SLC Playwrights Dominate Downtown NYC Theatre Scene
November 4, 2013
Sarah Lawrence theatre alums are prominently on display all over the downtown New York theatre scene this season. Five alumni and playwrights have productions on stage right now, showcasing the type of student Sarah Lawrence College creates.
David Adjmi '93's Marie Antoinette opened the 2013-14 season at the Soho Rep under the direction of Rebecca Taichman. Marie Antoinette was developed at the Goodman Theatre's New Stages Series and the Sundance Institute's Residency at the Public Theatre. It premiered in a coproduction between the American Repertory Theatre and the Yale Repertory Theatre in Fall 2012, receiving three Connecticut Critics Circle Awards including Best Play. David is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Whiting Writer’s Award, the inaugural Steinberg Playwright Award, a Bush Artists Fellowship, a Jerome Fellowship, and the Kesselring Fellowship for Drama. The New Yorker named Adjmi one of the Top Ten in Culture in 2011, and described him as an artist who is part of "a new trend in the American theatre." Read a review of Marie Antoinette in the October 28 issue of The New Yorker.
Meanwhile, Lucy Thurber '92's five-play cycle, The Hill Town Plays, launched in August with productions staged simultaneously at the Cherry Lane Theatre, the Axis Theatre, the Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, and the New Ohio Theatre as part of the inaugural West Village Theater Festival. The Hill Town Plays, a collection of new and existing works, tell the story of a woman who works her way into a new life from a childhood of poverty, alcoholism and abuse. Lucy is the recipient of the 2000-01 Manhattan Theatre Club Playwriting Fellowship. She has had readings and workshops at Steam Boat Springs, Manhattan Theatre Club, The New Group, Primary Stages, MCC Theater, Encore Theatre Company, PlayPenn, Williamstown Theatre Festival, The O’Neill with WET, New River Dramatists and Soho Rep. She was one of three playwrights in residence at The Orchard Project, summer 2007. Scarcity was published in the December 2007 issue of American Theatre magazine. Thurber is a member of New Dramatists, 13P, and MCC Playwrights’ Coalition. She has been commissioned by Playwrights Horizons, and she is currently writing a new play under a commission from Yale Rep. She is the recipient of the first Gary Bonasorte Memorial Prize for Playwriting 2008 and a proud recipient of a Lilly Award.
David Grimm '87 is a New York-based playwright and screenwriter with a brand new play, Tales From Red Vienna, opening in February 2014 at Manhattan Theatre Club. Tony Award-winning actress Nina Arianda stars as Heléna, a woman who has lost her husband in World War I, and with him, her financial security. Tales From Red Vienna is a recipient of an Edgerton Foundation New American Plays Award. David is the recipient of an NEA/TCG Residency Grant, a member of the Writer’s Guild, the Dramatists Guild, the PEN America Center, and an alum of New Dramatists.
Relatively new to the scene is Eric Dufault '10, an ensemble member of the Youngbloods, a collective of young, upcoming playwrights in residence at the Ensemble Studio Theatre. He has a new play, Year of the Rooster, premiering at the Ensemble Studio Theatre October 24-November 24, 2013. Year of the Rooster is about a down-on-his-luck McDonald’s employee training his pet rooster for a cock fight—partly told from the perspective of the rooster.
Clay McLeod Chapman '00 is the creator of the rigorous storytelling session The Pumpkin Pie Show, currently running at Under St. Mark’s. Celebrating its second decade of performances, The Pumpkin Pie Show is a literary fist in the face. Part storytelling session, part boxing match, part shamanistic ritual, The Pumpkin Pie Show has established itself as an all-points artistic hodgepodge of theatre and literature. Says Chapman, “Our goal is to strip away those elements that we find extraneous to the tale being told, conjuring up an atmosphere of creating something out of nothing, as well as focusing on that ethereal connective tissue between the one telling the story and our audience. Packed with enough emotional intensity to feel like a rock concert rather than just spinning a yarn, The Pumpkin Pie Show is pure bedtime stories for adults.