Cover design and art by Peggy Klineman

Facing Forward

Leah D Frank, Editor, Adele Edling Shank, Lee Hunkins, Constance Congdon, Megan Terry, Janet Neipris, Helen Duberstein, Roma Greth, Lynda Sturner, Neena Beber, Lenore Bensinger, Karen Sunde, Katy Dierlam, Rebecca Ritchie, Lavonne Mueller, Y York, June Siegel, Judy GeBauer, Nancy Rhodes, D Lee Miller, Sally Ordway, Sherry Kramer, Sally Dixon Wiener, Lynn Nottage, Susan Miller, Staci Swedeen, María Irene Fornés, Christina Cocek, Sybille Pearson, Sally Nemeth, Laura Quinn, Wendy Wasserstein
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This collection includes 34 one acts and monologues by notable American women playwrights. 67201 by Adele Edling Shank: Love and fantasy in the afternoon. THE BEST OF STRANGERS by Lee Hunkins: Two women sharing a hospital room cope with breast cancer, husbands, and racial barriers. BOARDERS by Constance Congdon: Three short plays about apartment dwellers, with an epilogue by their landlady. BREAKFAST SERIAL by Megan Terry: A child abuser meets his match. BRUSSELS SPROUTS by Janet Neipris: Former lovers meet under very different circumstances the second time around. THE CORD AND THE TRACK by Helen Duberstein: Two older men discuss younger women. CURTAIN CALL by Roma Greth: An actress balances on an emotional tightrope strung between approaching retirement and a fading career. THE DEATH OF HUEY NEWTON by Lynda Sturner: A couple reflect on the twists and turns their lives have taken since their 1960s glory days. DRY SMOKE by Adele Edling Shank: The story behind a fatal fire. FOOD by Neena Beber: Two women are starving for something, anything, that might provide fulfillment. THE GHOST STORY by Lenore Bensinger: The title hints at half of it; the other half involves a psychic advisor, a couple of children, a golden retriever, double fudge brownies, and the C.I.A. HAITI (A DREAM) by Karen Sunde: The plight of a Haitian family aboard a rickety boat seeking their dream of America. HALFWAY by Roma Greth: There is a question as to who is the inmate and who is the attendant in this halfway house for mental patients. HELEN MELON AT THE SIDESHOW by Katy Dierlam: The carnival “Fat Lady” delivers a monologue. IN THE BEGINNING by Rebecca Ritchie: Lilith shares with Eve a few eye-opening tidbits about Adam. JIM’S COMMUTER AIRLINES by Lavonne Mueller: Two pilots undergo trauma when one’s mother decides to fly incognito on the rickety airline he owns. LIFE GAP by Y York: A story about a very poor family and the do-gooder who wants to help them. METAMORPHOSES by June Siegel: Life changes experienced by three women. THE NIP AND THE BITE by Judy GeBauer: A brief, explosive story of American violence on Mexican soil. OCEAN DREAM by Nancy Rhodes: A young woman recovers her childhood during an afternoon on the beach. ORIGAMI TEARS by D Lee Miller: The love/hate relationship of an older married couple coming to terms with the husband’s death. PANICKED by Sally Ordway: A performance artist’s witty examination of life turns into a howl of help to alien beings. A PERMANENT SIGNAL by Sherry Kramer: The famous Siren sisters step down from the heavens to harvest the sweetness they planted eons before. The crop is not what they expected. A PLACE WHERE LOVE IS by Sally Dixon Wiener: A terminally ill father and his daughters struggle to understand one another. POOF! By Lynn Nottage: The laws of the universe tumble when a meek woman finally speaks up. REPAIRS by Susan Miller: Finishing a basement is either a neurotic retreat from reality or a way of patching up the cracks. THE SLEEP SEEKER by Staci Swedeen: A woman struggles with unbearable memories. SPRINGTIME by María Irene Fornés: The eternal story of love and betrayal. STEPPING OFF A CLOUD by Christina Cocek: A comedy about getting it together. TRIPS by Sally Ordway: Two women pass their time on the porch of a retirement home by counting passing cars. WATCHING THE DOG by Sybille Pearson: A play within a play set in a veterinarian’s office. WATER PLAY by Sally Nemeth: The rain will not stop. Rising seas reclaim the land. In a loft barely above the water line, scientist Evangeline tracks the deluge, while locked in a love triangle with fellow researchers Jack and Dresden. But this apocalyptic world holds its own logic, and Evangeline finds resolution in evolution: while drowning himself, Jack learns to breathe water. WELL DONE POETS by Laura Quinn: A math major, a biology major, and an economics major explore feminist poetry with the help of several pitchers of beer. WORKOUT by Wendy Wasserstein: A running commentary on, to, and about a woman’s life and her exercise routine.

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About the Author


  • Neena Beber

    Neena Beber's A COMMON VISION and THE BRIEF BUT EXEMPLARY LIFE OF THE LIVING GODDESS both premiered at the Magic Theatre; TOMORROWLAND at New Georges and subsequently Theatre J in Washington, D.C.; FAILURE TO THRIVE at Padua Hills Playwrights Festival. One acts ADAPTIVE RUSE, DEPARTURES and SENSATION(S) at HB Playwrights Foundation; ACTS OF DESIRE, collected shorts, Watermark Theatre. Her plays THIRST and HARD FEELINGS were developed at Ojai Playwrights Conference, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Otterbein and the Public Theater's New Work Now. Additional credits include and Amblin Commission from Playwrights Horizons, A.S.K. Exchange to The Royal Court, and a Distinguished Alumni Award from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts. Bad Dates, a film, is based on her one-act play, Food. Beber holds a B.A. from Harvard. She is a member of New Dramatists.

