Broadening Your Theater Circle

CT Chapter of the League of Professional Theatre Women and Dramatists Guild New England West Region Co-Host a Networking Event

Co-hosted by CT Chapter of the League of Professional Theatre Women and Dramatists Guild – New England West Region

Calling all playwrights, composers, actors, directors, producers, designers and administrators! Join us for this joint networking event to broaden your local professional theater contacts. Emma Palzere-Rae, regional representative for the Dramatists Guild, will facilitate ice breakers and break-outs sessions to help you meet other locals for possible future collaborations. Whether you are getting ready to go back into a live theater space or continuing with virtual readings and productions, you will meet others who might be just right for your upcoming projects.

This is NOT a speed-date nor pitch style event. Our focus is simply to meet and to get to know each other. So wear your one or many hats — and be ready to have fun meeting some theater people!

An RSVP is required. Click the “Register” button below.

A Discussion About Period Piece

We wanted to invite you to an exciting event hosted by the Chapter on Wednesday, April 7. It is open to the public (and to men) so please feel free to share. 

Join the Connecticut Chapter of the League of Professional Theatre Women for a discussion with Creator Susan Cinoman, Playwright Cheryl Davis and Producers Tracey Knight Narang and Terry Nardozzi about the new work, Period Piece, a once-in-a-lifetime production about a once-every-month event.

Wednesday, April 7

7 pm on Zoom

RSVP here to receive the Zoom link

The Chapter event is free, and open to men, but an RSVP is required to receive the Zoom link for the presentation.

Period Piece, a three-night event (April 12, 19 and 26) directed by Karen Carpenter, will feature a total of 36 playwrights with 12  performers each night.

Cinoman, Knight Narang and Nardozzi all are members of the CT chapter (Davis also is a League member) and they will discuss how the piece was conceived and developed in a conversation moderated by Chapter Co-Founder Lauren Yarger.

Period Piece shares insights into the once-every-month event that has remained a taboo topic for far too long. This no-holds-barred look at periods – from a range of generational and cultural perspectives – is an entertaining and eye-opening experience.

Playwrights are Nayna Agrawal, Christina Anderson, Ngozi Anyanwu, Debra Barsha, Bekah Brunstetter, Diana Burbano, Susan Cinoman, Lisa D’amour, Cheryl Davis, Nicole Lynn Evans, Quinn Fontaine, Zoila Galeano, Emma Goldman-Sherman, Kirsten Greenidge, Lauren Gunderson, Tina Howe, Jaime Jarrett, Lally Katz, Wendy Macleod, Cassandra Medley, Eliana Pipes, Carole Real, Theresa Rebeck, Jacquelyn Reingold, Maria Elena Rodriguez, Elaine Romero, Sarah Ruhl, Sharon Soboil, Destry Spielberg, Delanna Studi, Caridad Svich, Ruth Tang, Else Went, Kit Yan, Rhiana Yazzie.

Performers Include Sara Chase, Quinn Fontaine, Julie Halston, Mia Katigbak, Beth Leavel, Mandy Moore, Aj Michalka, Kellie Overbey, Stacey Sargeant, Agneeta Thacker, Julie White, Geneva Carr, Maddie Corman, Cady Huffman, Carissa Kosta, Isabelle Mccalla Mirirai, Lauren Patten, Futaba Shioda, Destry Spielberg, Kristina Wong, Carmen Carrera, Nicole Lynn Evans, Judy Gold, Jessica Hecht, Shahadi Wright Joseph, Delanna Studi.

For more information about the show, which will benefit I Support the Girls, an international organization providing period products and bras to the homeless and those in need, visit periodpieceplay.com.

About our Guests for the April 7 discussion:

Susan Cinoman (creator)is a playwright and screenwriter whose work is published and produced internationally.  For television, she is the creator of the recurring character, Miss Cinoman on ABC’s, “The Goldbergs,” and a frequent writer and contributor. Her one- act play, Fitting Rooms, was named a Best Short Play and is produced internationally.  Other productions are Cinoman and Rebeck and Gin and Bitters, Off Broadway. Her play Sweet Sand, produced by Ensemble Studio Theatre, was recently published. Two plays made into award winning independent films, Love and Class in Connecticut and All Me, All the Time, have screened at film festivals throughout New England. Cinoman is the recipient of the Maxwell Anderson Playwrights Prize, The Aristos Award, Theatre Ariel Award, Best Connecticut Filmmaker of 2007, Ivoryton Playhouse Writing Award and the Guilford Prize in Drama for her new play, Guenevere which is in development for an upcoming stage production.

