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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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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My award-winning play about the housing crisis will be staged in a reading directed by Meghan Beals McCarthy at Chicago Dramatists in preparation for the workshop production at Concordia University this October.

I’ve been working on another draft of the play and am excited to hear it in front of an audience before diving into rehearsals. The reading is open to the public, so come on by!

When: Monday, August 26 at 8PM
Where: Chicago Dramatists
1105 W. Chicago Avenue

 
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My ten-minute play Edward Cullen Ruined My Mother’s Love Life

will be premiering at The Source Festival in Washington D.C. starting this Sunday, June 9th.

 

EDWARD CULLEN RUINED MY MOTHER’S LOVE LIFE
By Stephanie Walker
Directed by Megan Behm
The only thing scarier to 16 year old Lily than her mother’s obsession with a fictional teenage vampire is getting her drivers license.

 

For tickets and info: click here

My play is part of the “Afterward” grouping of plays and appears alongside five other fantastic ten-minute plays.

Here is the complete “Afterward” line-up:

 

AFTERWARD

Directing Mentor: Eleanor Holdridge
A FRONTIER, AS TOLD BY THE FRONTIER, the full-length play that inspired this grouping, follows a group of children living in an abandoned amusement park, after their world has been dismantled. Each of these 10-Minute Plays looks back on what came before.


EDWARD CULLEN RUINED MY MOTHER’S LOVE LIFE
By Stephanie Walker
Directed by Megan Behm
The only thing scarier to 16 year old Lily than her mother’s obsession with a fictional teenage vampire is getting her drivers license.

THE MAN IN THE POWDER-BLUE SUIT
By Stephen Spotswood*
Directed by Renana Fox
A young woman remembers the moment her fractured family ran headlong into a man hoping to save them from the end of the world.

50 GUNS
by Alex Broun
Directed by Ali Miller
50 lives. 50 stories. And one red gun.

MINUS YOU
By Jennifer Barclay
Directed by Megan Behm
Lennox can’t find his wife Gracie in the neighboring burial plot, so he tries to reach her through the crossed wires of the afterlife.

LOST IN THOUGHT
By Christopher Lockheardt
Directed by Ali Miller
A man imagines the past, present and future of a former lover.

RIOT GRRRL REUNION
By Darin J. Dunston
Directed by Renana Fox
When a team of unruly roller derby girls arrive for the First Annual Riot Grrrl Rally, they discover a boys basketball game in progress;and an unexpected opponent.

 

 
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