  • Lenore Bensinger

    Lenore Bensinger's plays have been produced in Seattle, California, Canada, and St. Louis. She has worked as a dramaturg in most Seattle area theaters, with a special fondness for new plays. She worked at the Empty Space and The Group, co-founded Rain City Projects, produced the first US Fringe Festival locally, "On the Fringe."

  • Christina Cocek

    Christina Cocek is the author of STEPPING OFF A CLOUD.

  • Constance Congdon

    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 worldwide, Congdon's plays include: CASANOVA, DOG OPERA, NO MERCY, LOSING FATHER'S BODY, LIPS and NATIVE AMERICAN. PARADISE STREET, was produced in Los Angeles and Amherst. 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. Also at ACT: MOONTEL SIX, a commission by the ACT Young Conservatory and subsequently performed at London's National Theatre, followed by another production of the two-act version at San Francisco's ZEUM. 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 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, play received its premiere at the Key City Public Theater in 2007. Congdon's plays have been produced throughout the world, including Cairo, Tokyo and Berlin. Her new verse version of TARTUFFE is in a single-volume Norton Critical edition and in the Norton Anthology of Drama. In 2013, Congdon was the Honored Playwright at the GPTC and had a fully-staged workshop of her play about the water crisis in the West, TAKE ME TO THE RIVER. Her recent play HAIR OF THE DOG is about Shakespeare and Marlowe. Her most recent play, ENEMY SKY, is about drones, Islamaphobia, and late-in-life love. Congdon has received three NEA grants, two Rockefeller grants (one for Bellagio), an Albert Sloan grants for TAKE ME TO THE RIVER, The Berilla Kerr Award, Helen Merrill Award, The Albert Weissberger Award, New York Newsday's Oppenheimer Award for Best New Play in NYC, New England Theater Conference Award for Distinguished Service to the Theater (2004), two Great Plains Theater Conference Awards, one for Distinguished Service to the Theater and the other as the 2013 Honored Playwright. She is an alumnus of New Dramatists, The Playwright's Center of Minneapolis, and a current member of The Dramatists Guild and PEN. Congdon has taught playwriting at the Yale School of Drama, but her home is as playwright-in-residence at Amherst College where she has taught playwriting for 25 years. Her work is published by Norton, TCG, Inc, but mostly by Broadway Play Publishing.

  • Katy Dierlam

    Katy Dierlam was an actress best known for Shadows and Fog (1991), Bugs Bunny's Lunar Tunes (1991), and Beloved (1998).

  • Helen Duberstein

    Helen Duberstein's novel, The Dream Of Rewards, was nominated for the Pushcart Press Tenth Annual Editors Award. Her fiction, poetry, reviews, and articles have appeared in the New Republic, The Village Voice, Commentary, Liberation, and other publications. She participated in the early formation of the Living Theatre, was a member of the Circle Repertory Theatre Company, and worked with the Theatre for the New City. Her plays have been performed by major experimental companies throughout the United States, Europe and South America. The Shameless Old Lady, her latest book of poetry, has been adapted as a performance piece with music and dance. She has also published a book of short stories, Shadow Self & Other Tales.

  • María Irene Fornés

    Fornés was born on May 14, 1930, in Havana, Cuba, to Carlos Luis and Carmen Hismenia Fornés. After her father died in 1945, she moved with her mother and sister to the United States, becoming a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1951. From 1954 to 1957, Fornés lived in Paris, studying to become a painter. However, after attending a French production of Samuel Beckett's WAITING FOR GODOT, Fornés decided to devote her creative energies toward playwriting. Upon returning to the United States, she worked for three years as a textile designer in New York City. THE WIDOW, Fornés's first professionally produced play, was staged in 1961. Fornés acted as the director for many of her subsequent works, including THERE! YOU DIED (1963; later retitled TANGO PALACE, 1964), THE SUCCESSFUL LIFE OF 3: A SKIT IN VAUDEVILLE (1965), and MOLLY'S DREAM (1968), among others. In 1973 she founded the New York Theatre Strategy, which was devoted to the production of stylistically innovative theatrical works. Fornés has held teaching and advisory positions at several universities and theatrical festivals, such as the Theatre for the New City, the Padua Hills Festival, and the INTAR (International Arts Relations) program in New York City. She received eight Obie awards — in such categories as distinguished playwriting and direction and best new play — for PROMENADE (1965), THE SUCCESSFUL LIFE OF 3, FEFU AND HER FRIENDS, THE DANUBE (1982), MUD, SARITA (1984), THE CONDUCT OF LIFE, and ABINGDON SQUARE (1987). Fornés received numerous other awards and grants for her oeuvre, including Rockefeller Foundation Grants in 1971 and 1984, a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1972, National Endowments for the Arts grants in 1974, 1984, and 1985, an American Academy and Institute of Letters and Arts Award in Literature in 1986, and a Playwrights U.S.A. Award in 1986. She also produced several original translations and adaptations of such plays as Federico Garcia Lorca's BLOOD WEDDING (1980), Pedro Calderón de la Barca's LIFE IS A DREAM (1981), Virgilio Piñera's COLD AIR (1985), and Anton Chekhov's UNCLE VANYA (1987). She died in New York City on October 30, 2018.

  • Leah D Frank

    Leah D Frank graduated from Queen Anne High School in Seattle, WA, in 1962, then moved to Germany where her father was Exec Officer at Landsthul Army Medical Center. In 1965 she moved to New York City and graduated Summa Cum Laude from Fordham University at Lincoln Center. She has been involved with theater in one way or another for most of her life, primarily as a drama critic. She was the first woman to write drama criticism on a regular basis for The New York Times and wrote weekly for the Sunday edition's Long Island Section for several years. She also taught various English/drama/film courses at Columbia and Fordham Universities. Her book Facing Forward was published by Broadway Play Publishing.

