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Stephanie's "Harrowing" & "Gut-wrenching" THE MADRES now running at the Skylight!
Mar 14, 2018
I was five years old the first time I visited Buenos Aires. That was 1980, during the military Junta that disappeared an estimated 30,000 Argentines. Many years later when I was living and working in Buenos Aires, I went one Thursday to see and walk with The Madres de La Plaza de Mayo. Inspired by these women and the strong women in my own life including my mom, my Argentine stepmom and my grandma, I decided to try to find a way to tell their story. It wasn't until I became a mother myself that I found a way.
I wrote the first draft of THE MADRES in February of 2015. Since then, I've been on a journey with this play and the people who have championed it along the way. One of those people is Arianna Ortiz who is currently starring as CAROLINA at the Skylight Theatre in Los Angeles in the first of four productions that make up the NNPN Rolling World Premiere of THE MADRES. Her work as CAROLINA is heart-wrenching and stunning. As is the entire cast. If you are in L.A., I hope you will come see their beautiful work. Critics have been weighing in and calling The Madres "mesmerizing," "harrowing," and "gut-wrenching."
is a story about the strength and resilience of women. It's about brave women who refused to be silenced. When they chose to speak out, to stand up and march, they were called "crazy/ Las Locas" - as women who speak truth to power often are. No one believed their stories of their missing children. No one believed the government could or would do such a thing. No one wanted to believe them. This didn't stop Las Madres from speaking out, demanding justice and showing up every Thursday to march right in front of the Casa Rosada (Argentina’s equivalent of our White House.) Las Madres - the original Women’s Marchers- were the first to resist the Argentine dictatorship.
The timing of the world premiere of The Madres is remarkable because it seems people are finally listening to women. I pray that we never stop listening. There is so much we can learn from Las Madres and their brave act of resistance. Let us never forget, let us never be complacent in the face of injustice, let us always be as brave as Las Madres. Ni olvido, ni perdón!
Now through April 29 at the Skylight Theatre in the Los Feliz neighborhood of L.A.
FINAL WEEKEND TO CATCH AMERICAN HOME IN SOUTH PASADENA
Sep 9, 2017
“American Home, Stephanie Alison Walker’s world premiere play at the Fremont Centre Theatre in Pasadena, journeys into the impossible choices and resilience that people have when they’re about to lose everything and shares their heart wrenching yet touching stories in a fearless theatrical experience.” – Rachel Flanagan
During the time that Bob and I were fighting to keep our house out of foreclosure in 2008/2009, I wrote a play called AMERICAN HOME. That play has been given a beautiful production by Little Candle Productions at the Fremont Centre Theatre in South Pasadena and is closing this weekend. That means you still have four chances left to see it!
If you’d like to know more about the show and what went into writing this play, you can read this lovely piece in the Pasadena Weekly by Bliss Bowen.
ADAA 2016 SAROYAN/PAUL HUMAN RIGHTS PRIZE FOR PLAYWRITING
Apr 8, 2017
ADAA IS PLEASED TO ANNOUNCE THE FINALISTS FOR THE $10,000 2016 SAROYAN/PAUL HUMAN RIGHTS PLAYWRITING PRIZE FINALISTS
The Good Minister from Harare by June Carryl
A low-level bureaucrat is plunged into a nightmare wonderland of red tape, government thugs and revolutionary zealots after a visit from his father. When the past won’t stay buried, do you turn a blind eye and live, or die a martyr in the bloody business of liberation? Gutting by Jeremy J. Kamps Fourteen year-old Kali and her mother Eunice return to the Lower 9th Ward of New Orleans two years after Hurricane Katrina to find that “home” is no longer there. Despite the forces of systemic racism driving them away and apart, this mother and daughter learn that loving each other is both an act of resistance and renewal.
The Madres by Stephanie Alison Walker
It’s Buenos Aires, 1979. Two women search covertly for Belen, nine months pregnant and one of the many disappeared people in Argentina’s so-called “Dirty War.”
Paradise by Laura Maria Censabella
Yasmeen Al-Hamadi is a devout Yemeni-American Muslim girl at a struggling inner-city Bronx high school. Dr. Guy Royston is her disaffected science teacher, a former Evangelical with a mysterious past. An unlikely research team, together they embark on a neurological study, leading to stormy conflicts over love, faith and culture.
Doing Time by Jerry Goralnick
Based on actual events that took place in July and August of 1957 when Judith Malina, co-founder of The Living Theatre and Dorothy Day, co-founder of The Catholic Worker shared a cell for thirty days in the New York City Women’s House of Detention for protesting civil defense drills. All the incarcerated women in the House of Detention were twenty-year-old prostitute junkies and as they came to know who Dorothy was they would come to her and confess their life stories.
Zona Rosa by Carlos Morton
An activist medical doctor trying to spread awareness of the AIDS epidemic in 1980’s Mexico City is murdured along with four other Gay men in a homophobic crime.
How to Conquer America by David Myers
In 1975, an un-proven research assistant created an ad campaign that turned a queer fermented-milk product into the 9 billion dollar a year phenomena it is today. Now, Arlene Hoffman, along with the ghost of her dead immigrant father, will tell us how she did it. A story of culture, appropriation, family, and the American Dream.
