This year’s participating playwrights include Chisa Hutchinson, Suzanne Trauth and Maryanne Melloan Woods. Like the previous two rounds of writers, each will have three private readings of their plays, and a final reading during the Forum Series in April 2015.
New Jersey has an abundance of talented and committed women playwrights, but there are very few opportunities for these artists to form relationships with organizations that will make a long-term commitment to developing both their work and their presence in the community. The NJEWP will put into place a process that will identify writers, provide a long-term writer-driven development process, and provide connections for the writer to other writers, informed audiences, and the larger theatrical community, both in New Jersey and nationwide.
The first round of women playwrights included: Lia Romeo, Dania Ramos, Carrie Louise Nutt and Dominique Cieri. Over the course of twelve months, the writers each had four readings of their plays, three private reading that were scheduled by the writer and a final public reading. Final readings of all of these women’s plays were held during Playwrights Theatre’s Forum Reading Series in December 2012. The pilot project had the funding of the New Jersey State Council on the Arts and the Puffin Foundation. Bios and program descriptions can be found on Playwrights Theatre’s website.
Last year’s women playwrights included: EM Lewis, Claire Porter and Yasmine Beverly Rana (who was honored as an Outstanding Women of New Jersey by Glamour magazine at the opening of the new Tommy Hilfiger store in Paramus, NJ).
“We’ve had enormous success with the plays and writers who have been through the program,” said John Pietrowski, Artistic Director of Playwrights Theatre. “Lia Romeo’s play from the project, ‘Reality’, is being produced this year at HotCity in St. Louis, MO., Dominique Cieri was a finalist for the New York City-based InterArts Festival, and Dania Ramos was a national runner-up in Repertorio Español’s Nuevos Voces 2013-14 Festival. Our second round artists are beginning to get positive responses to their works as they finish them. And we are very much looking forward to what our third-round writers will come up with. You can see outlines of their projects on out website.”
About the Playwrights:
Chisa Hutchinson's award-winning plays, which tend to probe social issues, include She Like Girls, Sex on Sunday, The Subject, Dirt Rich, and Somebody’s Daughter among others. She’s been a Lark Fellow, a Dramatist Guild Fellow, a resident at the William Inge Center for the Arts a New York NeoFuturist, and a staff writer for the Blue Man Group. She is proud to be one of the newest members of New Dramatists. (www.chisahutchinson.com)
Suzanne Trauth’s plays include iDream, supported by the National Science Foundation’s STEM initiative on science and technology, presented at Premiere Stages; Françoise, which received a staged reading at Luna Stage; and Katrina: the K Word, based on interviews with New Orleans’ survivors of Hurricane Katrina, and produced on university campuses throughout the US. Her screenplays Solitaire and Boomer Broads have won awards at the Austin Film Festival and the Writer’s Network Competition and, most recently, she wrote and directed the short film Jigsaw. As part of a global initiative, she directed The Crucible for the Theatre-on-Podol in the Ukraine. She is a former member of the theatre faculty at Montclair State University in Montclair, NJ where she coordinated the BFA Acting Program.
Maryanne Melloan Woods is a playwright, screenwriter and educator whose plays have been produced throughout the United States. Maryanne's plays have been staged by theatres and programs such as HBO's New Writers Project and the Mark Taper Forum in L.A, and Playwrights Horizons and Primary Stages in New York. Her play, Smells Like Gin, was the first play produced by Playwrights Theatre of New Jersey.In her career as a tv writer/producer, Maryanne has written shows for networks incuding Showtime, NBC, ABC, Fox, the WB, Nickelodeon and ABC Family. She's also developed tv pilots for Walt Disney TV and Paramount. Maryanne has taught screenwriting at the Gotham Writers Workshop in New York, UCLA and the American Film Institute. She's the author of the non-fiction book, Rock and Roll Revealed, and is currently working on a novel based on one of her tv pilots.
About Playwrights Theatre:
Founded in 1986, Playwrights Theatre is a 501(c) 3 not-for-profit professional theatre and arts education institution dedicated to developing and nurturing the dramatic imagination of artists, students, and audiences. Our New Play Program creates development opportunities for professional writers through readings, workshops and productions, and invites audiences to participate in authentic feedback experiences. Our New Jersey Writers Project, Poetry Out Loud, New Jersey Young Playwrights Contest and Festival, and Creative Arts Academy programs provide a comprehensive and hands-on arts education experience to over 31,000 students, Pre-K through adult. From 2003-2016, we have been designated a Major Arts Institution by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts (along with only five other theatres: The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, George Street Playhouse, McCarter Theatre Center, Two River Theatre and Paper Mill Playhouse) as “an anchor institution that contributes vitally to the quality of life in New Jersey.”