MFA alum Chantal Bilodeau is writing and curating a series for Howlround.com — an online journal focused on exploring where we are headed and what we are doing as dramatists — about Theater and climate change. Chantal has been leading the charge internationally in developing a new play cycle about climate change. See the Howlround essay series here: http://howlround.com/in-search-of-a-new-aesthetic. See more about Chantal’s Arctic Play Cycle here: http://thearcticcycle.org/.
OHIO MFA Playwriting alums Jackie Reingold (2003) and Laura Jacqmin (2007) recently worked on the writing staff for the soon to be released Netflix series, Grace and Frankie.
OHIO MFA Playwriting alums Jackie Reingold and Laura Jacqmin served on the writing staff for the premiere season of “Grace and Frankie”, a new Netflix series starring Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, Martin Sheen and Sam Waterston. The series debuts on May 8th, streaming on your nearest interweb device. Read a preview here: http://www.people.com/article/grace-and-frankie-netflix-jane-fonda-lily-tomlin
MFA Playwriting alum Cecilia Copeland is in the journal HowlRound today discussing her play “R Culture,” and how we as playwrights and theater practitioners should consider framing our approach to rape culture. From her essay:
This question of how to deal with rape on stage without creating more “rape culture” is paramount as we, as artists, attempt to express our experiences, create space for conversations, and build opportunities for change. – See more at: http://howlround.com/rape-culture-on-stage-or-as-subject
The 21st annual Seabury Quinn Jr MFA Playwrights Festival will be happening April 23rd to 25th, 2015. For specific show times and further information, please check our festival page where that information will be featured.
Ohio University MFA Playwriting Student Catherine Weingarten is in the national news this week spearheading a charge to improve the world-wide conversation about body positivity. She has teamed up with Endangered Bodies to ask Facebook to remove an emoji that one can choose to self-describe as “feeling fat.” The Washington Post, ABC News, People, Huffington Post and many others (links below) have interviewed her about the Change.org petition, “Fat is Not a Feeling.” From the petition:
Facebook is the most popular social networking site in the world right now. With 890 million users each day, it has the power to influence how we talk to each other about our bodies. I dream that one day the platform will actively encourage body positivity and self-esteem among its users, but for now, all I ask is that it stop endorsing self-destructive thoughts through seemingly harmless emojis.
Her national advocacy is not surprising given her approach to playwriting. In fact, such activism is part and parcel of her research and voice as a playwright. From Catherine’s artistic statement:
“Catherine’s plays delve into the societal pressure placed on young women to be both impossibly good looking as well as ridiculously intellectual, humble, kind as can be, but sexy… Media pressure is always present in Catherine’s work and the characters can barely function without checking in…”
Endangered Bodies: http://www.endangeredbodies.org/
Ira Gamerman, 2012 MFA Playwriting alum, has penned another provocative HowlRound piece. Read it. It may save your life in the current zombie apocalypse: http://howlround.com/bardcore-will-never-die-but-you-will. HowlRound is an important national journal focused on examining what role new live theater plays in our contemporary world; a previous HowlRound piece he wrote can be found here.
Gamerman also has won awards as a regular writer for The Truth, a popular audio-fiction-radio-play podcast. The Truth recently joined PRX’s Radiotopia, which is a new network featuring the best and most creative podcasts (99% Invisible, Theory Of Everything, Etc).
Some nice local coverage of the MFA playwriting program: OU Playwrights’ Work Lives Outside the Classroom.
OHIO MFA Directing alum, Lee Kinney is seeking short plays by July 4th:
“Piper Theater Productions, a not for profit theater company in Park Slope, is now accepting submissions for their new summer reading series. This series will take place weekly in July at the Old Stone House Park in Brooklyn.
We are looking for short plays (one acts or 10 minute plays) with a musical component that lend themselves to being performed outdoors. Priority will be given to scripts that present a unique relationship both to music and musical performance, as well as nature and the outdoors.
Publicity, performers and a beautiful outdoor performance space will be provided. Sorry, no stipend. Interested? Please submit your piece and a short statement detailing your background and reasons for applying to firstname.lastname@example.org by July 4th.”
A public staged reading of SUNDIAL, a new play by MFA alum Jason Half about coal mining and the communities affected by it, will be presented on Friday, June 6, 8:00 p.m and Saturday, June 7 at 8:00 p.m. at Mid-Ohio Valley Players in Marietta, Ohio.
In SUNDIAL, a West Virginia elementary schoolteacher pushes to change the policies of the coal company that are affecting her town. But her position is complicated, as neighbors, friends, and even her family work for – and benefit from – the coal business. Inspired by the events of Marsh Fork Elementary and the mountaintop removal process occurring beside it, the new play explores the relationship and responsibilities between corporation and community.
While an MFA candidate at Ohio University, writer Jason Half received the coveted Trisolini Fellowship to begin research for a play that would explore the subject of coal mining and its effects on Appalachian communities. The MOVP reading will be the play’s first public presentation. “I don’t want this play to take sides,” said Half. “Instead, I hope Sundial makes the audience ask questions about the best way a town can work with a business that has both benefits and risks.” The honesty and quiet passion of the West Virginia characters came alive for Half as they confronted challenges to family, work, and land in the play, he said.
Jason Half is a Marietta-based writer who has taught scriptwriting at Marietta College and through the Colony Theater and the Ohio Arts Council. Recently, his work has received public presentations in Chicago and Pittsburgh. He is the recipient of the 2010 Scott McPherson playwriting award. This is Half’s first full-length script set in the Mid-Ohio Valley. The reading will be performed by veteran actors from the Marietta community. Amanda Anderson, Andy Felt, Mollie Jarrell, Beth Lane, Dyrk Lang, Andrew Pomerleau, and Dawn Weidner perform a variety of roles as parents, miners, teachers, officials, protestors, and supporters in the play.
“I’m excited to bring this story to an audience affected by these issues,” Half said. “It’s a story that will speak to everyone in this area who sees it.”
Public staged reading of SUNDIAL by Jason Hall
Mid-Ohio Valley Players, 229 Putnam St., Marietta, Ohio
8:00 p.m. Friday and Saturday, June 6th and 7th