Friday, August 7, 2009

Playwright Bios and Play Synopsis


Extraordinary Chambers

by David Wiener

Public Presentation -- Friday, August 14 at 8:00PM -- Ticket Price: $25

Wiener Photo

 Carter Dean brings his wife, Mara, with him on a business trip to Cambodia. He has no idea that she will become fast friends with the resident business "facilitator", Dr. Heng.  When Mara encounters a mysterious green-eyed child, Carter realizes their visit is about to become more than "just business". A new play about a marriage torn apart by loss; a business deal in a country devastated by horrific genocide; and a global deal dependent on a mysterious man with connections to the government and the Killing Fields.  A provocative  and timely new play about the ethics of survival.

David Wiener is a graduate of Duke University and Columbia University's Dramatic Writing Program.  His plays include Blood Orange, in vitro, and System Wonderland.  His work has been developed and produced by theatres in the United States and Britain that include The Cherry Lane, The Atlantic, The Almeida (UK), and The New Group. He is recipient of The Rosetti Fellowship, Lark Theater Fellowship


Entertaining a Thought: The Imagination Project

by Leslie Carrara-Rudolph

Public Presentation "Family Theatre Day" -- Saturday, August 15 at 1:00PM 

Leslie w/Lolly photo

Once upon a time there was a girl, Leslie, whose brain wouldn't let her sleep at night. So she takes it out of her head, puts it on a leash, and lets her mind wander. This whimsical musical play is narrated by a candy loving, red headed, sock puppet with four teeth named Lolly Lardpop.  With the help of her musical buddy, 88's, on the piano, they pop into the "thought bubble," gather up pink monkeys, a magic tutu, and some very large pants.  The first act is a hoopla of joy, silliness and lots of heart. The second act is a live interaction celebrating the imagination between audience, Leslie, and the puppets!

Leslie Carrara-Rudolph is an award-winning internationally-acclaimed performer/writer/puppeteer. She got her start puppeteering with the Jim Henson Company on Muppets Tonight and later toured with their improv group, Puppet Up. She currently performs the fairy puppet, Abby Cadabby, on "Sesame Street," for which she has been nominated for a 2009 Emmy Award as Outstanding Performer in a Children's Series.


The Motherf**ker with the Hat!

by Stephen Adly Guirgis

Public Presentation -- Saturday, August 15 at 8:00PM -- Ticket Price: $25

Gurgis Photo

 Out of jail, clean and sober, and home in New York City, Jackie is in crazy love. But Veronica, his lady, is not so clean and sober. But nothing can come between them ever -- except a hat. You see, there's this hat on their table. This hat is not Jackie's hat.  Then there's this gun Jackie borrows from the wrong person to shoot the hat. Events ricochet into wild complication. The path to true love is full of hair-raising twists, turns and collisions in this ferocious comedy of need and consequence; unbridled passion and brittle self-control.

Stephen Adly Guirgis is the Co-Artistic Director of New York City's LAByrinth Theater Company and has been a member since 1993.  His plays have been produced on five continents and throughout the U.S.  They include The Little Flower of East Orange (OPC 2007), Our Lady of 121st Street (Lucille Lortel, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle Best Play Nominations), Jesus Hopped the 'A' Train (Laurence Olivier Nomination for Best New Play, Barrymore Award), and The Last Days of Judas Iscariot (10 Best Time Magazine & Entertainment Weekly). His television work includes "NYPD Blue" and "The Sopranos."


Dusk Rings a Bell

by Stephen Belber

Public Presentation -- Saturday, August 15 at 4:00PM -- Ticket Price: $25


Belber Photo

A woman is mysteriously drawn to a deserted vacation home. She searches for a letter she wrote at thirteen to her future self with instructions on how to be "happy".  A man is back from jail. They come across one another on a wintry day. He claims to have known this woman way back when. Their entire lives are taken out for show and tell like glow-in-the-dark yo-yo's. And around and around they go, rising, falling and twirling to memories of first kisses, first love and the pains of growing up. A tender, funny and moving drama!

