Playwrights Retreat to Ohio

Information about retreats organized by the Ohio State University Department of Theatre for the International Center for Women Playwrights (ICWP), whose work is archived in Ohio State's Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee Theatre Research Institute.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

The Fat Lady Sang . . . . .

The 2006 retreat ended on a high note--literally. 'Til the Fat Lady Sings, a one act operetta by Carolyn Gage with original music by Andrea Jill Higgins, was given in a staged reading with two wonderful opera singers, Tamara Regensburger and Crystal Stabinow, directed by the Columbus classical music station's executive producer, Christopher Purdy. The reading attracted an audience of about 50, along with the ICWP retreat attendees. The play, which deals with a soprano about to undergo bariatric surgery over the protests of her partner, a mezzo, moved smartly and effectively. And the voices! An exciting end to a terrific week of writing and reading. Thanks to all the playwrights involved, along with our wonderful volunteer readers -- and singers!

Not going to start planning 2007 just yet. But that will come soon enough. First the Heckart Competition . . . .

Saturday, August 19, 2006

August 18

Readings tonight from Sandy Hoskings' continuing play about young sisters growing up, interspersed with a surreal Moon, as well as more from Geralyn Horton's work on Susanna Centlivre, and Margaret McSeveny's play about an intergenerational family of women. Exciting to see the work in progress, and even more exciting for our volunteer readers, as they see how the playwrights are exploring and developing--even if they aren't quite sure themselves where the characters are taking them, which sparked a lively discussion about process and the extent to which some writers spend a great deal of time developing structure before writing, while others start in writing and then worry about structure later.

and photos from Carolyn Gage's workshop in the afternoon; she performed her "Calamity Jane" monologue as a way of getting into the ways she develops work based on recovering female subjects. She also talked about her play on Joan of Arc and--as longtime readers of the ICWP listserve will remember--the nightmare of discovering how a highly popular Brazilian production entirely subverted the play she wrote.

reading Calamity Jane
Jane snarls at viewers

and takes a swig

Friday, August 18, 2006


A full night of readings. We read Sandy Hoskings' short "The Insured," then a scenes from a longer work in progress that she began at Valdez in Elaine Romero's workshop. Here're Robert Monoghan and Carol Shelton reading:

Carol, Ann Mirels as daughter and mother, Sarah Worthington as the Moon

Robert joins, as a vampire

Sandy discusses with Mrinalini Kamath, Farzana Moon, Joan Cooney, Sarah Worthington, Robert Monoghan listening closely

Also heard a funny, bitchy tango song from golfling lady snobs from Carolyn Gage and Jill Higgins's new musical in progress on Babe Didrikson; here are Mags McSeveney, Carolyn Gage, and Geralyn Horton, with Jill on the out-of-tune Baldwin

We also read from Geralyn's new pages from today on the Susanna Centlivre play--no photos, as I was reading a rake--

And earlier in the day, a fascinating workshop on musical comedy by David Tolley, who played some of his work from his new musical on King Solomon. Geralyn, Jill, and Carolyn listen as David makes a point.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

August 16

Lots of work during the day today--computers humming with activity. Great readings tonight. Lots of photos to document both the cotemplative creation and the excitemente of the readings:

Mrinalini Kamath writes, with viw of river

Geralyn Horton concentrating on her text

Farzana Moon and Margaret McSeveney consult on technologyGeralyn Horton discusses a reading

Readers Greg Fusco and Bev Brewton tackle a text

Margaret McSeveney, Greg Fusco, Sarah Worthington, and K Adamson prepare to read Geralyn Horton's new scene

Farzana Moon makes a point about her scene

playwrights Geralyn Horton, Mrinalini Kamath, reader Ann Mirels, and playwrights Margaret McSeveney and Farzana Moon explore ideas at the readings on Wednesday, 8-16

collaborators Jill Higgins and Carolyn Gage react to readings.
Readings 8/15

A little blurry (still trying to figure out digital camera!)--but here's Carolyn Gage reading her draft on the play set at a women's music conference (to the right)

and here Geralyn Horton with readers Jane Mowder, Jen Stoessner, Sarah Worthington, and (to Geralyn's left), K Adamson.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Counting Down . . . .

Only a few days now until the playwrights start arriving. Volunteer performers are signing up for the readings of new material each night--and the list of workshops, startlingly, hasn't changed since originally posted! Rehearsals are going well for the staged reading of 'Til the Fat Lady Sings, the new one act operetta by ICWPer Carolyn Gage (see the separate listing, "Readings at OSU" on the links to the right, for full information about that). Ohio sweet corn is waiting for the corn roast that starts the retreat. So, as the late, great, Lynn Austin always said, "Onward!"