2011 Honored and Featured Artists
2011 Honored Playwright
Lee Blessing is one of America’s most talented and prolific playwrights. He has been awarded the Steinberg/American Theater Critics Association Award and Citation, the L.A. Drama Critics Award, the Great American Play Award, the Humanitas Award and the George and Elisabeth Marton Award among others. His plays have also garnered nominations for the Tony and Olivier awards, as well as the Pulitzer Prize. Notable productions include: A Walk In The Woods - Broadway and London's West End (also seen on PBS’s “American Playhouse”); Off-Broadway - When We Go Upon the Sea, A Body of Water, Going to St. Ives, (Outer Critics Circle Award, Best Play, OBIE for ensemble performance); Thief River (Drama Desk nomination, Best Play); Cobb (Drama Desk award, best ensemble); Chesapeake, Eleemosynary and Down the Road. 1992-93 Signature Theatre season: Fortinbras, Lake Street Extension, Two Rooms and the world premiere of Patient A. Notable world premieres: Wood for the Fire (part of The Great Game, a twelve-play cycle produced by the Tricycle Theatre, London); Great Falls in the Humana New Play Festival of the Actors Theatre of Louisville; Lonesome Hollow, Flag Day and Whores all at the Contemporary American Theatre Festival; The Scottish Play at La Jolla Playhouse; Black Sheep at Florida Stage and The Winning Streak at George Street Playhouse. Other plays include Riches, Independence, Oldtimers Game, Nice People Dancing to Good Country Music, Perilous Night and A User’s Guide to Hell, Featuring Bernard Madoff. Recent adaptations: Heaven’s My Destination, from Thornton Wilder’s picaresque 1935 novel, commissioned and produced by the Cleveland Play House, and Courting Harry, commissioned by the Weissberger Group from a non-fiction work by Linda Greenhouse. Blessing is married to playwright and TV writer Melanie Marnich and lives in New York. He heads the graduate playwriting program at Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University. Profile Theatre in Portland, OR has devoted its entire 2010-11 season to Blessing’s work. Blessing is a current member or alumnus of the Writers Guild of America, west; the Playwrights’ Center in Minneapolis; New Dramatists in NY and the Societe des Auteurs et Compositeurs Dramatiques.
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Caridad Svich is a US Latina playwright, translator, lyricist and editor whose works have been presented across the US and abroad at diverse venues including Denver Center Theatre, Mixed Blood Theatre, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, The Women's Project, Repertorio Espanol, INTAR, 59East59, McCarren Park Pool, 7 Stages, Salvage Vanguard Theatre, Teatro Mori (Santiago, Chile), ARTheater (Cologne), and Edinburgh Fringe Festival/UK. She has been short-listed for the PEN Award in Drama three times, including in the year 2010 for her play Instructions for Breathing. Among her key works: 12 Ophelias (a play with broken songs), Alchemy of Desire/Dead-Man's Blues, Any Place But Here, Iphigenia...a rave fable, Fugitive Pieces, The House of the Spirits (based on Isabel Allende’s novel), In the Time of the Butterflies (based on the novel by Julia Alvarez), Magnificent Waste, The Tropic of X and the multimedia collaboration The Booth Variations. She was recently profiled in American Theatre magazine. She has edited several books on theatre and performance including Trans-Global Readings and Theatre in Crisis?(both for Manchester University Press) and Divine Fire (BackStage Books). She has translated nearly all of Federico Garcia Lorca’s plays and some of his poems, and works by Julio Cortazar, Lope de Vega, Calderon de la Barca, Antonio Buero Vallejo and contemporary plays from Mexico, Cuba and Catalonia. Her works are published by TCG, Smith & Kraus, Playscripts, Arte Publico Press and more. She is alumna playwright of New Dramatists, founder of NoPassport theatre alliance & press, associate editor of Routledge/UK's Contemporary Theatre Review and contributing editor of TheatreForum. She’s been a Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study Fellow at Harvard University, NEA/TCG Playwright in Residence at the Mark Taper Forum Theatre, TCG/PEW Playwright in Residence at INTAR. She is a member of PEN American Center, The Dramatists Guild and is an entry in the Oxford Encyclopedia of Latino History. She trained for four years with Maria Irene Fornes, and also holds an MFA in Theatre-Playwriting from UCSD. Website: http://www.caridadsvich.com/