Cheryl Davis (playwright) received the Kleban Award as a librettist for her musical Barnstormer about Bessie Coleman, the first Black woman flyer. Her musical Bridges was produced by the Berkeley Playhouse and was a finalist for the Richard Rodgers Award. Her play Maid’s Door was produced at the Billie Holiday Theatre, received seven Audelco Awards and was a finalist for the Francesca Primus Prize. She is co-librettist on an adaptation of Scott Joplin’s opera Treemonisha for the Volcano Theatre Company in Canada which is scheduled to receive its world premiere in 2021. She writes for “Law & Order: SVU” on a freelance basis, and her episode “Garland’s Baptism by Fire” aired on April 2, 2020.  Her short play Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep streamed as part of #WhileWeBreathe last summer and received a write-up in the New York Times. Cheryl is a member of Honor Roll!, an advocacy and action group of women+ playwrights over 40 as well as our women+ over 40 allies. She is also a member of the New Shokan Kitchen Island Project, the producer of a monthly monologue reading series about women who deserve a statue called “Put a Woman on a Pedestal”.  She is a practicing attorney in Manhattan and is the General Counsel for the Authors Guild.

Tracey Knight Narang (producer) is a producer of the groundbreaking Broadway revival of Rogers and Hammerstein’s OKLAHOMA! (Tony Award), and the highly anticipated new musical Sing Street opening on Broadway soon. In addition to producing and investing, Narang’s play To Each Their Own, received critical acclaim at FringeNYC 2015. See coined the term “Subway Etiquette“ after publishing her book “Subway Etiquette: The Straphanger’s Guide to Underground Conduct.” Narang is a member of the Board of Directors of New York City Center, and the Vice President of the Board of the Actors’ Equity Foundation.

Teresa (Terry) Nardozzi-Marghella (producer) is president and CEO of MANM Productions, an investment and production company specializing in theater, film, and television. Her current film productions include “Relish,” written and directed by Justin Ward. Her current theater projects include the Broadway production of Ain’t Too Proud: The Life and Times of The Temptations, as well as the Off-Broadway premiere of The Secret Life of Bees. Past projects included Once on This Island, (winner of the 2018 Tony Award® for Best Musical Revival); Farinelli and the King, the Australian tour of Beautiful, The Carole King MusicalNatasha, Pierre and The Great Comet of 1812 (nominated for 12 Tony Awards); On the Town (recipient of two Tony nominations); and Deaf West Theatre’s Spring Awakening (Tony-nominated for Best Musical Revival). Previous volunteer community involvement includes the Trumbull Board of Education, USA Swimming Association, and PTA Councils. Nardozzi-Marghella holds an Associate degree in Applied Science from the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT), as well as a Child Development Associate (CDA) degree in Early Childhood Education from Norwalk Community College. She holds a certificate in Theater Production from the Commercial Theater Institute (CTI), and is pursuing a Theater Management and Production degree from Columbia University.

Lauren Yarger (moderator) is Producer at Gracewell Productions, which presents inspiring works in the arts. She has written and produced numerous shows and special events ranging from the Outer Critics Circle Awards Gala to writing the book for an award-winning musical version of “A Christmas Carol.” She has trained as a producer in the Broadway League’s Producer Development Program, the Commercial Theater Institute and Theater Resources Unlimited. She spent many years reviewing theater in New York and Connecticut as a member of the Outer Critics Circle and the Drama Desk and was a Fellow at the National Critics Institute at the O’Neill Theater. Yarger co-founded the CT Chapter of the League of Professional Theatre Women and serves on the Membership Committee and Board of Directors in New York. She is a member of the Dramatists Guild of America.


Cynthia Rider and Melia BensussenSome Slots Still Available for Tuesday’s Event:

Meet the Women Who Are Making

History at Hartford Stage


The Connecticut Chapter of the League of Professional Theatre Women celebrates Women’s History Month this March with a visit from the all-woman leadership team at Hartford Stage.