Stephen Belber's plays include Geometry of Fire, (Rattlestick Playwrights Theater), Tape, McReele (Roundabout/Broadway), and Match (Broadway, Tony nomination for Frank Langella). He was a writer and performer for both the stage and HBO film productions of "The Laramie Project" (Emmy nomination). He recently wrote and directed the feature film, "Management," starring Jennifer Aniston and Steve Zahn.


by Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig

Public Presentation -- Sunday, August 16 at 1:00PM -- Ticket Price: $25

Cowhig Photo

 Fifteen years ago Alice was an interrogator at Guantanamo. Thanks to drugs she has forgotten this traumatic time. But one detainee cannot forget. He tracks down Alice to get back his life. He demands a shocking payment for the damage she wreaked on his body and soul during their interrogations. A physical, visual, theatrical tour de force about the startling rituals employed to re-humanize a world losing sight of its common humanity.

 Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig won the 2009 Yale Drama Series Prize and the 2008 Glimmer Train New Writer's Award. She has been honored with grants from the Playwright's Center, Interact Theatre, Santa Fe Art Institute, the Ragdale Foundation and the MacDowell Colony.  She participated in Hedgebrook's Women Playwrights Festival and in 2009, her work will be appear at the Alley Theatre, Open Fist Theatre, and Yale Repertory Theatre.


How To Write A New Book For The Bible:

A play for an older actress

by Bill Cain

Public Presentation -- Sunday, August 16 at 4:00PM -- Ticket Price: $25

Cain Photo

 It has been several thousand years since anyone has added a new chapter to the family saga that is the Bible. Perhaps each family should write its own story and add it to the Bible in order to keep the story current. This is one family's entry. A poignant, penetrating comedy/drama about a mother who will let nothing, not even death, get in the way of her love for her two sons, whether they want it or not.  A touching, surprising story of the two sons' and their love for their mother to the very end. 

Bill Cain's Stand-up Tragedy premiered at the Mark Taper Forum and it went on to play on Broadway and around the country. Bill's other plays include Equivocation, which was developed at OPC and is being produced at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Seattle Repertory Theatre, and the Geffen Playhouse. For television, he has received the Writers Guild, Humanitas, Alma Awards, and a Peabody Award for the series, "Nothing Sacred".


Writers in Residence:


By Lisa Kron (writer) & Jeanine Tesori (composer) 

Lisa Kron and Jeanine Tesori are working on a musical adaptation of Alison Bechdel's acclaimed graphic novel, Fun Home. The book charts Alison's attempt to understand her father through the common and unspoken bond of their homosexuality. The New York Times wrote, "Fun Home, must be the most ingeniously compact, hyper-verbose example of autobiography to have been produced. It is a pioneering work, pushing two genres (comics and memoir) in multiple new directions with a seriousness, emotional complexity and innovation completely its own."



Ticket Price for Both Symposia -- $20


Symposium A: Tuesday, August 11 at 7:30

The American Musical: A Celebration

With Multiple Tony-nominee Jeanine Tesori

and other Musical Theatre Luminaries!!!

Great singers, composers and musicians perform some of the legendary and some of the newest musical material for the theatre. A magical, romantic and once in a lifetime evening of  musical entertainment!  Meet the 2009 Ojai playwrights in a discussion that will follow the performance. Jeanine is best known for such musicals as Shrek: The Musical, Caroline Or Change, and Violet.Thursday, August 13  7:30 PM

Symposium B: Thursday, August 13 at 7:30

An All-Star Evening of Solo Performance

An ensemble of the top solo performers in the country including Steve Connell, Sekou (tha Misfit), Lisa Kron, Mozhan Marno, Leslie Carrara-Randolph and Charlayne Woodard gather together to perform their best dramatic and comedic scenes. Take a journey from L.A. to the Middle East to Vietnam to Africa and back to Ojai in this highly charged and powerful evening of theatre. Meet the artists in a post-show discussion about theatrical creation and performance.

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