  • Judy GeBauer

    Judy GeBauer has had plays performed at the Philadelphia Festival Theatre, the Long Wharf Theatre, the Irish Arts Center, the Chocolate Bayou Theatre, Modern Muse Theatre Company, and has had four scripts presented at the O'Neill Playwrights Conference. Among her awards are the HBO Writing Award, the Dennis McIntyre Playwriting Award, the Denver Post Ovation Award, and an Innovation Award from the Colorado Federation for the Arts. She has received grants from the W. Alton Jones Foundation, the Steinberg Charitable Trust, and the Denver Women's Press (Grand Citation), and a residency at the Djerassi Artists Colony. Her plays include THE HIDDEN ONES, BOBBY SANDS, MP, MAGICIAN REVERSED, THE NIP AND THE BITE, MRS. PLENTY HORSES and EVERY SECRET THING. Her monologues appear in Heinemann Books' From the Road, Baseball Monologues, and Elvis Monologues. Ms. GeBauer was playwright-in-residence at the Denver Center Theatre Company in 1995, and is an alumna of the Denver Center Playwrights Unit. She is a recipient of the Beverly Hills Theatre Guild's Julie Harris Playwriting Award and first prize in the Dubuque Fine Arts One Act Play Festival.

  • Roma Greth

    Roma Greth is an American playwright and author. Her plays include NARCISSUS, WORMS, THE AMERICAN WAR WOMEN, CASSIOPEA, CURTAIN CALL, HALFWAY, THE HEAVEN MOTHER, POTTSTOWN CARNIVAL, NOVEMBER PEOPLE, WINDFALL APPLES, QUALITY OF MERCY, and FOUR LANES TO JERSEY. Greth's work has been produced at Expressionist NY, WPA NY, The Aspen Playwrights Conference, The New York Shakespeare Festival, Actor's Place, Syracuse Stage, Playwrights Horizons, and The O'Neill Theatre Center's Playwrights Conference. In addition to writing plays, Greth has written short stories and worked in advertising.

  • Lee Hunkins

    Lee Hunkins's stage works include FREEDOM IS MY MIDDLE NAME (Open Eye Theater); THE BEST OF STRANGERS and SEQUESTERED (American Folk Theatre); ANYBODY I WANT TO BE and JUST ONE STEP (Plays for Living); REVIVAL (Family Classics Theatre); and THE DOLLS (Afro American Total Theatre). Television productions include Hollow Image, a two-hour teleplay for ABC-TV; The Sign Painter's Dream, Uncle Jed's Barbershop, and Always My Dad (PBS Reading Rainbow Series). Published works include THE BEST OF STRANGERS (Broadway Play Publishing); FREEDOM IS MY MIDDLE NAME (Dramatic Publishing); and REVIVAL (Sea Urchin Press). Hunkins is the recipient of a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship and two Emmy nominations. She is a member of the Writers Guild of America, East; The Dramatists Guild; the League of Professional Theatre Women and New York Women in Film and Television..

  • Sherry Kramer

    Sherry Kramer's work has been seen at theaters across the country and abroad, including the Humana Festival at the Actors Theatre of Louisville, Yale Repertory Theatre, Soho Rep, Ensemble Studio Theatre, New York's Second Stage, Woolly Mammoth, and The Theater of the First Amendment. She holds an MFA in Fiction from the Iowa Writers Workshop, and an MFA in Playwriting from the Iowa Playwrights Workshop. She was the first national member of New Dramatists. She is also an affiliated writer at The Playwright's Center. She is a recipient of NEA, New York Foundation for the Arts and McKnight Fellowships, the Weissberger Playwriting Award, and a New York Drama League Award (WHAT A MAN WEIGHS), the LA Women in Theater New Play Award (THE WALL OF WATER), the Jane Chambers Playwriting Award (DAVID'S REDHAIRED DEATH), and commissions from The Moscow Arts Theatre/Iowa International Workshop (THE DREAM HOUSE) and the Audrey Skirball Kenis Foundation (THE MAD MASTER). Other plays include: WHEN SOMETHING WONDERFUL ENDS, HOW WATER BEHAVES, THINGS THAT BREAK, A THING OF BEAUTY, ABOUT SPONTANEOUS COMBUSTION, NAPOLEON'S CHINA (music theatre piece with Ann Haskell and Rebecca Newton), THE MASTER AND MARGARITA (music theatre adaptation with composer Margaret Pine), THE RELEASE OF A LIVE PERFORMANCE, PARTIAL OBJECTS, THE WORLD AT ABSOLUTE ZERO, HOLD FOR THREE, CAKE, NANO AND NICKI IN BOCA RATON, IVANHOE, AMERICA, THE LONG ARMS OF JUPITER, THE RULING PASSION, THE END OF RADIO, THE LAW MAKES EVENING FALL, and THE BAY OF FUNDY: AN ADAPTATION OF ONE LINE FROM THE MAYOR OF CASTERBRIDGE.

  • D Lee Miller

    D Lee Miller is a playwright. Her plays include THE RECIPE and ORIGAMI TEARS.

  • Susan Miller

    Susan Miller is an Obie Award–winning playwright and Guggenheim Fellow whose work includes the critically acclaimed one-woman play MY LEFT BREAST (Obie), which premiered in Louisville's Humana Festival. Her play A MAP OF DOUBT AND RESCUE won The Susan Smith Blackburn Prize. She also received an Obie for NASTY RUMORS AND FINAL REMARKS. Her work has been produced by The Public Theatre, Second Stage, Mark Taper Forum, and Naked Angels, among others. A consulting producer/writer on The L Word and Thirtysomething, Miller was honored as one of Power Up's 2009 "Amazing Gay Women In Show Business." Susan is the Executive Producer and writer, with Tina Cesa Ward, of the award–winning drama web series Anyone But Me which can be seen on as well as Hulu and YouTube. For her work on Anyone But Me, Miller, along with Tina Cesa Ward, won the Writers Guild of America Award for Outstanding Achievement in Writing Original New Media, the first of its kind ever presented. She is also the creator/writer/producer of Bestsellers, a new dramedy webseries, sponsored by SFNGroup, which can be seen at

