Martin Moran, Lynn Nottage, Rinne Groff, Lisa Kron Among 2003 Sundance Lab Playwrights
By Kenneth Jones
May 10, 2003
Broadway actor Martin Moran, of Titanic and Bells Are Ringing, will develop his solo show about Catholicism and sexual abuse as part of the 2003 Sundance Summer Theatre Laboratory, July 7-27, in Sundance, Utah.The three-week workshop's varied participants — from Mabou Mines to Lynn Nottage to Rinne Groff to Moises Kaufman — were announced May 8.
"The 2003 Sundance Theatre Laboratory fellows represent both emerging and established writers for the American stage," producing artistic director Philip Himberg of Sundance Institute Theatre Program, said in a statement. "Many of this year's scripts and writers were new discoveries for us. But, as usual, mixing both younger and more senior artists in one lab makes for a fertile and creative environment at Sundance."
The eight projects selected for the 2003 Sundance Summer Theatre Lab follow.
A Mabou Mines' A Doll House "is the third installment in director Lee Breuer's award-winning series of deconstructed classics, which includes his female King Lear and his do-wop re-telling of Sophocles in Gospel at Colonus. The Mabou Mines Company's A Doll House includes little people in the male roles, and bourgeois tragedy becomes postmodern comedy with a live score, in the style of a silent movie, by composer Eve Beglarian.
The Final Tour, "written by Doug Cooney, and directed by Moises Kaufman, focuses on a famed virtuoso pianist in the autumn of his career. When his wife insists that their daughter join his final tour, tensions in the family lead to tragedy." Cooney is a well-respected performance artist, whose most lauded work, Dancing Like My Father, was presented at the Edinburgh Frind Festival Fringe. Most recently, his play, The Legend of Alex, toured for the Mark Taper Forum's P.L.A.Y. Company."
Another Fine Mess, "written by Stephen Drukman and directed by Jo Bonney, is set in the actors' dressing room before a performance of Waiting for Godot. Actors argue about the role of theatre in contemporary life, as an offstage explosion suddenly reminds them they are living in a post-9/11 world. Drukman's play, Going Native, premiered at Long Wharf Theatre in October 2002."
The Ruby Sunrise, "by Rinne Groff, explores the world of early television. A producer, his assistant and a writer, argue over a teleplay about a teenage girl who almost invented TV. The play is also a love story. Groff's play, Orange Lemon Egg Canary, was recently produced at the Actor's Theatre of Louisville, under the direction of Michael Sexton, who will also be directing this work."
Well "is a new comedy by Lisa Kron, one of the original Five Lesbian Brothers and author of the 2.5 Minute Ride. Kron has written an exploration about our assumptions about whether or not we are responsible for our own illnesses. Well is a very personal story about two fierce women: Lisa and Lisa's mother, a pioneer in attempting to integrate their Detroit suburban neighborhood as well as a chronically ill woman. A modern-day Greek chorus comments on the action, as Lisa and her mother and the audience weave the play in and out of personal and community explorations in a comically potent and vibrant way. The director is Leigh Silverman."
Catechism "is a solo memoir, written and performed by Martin Moran, and directed by Seth Barrish, which explores the world of Catholic schools and the issue of sexual abuse with candor. The play raises the provocative question: Is it possible that what harms us might also restore us?"
Fabulation?, "written by Lynn Nottage and directed by Seret Scott, is a comedy inspired by the social climbing heroine of an Edith Wharton novel. An African-American advertising executive's life is radically changed when she finds herself pregnant and without resources, and is forced to move back in with her parents. Nottage's most recent play, Intimate Apparel, was performed at Center Stage in Baltimore and South Coast Rep.
Dhammashok "is written and directed by Ruben Polendo, whose latest work, The Ramayana, recently played at American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco. Dhammashok an epic and mythical play, rooted in a story from ancient India. The story follows a regal prince as he transforms into a ruthless warrior striving to unite his country, and his subsequent conversion to Buddhism. Over 40 characters are played by a dozen actors in a play filled with pageantry and music by composer, Todd Almond, who will also be in residence at Sundance."
The creative advisers for this year's Lab include Zelda Fichandler, chair of the Graduate Acting Program at NYU/Tisch School of the Arts; playwright Marsha Norman ('night, Mother, The Secret Garden); and dramaturgs Jocelyn Clarke, Kim Euell and Mame Hunt.
Meg Simon is the casting advisor for the 2003 Lab.
Founded by Robert Redford in 1981, "Sundance Institute is dedicated to the development of artists of independent vision and the exhibition of their new work. Since its inception, the Institute has grown into an internationally recognized resource for filmmakers and other artists. Sundance Institute conducts national and international labs for filmmakers, screenwriters, composers, writers, and theater artists. The annual Sundance Film Festival, a major program of Sundance Institute, is held each January and is considered the premier showcase for American and international independent film. The Institute supports non-fiction filmmakers through the Documentary Film Program by providing year-round support through the Sundance Documentary Fund and a series of programs, which nurture their growth, encourage the exploration of innovative nonfiction storytelling, and promote the exhibition of documentary films to a broader audience. Through the Sundance Institute Theatre Program, the Institute is committed to invigorating the national theatre movement with original and creative work and to nurturing the diversity of artistic expression among theater artists. The Institute also maintains The Sundance Collection at UCLA, a unique archive of independent film."