Monday, July 20, 2020

CT Chapter of League of Professional Women Toasts the Vote

Emma Palzere-Rae performs an excerpt of her one-woman play, The Woodhull Project, about 1872 Presidential candidate, Victoria Woodhull.

Toast the Vote!
Join the CT Chapter of the League of Professional Theatre Women for three online play-excerpt readings to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, giving women the vote.
July 22, 2020 -- The Woodhull Project by Emma Palzere-Rae

Aug. 12, 2020 -- Lifting As We Climb by Charlene A. Donaghy. Inspired by Mary Eliza Church Terrell. Commissioned for WomenKind 2020. Reading by Jackie Davis.

Sept. 23, 2020 -- Susan B. by Toby Armour
Each session will be held from 5 to 6 pm (Eastern). Playwrights will be on hand for Q & A following the presentations, which will be moderated by Virginia Wolf. Bring a glass of champagne or your favorite beverage to toast the pioneers who led the way to winning the vote for women. We are looking forward to seeing you online!


You must RSVP for each session you wish to attend. If you are not a member of the League, please enter BWW when prompted for the name of the memebr who invited you. Verified attendees will receive a Zoom link to attend the session closer to the date. If you register, but then find you cannot attend, please cancel your reservation here on Eventbrite so the slot may be given to someone else. Slots for each session are limited.

PLAY INFO:

The Woodhull Project by Emma Palzere-Rae*
July 22
Known as a Free Lover, Victoria Woodhull was the first woman to speak before U.S. Congress, the first woman to open a stock brokerage firm, the first woman to publish a newspaper, and the first woman to run for U.S. president. You won't want to miss the chance to meet this woman who was written out of history as she visits "here and now" from 1872 to reflect on politics and women's rights through a flashback or two of her extraordinary and scandalous life.


Lifting As We Climb By Charlene A. Donaghy
Inspired by Mary Eliza Church Terrell
Aug, 12, 2020
Excerpt will be read by Jackie Davis.

Mary Eliza Church Terrell was a well-known African-American activist who championed racial equality and women's suffrage in the late 19th and early 20th century. An Oberlin College graduate, Terrell was part of the rising black middle and upper class who used their position to fight racial discrimination.

Synopsis: The 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, granting American women the right to vote, is making 1920 a banner year for suffragists. Ratification power sits in the hands of white Tennessee legislators and, in order to appease them, white suffragists have distanced themselves from African American suffragists. Mary Church Terrell, a founding member of the National Association of Colored Women, racial equality activist, and ardent suffragist who has worked alongside her white counterparts, discovers this when she and her sisters-in-arms are asked to curb their activities. Now Mary must decide her future role in the movement and in a relationship with women she trusted, answering the question: did these women break faith for their own sakes or were they acting for the greater good?


Susan B. by Toby Armour*
Sept. 23, 2020
Why did Susan B. Anthony became a suffragist instead of a Quaker minister? Her decision is revealed in the reading of a new play titled "Susan B." by award-winning playwright Toby Armour.

Toby is the national winner of the Lewis Prize and is the playwright in residence at the Fringe Theatre in Key West, Florida. Her plays have been presented in New York City, Boston, Los Angeles, Atlanta as well as London, Edinburgh and Tipperary, Ireland. "Susan B." is the first part of Armour's latest work titled "Aunt Susan and Her Tennessee Waltz." The two-part play will premiere at the Theater for the New City in New York in January, 2020.

* CT Chapter member

ABOUT THE PLAYWRIGHTS
Charlene A. Donaghy's plays have been produced and awarded from New York to Los Angeles, in Great Britain and Canada. Hansen Publishing Group publishes Charlene's play collection: Bones of Home and Other Plays. Other publications include Best American Short Plays (3x), Best Ten Minute Plays 2018, 25*10-Minute Plays for Teens, and Estrogenius, a Celebration of Female Voices (2x). Charlene is Producing Director of the Tennessee Williams Theater Festival and Festival Director of the Warner International Playwrights Festival. She is co-founder of the Association of Theatre in Higher Education Judith Royer Award of Excellence in Playwriting. She teaches playwriting, fiction writing, and theater at University of Nebraska Omaha, is a founding member of Boston's Proscenium Playwrights, a core member of NYC's 9th Floor Playwrights' and Artists' Collective, a member of The Playwrights Center, and The Dramatists Guild of America where she served as a Regional Representative for six years. Ms. Donaghy is a breast cancer survivor and holds true Tennessee Williams words in "Camino Real" Make Voyages! Attempt them! There's nothing else.

