THE JFK PLAYS - KCACTF Region V Festival 49
Wednesday, January 25, 2017, 10:30-2:00, Temple Theatre, Des Moines, IA - Q&A to Follow
Faculty Director and student performers prepare this concert reading at festival
In celebration of the Centennial of JFK’s birth, the Kennedy Center has commissioned one act plays with the following prompt:
-The Play will celebrate the legacy of John F. Kennedy by focusing on the values of COURAGE, FREEDOM, JUSTICE, SERVICE, and GRATITUDE.
-The characters in the play will be majority female and have substantial roles for artists of color.
-The vast majority of characters can be viably played by college students. Put another way, the play will concern young people grappling with an issue; struggling with something that aligns with the values listed above.
-The commissioned play is intended to honor the legacy of John F. Kennedy, but not be biographical or history-based, necessarily.
The Unexpected Light on Azadeh Medusa by Gary Garrison
Beate Petigrew, Johnson County Community College, Director
Benjamin Inniger, Bethany Lutheran College, Assistant Director
Catherine Gleason, University of Missouri, Dramaturg
Reagen Temple : Michelle Carter, Johnson County Community College
Danielle: Joi Wright, Iowa State University
Gear: Aguel Lual, University of Nebraska Lincoln
Gracious Wainwright: Kasey Halvorson, University of Nebraska Lincoln
Adelita Josefa Pilar Steinhaven: Tatianna Hizar, University of Nebraska Lincoln
Brazen: Travis Banks, University of Nebraska Lincoln
Stage Directions: Katie Hoppe, University of Nebraska Lincoln
A Crossover Dream by Migdalia Cruz
Anne Byrd, Normandale Community College, Director
Jayna Fitzsimmons, Augustana College, Assistant Director
Catherine Gleason, University of Missouri, Dramaturg
Tariq: Isaac Glover, Hutchinson Community College
Maricela: Lexi Diaz, Truman State University
Izzi (Israel): Laila Sahir, Luther College Torturer
#1: Jake Fredericks, Aroka- Ramsey Community College Torturer
#2: Michael Bayler, University of Missouri
Torturer #3: Tanner Hostetter, Bismarck State College
Stage Directions: Ashley Diaz From Iowa State University
You Can See All the Stars by E.M.Lewis
Richard Herman, University of Central Missouri, Director
Kathy Hendrickson, North Hennepin Community College, Assistant Director
Catherine Gleason, University of Missouri, Dramaturg
Anabelle Martin: Katie Schini, University of Nebraska Lincoln
Marcy Wells: Nora Sonneborn, Normandale Community College
Kevin Oblanski: Ben Kuiper, Dordt College
Kim Barrington: Callie Crawford, Truman State University
Eddie Green: Andrew Smith, Iowa State University
Ronni Grisson: Elise Marshall, University of Central Missouri
Stage Reading: Kelli Massey, North Hennepin Community College
Stage Manager/Event Volunteer: Kayla Helms, University of Central Missouri
Gary Garrison, for the last decade, was the Executive Director of the Dramatist Guild of America – the national organization of playwrights, lyricists and composers headed by our nation’s most honored dramatists. Prior to his work at the Guild, Garrison filled the posts of Artistic Director, Producer and full‑time faculty member in the Goldberg Department of Dramatic Writing at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts, where he produced over forty-five different festivals of new work, collaborating with hundreds of playwrights, directors and actors. Garrison’s plays include The Unexpected Light On Azadeh Medusa, Too Quick to Pick, Ties That Bind, Skirting the Issue, Caught Without Candy, Game On, The Sweep, Verticals and Horizontals, Storm on Storm, Crater, Old Soles, Padding The Wagon, Rug Store Cowboy, Cherry Reds, Gawk, Oh Messiah Me, We Make A Wall, The Big Fat Naked Truth, Scream With Laughter, Smoothness With Cool, Empty Rooms, Does Anybody Want A Miss Cow Bayou? and When A Diva Dreams. This work has been featured at the City Theatre of Miami, Boston Theatre Marathon, Primary Stages, The Directors Company, Manhattan Theatre Source, StageWorks, Open Door Theatre, Pulse Ensemble Theatre, Expanded Arts and New York Rep. His recent work as guest artist or master teacher of playwriting involve such institutions as Sewanee Writer’s Conference, The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, CityWrights, The Inkwell and Source Theatre in D.C., Baltimore Playwrights Festival, New