Tag Archives: playwright

Event 11/27

23 Nov

Hello Blog Readers!

We’ve been in a quiet mode for a few months, but are about to be back with a vengeance.

We begin this new phase with an exciting event this Sunday, November 27 featuring local playwright (now on Broadway) Lydia R. Diamond in conversation with Tarell Alvin McCraney and Ilana Brownstein (Founding Dramaturg, Playwrights’ Commons).  Attend in person at the Wimberly Theatre, or online at #NewPlay TV and on twitter.

Here’s the complete event listing:

In celebration of Company One’s current production of Tarell Alvin McCraney’s trilogy, The Brother/Sister Plays, we invite you to join us in person and online for a dynamic conversation between McCraney and Boston playwright Lydia R. Diamond (Stick Fly, currently on Broadway), moderated by dramaturg Ilana M. Brownstein. The event will feature questions from the audience, and will be simultaneously broadcast on #NewPlay TV, a web channel curated by The American Voices New Play Institute at Arena Stage, (livestream.com/newplay).

Admission to the event is free and open to the public: Sunday November 27, 5:00pm in the Wimberly Theatre at Boston’s Calderwood Pavilion. Those who cannot attend in person are encouraged watch online and participate via twitter with the hashtags #NewPlay and #C1Bos.  The event is part of Company One’s new play outreach programming, and marks the first collaboration between Company One and #NewPlay TV.


5:00pm, Sunday, November 27
In the Wimberly Theatre at the Calderwood Pavilion
527 Tremont Street, Boston MA 02116
– Online at livestream.com/newplay
– On twitter: #newplay / #C1Bos / @DturgsC1 / @company_one

Dramaturg as Arts Advocate / Dramaturgs & Designers

17 Jul

Further follow-up from the LMDA11 conference

As mentioned in an earlier post, one day of the conference proceedings were conducted in a style called Open Space. I took notes for two of the sessions, one of which I led. I promised folks I’d make those notes available, so here they are. Click the titles for the linked google docs. If you can make use of any of these ideas, I offer them freely, and ask only that you let me know how it goes and report back.

1. Dramaturgs in Arts Advocacy: Talking to Policy Makers – Convened by Me

I called this session into being to address an issue particularly close to home: how we in the local theatre community can better advocate for ourselves and our impact with local legislators, policy-makers, and thought leaders. I framed this as a question about how dramaturgs can use the tools that come naturally in our practice to be trailblazers in this realm, but I think the issue is vitally important for all theatre stakeholders. In this set of notes, we lay out some obstacles, questions, and ideas for action. I’m in the midst of writing a larger article on this topic (which I’ll link to this blog once it’s published), as well as aiming to tangibly implement some of the ideas through the StageSource Advocacy Committee, on which I sit.

2. Dramaturgs & Designers: Opportunities for Intersection & Collaboration – Convened by Faedra Carpenter, Assistant Professor, University of Maryland

I attended this session because I’ve long felt there are great untapped possibilites in the dramaturg/designer relationship, especially in connection with new work. For that matter, there’s much to be gained by stronger designer/playwright relationships, especially early on in the creation process. It’s this belief that led us at PwritesCom to create the Freedom Art Theatre Retreat, which will put dramaturgs, playwrights, and designers together in the woods for a week to see what can be made of it. This conference session was interesting, in that it reminded me how often the dramaturg and the designer are in the same boat as jobbed-in independent artists.  I think we could be more effective collaborators and creators if we could jointly acknowledge this fact at the start, as well as move beyond designers seeing dramaturgs primarily as library minions (a not uncommon first impression).

If any readers have further ideas on these two topics, I’d love to hear them. Please respond in the comments section, or contact me directly at pwrites<dot>commons <at> gmail<dot>com


Meet the Retreatant: Emily Kaye Lazzaro

22 Jun

Emily is making bold moves.  Check her out:

Emily Kaye Lazzaro is a playwright.  In 2011 she quit her office job to write full time.  She’s a little scared and a lot excited.

Emily was born and raised in Connecticut, outside New York City.  She moved to Boston in 2003, where she earned a BFA in Theatre Arts in 2007, and an MFA in Playwriting in 2011, both at Boston University.  She also studied Irish ensemble acting in Dublin through New York University’s Tisch School for the Arts, and Trinity College, Dublin.