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Constance Congdon has been called "one of the best playwrights our country and our language has ever produced" by playwright Tony Kushner in Kushner's introduction to her collection Tales of the Lost Formicans and Other Plays. In addition to Tales of the Lost Formicans, which has had more than 200 productions, world-wide. Congdon's plays include: Casanova, Dog Opera, both produced at the Public Theatre, No Mercy (Humana Festival),Losing Father’s Body (Portland Stage (Maine), Lips, (Primary Stages), Native American, (Portland Stage (Maine), (Lyric Hammersmith Studio). Her latest play, Paradise Street, was most recently workshopped at the JAW Festival at Portland Stage in Oregon. Three commissions from the American Conservatory Theater: A Mother, starring Olympia Dukakis, a new verse version of The Misanthrope, and a new adaptation of The Imaginary Invalid, were all produced by ACT and have gone on to other productions. Also at ACT: Moontel Six, a commission by the A.C.T. Young Conservatory and subsequently performed at London's National Theatre, followed by another production of the two-act version at San Francisco’s Zeum and directed by Young Conservatory Director, Craig Slaight. The Automata Pietà, another YC commission, received its world premiere at San Francisco's Magic Theatre in 2002; Nightingales went to the Theatre Royale Bath’s Youth Theatre. Congdon’s No Mercy, and its companion piece, One Day Earlier; were part of the 2000 season devoted to Congdon at the Profile Theatre. She has also written a number of opera libretti and seven plays for the Children's Theatre Company of Minneapolis. The Children of the Elvi, Congdon's epic and NOT suitable for children, finally received its premiere at the Key City Public Theater in 2007. Congdon’s plays have been produced throughout the world, including Cairo and Berlin. Her plays are published, mainly, by Broadway Plays Publishing. Samuel French published Dog Opera. A collection of four of her plays has been published by TCG, Inc. Her new verse version of Tartuffe will be included in the next Norton Anthology of Drama, and is out in a single-volume Norton Critical edition. She’s been writing a long time and can thank the NEA, the Rockefeller Foundation, the W. Alton Jones Foundation, the Guggenheim Foundation, the Arnold Weisberger Award, the Berilla Kerr Award, and, most recently, The Helen Merrill Award for making this more possible. She’s an alum of New Dramatists, member of The Dramatists Guild and of PEN. Congdon has taught playwriting at the Yale School of Drama, but her home is as playwright-in-residence at Amherst College where she’s been teaching for a couple of decades.
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Mac Wellman’s recent plays are: Bitter Bierce, at P S 122; Jennie Richee, with the Ridge Theater, at The Arts at St Ann; Anything’s Dream at Mulhenberg College; and Antigone, with Big Dance Company at Dance Theater Workshop. He has published two novels with Sun & Moon Press: The Fortuneteller and Annie Salem; Sun & Moon also published A Shelf In Woop’s Clothing, a book of poems, From The Other Side Of The Century Ii, an anthology of plays (co-edited with Douglas Messerli), Two Plays: The Land Beyond The Forest, and CROWTET 1 And 2, the latter two volumes under the Green Integer imprint. Roof Books has recently published his Miniature, a book of poems. He has received numerous award: NEA, NYFA, Rockefeller, McNight and Guggenheim Fellowships. In 1990 he received an Obie for Best American Play (Bad Penny, Crowbar, and Terminal Hip). In 1991 He received another Obie for Sincerity Forever. He has received a Lila Wallace-Readers’ Digest Writers Award, and most recently the 2003 Obie for Lifetime Achievement. He is the Donald I. Fine Professor of Play Writing at Brooklyn College. http://www.macwellman.com/