Playwrights' Weekend

Sunday, December 8 and Monday, December 9, 2013

Presented by Virginia Repertory Theatre in partnership with the University of Virginia
At Theatre Gym

Virginia Rep and UVA are pleased to present works in progress by four playwrights. MFA acting students at UVA have been working this semester with the playwrights to develop the scripts for their new works. At the Playwrights' Weekend, they will present staged readings of the new plays. Richmond and Charlottesville actors will join in some of the scenes.

This event is free and open to the public.

Sunday, December 8 5:30 p.m.

Margaret Baldwin
In the Wilds

Reading directed by Colleen Kelly

Annie and Jonathan are late-thirty-something urbanites who live in a quaint (a.k.a. transitional) in-town neighborhood. When their dog Wriley vanishes in the night from their backyard, Annie is convinced that coyotes are to blame. Unbeknownst to Jonathan, she enlists the services of an urban wildlife re-locator, McCann, who sets traps for the midnight intruders and starts to tread too closely into their lives. Wriley’s disappearance, McCann’s presence, and the encroaching “wilds” force the couple to confront the real distance between them that stems from a deeper, unnamable loss. Annie learns to face her darkest fears and desires when Old Man Coyote—the horny trickster of Native American mythology—slinks into her dreams in the dark of night. Dreams and reality blur as she grapples with the lessons and tales that Coyote offers. Ultimately she and Jonathan must learn to let go of past grief and shame in order to reclaim their marriage and their lives.

In the Wilds looks at our fear of—and yearning for—wildness lurking at the borders of our tidy, urban, domesticated lives. The play imagines what happens when the borders that separate us start to breakdown, and how we reconcile the wild spaces of our untamed hearts.

Margaret Baldwin, a native of Atlanta, has produced her plays, adaptations, and ensemble theatre works throughout the US and abroad. Her play Night Blooms received its world premiere at Horizon Theatre Company in Atlanta (2010) and its mid-Atlantic premiere at Virginia Repertory in Richmond (2012). Night Blooms earned Margaret the 2011 Gene Gabriel Moore Playwriting Award. Margaret and Horizon Theatre received a National AT&T Onstage Award for the world premiere of her play Her Little House (2004). Her plays for family audiences include Tom Thumb the Great commissioned by Georgia Shakespeare (2008); and Alice Through the Wonderglass, commissioned by Synchronicity Theatre (2003). Her solo works The Wet Nurse Sings and The Deepest Part of the Creek were published in Monologues for Women edited by the Playwrights’ Center (Heinemann 2003). Margaret regularly writes and directs plays for the Department of Theatre and Performance Studies at Kennesaw State University, where she serves as Senior Lecturer and General Education Coordinator. Her adapted/ensemble works with students, directed by Karen Robinson, have traveled to festivals in Shanghai and Casablanca. Margaret received her MFA from the Iowa Playwrights Workshop. She is the winner of the 2012-13 Distinguished Teaching Award for the KSU College of the Arts.

Sunday, December 8 8:00 p.m.

Doug Grissom
Banquet Years

Reading directed by Doug Grissom

Inspired by the Dreyfus Affair in 1890’s France, the story focuses on how this traumatic event changed the lives of Alfred Dreyfus and his wife Lucie, and the people that become entangled with them.

Doug Grissom is an Associate Professor in the Drama Department at UVA, and the head of the playwriting program. His adaptation of Ibsen’s Enemy of the People was produced by UVA in November. His plays have been performed at regional theatres across the country and his plays Deep Down and Elvis People were produced Off-Broadway in New York.

Monday, December 9 5:30 p.m.

Bo Wilson
Getting Girls for Joey

Reading directed by Bo Wilson

Joey is the kind of celebrity who is never seen without an arresting woman at his side... but how do they get there? This is the task of Joey's life-long friend, Tony, a one-man entourage who, among other things, must carefully screen any woman who might eventually join Joey in the public eye. The job is not necessarily as much fun as you might think.

Bo Wilson makes his home in Richmond, Virginia, where he works as a professional playwright. He has won a variety of national awards and fellowships from theatre companies and universities all over the country, most recently as winner of the Ashland (Oregon) New Plays Festival and winner of the American Association of Community Theatres first New Play Award, both for his play The Boatwright, which will be published by Dramatic Publishing next year.

Other plays which have received professional productions in various cities across the country are War Story, Manly Men, A Wireless Christmas, Boy-Girl-Boy-Girl, Mister Dickens' Carol and Listen Close. Plays commissioned for young audiences include Arthur and Merlin, The George Washington Carver Story and The Emperor's Nightingale. His short play "Outside the Box" was chosen winner of the 2005 Samuel French Short Play Festival and was published by French the following year.

Bo is also regularly commissioned by science and fine arts museums to create site-specific performance pieces, on subjects ranging from Patrick Henry to Black Holes. (His personal favorite is an Abbott-and-Costello-stye piece in which Bud tries to explain the number pi to Lou.)

He has also written several dozen award-winning training films for private industry and the United States government including Dupont, the Department of Veteran Affairs, the FBI and the Defense Intelligence Agency.

A graduate of Virginia Tech and of the National Theatre Institute, Bo is also a professional voice talent, with several hundred radio and television commercials to his credit.

Bo is a member of Actors' Equity Association and of The Dramatists Guild.

Monday, December 9 8:00 p.m.

John Prescott

Reading directed by Colleen Kelly

Nemo's life is governed by routine. Wake up, go to work, come home, and follow Finley. He's done this for three years, along with his imaginary friend, Chloe. Together, the two follow Finley's every move - to the point of obsession. And as this obsession consumes Nemo's life, his own grip on reality starts to slip. A psychological thriller, Stalker explores the depths of human imagination...and madness.

John Prescott is an undergraduate student at the University of Virginia. He is an Echols Scholar majoring in Storytelling, and was awarded the Delauney Prize for his plays Stalker and Digital Soul. Next year, he plans to teach secondary English in the Las Vegas Valley for Teach For America.