  • Lavonne Mueller

    Lavonne Mueller's play LETTERS TO A DAUGHTER FROM PRISON, about Nehru and his daughter, Indira, was produced at the First International Festival of the Arts in New York City and went on to tour in India. Her play VIOLENT PEACE was produced in London and was the "Critics Choice" in Time Out Magazine. Her play LITTLE VICTORIES, directed by Bryna Wortman, was produced by the Women's Project in New York City and was later produced in Tokyo by Theatre Classic Productions and directed by Riho Mitachi. Her play THE ONLY WOMAN GENERAL, directed by Bryna Wortman, was produced by the Women's Project in New York City and starred Colleen Dewhurst and later went on to the Edinburgh Festival where it was "Pick of the Fringe" by the Scotland critics. She was awarded the Roger Stevens Playwriting Award which she received at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. She is a Woodrow Wilson Scholar, a Lila Wallace Reader's Digest Writing Fellow, and has received a Guggenheim Grant, a Rockefeller Grant, three National Endowment for the Arts Grants, a Fulbright to Argentina, an Asian Culture Council Grant to Calcutta, and a U.S. Friendship Commission Grant to Japan. Her plays have been published by Dramatists Play Service, Samuel French, Applause Books, Performing Arts Journal, Theatre Communication Group, Heinemann Books, and Baker's Plays. Her textbook, Creative Writing, published by Doubleday and The National Textbook Company, is used by students around the world. She taught at Columbia University for five years. As a Woodrow Wilson Visiting Scholar, she has helped colleges around the United States set up writing programs. She has been an Arts America speaker for the USIS (United States Information Service) in India, Finland, Romania, Japan, the former Yugoslavia, and Norway. She was a Fulbright Fellow to Jordan and also received a National Endowment for the Humanities Grant to do research in Paris. She has been a writing fellow at the Edward Albee Foundation, the Djerassi Foundation, Hawthorden Castle in Scotland and Funduncio Valperasio in Spain.

  • Janet Neipris

    Janet Neipris's plays have been produced at major theatres in the U.S. and internationally, including the National Theatre, London, Manhattan Theatre Club, New York, The Women's Project, Goodman Theatre, Chicago, Arena Stage, D.C., Studio Theatre, D.C., Center Stage, Baltimore, Pittsburgh Public Theatre, Milwaukee Rep., the Annenberg Center, Philadelphia, and The China Youth Arts Theatre, Beijing. Her awards include two NEA's in playwriting, two Rockefeller Grants to Bellagio, 1990, for A SMALL DELEGATION, about Americans in China the year before Tiananmen Square, and in 2004, A QUESTION OF COUNTRY, based on a true story about the friendship between a black woman and a white woman during apartheid and the impossibility of it post-apartheid. Other awards include a USIA Grant, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts Fellowship, 1995-2000, O'Neill Center Playwright in Residence, 2002. In 2004 she received a New York University Faculty Research Grant to visit South Africa to research a new play, and in 2008, a New York University Presidential Fellowship for her play about South Africa. Her first agent was the fierce Helen Merrill. The second was the marvelous Lois Berman. She is currently well represented by the good Patricia McLaughlin at Beacon Artists Agency. Janet Neipris is the author of STATUES, EXHIBITION, THE BRIDGE AT BELHARBOUR, BRUSSELS SPROUTS, SUNDAY AT FIVE ON THE COTE D'AZUR, ACTS OF LOVE, OUT OF ORDER, 703 WALK HILL, ALMOST IN VEGAS, NATIVES, LOOK MA WE'RE DANCING, AFTER MARSEILLES, THE AGREEMENT, A SMALL DELEGATION (original music by Tan Dun, set design by Ming Cho Lee), and A QUESTION OF COUNTRY. She has also written for film, BBC, and the NPR's Earplay Series. A composer, she wrote the score and co-authored the book and lyrics for the children's musical JEREMY AND THE THINKING MACHINE, which was produced by the National Theatre, London. She also composed an original score for DEATH OF A SALESMAN, at the Sharon, Ct. Playhouse, music for Paul Celan's BLACK MILK OF MORNING, NOTES ON A LIFE, music and lyrics, Women's Project, NYC, and music for Circle Repertory Theatre, where she was an original member. Anthologies include Contemporary Women Playwrights and Best Short Plays. She was keynote speaker at the Prindle Institute for Ethics, DePauw University, on The Moral Responsibility of the Artist. She is currently working on a book of collected short stories, Blue Hills. As Chair of Graduate Playwriting and Screenwriting, Department of Dramatic Writing, NYU's Tisch School of the Arts, she has educated some of the country's leading playwrights and screenwriters. Her book To Be a Playwright (Routledge Publishers) is used widely in universities. Master Class in Dramatic Writing is forthcoming from Routledge Publishers in 2016. She has taught playwrights and screenwriters in China, Indonesia, Florence, Prague, London, and South Africa. She is a member of Writer's Guild of America East, PEN, and served on the Dramatists Guild Council Tony Committee, and founded and chaired their Dramatists Guild Fellows Program. Her plays are published by Broadway Play Publishing and Samuel French. Her plays and letters are in the Harvard University Houghton Theatre Collection.

  • Sally Nemeth

    Born in Chicago in 1959, Sally Nemeth was an award-winning playwright and screenwriter. Her plays have been produced by theaters throughout the English-speaking world. Published plays include HOLY DAYS, MILL FIRE, WATER PLAY, and SALLY'S SHORTS. Since beginning her television career writing for the hit NBC TV show Law & Order, she had written for every major television network and produced the documentary film Long Story Short. Her novel for young adults, The Heights, the Depths and Everything in Between, is published by Knopf/Yearling. She lived in Indiana, Delaware, Alabama, New York City and Los Angeles. She passed away in 2021.