Melia Bensussen, artistic director, and Cynthia Rider, managing director, will be on hand for a discussion celebrating how “Connecticut Women Make History” with CT Chapter Steering Committee Member Tracey Knight Narang.
TUESDAY, March 16
7 pm 
on Zoom

RSVP is required to receive the Zoom link for the event. (click here)

This is the first time in Hartford Stage’s history that two women jointly hold the co-leadership roles. Connecticut is not new to having women at the helm of some of its theaters. Jacqueline Hubbard is coming up on 30 years as artistic director at Ivoryton Playhouse and over at Seven Angels in Waterbury, Semina DeLaurentis has been artistic director for about the same number of years.  Darlene Zoller is co-founder/artistic director at Playhouse on Park and Wendy Goldberg continues her longtime position of artistic director of the National Playwriting Conference at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center in Waterford (where until her retirement a few years ago, founder Paulette Haupt headed the National Music Theater Conference). And there are other women who have been serving in other leadership positions around the state for some years. The Bensussen and Rider appointments come in a more recent flurry of women in theater leadership, however.Donna Lynn Hilton recently became artistic director of Goodspeed Musicals in East Haddam.Tiffani Gavin was named executive director of the O’Neill Theater Center.Shelley Quiala is the new executive director of the International Festival of Arts & Ideas in New Haven.Kit Ingui was named managing director of Long Wharf Theatre in New HavenHartford Stage is one of three theaters in Connecticut to be honored by the CT Chapter of LPTW with a Seal of Approval Award for its success in employing equal numbers of women both on and behind the stage (Yale Repertory and Playhouse on Park are the other recipients).

More about our guests:
Melia Bensussen is an award-winning director and artistic leader who has directed extensively at leading theatres throughout the country since 1984, including productions at the Huntington Theatre Company, Sleeping Weazel, Shakespeare & Company, Actors’ Shakespeare Project, La Jolla Playhouse, Baltimore Center Stage, Hartford Stage, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, the New York Shakespeare Festival, Manhattan Class Company, Primary Stages, Long Wharf Theatre, Cincinnati Playhouse, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Merrimack Repertory Theatre, People’s Light and Theatre Company, Bay Street Theatre and Playwrights Horizons, among others.Raised in Mexico City, Bensussen is fluent in Spanish and has translated and adapted a variety of texts, including her edition of the Langston Hughes translation of Federico Garcia Lorca’s Blood Wedding. She is currently working on commissions and productions at the Huntington Theatre Company and ArtsEmerson in Boston.Her acclaimed work with new plays has taken her to the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center, New York Stage and Film, PlayPenn, The Playwrights’ Center, Sundance, and other new play programs across the United States. Ongoing collaborations with playwrights include such distinguished writers as Kirsten Greenidge, Melinda Lopez, Jeffrey Hatcher, Masha Obolensky, Charlotte Meehan, and Kate Snodgrass. She has been lucky to have the opportunity to collaborate with a range of American playwrights, including Annie Baker, Mat Smart, Edwin Sanchez, Nick Gandiello, Eduardo Machado, Jose Rivera, Lee Blessing, Richard Dresser, and Willy Holtzman.A graduate of Brown University, Bensussen currently serves as the Chair of the Arts Advisory Board for the Princess Grace Foundation and for the past eleven years has chaired the Performing Arts Department at Emerson College. She also serves on the executive board of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society (SDC).Cynthia Rider became the theater’s eighth managing director She previously served as executive director of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival where she worked with the board and noted Artistic Director Bill Rauch in the creation of a 10-year strategic plan, oversaw an increase in contributed income of more than 20 percent, and participated in artistic initiatives that resulted in three OSF-commissioned plays moving to Broadway, with one winning the Tony Award for Best Play and another winning the Pulitzer Prize.Additional highlights of Rider’s successful tenure at OSF include the creation of the Access for All campaign, which renovated the courtyard in front of OSF’s theatres and added an elevator and wheelchair seating to the Bowmer Theatre, and the opening of the new Hay-Patton Rehearsal Center – all while producing a repertory season of eleven productions in three theatres, managing an annual operating budget of $40 million, and offering a number of educational and community engagement programs for audiences and students.Tracey Knight Narang (moderator) is a producer of the groundbreaking
revival of Rogers and Hammerstein’s OKLAHOMA! (Tony Award), and the highly anticipated new musical SING STREET opening on Broadway after the “intermission.” Her play TO EACH THEIR OWN received critical acclaim at FringeNYC 2015. Her new play, AWAY FROM YOU was presented by Planet Connections Zoom Fest in August 2020. She coined the term “Subway Etiquette“ after publishing her book Subway Etiquette: The Straphanger’s Guide to Underground Conduct. Tracey has had multiple speaking engagements including, among others, the Toyota Comedy Festival at Elaine’s, Commercial Theatre Institute, and CT Chapter of League of Professional Theatre Women.  In addition, she is a member of the Board of Directors of New York City Center, and the Vice President of the Board of the Actors’ Equity Foundation.

