Anne Hamilton/Hamilton Dramaturgy


Anne Hamilton’s Article on 21st Century Freelance Dramaturgy in new international textbook

I am thrilled to announce the publication of my article, “Freelance dramaturgs in the twenty-first century: journalists, advocates, and curators” in the ROUTLEDGE COMPANION TO DRAMATURGY (ISBN: 978-0-415-65849-2,published on July 29, 2014), edited by  Magda Romanska. My chapter is the only one on freelance dramaturgy in the book.

The article details the creation and development of Hamilton Dramaturgy’s TheatreNow!, as well as other tools I have used to utilize technology, cultural interconnectedness, and entrepreneurship to expand the role of the dramaturg in the 21st century.

It appears as the 18th chapter of the book, in the Age of Globalization section. TheatreNow’s Asia Representative Walter Byongsok Chon also contributed a chapter in the same section, entitled, “Intercultural dramaturgy: dramaturg as cultural liaison”.

The volume is available at: http://www.routledge.com/books/details/9780415658492/?utm_source=cms&utm_medium=url&utm_campaign=SBU4_SJC_3RF_8cm_9PER_00000_HBK

THE ROUTLEDGE COMPANION TO DRAMATURGY Edited by Magda Romanska

 

 

 

 

 



Time to See Donkey Punch

I LOVE Soho Rep!

Works by Women

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Tonight, Micheline Auger‘s Donkey Punchmakes the rare leap from indie, Off-Off Broadway theater to Off-Broadway theater. Previews begin at Soho Playhouse, the venerable space that launched many playwrights careers (think Albee, Shepard). In this instance, Ivy Theatre, a company dedicated to untold stories and unheard voices, remounts its production of Auger’s audacious, moving play.

Written and directed by women (Auger and director Audrey Alford), Donkey Punch (the piece was formerly known as The Feminism of a Soft Merlot or How the Donkey Got Punched) explores feminism and women’s sexuality with the deftness of French filmmaker Catherine Breillat mixed with a true American sentiment. The play follows two friends at a crossroads in each’s life.

From the press release: In Donkey Punch, uninhibited Kareena delves into monogamy while her uptight best friend, Sam, starts dating a pornographer. In this fast-paced world of sex, shifting relationships…

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HOMEBODIES in Queens, NY April 12th

The New American Voices Festival

@ Queens Theatre

Presents a reading of

Homebodies
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.

*member, AEA

To rsvp: http://queenstheatre.org/2013-14-NAV-free-play-reading-series

The Playwright:

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 ClassCharity, BondsLittle 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.

Director:
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.

 

 



OFEM by Anne Hamilton to Be Read in Ithaca May 4th

Little Black Dress Ink' new play festival takes place this spring across the country.

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!

 

 

 



EXPANDED DRAMATURGIES WEBSITE

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.

http://expandeddramaturgies.com/

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.

Synne K. BehrndtSynne K. Behrndt

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).

 



BCWJ Article – Preparing for Theatre Conferences

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 hamiltonlit@hotmail.com. Season Three of Hamilton Dramaturgy’s TheatreNow! launched with an interview with Kate Valk, The Wooster Group’s leading actress.

 

 



Finalists Announced for 2014 Edward M. Kennedy Prize for Drama

Congratulations to Columbia University, my alma mater, which has created a new major drama prize.

http://kennedyprize.columbia.edu/archives/133

NEW YORK, January 9, 2014 – Columbia University Libraries/Information Services, on behalf of the board of the Edward M. Kennedy Prize for Drama Inspired by American History, has announced the five finalist plays and musical for the 2014 award:

Appropriate by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, produced by the Actors Theatre of Louisville’s Humana Festival of New American Plays.

Detroit ’67 by Dominique Morisseau, produced by the Public Theater in New York, NY.

Fun Home, book and lyrics by Lisa Kron and music by Jeanine Tesori, produced by the Public Theater in New York, NY.

Party People by Universes, produced by the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland, Oregon.

the road weeps, the well runs dry by Marcus Gardley, produced by the Los Angeles Theatre Center in Los Angeles, CA.

The Edward M. Kennedy Prize is given annually to a new play or musical of merit that, in the words of the prize’s mission statement, “…enlists theater’s power to explore the past of the United States, to participate meaningfully in the great issues of our day through the public conversation, grounded in historical understanding, that is essential to the functioning of a democracy.”

The Prize Board of Governors includes Alan Brinkley, Allan Nevins Professor of American History and Provost Emeritus, Columbia University; Mary Schmidt Campbell, Dean, Tisch School of the Arts, New York University; Andrew Delbanco, Mendelson Family Professor of American Studies and Julian Clarence Levi Professor in the Humanities, Columbia University; Mandy Hackett, Associate Director, The Public Theater, New York, NY; Tony Kushner, Pulitzer Prize Winning Playwright; James G. Neal, Vice President for Information Services and University Librarian, Columbia University; Ambassador Jean Kennedy Smith, Presidential Medal of Freedom Recipient; Amanda Smith, author.

Ambassador Jean Kennedy Smith created the prize to honor the life and legacy of her late brother, Senator Ted Kennedy. Finalists were selected through nominations from a group of 20 theater professionals around the country. The jury will meet at Columbia in early February 2014. The Prize will be announced on February 22, 2014, the anniversary of Senator Kennedy’s birth.  The winning play will receive an award of $100,000, and will be honored in a ceremony at Columbia later this spring.

Columbia University Libraries/Information Services (CUL/IS) is one of the top five academic research library systems in North America. The collections include over 12 million volumes, over 160,000 journals and serials, as well as extensive electronic resources, manuscripts, rare books, microforms, maps, and graphic and audio-visual materials. The services and collections are organized into 22 libraries and various academic technology centers, including affiliates. CUL/IS employs more than 450 professional and support staff. The website of the Libraries is the gateway to its services and resources: library.columbia.edu.