ADAAposter

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.”

RUNNERS-UP

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?

HONORABLE MENTIONS

People Like Us by Melanie Anne Ball

Otherland by David Cote

When After All, It Was You and Me by Kevin Doyle

Silence by Jason Grote

Kidnap Road by Catherine Filloux

This is Only A Test by Eric Reyes Loo

Sh ofu, Wianbu Pi by Lucy Sheen

A Guide For The Homesick by Ken Urban

How to Wear A Headscarf Tutorial (Part One) by Alannah Olivia 

 
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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

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!

Rehearsing The Madres for the Generations Prize reading with BETC.

Rehearsing The Madres for the Generations Prize reading with BETC. Pictured L to R: Daniel Jimenez, Chris Kendall, Jaime Lujan & Gabriella Cavallero

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.” – source – 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 ROAD SUMMER PLAYWRIGHTS FESTIVAL 7

the-madres-poster-2-210x280The Madres received an amazing reading at The Road Theater’s Summer Playwrights Festival 7. The reading was directed beautifully by Emily Chase and had an outstanding cast including: Arianna Ortiz, Denise Blasor, Marcelo Tubert, Kyla Garcia and Daniel Penilla.

The wonderful cast of The Madres at The Road's SPF7

The wonderful cast of The Madres at The Road’s SPF7

ASHLAND NEW PLAY FESTIVAL WINNER

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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.

 

 
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Photo by Dave Rivas

Photo by Dave Rivas

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!

 
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My new play THE MADRES about the mothers of the disappeared in Argentina is a finalist for the Humanitas/CTG Playwriting Prize!


From the official press release:


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.

 
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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.

 
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Joan Kohn and Amanda Powell | pic by Anthony Aicardi

Joan Kohn and Amanda Powell | pic by Anthony Aicardi

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.


Read the entire Chicago Tribune review here.


Buy tickets here.

 
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Joan Kohn as Charolotte and Tom McElroy as Henry in the world premiere of The Art of Disappearing - picture by Anthony Aicardi

Joan Kohn as Charolotte and Tom McElroy as Henry in the world premiere of The Art of Disappearing – picture by Anthony Aicardi

 

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 Art of Disappearing” Captured In Painfully Honest Drama – Chicago Sun-Times

 

The theater is an intimate 49 seats, so get your tickets before they are gone. HERE.

 
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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!
 

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It happens.

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?

Thank you!

-Steph

 
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Over ten years ago I began writing a full-length play called
THE ART OF DISAPPEARING.

I wrote a fast draft in a graduate class taught by David Scott Milton.

I painstakingly revised it in a Saturday workshop led by Lee Wochner and filled with wonderfully smart playwrights including EM Lewis, Terence Anthony, Ross Tedford Kendall and Michael David (among others.)

I had readings at Moving Arts, The Black Box Theatre (with ALAP,) The Blank Theatre and Chicago Dramatists.

I sent it out to countless theaters and received countless rejections.

It was a finalist for the Princess Grace Award and a semi-finalist for the O’Neill.

It’s been rewritten and reworked and finally after all of this, it found a champion.

That champion is Ann Filmer who directed the Chicago Dramatists’ reading.

She saw something in my work and committed to giving it a world premiere at her 16th Street Theater in Berwyn, IL.

And it’s finally happening.

We have a production team.

We have a cast.

We have an opening date– January 29, 2015.

It’s starting to feel real.

My life looks unbelievably different than when I wrote the first draft of this play. I’m a mom to two young boys now. I write in the brief moments when both boys are asleep and I’m awake. Sometimes I write standing up in the kitchen in between cooking breakfast and packing lunch.

 

Mostly, I write in my head in those quiet moments when I’m nursing my ten-month-old. Or when I’m driving home from school pick-up and my four-year-old is too tired to ask me the million questions he has about why we’re in a drought or why that person on the billboard has no teeth. Or whether or not I can smell his fart.

I never expected it to take this long to give a full life to my play.
They say it takes a long time. If ever.
And I am just so grateful that it’s really happening.
I’m grateful for every step along the way.
I’m grateful to all the people involved in the development of this play and mostly my husband for believing in me. Bob, you never once said it wouldn’t happen. Thank you.

Now it’s about the work. And the collaboration. I love my collaborators and am so excited to be working on the actual production. Rehearsals begin in December. I get to start my new year in a rehearsal room in Berwyn, IL with some of the most talented artists I’ve ever known.

I’ll be posting more details here as we get closer to the production.

If you’re in Chicago, I hope you’ll come see my play.

 
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AmericanHome_ConcordiaPoster
 
I am so happy to announce that tickets are officially on sale for the workshop production of my play AMERICAN HOME!

Florence Rainwater is a ninety-year-old widow in Ann Arbor, Michigan who just wants to be in her home with her memories until her last day.
 
Mike and Dana Washington are a thirty-something couple who thought they would be in their dream home in the hills of Los Angeles forever, or at least until they could trade-up.
 
Prosperity Preacher Paula never imagined in her wildest dreams that her Florida mega-church would ever be threatened by foreclosure. And Robbie West, Michigan cop, just wants to help people and does not enjoy kicking them out of their homes. 
 
American Home is about Americans forced to renegotiate the American Dream, the extremes people go to when faced with losing everything and the resilience of the American spirit.

 
Details:

AMERICAN HOME

by Stephanie Alison Walker

Directed by Meghan Beals McCarthy

Produced by Concordia University

Oct. 3-5, 10-12 @ 7:30

Oct. 6 & 13 @ 2 PM

MADISON STREET THEATRE

Oak Park, IL

click here for tickets

 

 
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