It’s Valentine’s — Join Us to Learn How to Make Connections Through Improv

Does the thought of doing improv scare you? Or do you think improv skills aren’t necessary for what you do?

Think again and come learn how the same skills used for improv entertanment can help you network and make connections. Join the CT Chapter of the League of Professional Theatre Women for the next in its lunchtime learning series.

Bridget Brown

Bridget Brown, owner of StoryMatters, LLC, will show how improv skills can lead to new connections –just in time for Valentine’s Day, the super holiday of relationshios and connections. The chapter hosts her on Thursday, Feb. 11 on Zoom. The session is free (and open to men), but an RSVP is required to receive the Zoom invitation.

Participants may choose to attend without taking part in the improv games and exercises. Improv is all about improving your connection with people and Bridget will show you how it’s done.

RSVP here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/its-valentines-lets-make-some-people-connections-tickets-133127817887.

Questions? CTChapterLPTW@gmail.com.

About the presenter:

Bridget Killeen Brown is the author of one optioned screenplay, several sitcom scripts and treatments and two one-women shows which she performed at the WomenKind Festival in NYC.  Most recently, her full-length play, The Secrets of Brown and White, based on the true story of her family, had a reading at Boston Conservatory at Berklee in Boston, MA.  She has a master’s degree in directing from Binghamton University and studied acting with William Esper.  She is a member of the annual ‘Way of the Labyrinth Playwright’s Retreat’ in Stonington, CT, the Dramatist’s Guild, SAG-AFTRA and AEA.

Bridget has worked for three Fortune 500 companies including Monsanto and a small beer company called Anheuser-Busch, she has trained at the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science at Stony Brook University, is a former Adjunct Instructor in the School of Engineering and Applied Science at Washington University in St Louis where she taught public speaking.  She coached scientists in TEDx talks and teaches and uses storytelling and improv in all of her work.

As the owner of StoryMatters, LLC a communications training company, Bridget uses coaches stories out of corporate teams and individuals, especially the ones they didn’t know they could tell. 

Live Theater in Connecticut: Thinking Inside the (Zoom) Box

Assassins was presented live at Pleasant Valley Drive-in in Barkhamsted, CT as a fundraiser for the Warner Theatre in Torrington. Chapter Co-Founder Lauren Yarger and Steering Committee members Tracey Knight Narang and Virginia Wolf had great “seats.”

Hear How it Happened at a Networking Event with Director Katherine Ray
Mounting a live musical in a time of pandemic has proved almost impossible, but here in Connecticut, director Katherine Ray pulled it off using some innovative theater and filming techniques while making sure cast, crew, musicians and the audience were as safe as possible.

Learn how she did it and how you can incorporate some of her process into bringing live theater back in other places at our networking lunchtime event Tuesday, Nov. 10 at noon on Zoom. Bring your lunch, pull up a seat at your computer and join us for a time of networking as well as a discussion with Katherine, moderated by CT Chapter Co-President Lauren Yarger. The event is free, but registration is required. Click here to RSVP.
Participants will receive the Zoom link to join the event the morning of Nov. 10.

This is the first in a series called “Thinking Inside the (Zoom) Box: New Ways to Create Live Theater.” Additional panels and discussions will be announced. If you have a topic you would like to speak about, contact Lauren at CTChapterLPTW@gmail.com.

