For the past five weeks, I've been in residency in Italy as a Bogliasco Foundation Fellow, working on a new play that follows a group of young women working at a roadside coffee shop in a small Massachusetts town. The play is a coming-of-age story about women on the verge of independence, struggling to grow up in a country that gives them fewer and fewer options, as they dodge the dangers, misogyny and setbacks women face in a world where success and safety are not guaranteed. It explores themes I've been investigating for the past few years, but it pushes me out of my comfort zone in terms of style. I'm still discovering this play.
The Bogliasco Foundation is located in a small fishing town just south of Genoa. Fellows are given time and space to work on their projects. We stayed in a beautiful villa overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, chatting over delicious dinners and drinks every night. I would work late into the evening, when the villa quieted and everyone went to bed, and I would desperately try to cast my mind back to Boston and this group of young women.
Next week, I am heading to Fayetteville, AR, to teach two playwriting workshops for students, faculty and guests at the University of Arkansas. The goal of these classes is to familiarize the UArk community with the unique Theatre for One experience ahead of the university's ArkType New Works Festival, in which several new Theatre for One pieces will be debuted, including a new monologue by myself. I will be incorporating elements from workshops masterminded by Christine Jones for Theatre for One and other immersive experiences, as well as from playwriting classes I have participated in or taught over the years.
Next month, I'm giving my Radcliffe Fellow presentation at the Knafel Center, where I will be discussing the work I've been doing during my Radcliffe year and presenting excerpts from two works-in-progress (as well as a surprise at the end). My primary project this year has been a play I'm calling Double Double, an exploration of folkloric witches, 21st century feminism and female spaces. The other project is a play about the dangers women face in their engagements with men and the role of unthinkability in the restructuring of the narrative of self.
The Knafel Center, Radcliffe Yard
April 12, 4pm
Light refreshments immediately following
Because my presentation couldn't be filmed (I incorporated readings of works-in-progress with actors), here is an excerpt from the text of my lecture: