Supporting women playwrights

Playwright Debra Rich Gettleman

Debra Rich Gettleman is one of many Arizona playwrights whose works, developed during previous “Pandora Festivals,” will be full staged as part of this month’s “Pandora Showcase.” Her play titled “Prism” is being performed this Friday evening at Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts.

The 2nd annual “Pandora Showcase” takes place Nov, 11, 12, 18 and 19. It’s your first chance to see plays that may one day make their way to much larger audiences. “A Conversation with Edith Head,” which opened the current season for Actors Theatre of Phoenix at the Herberer Theater Center, was part of the inaugural 2004-2005 season for Arizona Wowen’s Theatre Company, which specializes is producing contemporary works by women playwrights.

Susan Claassen as Edith Head (Photo: Tim Fuller)

“A Conversation with Edith Head” was written by Paddy Calistro and Susan Claassen, both affiliated with Invisible Theatre in Tucson, which is performing Annie Baker’s “Circle Mirror Transformation” through Nov. 20.

Colleen Jennings Roggensack, executive director for ASU Gammage, recently attended opening night for playwright Katori Hall’s “The Mountaintop” on Broadway. When last we spoke, Jennings Roggensack shared her delight with seeing the work of women on Broadway, but also noted that we need more of it.

Folks who share her enthusiasm for supporting the work of women playwrights have plenty of opportunities in coming days as ten fully-staged works make their way to Scottsdale. More new works will be featured at the 6th annual “Pandora Festival,” being presented by Arizona Women’s Theatre Company May 18-20, 2012 at Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts.

Playwright Katori Hall

The Arizona Women’s Theatre Company recently issued a call for original scripts written by Arizona women playwrights — and will present staged readings of those selected during the May festival. Playwrights can submit up to two works, and there is no submission fee.

They’re calling for submissions of ten minute, one act and full length plays. Neither plays that have previously been fully produced nor obvious first drafts will be accepted — but “plays that have had workshops and other readings are eligible.”

Thankfully, you don’t have to write these babies to enjoy them. Folks who like to watch are just as valuable in theater world.

— Lynn

Playwright Annie Baker

Note: Playwrights Baker, Hall and Regina Taylor are among five playwrights recently selected to participate in a residency program with the Signature Theatre Company in NYC. Click here for details.

Coming up: Arizona welcomes the “Pandora NBC Skating Series,” More scoop on “Pandora Showcase” offerings, Pearls from Prescott

Update: I spent part of the afternoon with a lovely group of art folks from Prescott, including one who suggested I alert readers to an upcoming call for plays written by youth in the metro Phoenix area, and another who’s had several works read during previous “Pandora Festivals.” Stay tuned for details in upcoming posts…

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