Thursday, April 2, 2015

‘Start Down’ by Eleanor Burgess next at Centenary Stage Company’s Women Playwright Series

Eleanor Burgess

Technology and education collide in the play “Start Down” by Eleanor Burgess, the 2nd featured presentation  in the Centenary Stage Company’s Women Playwright Series, on Wednesday, Apr. 15 at 7:30 PM in the Lackland Center.

       “Start Down” is a provocative look at the rapidly changing face of education, and the impact the introduction of technology potentially has on traditional educational methods.  In this cutting-edge play, when a San Francisco programmer develops a program which will change the face of teaching, it ultimately threatens his own fiancé’s position as an educator.   

       Eleanor Burgess (photo) has been a playwriting fellow at the Huntington Theatre Company in Boston and a member of the writers’ group at the Arcola Theatre in London. Her work has been developed at the Vineyard Theatre and  New Georges Theatre, and her short play PARK SLOPE MINSTREL SHOW was featured in the Samuel French Off Off Broadway Festival this past summer.  Burgess  is originally from Brookline Massachusetts, studied history at Yale College and subsequently taught history, filmmaking and creative writing in London and New Haven. She is currently pursuing an MFA in Dramatic Writing at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts which will conclude in May of 2015.

About the Women Playwrights Series

Catherine rust cropped Now in its 23nd year, the Centenary Stage Company Women Playwrights Series ( WPS) presents 3-4  new plays each year  in rehearsed staged readings throughout the month of April.  Led by Program Director Catherine Rust (photo right),  the WPS is dedicated to providing a working forum for the unique and underserved voice of women writing for the theater today.  The Series offers emerging playwrights a chance to work with professional directors and actors in a short rehearsal period, followed by a staged reading of the work in front of a live audience, with audience feedback and discussion.   Each presentation is followed by  lively “talk-backs” with the playwright and cast following the performance. The Series features the finalists in the Susan Glaspell contest, which offers the winner further development support worth $45,000 in a full production in the CSC professional Equity main-stage season, as well as a cash award to the author. 

Centenary Stage Company is an affiliate member of the National New Play Network (based in Washington, D.C.), and participates in the “Extended Life” and “Rolling World Premiere” programs, designed to give playwrights larger exposure and sustained life throughout  the country in their first year of production.

Admission to the “Start Down” is by donation and reservations are requested.    For   reservations and information contact the Centenary Stage Company Box Office at 908-979-0900, or visit online at


     The final featured presentation of the 2015  WPS will be  “True Love ” by Tracy Thorne on Wednesday, April 22 at 7:30  PM.

The  CSC Women Playwrights Series  is made possible in part through the  generous support of   the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation , the Puffin Foundation,  Zonta International organization for empowering women,  The Blanche and Irving Laurie Foundation, the NJ State Council on the Arts,  Heath Village Retirement Community, and the many CSC members and sponsors. 

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