Hampshire Playwrights Festival, Last Frontier Theatre Conference, Southeast Theatre Conference, Northwest Theatre Conference and Boston Playwrights. He is the author of the critically acclaimed, The Playwright’s Survival Guide: Keeping the Drama in Your Work and Out of Your Life, Perfect Ten: Writing and Producing the Ten‑Minute Play, A More Perfect Ten and two volumes of Monologues for Men by Men. He is on the Tony Administration Committee for the Tony Awards and the program director for the Summer Playwriting Intensive for the Kennedy Center. A collection of short plays, Verticals and Horizontals, was published last spring by Original Play Publishers in Los Angeles. In April of 2014, The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts instituted the National Gary Garrison Ten-Minute Play Award given to the best ten-minute play written by a university dramatist. In the spring of 2016, he was awarded the Milan Stitt Outstanding Teacher of Playwriting by the Kennedy Center.
E. M. Lewis is an award-winning playwright, librettist, and teacher of playwriting. She received the 2016 Oregon Literary Fellowship in Drama, and was a finalist for the 2014 Shakespeare’s Sister Fellowship.
She received the Hodder Fellowship from Princeton University in 2010-2011, and a fellowship from the New Jersey State Arts Commission in 2012.
Lewis won the ATCA/Steinberg Award for her play “Song of Extinction,” which also received the Ted Schmitt Award for Outstanding Writing of a World Premiere Play from the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle. She won the Primus Prize for her play “Heads.” Her work has been produced around the world, and is published by Samuel French.
In 2014, Lewis premiered two new plays — “The Study (or Reading to Vegetables)” at University of Washington in Seattle, and “The Gun Show” at 16th Street Theater in Chicago. “The Study” went on to a further production at Independence Community College, where Lewis spent nine weeks working on a new play and teaching during a residency at the William Inge Center for the Arts. “The Gun Show” had its west coast premiere at Moving Arts in Los Angeles in November/December 2014 (extending into January 2015), and went on to a third production at Passage Theater in Trenton in January/February 2015.
Lewis wrote the libretto for her first opera last year, as a resident artist in American Lyric Theater’s 2013-2014 Composer Librettist Development Program; “The Resurrection Engine,” developed with composer Evan Meier, premiered at Symphony Space in New York City in June. She and Evan have been invited to continue on with the program for two more years, and are now working on a new family-friendly opera together. Other projects in 2014 included a week acting as host playwright and teaching a playwriting workshop for the Ashland New Plays Festival. An evening of her short plays entitled “Dance Me to the End of Love” was produced by the DramaDogs in Santa Barbara, California. Her plays were studied in theater classes at the University of Notre Dame and University of Arizona. “Infinite Black Suitcase” was produced at Staples High School in Westport, Connecticut. She had readings of her epic work-in-progress “Magellanica” at Project Y in New York City, Moving Arts in Los Angeles, and the Inge Center in Kansas, and workshopped the play at TimeLine Theater in Chicago in December. The new year 2015 is beginning with lots of new productions and projects. “The Gun Show” had a production at Passage Theater in Trenton in January, and “Heads” had a production at Theater for a New City in NYC in February. Lewis was a respondent at the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival Region 7 in Ellensburg, Washington in February. “Infinite Black Suitcase” has productions upcoming in California and Texas. Lewis finished the epic play “Magellanica” that she’s been working on, and is looking forward to the next step in that play’s development. Lewis was born and raised in rural Oregon, lived in Los Angeles for quite a while, and then moved to New Jersey, after receiving a Hodder Fellowship from Princeton University. She recently returned to her family’s farm in the beautiful Pacific Northwest, where she continues to write full time, travel regularly with her theater work, teach occasionally, and drive tractor whenever she feels like it.