  • Lynn Nottage

    Lynn Nottage is a Pulitzer Prize–winning playwright and a screenwriter. Her plays have been produced widely in the United States and throughout the world. They include SWEAT; BY THE WAY, MEET VERA STARK (Lily Award, Drama Desk Nomination); RUINED (Pulitzer Prize, OBIE, Lucille Lortel, New York Drama Critics' Circle, Audelco, Drama Desk, and Outer Critics Circle Award); INTIMATE APPAREL (American Theatre Critics and New York Drama Critics' Circle Awards for Best Play); FABULATION, OR THE RE-EDUCATION OF UNDINE (OBIE Award); CRUMBS FROM THE TABLE OF JOY; LAS MENINAS; MUD, RIVER, STONE; POR'KNOCKERS; and POOF! She is currently developing a new play and multimedia performance installation based on two years of research and interviews conducted in Reading, PA. (w Oregon Shakespeare, Arena Stage & Labyrinth Theatre Company). In addition, she is working with composer Ricky Ian Gordon on adapting her play INTIMATE APPAREL into an opera (commissioned by The Met/LCT). She is the co-founder of the production company Market Road Films, whose most recent projects include The Notorious Mr. Bout directed by Tony Gerber and Maxim Pozdorovkin (Premiere/Sundance 2014), First to Fall directed by Rachel Beth Anderson (Premiere/ IDFA, 2013) and Remote Control (Premiere/Busan 2013- New Currents Award). Over the years, she has developed original projects for HBO, Sidney Kimmel Entertainment, Showtime, This is That and Harpo. Nottage is the recipient of a MacArthur "Genius Grant" Fellowship, Steinberg "Mimi" Distinguished Playwright Award, the Dramatists Guild Hull-Warriner Award, the inaugural Horton Foote Prize, Helen Hayes Award, the Lee Reynolds Award, and the Jewish World Watch iWitness Award. Her other honors include the National Black Theatre Fest's August Wilson Playwriting Award, a Guggenheim Grant, PEN/Laura Pels Award, Lucille Lortel Fellowship and Visiting Research Fellowship at Princeton University. She is a graduate of Brown University and the Yale School of Drama, where she has been a faculty member since 2001. She is also an Associate Professor in the Theatre Department at Columbia School of the Arts. Nottage is a board member for Theatre Communications Group, BRIC Arts Media Bklyn, Donor Direct Action, Second Stage, The New Black Fest, and the Dramatists Guild. She has completed a three-year term as an Artist Trustee on the Board of the Sundance Institute.

  • Sally Ordway

    Sally Ordway is an American playwright and librettist. She attended the Yale Drama School as an undergraduate and earned her Masters of Fine Arts in theatre from Hunter College in New York City. Ordway's plays have been produced Off-Broadway and regionally, most notably through the Eugene O'Neill Playwrights Conference. She has also been a fellow at McDowell Colony and the Edward Albee Foundation

  • Sybille Pearson

    Sybille Pearson wrote the book for the musical BABY for which she received a Tony nomination. A revised version of BABY was presented at The Papermill Playhouse in 2004. She has written the book for the musical adaptation of Edna Ferber's novel Giant, music and lyrics by Michael John LaChiusa. Ms. Pearson and Mr. LaChiusa have recently been commissioned by the Metropolitan Opera to write an original opera. She is the author of the plays: SALLY AND MARSHA , PHANTASIE, WATCHING THE DOG, UNFINISHED STORIES, which was selected for publication in American Theatre Magazine, TRUE HISTORY AND REAL ADVENTURE a play with music (composer Mel Marvin), BE BOLD, a play commissioned by the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles on the life of Salka Viertel and PROMISE ME, a play on the life of the pianist Mona Golabek produced by the Mark Taper Forum. She has won the Berrilla Kerr Award for Playwriting, the Daryl Roth Creative Spirit Award, has been a recipient of a Rockefeller Playwrights Fellowship, a Ucross Fellowship, a participant at the O'Neill Playwrights Conference, the Sundance Playwrights Conference and the Sundance Theater Lab. She is a founding member of The Playwrights Circle at The New York Theatre Workshop and an Artistic Resident at the Vineyard Theater in New York City. She is a Panelist for the O'Neill Musical Theater Conference, and a member of the Dramatists Guild.

  • Laura Quinn

    Laura Quinn is the author of the play WELL DONE POETS.

  • Nancy Rhodes

    Nancy Rhodes is a librettist and Artistic Director of Encompass New Opera Theatre in New York, which she founded in 1975. A champion of American opera, Ms. Rhodes staged the world premiere of Kirke Mechem's TARTUFFE for San Francisco Opera, Virgil Thomson's LORD BYRON at Alice Tully Hall, new operas for the Brooklyn Philharmonic Orchestra and Pittsburgh Opera Theatre. Internationally, she directed DEATH IN VENICE (Stockholm), CARMEN (Oslo), HAPPY END (Finland), KISS ME KATE (Ankara, filmed for TV), WEST SIDE STORY (Istanbul), and ECCENTRICS, OUTCASTS AND VISIONARIES: A CENTURY OF AMERICAN OPERA for the Holland Festival (Amsterdam). At Encompass she staged over 50 operas, including Virgil Thomson's THE MOTHER OF US ALL, Blitzstein's REGINA, Britten's PHAEDRA, and Antheil's TRANSATLANTIC. She co-conceived/directed ONLY HEAVEN with composer Ricky Ian Gordon, with poetry by Langston Hughes. Her acclaimed production of Grigori Frid's opera THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANK toured to Cleveland Opera. As Vice President/U.S. Delegate to the International Theatre Institute, Rhodes has conducted workshops and been a guest speaker in Italy, Sweden, Germany, Venezuela, Argentina, Korea, Holland, Russia, the Czech Republic, and Estonia. In June 2004, she was invited to direct the first American musical ever staged in the country of Albania at the National Opera House and filmed for television. She is currently the commissioned librettist of THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING, a new opera inspired by physics' superstring theory of multiple dimensions and alternative universes.