Bhuta/Kala by Nathaniel Sam Shapiro
Bhuta/Kala follows a troupe of Balinese Hindu religious theatrical performers, who simultaneously are perpetrating the Indonesian political genocide of 1965 while preparing and ultimately enacting the famous play of Barong and Rangda, a traditional tale of good versus evil. As the personal, political, and religious blend together, the play asks when neighbors take up arms against neighbors throughout history, what stories have perpetrators told themselves to enable their inhuman acts?
The Hunters by Jen Silverman
When a Vietnamese-American man kidnaps the grandson of the American soldier who killed his grandfather, he must confront the thin line between reparations and revenge. Can we ever find a way past the histories that determine our lives, or does history loom too large to ever be overwritten?
People Like Us by Melanie Anne Ball
Otherland by David Cote
When After All, It Was You and Meby Kevin Doyle
Silence by Jason Grote
Kidnap Roadby Catherine Filloux
This is Only A Test by Eric Reyes Loo
Sh ofu, Wianbu Pi by Lucy Sheen
A Guide For The Homesickby Ken Urban
How to Wear A Headscarf Tutorial (Part One)by Alannah Olivia
THE MADRES NEWS & UPDATES
Oct 1, 2016
The last year has been a very good one for my new play about the mothers of the disappeared in Argentina, The Madres. I have been terrible about updating my site with all of the exciting news, so here I am doing it now in one big post.
BOULDER ENSEMBLE THEATER COMPANY – GENERATIONS PRIZE
Rehearsing The Madres for the Generations Prize reading with BETC. Pictured L to R: Daniel Jimenez, Chris Kendall, Jaime Lujan & Gabriella Cavallero
As the winner of the Generations Prize, I traveled to Boulder, CO for a week-long workshop of The Madres culminating in a public reading at the Boulder Public Library directed by Heather Beasley. It was an incredible experience. The Generations prize is for playwrights who are parents to children under the age of 18. I strongly encourage anyone who fits that demographic to apply!
EUGENE O’NEILL NATIONAL PLAYWRIGHTS CONFERENCE
The Madres was a FINALIST for the O’Neill this year! This was the first time I’ve reached the Finalist level with any play for the O’Neill.
“It is the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center’s pleasure to recommend Stephanie Walker and their play THE MADRES as a finalist for our 2016 National Playwrights Conference. The play rose through a competitive, anonymous, multileveled selection process that took nearly nine months to execute. As one of 54 finalists out of more than 1,450 submissions, the strength of its writing has allowed this work to prosper in such a competitive selection process. Our readers responded to the way women at the center of the play gave us a sharp and empathetic view into the larger political situation.” – New Play Exchange
KITCHEN DOG THEATER’S FESTIVAL OF NEW PLAYS – FINALIST
I was very happy that The Madres was a named a finalist for Kitchen Dog Theater’s festival of new plays.
JANE CHAMBERS FEMINIST PLAYWRITING CONTEST – RUNNER-UP
The Madres was a runner-up for the Jane Chambers Feminist Playwriting Contest. The announcement of the award called The Madres, “taut, elegant and expertly crafted.” The award was given to Emma Stanton’s powerful play NO CANDY. I was honored to be a runner-up.
The wonderful cast of The Madres at The Road’s SPF7
ASHLAND NEW PLAY FESTIVAL WINNER
The Madres is a winner of the 2016 Ashland New Play Festival! I’m thrilled to be traveling to Ashland, Oregon in October with The Madres for the festival. I’ve heard amazing things about this festival and have submitted many plays over the years. I’m very excited to work with my director Leah Anderson to bring The Madres to life in Ashland.
THE MADRES IN SAN DIEGO
Jan 13, 2016
Last night my new play THE MADRES was read in San Diego and it was magical.
The reading was presented by Amigos del Rep of the San Diego Rep. It was directed by the incredible Herbert Siguenza and featured the talents of Arianna Ortiz, Catalina Maynard, John Padilla, Daniel Penilla and Alexandra Lemus.
I have wanted to write about the unbelievably courageous and inspiring Madres de La Plaza de Mayo/ Las Madres de Los Desaparecidos for a long time.
This play is dedicated to them and their extraordinary stand in the face of the indescribable circumstances of the “Dirty War.”
I learned so much about the play last night by hearing it reflected back to me by the savvy San Diego audience that filled the house.
Gracias, San Diego!
Gracias, Amigos del Rep!
Photo by Dave Rivas
THE MADRES IS A FINALIST FOR THE HUMANITAS/CTG PLAYWRITING PRIZE!
Nov 30, 2015
My new play THE MADRES about the mothers of the disappeared in Argentina is a finalist for the Humanitas/CTG Playwriting Prize!