Migdalia Cruz is an award-winning playwright who has written more than fifty plays, operas,
screenplays, and musicals. Her work has been produced across the U.S. and abroad at various venues including: Mabou Mines, Classic Stage Company, Playwrights Horizons, INTAR, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Monarch Theater, En-Garde Arts, HOME, Shaliko Company, New York Shakespeare Festival’s Festival Latino, Theatre For The New City, and the W.O.W. Cafe (New York); Ateneo Puertorriqueño (PR); National Theater of Greece(Athens); Foro Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz (Mexico City); Old Red Lion (London, England); Vancouver Players (Vancouver, B.C.); Latino Chicago Theater Company (Chicago); Houston Grand Opera (Houston); American Repertory Theatre (Cambridge); Cleveland Public Theatre (Cleveland); Frank Theatre (Minneapolis); Théâtre d’aujourd hui (Montreal); American Music Theatre Festival (Philadelphia); Intersection for the Arts/LATA (San Francisco); and Cornerstone Theater Company (Los Angeles), among others. She has been nurtured by Maria Irene Fornés’ Playwrights’ Laboratory at INTAR; Royal Court Theatre/New Dramatists Exchange ’94 (London); Steppenwolf
Theatre’s New PlaysLab (Chicago); Bay Area Playwrights’ Festival ’94, Festival Latino’93 at Teatro Mision (San Francisco); the Sundance Institute; Midwest PlayLabs; Mark Taper Forum’s New Play Festival; Omaha Magic Theatre; “Songs from Coconut Hill” Theater Festival ’05; South Coast Rep’s HPP ’04, and was writer-in- residence at Latino Chicago Theater Company from 1991-98. Her plays include: Salt, Fur, Miriam’s Flowers, Lucy Loves Me, Dreams of Home, Telling Tales, ¡CHE-CHE- CHE!, Latins In La-La Land, Cigarettes and Moby-Dick, Lolita de Lares, Yellow Eyes, and Running For Blood: No. 3 (a radio play). She wrote book and lyrics for the musicals Rushing Waters, Welcome Back To Salamanca and When Galaxy Six and The Bronx Collide; the libretto for an opera, Street Sense; and lyrics and monologues for Frida: The Story of Frida Kahlo. Her plays and monologues are published by NoPassport Press, Theatre Communications Group, U. of Arizona Press, Routledge Press, Penguin Books, Arte Publico Press, Applause Books, Smith & Kraus Publishers, and Third Woman Press. She taught playwriting at U.of Iowa/Playwrights’ Workshop, NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, Princeton University, and at Amherst College, and guest lectured at Yale University, Wesleyan University, Mount Holyoke College, and Columbia University. She received commissions from Mabou Mines, NYSF’s Public Theater, Crossroads Theatre, Steppenwolf Theatre, Latino Chicago Theater Company, Arena Stage, WNYC-radio, Ballet Hispanico, DUO and INTAR. Migdalia was awarded the 2013 Helen Merrill Distinguished Playwright Award (NYCommTrust), and is a 1996 recipient of the Kennedy Center’s Fund for New American Plays award for Another Part Of The House. Her play, The Have-little was the runner-up for the 1991 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, and SALT was a 1997 runner-up. She participated in Obsidian Theatre of Toronto’s International Playwrights Festival in 2009, won a 2005 Massachusetts Cultural Council grant, and a 1994 Connecticut Commission on The Arts grant for playwriting. At Classic Stage Company, she was a 1994 PEW/TCG National Artist in Residence. Migdalia was a 1997-98 Sackler Fellow at Connecticut Rep/UConn, a 1991 & 1995 NEA Playwriting Fellow, a 1988 McKnight Fellow, and received her MFA degree from Columbia University. She is an alumna of New Dramatists.
She was born and raised in the Bronx.