  • Rebecca Ritchie

    Rebecca Ritchie (1951 – 2009) was a playwright. RACHEL CALOF, a play for children, was Ritchie's 12th work for the stage. Her COMEDY BUYING A BRASSIERE was a 2001 finalist in Actors Theatre of Louisville's National Ten-Minute Play Contest. THE SHIVA QUEEN and A PERSONAL EXCHANGE were produced by the Jewish Ensemble Theatre, Bloomfield, Mich. Her comedy/drama THE CRUSTACEAN WALTZ was co-winner of the 1998 Helen Mintz Award for Playwriting Excellence and winner of Artvoice magazine's Artie Award for outstanding new play of the 1998 – 1999 Western New York season. AN UNORTHODOX ARRANGEMENT won the new play "Artie" for the 1995 – 1996 season and the Dorothy Silver Playwriting Competition of the Mandel Jewish Community Center of Cleveland. Ritchie's one-act comedy IN THE BEGINNING was published in Facing Forward, an anthology of one acts and monologues by women (Frank, Leah, ed., Broadway Play Publishing, 1995). It has been included in the American Literature Syllabus at the University of Oviedo, Spain. Excerpts from Ritchie's plays have appeared in Best Stage Scenes of 1997, Best Stage Monologues for Women 1998 and Best Stage Monologues for Men 1998 (Beard, J., ed., Smith and Krause). Ritchie's other works for the stage include THE GRATZ DELUSION, about Rebecca Gratz, the first Jewish American feminist, and Box Lunch. Ritchie was a member of The Dramatists Guild of America, the International Centre for Women Playwrights (for which she wrote the "Play Doctor" article on dramatic structure for the Seasons Newsletter) and Polaris North. For many years she was a member of the Western New York Playwrights Workshop under the direction of Emanuel Fried. A native of Baltimore, she was a graduate of Goucher College and the Law School of the University of Pennsylvania. She was general counsel of Univera Healthcare, an Excellus company.

  • Adele Edling Shank

    Adele Edling Shank wrote numerous plays that were produced throughout the United States and in England. Her full-length works include six plays in the California series — SUNRISE, WINTERPLAY, STUCK: A FREEWAY COMEDY, SAND CASTLES, THE GRASS HOUSE, and TUMBLEWEED. They are a series of independent but interconnected plays set in various California locations. Other full-length plays include WAR HORSES, ROCKS IN HER POCKET, WITH ALLISON'S EYES, THE WIVES OF THE MAGI (an ecumenical play for December), and SEX SLAVES. These plays have primarily premiered at the Magic Theatre in San Francisco. Her work has also been developed and/or produced by the Los Angeles Theatre Center, Second Stage (NY), Los Angeles Public Theatre, Paines Plough (London), Show of Strength (Bristol, England), LA Actors Theatre, the La Jolla Playhouse, the Women's Project (NY), Playbrokers (SF), Berkeley Repertory Theatre, and several productions in the Humana Festival at the Actors Theatre of Louisville. Shank's short play DRY SMOKE was used as the text for a chamber opera with music by Victor Kioulaphides which was produced by the Manhattan Chamber Orchestra, New York. Her radio adaptation of STUCK was produced by Slovak Radio. She did the text for a dance theatre piece, JARDIN BLANC, with English choreographer Yolande Snaith and the Yolande Snaith Dance Company which premiered in Brighton, England in 2004 before touring England and performing at The Place in London as part of Dance Umbrella. An American version followed. Her adaptation of Virginia Woolf's TO THE LIGHTHOUSE with composer Paul Dresher and director Les Waters was produced at Berkeley Repertory Theatre in 2007. Shank was the recipient of numerous awards including an NEA Playwriting Fellowship, Rockefeller Playwrights-in-Residence Grant, and a Dramatists Guild/CBS Award. At UCSD she served as department chair and as Head of Playwriting for several years. She was an editor of Theatreforum, an international theatre journal published at UCSD. She passed away at the age of 74 in 2014.

  • June Siegel

    June Siegel is a playwright and lyricist. She contributed material for A… MY NAME IS ALICE and A… MY NAME IS STILL ALICE and wrote lyrics for the musicals THE HOUSEWIVES' CANTATA and PETS!

  • Lynda Sturner

    Lynda Sturner is a playwright and actress, whose work has been produced in New York. Tokyo, Provincetown and Valdez Alaska. Her short play LOOK WHAT YOU MADE ME DO won the Audience Choice award at The Edward Albee Last Frontier Theatre Festival and is published in Rowing to America An Anthology of New Short Plays by Women from The Women's Project. THE DEATH OF HUEY NEWTON was published by Broadway Play Publishing. THE VICTIM ART SHOW on a double bill with Jim Dalglish's LOVE AND DEATH AND ISABELLE STEWART GARDNER was named one of the top theater works of the year by the Cape Cod Times. Lynda appeared on Broadway in OLIVER and Off-Broadway in THE EFFECTS OF GAMMA RAYS ON THE MAN-IN-THE-MOON MARIGOLDS. On Cape Cod Lynda has appeared in dozens of shows during the last 10 years, including THE FOOD CHAIN, THE GULLS, THE EFFECTS OF GAMMA RAYS ON THE MAN-IN-THE-MOON MARIGOLDS, BINGO THE MUSICAL, and eight plays written by Meryl Cohn. She was the Artistic Director of the Provincetown Repertory Theatre and produced new innovative work including THE DIRECT LINE PLAY, CRAZY EYES and A GIRL CALLED DUSTY. She was the founding Artistic Director of Playwright's Forum, Inc. in New York City, was a member of the Actor's Studio Playwright's Unit, and the Women's Project. Lynda was also co-president of The League of Professional Theatre Women in New York.