Emily’s undergraduate thesis, Be The Dog, was adapted from four short stories from the collection How We Are Hungry by Dave Eggers.  Be The Dog was produced in 2008 by the Pendragon Theatre Company in Saranac Lake, New York, and in 2009 in New York City as part of the New York International Fringe Festival.

Her ten-minute play Crickets was produced by the Boston Center of American Performance (BCAP) as part of the 2011 Boston Theatre Marathon, and will be produced in August of 2011 in Chicago along with another of Emily’s ten-minute plays, Saving DeShawn, or The Carrot Play at Gorilla Tango Theatre.  Emily’s masters thesis, Grief and Surfing, will have a staged reading at Oberon in Cambridge, Massachusetts, also in August of 2011.

Emily is currently working on a full-length play about adolescence, infidelity, and Title IX, tentatively titled Girls Sports.  She is also planning to write a full-length play featuring all her actor friends – just like the Group Theatre.

Emily lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts with her husband Billy, their cat Oscar, and a rotating house guest.

Meet the Retreatant: Nina Morrison

22 Jun

Nina is recent to Boston, but we sure are happy to have her. Here’s what she’s all about:

Nina Louise Morrison is a playwright, director, dramaturg, actor and teacher. She has had nine plays produced and developed, including her play Constitution about the last woman hanged in Massachusetts, starring Tony-nominated actress Xanthe Elbrick.

She holds an MFA in playwriting from Columbia University’s School of the Arts where she was a Shubert Grantee and a Richard Rogers Fellow. She also attended the National Theatre Institute, the New Actors Workshop and earned her BA from Oberlin College.  This year she worked as a dramaturg with Examined Man Theatre, as a director with Obehi Janice on her solo show fufu & oreos, and developed a book project with her father about teaching acting.

Nina is an adjunct professor at American International College in Springfield, where she rode out the tornados in the basement with her in-laws, the emergency radio and a bottle of wine. As the former Senior Program Associate for the Philadelphia Theatre Initiative she spent two years administering major grants for innovative theatre projects funded by the Pew Charitable Trusts. Nina grew up in White Plains, New York, and, having spent the last decade in Ohio, San Francisco, Brooklyn, Ithaca and Philadelphia, is thrilled to finally call Boston home.

Meet the Retreatant: Tyler Monroe

21 Jun

Tyler is joining us in the woods & it sounds like he’s going to be a lot of fun….

Tyler Monroe is a dramaturg, adaptor, and dirty, good-for-nothing liar.

He tells people that he is from Chicago… even though he spent most of his life in and around Indianapolis where he obtained a BA in Theatre from Butler University.  However in the six years before he moved to the Boston area, he worked and lived in the Windy City.  So it’s not a complete lie….

After moving to Chicago he was a company member of the fringe theatre ensemble Blank Line Collective—with whom he worked as dramaturg, creator, and/or adaptor on many productions.  Beyond that, Tyler worked as production dramaturg with Chicago companies New Leaf Theatre, Village Players Theater, Halcyon Theatre Company, and About Face Theatre.

Tyler is now half way through obtaining his MFA in Dramaturgy from the American Repertory Theater/Moscow Art Theatre Institute for Advance Theatre Training at Harvard University.  This past season, he was dramaturg on Jennifer Haley’s Neighborhood 3: Requisition of Doom and assistant dramaturg on Steven Sater and Serj Tankian’s Prometheus Bound.

Tyler is currently working on adapting a series of Edgar Allan Poe stories (Tales of Poe) for New Rep Theatre’s “New Rep on Tour” series,and is writing a new adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen’s The Snow Queen for the A.R.T./MXAT Institute graduate acting class of 2012.

Tyler strongly dislikes walking up a flight of stairs and ending on his left foot, has to have his glass in the exact middle of a coaster, aquatic life really freaks him out, he eats popcorn one kernel at a time, and “umbrella” is his favorite word in the English language to say… although “esplanade” is rapidly climbing the ranks.

We’ve all got our neuroses and idiosyncrasies—Tyler is just being up front about his.

Meet a Playwright: Walt McGough

21 Jun

Walt is the recipient of the very first Playwrights’ Commons commission.

In an effort to build grassroots support for the Freedom Art Retreat, we put a call out to local playwrights for a 2-minute play on the theme of “Art in the Woods,” to be performed at the May 2011 Feast Mass event.

