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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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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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