Jackie Davis* is an actor, director and choreographer working primarily on the east coast. She can be seen as abolitionist, Susan Robbins in Colombia Pictures' Film, Little Women (credited as JM Davis). Jackie is a member of Actors Equity Association and the Screen Actors Guild. She is currently part of the production team of From a Distance, a web-series, taking place in these days of COVID19. Notable theatrical directing credits include Race, Ruined, and For Colored Girls Who Consider Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf. Notable theatrical choreography projects include Dance Nation, The Wiz and Caroline or Change. She is the founding artistic director of New Urban Theater Laboratory, where she produced and directed five years of new works in Massachusetts. Ms. Davis is involved in all three disciplines, theater, television and film. She was most recently seen on stage in Trinity Repertory Company's production of A tale of two cities.

Emma Palzere-Rae Emma Palzere-Rae is an actor, playwright, director, and producer. She spent 15 years in the NYC theater community, where she began producing one-woman plays and founded Be Well Productions and the Womenkind Festival. She is dedicated to telling untold women's stories through theater and believes in the healing power of theater. Emma's plays include Aunt Hattie's House, about what compelled Harriet Beecher Stowe to pen Uncle Tom's Cabin, Live from the Milky Way... It's Gilda Radner!, A Nice Place to Visit, and The Woodhull Project. Her one-woman plays tour throughout the country. Ms. Palzere-Rae is the former Artistic Director of Plays for Living, a theater for social change repertory company formerly located in NYC, and is the current Associate Director at Artreach, Inc. (Norwich, CT), which provides arts programming to adults living with mental illness. She is a member of Actor's Equity and the Dramatists Guild, where she serves as the Regional Representative for New England - West.

Toby Armour has spent much of her life in theater- as stagehand, dancer, choreographer, dance company director, theater director, and playwright. Her plays have been done in Boston, New York City, Los Angeles, Denver, elsewhere in this country, as well as London, Scotland and Ireland. She holds a doctorate in history and is a national award-winning playwright (The Lewis Prize) and Jerome Fellow, many of whose works are based on oral history and stories of community. Her plays about early New Haven are up on vimeo, as is Zebra telling the story of the famous Zebra in Stubb's painting at the Yale New Haven British Art Center. Part One of Susan B. and Her Tennessee Waltz has been live-streamed by Theater for the New City. The complete play will be presented by Theater for the New City this Fall or as soon as our new world permits.

Virginia Wolf, moderator
Ginny is a member of the Steering Committee for the CT Chapter of LPTW. She is host of “SpotLight, Radio Reveling in the Arts and Entertainment”, Thursdays at 12:30 on WLIS/WMRD (www.wliswmrd.net), covering arts and entertainment throughout Connecticut.  During this “intermission”, she is dedicating the show to storytelling, but looks forward to getting back to normal whenever it’s possible!


In addition, Virginia is founder of Herstory Theater, generally dedicated to bringing to life the unsung heroines of history, as well as producing a host of additional projects that both celebrate women and history, and a simple love of theater and performing (learn more at www.herstorytheater.com); works as a voiceover artist and audio book narrator; steps in as Katy Leary for the Living History Tours at the Mark Twain House and Museum; and can be found on stage whenever/wherever someone casts her!

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Our reviews are professional reviews written without a religious bias. At the end of them, you can find a listing of language, content or theological issues that Christians might want to know about when deciding which shows to see.

** Mature indicates that the show has posted an advisory because of content. Usually this means I would recommend no one under the age of 16 attend.

Theater Critic Lauren Yarger

Theater Critic Lauren Yarger

My Bio

Lauren Yarger has written, directed and produced numerous shows and special events for both secular and Christian audiences. She co-wrote a Christian musical version of “A Christmas Carol” which played to sold-out audiences of over 3,000 in Vermont and was awarded the Vermont Bessie (theater and film awards) for “People’s Choice for Theatre.” She also has written two other dinner theaters, sketches for church services and devotions for Christian artists. Her play concept, "From Reel to Real: The Jennifer O'Neill Story" was presented as part of the League of professional Theatre Women's Julia's reading Room Series in New York in February 2018.

