Parity Plays Reading: ABOVE WATER, by Bob Clyman

Posted by MB - July 19, 2015

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Project Y’s Parity Plays Reading Series continues with a reading of ABOVE WATER, by Bob Clyman. #ParityPlays is a year-long series that features the work of playwrights writing for a more equal theatre by creating plays with casts of 50% (or more) Women.  We welcome Bob Clyman a prolific playwright and member of Project Y Playwrights Group, and his California-based Director, the talented Risa Brainin, to the series with his thought-provoking play. Please join us  to hear his latest work at this FREE event.

ABOVE WATER

by Bob Clyman

directed by Risa Brainin

SUNDAY, JULY 19th at 7:00pm

ART/NY Bruce Mitchell Room (520 8th Avenue, 3rd Floor)

Featuring these Actors:
Chris Clavelli
Catherine Eaton
Katie Zaffrann
Ezra Barnes
Sipiwe Moyo

(Image design by Doug Katz)

ABOUT THE PLAY:

When Paul, a widower, finally finds love again with a much younger woman, Rachel, his closest friends, Mark and Maggie are quickly won over by her intelligence, poise, beauty and devotion to Paul. But when an incident raises serious questions in Mark’s mind about Rachel’s moral character, he must decide, in the absence of any certainty that his suspicions are valid, whether to jeopardize Paul’s newfound happiness by confiding them to him.

 

Bob Clyman

Bob Clyman

 

ABOUT THE PLAYWRIGHT:

Bob Clyman plays have been produced Off-Broadway and at regional theatres, such as the Alley Theatre, Laguna Playhouse, Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, San Jose Repertory Theatre, George Street Theatre, Merrimack Repertory Theatre, Colony Studio Theatre in Los Angeles, Playwrights Theatre of New Jersey, and L.A. Theatre Works, in addition to touring Scotland. His play Secret Order was initially commissioned and produced by The Ensemble Studio Theatre under the auspices of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. It was subsequently produced at 59E59 Theatre in New York, where it was nominated for an Outer Circle Critics Award for the best script in 2008, and has since been produced at many regional theatres. His plays Tranced and The Exceptionals were both supported by Edgerton Foundation New American Play Awards. Tranced has been produced by San Jose Repertory Theatre, Laguna Playhouse and Merrimack Repertory Theatre, among others. The Expectionals was produced by the Contemporary American Theatre Festival and Merrimack Repertory Theatre, where it was nominated for both Best Play and Best New Play of 2012 by The Independent Reviewers of New England. His most recent play The Good Bet was chosen for The Ashland New Play Festival in 2014. He has been awarded a number of national prizes, including a Eugene O’Neill Summer Conference Fellowship, Geraldine Dodge Fellowship, Playwrights First Award, New Jersey State Arts Council Award, Edward Albee Foundation Fellowship, Berilla-Kerr Foundation Award, Djerassi Foundation Fellowship, Shenandoah Valley Playwrights Fellowship, and Theater in the Works Fellowship.

 

ABOUT THE DIRECTOR:

Risa Brainin is a freelance director, Chair and Director of Performance of the Department of Theater and Dance at University of California, Santa Barbara. Through her program LAUNCH PAD at UCSB, she has developed and directed ten plays with the playwright in residence: Sarah Ruhl’s Melancholy Play, John Walch’s The Dinosaur Within, Barbara Lebow’s Plumfield, Iraq and La Niñera: The Nursemaid, Sheri Wilner’s Kingdom CityBiederman’s Match (based on Max Frisch’s Biederman and the Firebugs) by Beau Willimon, music by Michelle DiBucci, lyrics by Portia Kamons, Entangled by Lila Rose Kaplan, Untitled IV by Ruth Markofsky by Alison Tatlock, The Talented Ones by Yussef El Guindi, and Appoggiaturaby James Still which was workshopped at the Perry Mansfield New Works Festival last June, featured in the Denver Center Theatre’s Colorado New Play Summit in February and premiered at DCT in January, 2015.   LAUNCH PAD was featured in the March issue of American Theatre magazine for its innovation and contribution to new play development.

 

PLEASE RSVP on Facebook HERE

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Interview with #parityplays playwright: Allyson Currin

Posted by MB - July 1, 2015

Ally Currin

 

Project Y Associate Producer, Sarah Dunivant, is reinstalling our Playwright Interview Series this #parityplays season.  Sarah is a playwright and actress interested in the process of writing and developing new work. After each reading in this series of plays that have 50% (or More) Women in Casting, Sarah will sit down with the playwright to get an inside view on their process, their writing, and to reflect on their experience being part of Project Y’s series.    We start with Washington, D.C. playwright, Allyson Currin, whose play “The Sooner Child” was performed at Cap21 Studios.

 

6/18/15
SD: What inspired “The Sooner Child”?

AC:  I have only one recurring nightmare: I wake up thinking that I never got married, and I never had children.  It’s a terrible feeling (thank God it doesn’t last as soon as the fog of sleep lifts) – that your whole life just didn’t HAPPEN.  I was talking with my dramaturg Sonya Robbins about it right as she was urging me to dig deeper into my own personal emotional experiences for my plays, and she encouraged me to figure out a way to write about that.  So I did.  I pulled a lot on my experiences raising teenagers (I have twin daughters who are amazing and wonderful), and mashed that up with my nightmare and some twists of my imagination.  The 1st draft of “The Sooner Child” was the result.

 

 

SD: How is this play similar or different to some of your other plays?

AD: Even if the subject matter is serious in a play of mine, there will always be comedy.  I know that as a playgoer I care more about characters when they are smart and make me laugh as well as care.  So those are the types of characters I strive to write.  Humor is kind of my default setting anyway.  I can’t imagine writing a play that didn’t pack in a lot of laughs, and I’m pleased to report that, in performance, “The Sooner Child” is delivering so far.  “The Sooner Child” is probably the saddest play I’ve ever written though.  In that way, it’s a bit of a departure for me.

 

 

SD: What was the process like for creating the piece? (How long did it take you, do you read the play with actors often, etc.)

AC: The play started out as a one-act (what is now the first act).  1st Draft at The Rose did a staged reading of it, and in a very lively talk-back with the audience, the comment was made that I ought to expand it and explore a reversal of the teenage character in the 2nd act.  I am always very careful when deciding which audience comments to implement in my work, but when I heard that one, I had a very simple and profound realization that the comment was dead-on.  So I wrote the second act, and did another staged reading here in DC with 1st Draft. The Project Y reading this spring was the second of the full-length, and I am busily shopping the play around for full production.  All in all, the play has probably taken three or four years to write.

 

 

SD: What did you gain or learn from the reading with Project Y?

AC: I found the Project Y presentation of “The Sooner Child” one of the most moving renderings of my work I’ve ever seen.  That was due in large part to amazing actors who gave themselves over to every moment, body and soul, and a director, Ryan Maxwell, who seemed to be reading my mind with his every comment.  It was an amazing team.  I am incredibly grateful to Project Y for giving a DC playwright the opportunity to reach an audience in another city.  I’d do it again in a heartbeat!

 

 

SD: When did you decide you wanted to pursue playwriting? 

AC: I have been writing since I was a child, but didn’t come to playwriting until after I got my undergraduate degree in acting, and an MFA in directing.  In my late twenties, I just started trying it out, and had some serendipitous success with my first play that opened the world of playwriting up for me.  I have been writing plays for over 25 years now, and while I still act and produce plays, writing for the theatre still feels like my true calling.

 

 

SD: Do you have any playwriting commandments or rules that you follow? If so, what are they? How do they instruct your writing?

AC: I don’t really have rules for myself except for one: I only write about subjects and characters I love.  Even if the work is commissioned by a theatrical institution with, say, an assigned topic, I find that I have to figure out how to fall in love with the project in order to be able to write about it.  I like keeping that standard for myself.  The only other over-arching guideline I use is to try to surround myself with artists who are true collaborators, with strong dramaturgical skills and a fearlessness about asking tough questions.  I like to be pushed and challenged, in a productive, healthy way, by the team on any project.

 

 

SD: What are you working on now?