After reviewing over 230 play submissions, Center Theatre Group announced today that 10 finalists have been chosen for the first annual Humanitas/CTG Playwriting Prize. The award will be given to the best new, unproduced play written by a Southern California playwright. The winning playwright will receive a $5,000 cash prize and an additional $5,000 will be given to a Southern California theatre to subsidize the play’s world premiere production. Two runners-up will each be awarded a cash prize of $2,000. The winning and runner-up plays will be developed with CTG’s literary staff, led by CTG’s Director of New Play Development Pier Carlo Talenti, and presented in staged readings at the Kirk Douglas Theatre Rehearsal Room from February 12-14, 2016. The winner and two runners-up will be announced at the annual Humanitas dinner on Monday, January 11, 2016, at the Directors Guild.
The complete script of THE MADRES is available to read on the New Play Exchange.
PLAYWRIGHTS UNION FIRST PEEK FESTIVAL
May 28, 2015
DIRTY a new play by Stephanie Alison Walker
Buenos Aires, 1979. Two women search covertly for Belén, nine months pregnant and one of the many disappeared people in Argentina’s so-called “Dirty War.”
WHEN? June 6th at 6pm
WHERE? Moving Arts 1822 Hyperion Avenue, Los Angeles CA 90027
WHAT? A reading of my newest play written in the month of February as part of the Playwrights Union’s February challenge. The First Peek Festival is the culmination of that challenge. Lots of new and exciting work and it’s FREE. Come see what these L.A. playwrights have created.
HOW? Make a reservation here. The seating is limited, so if you plan on being there, get yourself a reservation for free.
Read about all of the plays and playwrights taking part in the FIRST PEEK FESTIVAL here.
3 STARS IN CHICAGO TRIBUNE FOR THE ART OF DISAPPEARING
Feb 13, 2015
THE CHICAGO TRIBUNE REVIEWS THE WORLD PREMIERE OF THE ART OF DISAPPEARING AND GIVES IT 3 STARS IN A REVIEW BY KERRY REID:
“Stephanie Alison Walker’s “The Art of Disappearing,” now in a sharp and often emotionally vital world premiere at 16th Street Theater, tackles the subject of dementia, the topic of many films and plays in recent years, from “Still Alice” to Bruce Graham’s “The Outgoing Tide” at Northlight Theatre a few years ago. As in Graham’s play, the central figures in Walker’s piece are a married couple and their grown child who has a conflicted relationship with the ailing parent. But both Walker’s play and director Ann Filmer’s staging take a fresh and mostly unsentimental approach to the question of how much forgetting and forgiving we need to do in times of crisis."
THE ART OF DISAPPEARING opened on Thursday night with the press premiere and I want everyone in the entire world to come see it. I’m so proud of this production. Our team is amazing and I can’t say enough wonderful things about everyone involved.
I had the incredible privilege to talk to the audience each night after the performances while I was in Chicago. This play is reaching people on a level that I had hoped. It’s not an easy one, but Chicago audiences are taking it in and allowing it to jostle and move them. They came out and filled the house on Saturday for both performances during a snowstorm which turned into a blizzard. Chicago doesn’t scare easily.
Thank you, Chicago, for being so sublimely real. Thank you for being drawn to this work. Thank you for taking a chance on a new playwright and a new play.
It’s playing at 16th Street Theater in Berwyn. If you don’t know this theater, you should. You can get to know it from afar by reading this piece from AMERICAN THEATRE MAGAZINE, or you can get to know it in person by coming to see my play.
If I may, I recommend a pre-show dinner at Capri or Autre Monde. Both on Roosevelt. Lovely food and atmosphere.
And if you are the type to read reviews before a show, here is one from Hedy Weiss of the Chicago Sun-Times:
The theater is an intimate 49 seats, so get your tickets before they are gone. HERE.
THE ART OF DISAPPEARING INDIEGOGO CAMPAIGN
Dec 15, 2014
I am currently running my first crowd funding campaign through Indiegogo to raise funds for the World Premiere of my play THE ART OF DISAPPEARING at 16th Street Theatre!
A playwright falls in love with her cast in an early reading and simply can’t imagine the play without them. It happened to me three years ago in a basement rehearsal room under fluorescent lights at Chicago Dramatists. Ann Filmer was directing the Saturday Series reading of my play, The Art of Disappearing. In a classic Filmer stroke of brilliance, she cast Tom McElroy and Joan Kohn to play the mother and father. I fell for both of them. Hard.
Here we are three years later preparing to launch the world premiere of my play and I admit it. I can’t let either of them go. They have been with me now for three years and the world premiere would not be the same without them both. Together. The chemistry they create together on stage in this play is magical. It’s everything I envision. And I want you to see it.
SO WHAT’S THE PROBLEM?
Well, they’re both Equity actors and we are only budgeted for one Equity contract. We can’t afford two. That means we have a gap to fill to be able to make this particular brew of stage magic.
We’re committed to premiering this play with both of them. And we need your help to make it happen.
Will you help fulfill this playwright’s dream?
FOR A VIDEO, MORE INFORMATION AND TO DONATE TO OUR CAMPAIGN, VISIT THE CAMPAIGN ON INDIEGOGO.
Thank you for considering lending your support to our campaign.
If you can’t donate, would you be willing to share to help spread the word far and wide?