in the U.S. and that word also has two letters: me.

You can follow Catherine’s career at www.catherinefilloux.com

— Anne Hamilton, Dramaturg and Playwright.

www.hamiltonlit.com hamiltonlit@hotmail.com

TheatreNow! Staff: Anne Hamilton, Producer and Host; Linsey Bostwick, Editor