AC: Lots!  I have two plays opening in September: the first is a Theatre for Young Audiences play commissioned by Cincinnati Playhouse called HIGH SCHOOL ALIEN.  I’ve been working on it with the Cincinnati folks for two and a half years now, so I’m really looking forward to that premiere!  I’m also devising a piece for September production here in DC by Factory 449 – I’m writing on that rather frantically at the moment!  I also have a national tour of my play “The Interior Castle” (a multi-media piece about St. Teresa of Avila, commissioned by Musica Aperta) hitting several major cities in May and June.  It has been performed in Boston, Los Angeles, Houston and San Antonio so far, and is coming to Chicago and DC in June.  I have several other projects in various stages of development, but the one I’m most excited about will premiere in 2016 at the Tony Award-winning Signature Theatre here in DC.  It’s called “Silver Belles” and I wrote the book, with composer-lyricist Matt Conner.  I just know it’s going to be a wonderful production – it will be directed by Signature’s Artistic Director Eric Schaeffer, who just finished directing “Gigi” on Broadway.  So stay tuned!

 

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www.projectytheatre.org

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PARITY PLAYS: Chisa Hutchinson on June 14th

Posted by MB - June 8, 2015

HutchinsonPostcard

 

Parity Plays continues with a reading of a new play by Chisa Hutchinson, Mama’s Gonna Buy You,  on Sunday, June 14th at Cap21 Studios (18W18th Street).  Chisa’s play takes on themes of white appropriation, the power of wealth, and powerlessness of poverty.  This funny and moving play raises questions of entitlement and who “deserves” to be a parent.  The reading will be directed by Jade King Caroll and will feature a talented cast of over 50% Women (per our Parity Plays mission).  Please join us for this FREE programming.

Mama’s Gonna Buy You

by Chisa Hutchinson

directed by Jade King Carroll

Sunday, June 14th at 7pm

Cap 21 Studio 505 (18W18th Street)

FREE!

RSVP on Facebook Here

ABOUT THE PLAY:

A play about entitlement, race, and who deserves to be a parent

ABOUT THE PLAYWRIGHT:

Chisa Hutchinson (B.A. Vassar College; M.F.A NYU – Tisch School of the Arts) has happily presented her plays DIRT RICH, SHE LIKE GIRLS,THIS IS NOT THE PLAY, SEX ON SUNDAY, TUNDE’S TRUMPET, THE SUBJECT, MAMA’S GONNA BUY YOU, SOMEBODY’S DAUGHTER, ALONDRA WAS HERE and DEAD & BREATHING at such venues as the Lark Play Development Center, SummerStage, Atlantic Theater Company, Working Man’s Clothes Productions, the BE Company, Partial Comfort Productions, Mad Dog Theater Company, the Wild Project, Rattlestick Theater, the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, the South Orange Performing Arts Center, the Contemporary American Theater Festival, and the Playwrights Theatre of New Jersey. She has been a Dramatists Guild Fellow, a Lark Fellow, a Resident at the William Inge Center for the Arts, a New York NeoFuturist and a staff writer for the Blue Man Group, and is currently a second-year member of New Dramatists. Chisa has won a GLAAD Award, the John Golden Award for Excellence in Playwriting, a Lilly Award, a New York Innovative Theatre Award, the Paul Green Award, a Helen Merrill Award, the Lanford Wilson Award, and has been a finalist for the highly coveted PoNY Fellowship. A recent foray into screenwriting won her Best Narrative Short at the Sonoma International Film Festival. By day, Chisa writes copy for a retail company. To learn more, visit www.chisahutchinson.com .

Playwright

Chisa Hutchinson

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Parity Plays in May: Adam Szymkowicz’s COLCHESTER

Posted by MB - May 11, 2015

  Project Y’s Parity Plays Reading Series continues this week with a reading of Adam Szymkowicz’s newest play, COLCHESTER.  Szymkowicz and Project Y co-Artistic Director, Michole Biancosino, recently collaborated in the first NY Indie Theatre One Minute Play Festival (#1MPF) at the New Ohio, and we are happy to continue the collaboration by showcasing his… 

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PARITY PLAYS: “The Sooner Child” by Allyson Currin

Posted by MB - April 14, 2015

  Join us as as our PARITY PLAYS: 50% (or More) Women in Casting Reading Series continues with Allyson Currin’s newest play, “The Sooner Child.” This reading series addresses the documented gender disparity in theatre, by maintaining casts that include at least equal opportunities for female artists.   By making gender equality in casting a theme, we… 

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