April 29, 2014
Hedgebrook announces the 17th annual Hedgebrook Women Playwrights Festival, a celebration of women writing for the theater. This May, playwrights Mia Chung, Alexa Junge, Evangeline Ordaz and Tracey Scott Wilson will join dramaturgs Anita Montgomery, Tanya Palmer and Christine Sumption for a two-week residency at the famed Whidbey Island writers’ retreat, capped off with public presentations of excerpts from the playwrights’ latest works.
The public events of the 2014 Hedgebrook Women Playwrights Festival take place at 4 p.m. on Sunday, May 18 at Whidbey Island Center for the Arts in Langley and at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, May 19 at ACT Theatre in Seattle. These events include readings of excerpts from each writer’s latest play and an opportunity to talk with the playwrights, their dramaturgs and Hedgebrook’s Executive Director, Amy Wheeler. Admission is free for the ACT Theatre and donations are welcome. There is a $5 charge for the event at WICA which can be waived by request.
Playwrights taking part in the 2014 Hedgebrook Women Playwrights Festival represent a wide variety of theatrical styles and dramatic voices. Mia Chung is working on “Skin in the Game,” a play that examines America’s core belief in fairness and the art and science of measuring success. Alexa Junge is writing a stage adaptation of Sarah Waters’ Victorian-inspired crime novel, “Fingersmith.” Evangeline Ordaz is working on “This Land,” which tells the story of one piece of land over 150 years. Tracey Scott Wilson is writing “Ugly,” a play about abortion and the decline of American feminism.
Participation in the Hedgebrook Women Playwrights Festival is by invitation in collaboration with partner theaters from around the country. In recognition of the fact that fewer than 20% of the plays produced each year on U.S. stages are written by women, Hedgebrook is partnering with theaters who show their commitment to women playwrights through commissions, development and production opportunities. In this way, Hedgebrook forges opportunities for women playwrights to deepen their relationships with theaters and is becoming a major pipeline for plays by women to move from creation to development and production. Current partners include Denver Theatre Center, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Seattle’s ACT Theatre, Chicago’s Goodman Theatre and Center Theatre Group in Los Angeles.
Since the festival’s inauguration in 1998, the Hedgebrook Women Playwrights Festival has supported the work of an impressive array of women playwrights, including Quiara Alegría Hudes (“Water by the Spoonful”), Lynn Nottage (“Ruined”), Tanya Saracho (“The Tenth Muse”) and many others, and has served an important role in the development of new plays by women
MIA CHUNG (“Skin in the Game”) is a member of New Dramatists and the Ma-Yi Writers Lab. Her play “You for Me for You” had a world premiere at Woolly Mammoth in Washington, D.C. in Fall 2012 and a Boston premiere at Company One in Winter 2013. She has received awards and fellowships from Southern Rep, RISCA, TCG, and others, and her work has been developed by the Bay Area Playwrights Festival, Civilians’ R&D Group, Doorway Arts Ensemble, Icicle Creek Theatre Festival, Inkwell, Kennedy Center, Magic Theatre, Mu Performing Arts, Page Salon, Playwrights Realm, and Stella Adler Studio. She has degrees from Yale, the University of Dublin, Trinity College and Brown.
ALEXA JUNGE (“Fingersmith”) is a playwright, lyricist, television writer, producer and screenwriter. Four-time Emmy and WGA Award nominee, Junge grew up in Los Angeles and attended Barnard College where she wrote “The Columbia Varsity Show” and then continued her education at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. She wrote for Friends from 1994 to 1999 and has also written for Once and Again,The West Wing, Sex and the City, the HBO series Big Love and the BBC comedy Clone. With longtime collaborator, composer Jeanine Tesori, Alexa wrote lyrics for Disney’s Rapunzel Unbraided and Mulan 2 and she wrote the screenplay and lyrics for Disney’s Lilo & Stitch 2. A contributor to National Public Radio’s This American Life, Alexa performed live for their “What I Learned From Television” tour. She also served as Executive Producer and Showrunner for Showtime’s series The United States of Tara. Alexa just completed a two-year stint with NBC, where she was the Executive Producer and Showrunner for Best Friends Forever, among others.
EVANGELINE ORDAZ (“This Land”) is a playwright, television writer/producer, spoken word artist and human rights attorney. Her play “Visitors’ Guide to Arivaca” was featured at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts’ New Play Summit and was the subject of a December 2006 cover story in American Theater Magazine. Borderlands commissioned the play, which also saw production by the Company of Angels Theater in Los Angeles and Teatro Vision in San Jose. Company of Angels also produced “Bordering on Love, “which Ordaz wrote while a member of the Center Theater Group’s invitational playwrights’ workshop. Ordaz has also written for the California Youth Theater and the Cornerstone Theater where she shared an Ovation nomination for Best Play.
The Center Theater Group (Mark Taper Forum/Kirk Douglas Theater/Ahmanson) recently commissioned Evangeline to write a play about Los Angeles. She was a producer and writer of the groundbreaking and popular series East Los High and a staff writer on the ABC/Warner Bros television show Eyes. Ordaz has done legal work in the areas of indigent criminal appeals, immigration, domestic violence, human rights, slum litigation and corporate espionage. She also worked as an attorney for the Humanitarian Law Project, documenting human rights abuses by paramilitary groups in the aftermath Zapatista rebel uprising in Chiapas, Mexico.
TRACEY SCOTT WILSON (“Ugly”) currently writes for The Americans on FX. Recent productions include “Buzzer” at the Goodman Theater, Pillsbury House Theater and The Guthrie, “The Good Negro” and “The Story” at The Public Theater/NYSF as well as the Goodman Theater. Additional productions are “Order My Steps” for Cornerstone Theater’s Black Faith/AIDS project in Los Angeles and “Exhibit #9,” which was produced in New York City by New Perspectives Theatre and Theatre Outrageous; “Leader of the People” produced at New Georges Theatre; two ten-minute plays produced at the Guthrie Theatre in Minneapolis and a ten-minute play produced at Actors Theatre of Louisville.
Wilson has had readings at the New York Theatre Workshop, Second Stage Theatre, the Public Theatre, Williamstown Theater Festival and Soho Theatre Writers Centre in London. She won the 2014 Joyce Award, two Van Lier Fellowships from the New York Theatre Workshop, a residency at Sundance Ucross and Sundance Theatre Laboratory and is the winner of the 2001 Helen Merrill Emerging Playwright Award, the 2003 AT&T Onstage Award, the 2004 Whiting Award, the 2004 Kesserling Prize, the 2007 Weissberger Playwriting Award and the 2007 Time Warner Storytelling Fellowship. In 2009, she was the writer-in-residence at the O’Neil National Playwriting Conference. She has taught and guest lectured at several schools including, Brown University, Yale University, Rutgers University and NYU. “The Story” and “The Good Negro” have been published by Dramatist Play Services. Ms. Wilson holds a Master’s degree in English Literature from Temple University.
Hedgebrook is a literary nonprofit that supports the work of visionary women writers whose stories and ideas shape our culture now and for generations to come. Founded in 1988, Hedgebrook hosts a global community of writers—close to 1,400 in 25 years—at our Whidbey Island retreat. Our programs empower women writers through high-caliber workshops and connect their work with thousands of boo lovers and audiences each year through readings, screenings, events, salons, publications and festivals.
For more information about Hedgebrook’s programs including our Master Classes and upcoming events. check out www.hedgebrook.org. Hedgebrook is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.