The popular Women Playwright Series is back at Centenary Stage, with new plays from writers from all over the country.
Centenary Stage Company announces the 2017 Women Playwrights Series (WPS) line-up, with the works of playwrights Sholeh Wolpe (photo), Jennifer Fawcett and Michelle Kholos Brooks, and distinctive new plays which will feature professional casts and directors and be presented in the Lackland Center on Wednesday evenings, April 12, 19th and 26th at 7:30 PM.
A fast-paced dramatic comedy about the secrets and cost of happiness, “Shame” by Sholeh Wolpe will open the festival on April 12. Noor is an Iranian-American physicist who moved to the U.S. in her teens. Her sister, Sahar, is a stay-at-home mother married to a young American man. The sisters eagerly await their mother’s arrival from overseas, with a celebratory dinner. But when the food delivery man turns out to be Ahmed, an Iranian nuclear scientist, who has come to the country and disguised himself to investigate his sister’s affair, he is mistaken by Noor’s mother for Noor’s fiancé – an affair which has ended. Chaos ensues and before long they are all engaged in a head to head clash over each other’s moral values and cultural expectations.
Born in Iran, Sholeh Wolpe spent most of her teen years in Trinidad and the UK before settling in the United States. Her awards include: 2015 Switzerland’s Le Chateau de Lavigny residency, 2014 PEN/Heim Translation Fund Award, 2014 Hedgebrook residency, 2013 Midwest Book Award, and the 2010 Lois Roth Persian Translation prize. Wolpe is the author of three collections of poetry and two books of translations, and is the editor of three anthologies. Her new book will be forthcoming from W.W.Norton in 2017. She lives in Los Angeles. www.sholehwlope.com
The CSC Women Playwrights Series celebrates its 26th year in 2017, having featured the work of more than 70 emerging playwrights in the developmental WPS process, and having taken 16 plays to full production from the series, including “The English Bride” by Lucile Lichtblau, which transferred from CSC to New York City in 2013, and “The Unfortuates” by Aoise Stratford, which was featured in the 2013 NY Fringe Festival.
The WPS program offers playwrights the opportunity to work with professional actors and directors in a workshop rehearsal process, and to hear their work in front of a live audience – a critical part of the development process. Lively talk-backs with the playwright and cast follow each presentation, and one play is selected each year as the winner of the Susan Glaspell Award, which promises a full production in the main-stage season at CSC and a monetary award for the playwright.
Admission to the WPS is by donation and reservations are requested, as seating is often limited. For information and reservations, call the CSC box office at 908 979 0900, or log on to www.centenarystageco.org.
The WPS receives support from the Zonta Club of Morristown, The Investors Bank Foundation, Phil and Gloria Lamoureux, the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, the NJ State Council on the Arts, The Blanche and Irving Laurie Foundation, and season sponsor Heath Village.
Coming up in WPS :
On April 19, a play about mothers and sons, how we care for each other, and how to make a good apple pie, “Apples in Winter”, by Jennifer Fawcett, is the winner of the Smith Prize, encouraging emerging writers to tackle the pressing issues of our times.
On April 26th, inspired by the true story, “Hitlers Tasters” by Michelle Kholos Brooks, brings to life the story of the young women given the opportunity to die for their country, three times a day, every day.