Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Seattle Repertory Theatre and Hedgebrook Present:

Women Playwrights Festival

September 20-23, 2007

Seattle, WA - Seattle Repertory Theatre and Hedgebrook, a retreat for women writers, are honored to present the tenth annual Women Playwrights Festival. This year's festival runs from September 20-23 in the PONCHO Forum at Seattle Rep. Now celebrating its 10th year, the annual Women Playwrights Festival (WPF) features some of the most exciting new plays and playwrights in the country. The 2007 festival will feature new works from Ellen McLaughlin, Naomi Iizuka, Caridad Svich and Kathleen Tolan. Seattle Rep audiences are invited to experience readings of these plays as they emerge fresh from the imaginations of the writers, and to witness their growth from the earliest stages of development. Tickets are $10 for each reading or a four-play pass for $30 and are available exclusively through the Seattle Rep Box Office, 206-443-2222, or toll-free at 877-900-9285. For more information about Hedgebrook please visit their website at or call 360-321-4786.

Established in 1998 by Leslie Swackhamer, then-interim artistic director of ACT Theatre, and Janice Kennedy of Hedgebrook, the Women Playwrights Festival was created to acknowledge and nurture the talents of women playwrights. Participants are selected from a highly competitive pool of nominees from throughout the country, and provided with an opportunity to further their plays through intensive work with actors, dramaturgs and directors. Each play is given a public reading at Seattle Rep, following which the playwrights adjourn to Hedgebrook on Whidbey Island for a week-long retreat. Ensconced in private cottages and armed with feedback from their directors, and dramaturgs as well as the audience, the playwrights are given solitude, time and space to focus on and further develop their work. Past participants include Lynn Nottage (Intimate Apparel), Theresa Rebeck (Omnium Gatherum), Sarah Ruhl (The Clean House), Julia Cho (99 Histories) and Tanya Barfield (Blue Door).

This year's plays are:


by Ellen McLaughlin

Thursday, September 20, 2006 7:30pm

Based on a true incident which occurred between the wars in France, Ellen McLaughlin's play in progress is the story of an unidentified amnesiac veteran. For several years he remained in an asylum, unable to remember who he was. Finally his photograph was published in the newspapers in an attempt to identify him, triggering a kind of national hysteria when he was claimed by hundreds of desperately grieving families as one of their own. The play is about what war costs, then as now, a lesson we seem never to learn. Ellen McLaughlin is an American playwright and actor. Her plays include Tongue of a Bird, Iphigenia and Other Daughters, Helen, and Infinity's House. Winner of the Susan Blackburn Prize, she has taught playwriting at Barnard College since 1995.


by Naomi Iizuka

Friday, September 21, 2006 4:00pm

An American woman hitchhiking through Southeast Asia strikes a bargain with a mysterious stranger. Twenty years later, she's an acclaimed chef specializing in Asian cuisine with an adopted Vietnamese-born daughter and a life that is successful beyond her wildest dreams. Into her life the stranger from her past reappears collecting on an old debt. A retelling of the fable of Rumpelstiltskin, Ghostwritten explores the legacy of the Vietnam War and what it means to come face to face with the ghosts from your past. Naomi was born in Tokyo and raised in Japan, Indonesia, Holland, and Washington, D.C. She is the recipient of a Whiting Award, a McKnight Fellowship, an NEA/TCG Artist-in-Residence Fellowship, Princeton's Hodder Fellowship, a Jerome Fellowship, and a PEN Center USA West Award for Drama.

Lucinda Caval

by Caridad Svich

Saturday, September 22, 2006 7:30pm

In a city turned upside down, a woman searches for her missing brother while a blind architect dreams of an imagined past reconstructed from censored shards of books. In a world of surveillance and terror, safety is a comfortable lie. Lucinda Caval is a drama of suspense and identity. Caridad Svich is the author of over 40 plays and 15 translations. Awards include TCG/Pew National Artist Residency at INTAR, NEA/TCG Playwriting Residency at Mark Taper Forum Theatre, and Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study Bunting Fellowship.

Captivity Narrative

by Kathleen Tolan

Sunday, September 23, 2006 4:00pm

In Captivity Narrative an aging professor of Early American Literature, a new professor of World Literature and a college student find themselves navigating the intricacies of academia, legacies of violence and loss, and a dangerous love. Kathleen Tolan's first draft of Memory House had its inaugural reading at Seattle Rep as part of the Hedgebrook Women Playwrights Festival in the spring of 2003, and received a full production here last fall. Earlier plays by Ms. Tolan include The Wax, Approximating Mother, Kate's Diary, A Weekend Near Madison, and a translation of Marivaux's False Servant. Her play, What to Listen For, was read at the Playwrights Center in Minneapolis where she was the recipient of the 2005 McKnight Commission and Residency. She resides in New York and teaches playwriting at SUNY Purchase.

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