Wednesday, April 19, 2017

‘HITLERS TASTERS’ final play in the Centenary Stage Company’s 2017 Women Playwrights Series

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Imagine knowing that every mouthful of food you ate could be your last.   Inspired by the true story, Michelle Kholos Brooks’ “HITLERS TASTERS” will be the final play in the Centenary Stage Company’s 2017 Women Playwrights Series (WPS) this month, presented on Wednesday, Apr 26 at 7:30 PM in the Lackland Center .

This alternately charming  and compelling play tells the story of the young women who were charged with tasting Hitler’s food so that he would not be poisoned.  Three times day, every day, the young women have the opportunity “to die for their Führer”.  But while they wait, like all girls throughout time, they gossip, they dream, they question and dance, until the door opens and the guard appears with each meal.

hitlerMichelle Kholos Brooks’ plays have been produced and seen from coast to coast at theatres in such as the Pacific Resident Theatre, the Adirondack Theatre Festival, Wings Theatre (NYC), Laurelgrove Theatere Co. (Los Angeles), and the Vox Humana Theatre Ensemble,  among many others.   Her play Hostage was chosen as a finalist for the 2016/17 Woodward/Newman Drama Award, and was also a semi-finalist for Premier Stages Play Festival. It is scheduled for production at the Skylight Theatre in January 2018.  Kalamazoo, co-written with Kelly Younger, was the winner of the Riva Shiner Comedy Award, Bloomington Playwright’s Project and was recently been published by Dramatists Play Service.   
Brooks’  Family Planning made its world premiere at the Colony Theatre, Los Angeles , and her play Chair was a finalist for the Firehouse Theatre’s Festival of New American Plays.    Other works for the stage include: Two Parents, Two Weddings, Two YearsSee How We Are, Love and Other Allergies , and Famous in Luxembourg, among others.   Several of her works have been presented at Snapshots, a benefit to raise funds for the Susan G. Komen Foundation; Venue 9 Theatre, San Francisco; The Barrow Group, New York; Drama West, Los Angeles; and the Bay Street Theatre, New York . Bad Outfit Productions produced Brooks’ plays, Cab and Allergic to Walnuts as short films.  Publications include Room Magazine and The Daily Beast.    Brooks earned a B.A. from Emerson College and an M.F.A. in Fiction from Otis College of Art and Design. She is a member of The Dramatists Guild of America and Pacific Resident Theatre in Los Angeles, CA.  She lives in Venice, California with her husband and son.


Catherine rust croppedLed by Catherine Rust (photo), 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 Unfortunates” 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 now very 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.  


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