Yarger trained for three years in the Broadway League’s Producer Development Program, completed the Commercial Theater Institute's Producing Three-Day Intensive and other training and produced a one-woman musical about Mary Magdalene that toured nationally and closed with an off-Broadway run.

She was a Fellow at the National Critics Institute at the O'Neill Theater Center in Waterford, CT. She writes reviews of Broadway and off-Broadway theater (the only ones you can find in the US with an added Christian perspective) at http://reflectionsinthelight.blogspot.com/.

She is editor of The Connecticut Arts Connection (http://ctarts.blogspot.com), an award-winning website featuring theater and arts news for the state. She is a contributing editor for BroadwayWorld.com. She previously served as theater reviewer for the Manchester Journal-Inquirer, Connecticut theater editor for CurtainUp.com and as Connecticut and New York reviewer for American Theater Web.

She is a Co-Founder of the Connecticut Chapter of the League of Professional Theatre Women. She is a former vice preseint and voting member of The Drama Desk.

She is a freelance writer and playwright (member Dramatists Guild of America). She is a member if the The Outer Critics Circle (event manager for the annual awards ceremony), The American Theater Critics Association, The League of Professional Theatre Women and the Drama League. She served as a judge for the SDX Awards presented by the Society of Professional Journalists.

Yarger is a book reviewer for Publishers Weekly and freelances for other sites. She is a member of the National Book Critics Circle.

She also is a member of the Episcopal Actors' Guild, the NY Public Library for the Performing Arts and The O'Neill Theatre Center..

A former newspaper editor and graduate of the University of Missouri’s School of Journalism, Yarger also worked in arts management for the Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts, the Hartford Symphony Orchestra and served for nine years as the Executive Director of Masterwork Productions, Inc. She lives with her husband in West Granby, CT. They have two adult children.

Copyright

All material is copyright 2008- 2018 by Lauren Yarger. Reviews and articles may not be reprinted without permission. Contact reflectionsinthelight@gmail.com

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Key to Content Notes:

God's name taken in vain -- means God or Jesus is used in dialogue without speaking directly to or about them.

Language -- means some curse words are used. "Minor" usually means the words are not too strong or that it only occurs once or twice throughout the show.

Strong Language -- means some of the more heavy duty curse words are used.

Nudity -- means a man or woman's backside, a man's lower front or a woman's front are revealed.

Scantily clad -- means actors' private areas are technically covered, but I can see a lot of them.

Sexual Language -- means the dialogue contains sexually explicit language but there's no action.

Sexual Activity -- means a man and woman are performing sexual acts.

Adultery -- Means a married man or woman is involved sexually with someone besides their spouse. If this is depicted with sexual acts on stage, the list would include "sexual activity" as well.

Sex Outside of Marriage -- means a man and woman are involved sexually without being married. If this is depicted sexually on stage, the list would include "sexual activity" as well.

Homosexuality -- means this is in the show, but not physically depicted.

Homosexual activity -- means two persons of the same sex are embracing/kissing. If they do more than that, the list would include "sexual activity" as well.

Cross Dresser -- Means someone is dressing as the opposite sex. If they do more than that on stage the listing would include the corresponding "sexual activity" and/or "homosexual activity" as well.

Cross Gender -- A man is playing a female part or a woman is playing a man's part.

Suggestive Dancing -- means dancing contains sexually suggestive moves.

Derogatory (category added Fall 2012) Language or circumstances where women are referred to or treated in a negative and demeaning manner.

Other content matters such as torture, suicide or rape will be noted, with details revealed only as necessary in the review itself.

The term "throughout" added to any of the above means it happens many times throughout the show.

Reviewing Policy

I receive free seats to Broadway and Off-Broadway shows made available to all voting members of the Outer Critics Circle and The Drama Desk, the two professional critics organizations with journalists covering NY theater. Journalistically, I provide an unbiased review and am under no obligation to make positive statements. Sometimes shows do not make tickets available to reviewers. If these are shows my readers want to know about (I review all Broadway shows and pertinent Off-Broadway shows), I will purchase a ticket. If a personal friend is involved in a production, I'll let you know, but it won't influence a review. If I feel there is a conflict, I won't review their portion of the production.

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