This several-times-a-year gathering of Boston-area young professionals and hipsters awards hundreds of dollars to individual artists in need of support.

Armed with Walt’s Tree Play, the staff of PwritesCom made our pitch and won the $300 second prize.

We’re pretty certain we won because Walt was kind enough to include a bear in the play, at our request.  Meet the bear:

Meet the Retreatant: Meron Langsner

21 Jun

Meron joins the Retreat as a designer of stage violence, as well as a playwright. He’s got some dramaturgical practice as well — a real triple-threat!

Meron recently defended his dissertation, Impossible Bodies in Motion: The Representation of Martial Arts on the American Stage, and will be receiving his PhD in Theatre History from Tufts University in late August. He believes himself to be the first doctoral candidate in drama to literally defend his dissertation with a katana.

Meron was one of three writers in the country to be selected for the pilot year of the National New Play Network Emerging Writer Residencies, fulfilling his residency at New Repertory Theatre in Watertown, MA. His plays have been performed around the country and overseas and developed at the Lark New Play Development Center, New
Repertory Theatre, the Last Frontier Theatre Conference (where he later returned as a Featured Artist), and the New England Regional Kennedy Center American Theatre Festival. Publishers of his plays include Smith & Kraus, Applause, and YouthPLAYS.

As a fight director and movement specialist, Meron has composed violence locally for companies such as Merrimack Rep, New Rep, Lyric Stage, Company One, Zeitgeist, Whistler In The Dark, and Opera Boston, and numerous academic venues, as well as in NYC for Ensemble Studio Theatre and Polaris North. Directing credits include the 2006 production of Tonya & Nancy: The Opera at the Zero Arrow Theatre in Cambridge that received international media attention; No Exit at Tufts University; and segments of Susan-Lori Parks 365 Days/365 Plays project for both Yellow Taxi Productions and Zeitgeist Stage. His scholarly work has been published by McFarland, Oxford University Press, Puppetry International, The Fight Master, All About Jewish Theatre, and The Electronic Journals of Martial Arts and Sciences;and presented at numerous academic conferences. Last year he was a fellow at Northwestern University’s Performance Studies Summer Institute. Meron has taught at Boston University, Emerson College, New York Film Academy, and Tufts University, where he was the recipient of the Award for Outstanding Contributions to Undergraduate Education.

Meron holds an MFA in Playwriting from Brandeis and an MA in Performance Studies from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts.

Meet the Retreatant: Jason E. Weber

21 Jun

Meet Jason, who will be participating in the retreat as a designer and a playwright:

Jason E. Weber is a Boston-based playwright, director, and designer. His recent design credits include Projections for Company One’s production of Susan-Lori Parks’ “The Book of Grace” directed by David F. Wheeler, Sound for Jeffery Hatcher’s “A Picasso,” the World Premiere of Bob Clyman’s “The Exceptionals,” and Joel Drake Johnson’s “Four Places” all directed by Charles Towers at the Merrimack Repertory Theatre, where he has been the Lighting and Sound Supervisor for four seasons.

As a director, Jason has worked with North Quincy Community Theatre and will be helming Riverside Theatre Works’ “Our Town” this fall.

Additionally, Jason researches collaborative and community-based theatre, presenting his paper “Creating Together: Defining Approaches to Collaboratively-Generated Devised Theatre” at the 2011 Mid-America Theatre Conference.

He holds a BFA in Theatre from Marietta College and a MA in Theatre Education from Emerson College.

Meet the Retreatant: Colleen Hughes

21 Jun

Colleen will be joining us as a playwright at the Freedom Art Retreat in August. Here’s what she’s all about:

Colleen M. Hughes is a Boston-based playwright born and raised in Somerville, MA. She received her BA in English and Theatre from the College of the Holy Cross, where she wrote her first play for her senior thesis.

Colleen’s work has been produced by the Firehouse Center for the Performing Arts, and developed at the Boston Playwrights’ Theatre and the College of the Holy Cross.

She was a national semifinalist for the 2011 Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival’s National Ten-Minute Play Award.

Colleen holds an MFA in Playwriting from Boston University. She lives in Brighton with her boyfriend Allan and their three kitties. She is thrilled to be part of the first Freedom Art Retreat.