Meet the Alcyone 09 Playwrights
The Toymaker's War
Jennifer Fawcett was the National New Play Network Emerging Playwright-in-Residence at Curious Theatre Company in Denver for the 2008/09 Season. Originally from Canada, she is a graduate of the Iowa Playwrights’ Workshop. Productions in the US and Canada include Then After Water (Available Light Theatre, Columbus), goat show (Adirondack Theatre Festival, Glens Falls; Riverside Theatre, Iowa City; SummerWorks Festival, Toronto, Blyth Festival, Mutton Busting Performance/Art Festival, Calgary), The Echo (Theater Masters, Aspen; 59E59, New York) and The Disappearance of Janey Jones (Waterfront Theatre, Vancouver; Hatchery Festival, Washington DC; SummerWorks Theatre Festival, Toronto; Canadian Fringe Festival tour). She is the winner of the KCACTF National Science Playwriting Award for The Atlas of Mud (previously called Twenty Moments in the Space Between. Her work has been developed and presented at the Kennedy Center, Cultural Conversations (Penn State), The New Bridges Fest (Theater Masters, Aspen; Palm Beach Dramaworks), the NNPN National Showcase of New Plays (Orlando), University of Kansas (American College Theatre Festival), Central Square Theatre (Boston), The Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, and Curious Theatre Company (Denver).
EM Lewis is the winner of the 2009 Harold and Mimi Steinberg/ATCA New Play Award for Song of Extinction and the 2008 Francesca Primus Prize for an emerging woman theater artist for Heads. Her plays have been produced across the country. In 2007, LA Stage Magazine selected Lewis as one of twelve Los Angeles theater “artists to watch” as two of her full-length plays received their world premieres. Heads received its world premiere at the Blank Theater; the Los Angeles Times named it one of the top ten productions of 2007. Lewis is a member of Moving Arts Theatre Company, the Dramatists Guild, the International Centre for Women Playwrights and the Alliance of LA Playwrights. She lives in Santa Monica, California now – but she’s from Oregon.
For more info, visit her website: dramatistsguildweb.com/members/emlewis
Bounty of Lace
Susan Merson has been involved as actress/writer with new plays and playwrights since the early 70’s she has several solo pieces to her credit (as writer/ performer) (Reflections of a China Doll, Clarice Cohen's Tribal Tales of Love, (JWTP Commission), The Loves of Shirley Abramowitz Etc.) as well as full length and one act plays that have been performed nationally.
Susan has served as the Producing Director of the Jewish Women’s Theatre Project, Artistic Director of the Streisand Festival, Associate Producer at the Fountain Theatre and co founder and chief moderator (15 years) of the LA Writers Bloc, established with award winning writers Jane Anderson and Donald Margulies. She maintains an active teaching schedule at both Cal State University Fullerton and in private classes.Susan received her MFA in Creative Writing from Goddard College in Vermont.
She won a Best Actress Award in performance with colleague Sherry Glaser’s solo piece, Family Secrets. She has served as Resident Playwright for the Jewish Women’s Theatre Project in Los Angeles, California. Her JWTP commissions continue to be seen across the country in venues such as A Traveling Jewish Theater, Theatricum Botanicum, The Perishable Theater Company, Judith Shakespeare Company etc.
Her screenplay Swimming Upstream is under option to Jimola Productions. Her book Your Name Here: An Actor and Writer's Guide to Solo Performance is now available at Amazon.com and your local bookstore.
Susan moved to Los Angeles from 17 years in the New York theatre where she appeared on, off and off off Broadway in such plays as Children of a Lesser God, in the original company of Vanities and the Zefirelli production of Saturday, Sunday, Monday. Since moving to LA she has appeared in numerous television shows, plays and in the film casts of Lost in Yonkers (Aunt Gert), Things to Do in Denver When You're Dead, Phenomenon and Terminator 3!
The Black Eyed
Betty Shamieh’s plays include The Black Eyed (New York Theatre Workshop, Theatre Fournos of Athens), Roar (The New Group), The Machine (Naked Angels), Chocolate in Heat (NYC Fringe) and Territories (Magic Theatre). In 2009, her work will have European premieres in translation at Playhouse Teater (Sweden), Het Zuidelijk Toneel (Holland), and a co-production of the Landes Theatre and European Union’s Capital of Culture Festival (Austria). She has been awarded a National Endowment for the Arts grant, Sundance Theatre Institute residency, New Dramatists Van Lier Fellowship, Rockefeller Foundation residency, and a playwriting fellowship at Harvard University's Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Studies. Her play As Soon As Impossible was commissioned by Second Stage as part of the Time Warner Commissioning Program. A graduate of Harvard and the Yale School of Drama, Shamieh was the 2004-2005 Harvard University Clifton Visiting Artist.
Astrid Saalbach was trained as an actress at the Danish National School of Theatre from 1975 to 1978. She made her debut as a dramatist in 1981 with the radio play Tracks in the Sand (Spor i sandet) she continued to write more radio plays, as well as the television play A Fading World (En verden der blegner). She commenced her career as a novelist with The Face of the Moon (Månens ansigt), as a series of confident, dense short stories. This body of work was followed by four novels, all about women who live alone or in relationships with no strings attached. Saalbach’s style is porous and suggestive with a gentle, undaunted ability to bring forth some of the most delicate problems of our time.
Saalbach continued her innovative writing with additional radio and television plays, for which she received the Nordic Radio play Award in 1983, as well as her dramas for the stage including The Invisible City (Den usynlige by) and The Dance Hour (Dansetimen). Her trilogy Morning and Evening (Morgen og aften); Blessed Child (Det velsignede barn); and Ashes to Ashes Dust to Dust (Aske til aske støv til støv), has made her the most popular dramatist of her generation.
Saalbach is a dramatist that challenges the audience with fundamental questions about the modern way of life. Using extremely sophisticated and often surprising theatrical forms she expands the naturalistic structure with succinct and aesthetically astute dialogue. In her later plays, she also works with absurd and grotesque scenes as the reasons for her characters’ actions become increasingly ambiguous. The audience’s task is to answer for themselves the questions raised in these dramas. Saalbach’s work forces the viewer into the role of active interpreter.
Saalbach has received several awards and bursaries including the Danish dramatist’s honour award and the lifelong grant of the Danish art fund. With her play The Cold Heart (Det kolde hjerte) she received the Wilhelm Hansen Foundation Award for Best Drama. The play The End of the World (Verdens ende) won Saalbach the Nordic Dramatist award in 2004, as well as the Reumert Award for Best Dramatist. Her latest play Pieta has been performed in Denmark, Sweden and Norway.
Ninna was born in Sweden and grew up there. Five of her plays have been produced by professional Theatre companies in Sweden. Cannibals, Kilen 2001, The Ice-Skaters Teater Giljotin 2002, Under the darkening sky, Ung Scen Öst, Östgötaeataren 2003/04, Loss Teater Giljotin 2004, In the animals eyes Dalateatern 2006. In the animals eyes also won an award in a Norweigan play competion, arranged by Det Norske Teatret in Oslo, 2004. Fucking Parasites was Ninna’s first play written in English, which she wrote living in New Zealand 2007. The play was awarded Playmarket’s New Play Award the same year. Her most recent play Beyond measure will be produced in Sweden by Teater Komet 2009. Ninna has also worked as a dramaturg for professional theatre companies in Sweden. She’s currently working on a book for 10-12 year olds, Just feelings, for a Swedish publishing company.