  • Karen Sunde

    Playwright/Screenwriter Karen Sunde was first an actor. Off-Broadway she performed many leading roles and became Associate Director of CSC Repertory. Her plays have been performed Off-Broadway, in regional theatres, on a USA tour, in eleven countries, in seven languages. As screenwriter (adapting her plays) Sunde's won the Gold Prize from Hollywood Screenwriting Contest for IN A KINGDOM BY THE SEA; HOW HIS BRIDE CAME TO ABRAHAM is an "Official Selection" at Oaxaca Film Festival (; UNDERCOVER PATRIOT was finalist at Sundance, THE FASTEST WOMAN ALIVE adapted for Howard S Shulman Productions, NYC. Among her plays: Shakespeare's DARK LADY, produced Abbey Theatre, Ireland; Aalborg State Theatre, Denmark; BALLOON, produced CSC won three VILLAGER awards Off-Broadway, nominated Best Play by Outer Critics Circle; in French, aired by Radio France; TO MOSCOW premiered Ankara National Theatre, Turkey; Chain Lightning, NYC. PLAYS BY KAREN SUNDE includes TRUTH TAKES A HOLIDAY; IN A KINGDOM BY THE SEA produced Playwrights Theatre of New Jersey; HOW HIS BRIDE CAME TO ABRAHAM, produced PTNJ; Praxis Theatre Project, NYC; The Unicorn, Kansas City. HAITI: A DREAM in FACING FORWARD, produced Seven Stages, Atlanta; radio play produced WNYC, aired WHYY, NPR. ANTON, HIMSELF for Actors Theatre of Louisville, played the Moscow Art Theatre and Yalta Festival in Russia; Peoples Light and Theatre, PA. THE FASTEST WOMAN ALIVE produced Luna Stage, NJ; Praxis, NYC; the Edinburgh Festival. KABUKI OTHELLO, produced People's Light and Theatre; Annenberg Center, Philadelphia; Wisdom Bridge, Chicago. KABUKI LADY MACBETH produced Chicago Shakespeare Theater, cited for five JEFF Awards. ACHILLES (a Kabuki play) toured Hungary, Cyprus, Japan. Sunde cowrote musical QUASIMODO, produced Byrdcliffe Festival, Woodstock, NY; Lahti City Theatre, Finland. For Cheltenham Center, Philadelphia, Sunde wrote LA PUCELLE (Me & Joan) and DADDY'S GONE AHUNTING (Tracking Blood White); for Chain Lightning, WHEN REAL LIFE BEGINS. Scenes from TO MOSCOW; ANTON, HIMSELF; MASHA, TOO; HOW HIS BRIDE CAME TO ABRAHAM appear in SCENES & MONOLOGS FROM THE BEST NEW PLAYS. Sunde lives in New York City and is faculty at New Hampshire Institute of Art's "Writing for Stage and Screen" MFA program.

  • Staci Swedeen

    Ms. Swedeen is the recipient of the 2014 Fellowship in Playwriting from the Arts Council of Tennessee. She has also received the Arts and Letters Award in Drama, a commission from the Ensemble Studio Theatre and the Sloan Foundation, and a New York State Council for the Arts grant. Ms. Swedeen is a Core Lark Theatre Fellow and former Dramatist Guild Fellow. THE GOLDMAN PROJECT, directed by Joe Brancato, was presented at Penguin Repertory Theatre, moved Off-Broadway to the Abingdon Theatre where it was nominated for an "Ab*ie" award and then published by Samuel French. Her full-length comedy THREE FORKS, directed by Gail Garrisan, premiered at Florida Stage Theatre in West Palm Beach, Florida and was nominated for a Carbonell Award as Best New Work. THREE FORKS was also selected by The Charlotte Repertory Theatre to receive its "Best New Plays in America" award. Her plays have been read or produced at Ensemble Studio Theatre, The Stamford Center for the Arts, The Players Club, WestBeth, Nat Horne, Synchronicity Space, the Terry Schreiber Studio and Hunter College Theatres in New York City, also the Newman Theatre of Westchester, The Alliance Theatre in Los Angeles, City Theatre of Miami, New Jersey Rep, Main Street Arts in Nyack, and the Gallery Players of Park Slope, and Stephen Austin University in Texas. She served as playwright in residence at The Kravis Center in West Palm Beach for several years. The Sleep Seeker, a film she wrote and produced, won "Best Short Film" in the Westchester Film Festival and was the "Audience Choice Award" at the Valleyfest Film Festival, and is available for viewing on Vimeo. She was awarded an international artist residency to both the Fundacón Valparaiso in Spain and LaMaMa Umbria in Italy. A member of the Writers' Guild of America, the Dramatist Guild, AEA, AFTRA, SAG, as well as the Players Club writing workshop in NYC and Emerging Artist Theatre - Staci has instructed Playwriting at Fairfield University in Fairfield, CT. and at The Educational Center for the Arts in New Haven, CT. As an actor, she continues to be involved in readings of new work for numerous theatres. Her lyrics were set to a choral work that premiered at Clark College in Washington State and released on CD. In 2002, Ms. Swedeen was honored for her contribution to local arts in Westchester. Ms. Swedeen, a native of Mount Vernon, Washington, relocated from Sleepy Hollow, New York to Knoxville Tennessee, where she co-founded Flying Anvil Theatre. She is now working on a number of individual writing projects, continuing to teach, and watching the hummingbirds dance outside her office window.

  • Megan Terry

    Megan Terry's plays include BREAKFAST SERIAL, CALM DOWN MOTHER, KEEP TIGHTLY CLOSED IN A COOL DRY PLACE, HOTHOUSE, EX-MISS COPPER QUEEN ON A SET OF PILLS, THE PEOPLE VS RANCHMAN, GOONA GOONA, MOLLIE BAILEY'S TRAVELING FAMILY CIRCUS: FEATURING SCENES FROM THE LIFE OF MOTHER JONES, PRO GAME, BODY LEAKS, SOUND FIELDS, and OBJECTIVE LOVE. She published over forty-five plays. Most have been translated and produced worldwide. She won a number of major writing awards, including a Guggenheim Fellowship and an Obie Award for APPROACHING SIMONE. She was elected to lifetime membership by the College of Fellows of the American Theatre, installation at the Kennedy Center, Washington, DC, in recognition of: "Distinguished service to the profession by an individual of acknowledged national stature." In 1992 she was named Nebraska Artist of the Year. Ms Terry was a photographer and co-editor of Right Brain Vacation Photos, New Plays and Production Photographs 1972 – 1992. Ms Terry had a degree from the University of Washington, certificates in acting, directing, and design from the Banff School of Fine Arts, Banff, Alberta, Canada, and was awarded the Yale-ABC Fellowship: Writing for the Camera at Yale University. She had a long association with the Omaha Magic Theatre, in Omaha, Nebraska, as playwright in residence, photographer, performer, and musician. She died on April 12, 2023 in Omaha. She was 90.

  • Wendy Wasserstein

    Wendy Wasserstein's play THE HEIDI CHRONICLES won the 1989 Pulitzer Prize, Tony Award, the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, the New York Drama Critics Circle, Drama Desk, and Outer Critics Circle Awards, and earned her a grant from the Kennedy Center Fund for New American Plays. For THE SISTERS ROSENSWEIG she received the 1993 Outer Critics Circle Award, a Tony Award nomination, and the William Inge Award for Distinguished Achievement in American Theatre. Other plays include OLD MONEY and AN AMERICAN DAUGHTER and THIRD (Lincoln Center); UNCOMMON WOMEN AND OTHERS (Phoenix Theater); ISN'T IT ROMANTIC (Playwrights Horizons); a musical, MIAMI (with Jack Feldman and Bruce Sussman); WAITING FOR PHILIP GLASS, included in LOVE'S FIRE (The Acting Company). Wasserstein's screenplays include The Object of My Affection, produced as a major motion picture starring Jennifer Aniston and Paul Rudd. For PBS Great Performances she wrote Kiss, Kiss Darling; Drive, She Said; and adaptations of John Cheever's The Sorrows of Gin and her own UNCOMMON WOMEN AND OTHERS. She adapted THE HEIDI CHRONICLES for TNT (1996 Emmy Award nomination for Best Television Movie) and AN AMERICAN DAUGHTER for Lifetime Television. Her adaptation of The Nutcracker was performed at The American Ballet Theatre at The Met, and her adaptation of The Merry Widow premiered at San Francisco Opera. She was the librettist for the original opera Festival of Regrets: Central Park, which had runs at Glimmerglass Opera and New York City Opera. She wrote Pamela's First Musical, a children's book, which adapted with Cy Coleman into a musical which premiered in Spring 2006. Her other books include the essay collections Shiksa Goddess and Bachelor Girls. She contributed to The New Yorker, The New York Times, New York Woman, and Harper's Bazaar, among many other publications. She was the recipient of an NEA Grant, Guggenheim Fellowship, and a Fellowship at the American Academy in Rome. She served on the Council of the Dramatists Guild, on the Board of the British American Arts Association, School of American Ballet, WNET/Thirteen, and The Educational Foundation of America. She taught at Columbia University, New York University, Juilliard School, and Princeton University, and held an Honorary Doctorate from Mount Holyoke College. Wasserstein was born in Brooklyn and raised in Manhattan. She was a graduate of Mount Holyoke College and the Yale School of Drama.

  • Sally Dixon Wiener

    Sally Ann Dixon Wiener (1926 – 2013) was born in Burlington, Iowa. She attended Tucson High School and earned a degree in Journalism from the University of Arizona. Beginning with her "junior year abroad" at Barnard College, she loved New York City and after writing for dailies in the west she returned to work for several papers in New York. She wrote short stories under the name Samuel Devon Warner. She later studied piano and playwriting at the New School and wrote many musicals and plays which were produced at The Martha's Vineyard Playhouse and at Off-Off-Broadway venues in New York. A member of The League of Professional Theatre Women, The Dramatists Guild, and The Writers Room, she wrote for the Dramatist's Guild Quarterly and The Best Plays of the Year series. She passed away in 2013.

  • Y York

    Y York's works include: LATE IN THE GAME, …AND LA IS BURNING (recipient of the 2008 Smith Prize from the National New Play Network), BLEACHERS IN THE SUN, FRAMED, THE GAME OF LIGHT, WOOF (Houston's Buzzy for best new play), IT COMES AROUND, KRISIT, THE NEW DARK CLARITY, THE SNOWFLAKE AVALANCHE, THE SECRET WIFE, GERALD'S GOOD IDEA, RAIN. SOME FISH. NO ELEPHANTS., THE IMPOSSIBILITY OF NOW, and numerous works for families. Y York's plays has been recognized with 2004 Hawai'i Award for Literature, the 1997 Berilla Kerr Award, and the New Dramatists' 1992 Joe Calloway Award. She has been supported by grants from TCG/Pew Charitable Trust, AT&T Onstage, King County Arts Commission (Washington), Seattle Arts Commission, and Artists Trust (Washington). Y York is a proud member of the Dramatists Guild and an alumna member of New Dramatists.

About the Book

Book Information

Publisher BPPI
Publication Date 10/1/1995
Pages 502
ISBN 9780881451122