Toast the Vote Series Continues

Toby Armour
Toast the Vote!
Next Up!
Sept. 23, 2020

SUSAN B. By Toby Armour
The third installment of our Toast The Vote! series to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment giving women the right to vote, will take place on Zoom Sept. 23 at 5 pm Eastern.

Attendance is FREE, but you must register via the Eventbrite page to receive the Zoom link for the event. Note: If you do not receive the Zoom link by 6 pm the day before the performance, please email us at CTChapterLPTW@gmail.com.RSVP HEREWhy 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 (left) 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.” Becuase of the Covid crisis, the two-part play, which was to have had its premiere at the Theater for the New City in New York had an abbreviated presentation.



Reading the part of Susan B. in our excerpt will be Jenne Vath. Jenne Vath is a NYC based actor who grew up in Westport CT. She is a graduate of New York University/Tisch School of the Arts and has worked with Toby Armour in presentations of her plays CHARLOTTE KEENE PI, FLO, and the played the lead role of AD Lily Field in 155 FIRST AVENUE, Armour’s play based on the story of the founding of Off Broadway’s THEATER FOR THE NEW CITY, directed by George Ferencz. Vath played the role of Susan B Anthony for TNC’s livestream performance of Armour’s SUSAN B AND HER TENNESSEE WALTZ. Recent work includes Red Bull Theater, Ridiculous Theatrical Company, La MaMa ETC, Days of the Giants, Theater at St. John’s, Regeneration Theater. Thank you Toby, Lauren and CT Chapter of LPTW. As always Thank you Nancy.

RSVP HERE

If you register, but then find you cannot attend, please cancel your reservation  on Eventbrite so the slot may be given to someone else. Slots for each session are limited.

You may invite women interested in the Chapter to attend (they will be asked to type in your name so we know how they got the link).


COMING NEXT!
And culminating our series toasting the vote is a special piece sponsored by the Chapter:
5 pm on Zoom 
Oct. 22


Freedom or Death
Edited and Dramatized by Virginia  Wolf; directed by Susan Cinoman

Freedom or Death was one of the great speeches of the 20th Century, delivered  by British suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst in Hartford, CT on Nov. 13, 1913. Ginny is taking highlights and combining them into one dramatic presentation. 

This program will be moderated by Tracey Knight Narang.

RSVP HERE
More information about the Playwrights and performers in the Toast the Vote! series:

Charlene A. Donaghy’s (Playwright) 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* (Performer) 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.
*Member Actors’ Equity AssociationEmma Palzere-Rae (Playwrightt/Performer) 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 CabinLive 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 (Playwright) 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, Playwright)
Virginia Wolf 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!

Susan Cinoman (Director) is a playwright and screenwriter whose work is published and produced internationally.  For television, she is the creator of the recurring character, Miss Cinoman on ABC’s, The Goldbergs, and a frequent writer and contributor. Her one- act play, Fitting Rooms, Applause Books, Best Short Plays and is produced internationally.  Other productions are Cinoman and Rebeck and Gin and Bitters, Off Broadway. Her play Sweet Sand, produced by Ensemble Studio Theatre has been recently published. Two plays were made into award winning independent films. Love and Class in Connecticut and All Me, All the Time have screened at film festivals throughout New England. Cinoman is the recipient of the Maxwell Anderson Playwrights Prize, The Aristos Award, Theatre Ariel Award, Best Connecticut Filmmaker of 2007, Ivoryton Playhouse Writing Award and the Guilford Prize in Drama for her new play, Guenevere.

Tracey Knight Narang (Moderator)  is a producer of the groundbreaking Broadway revival of Rogers and Hammerstein’s OKLAHOMA! (Tony Award), and the highly anticipated new musical Sing Street opening on Broadway in April. In addition to producing and investing, Narang’s play To Each Their Own, received critical acclaim at FringeNYC 2015. See coined the term “Subway Etiquette“ after publishing her book “Subway Etiquette: The Straphanger’s Guide to Underground Conduct.” Narang is a member of the Board of Directors of New York City Center, and the Vice President of the Board of the Actors’ Equity Foundation.This series is being produced by Virginia along with Co-Founders Mary Miko and Lauren Yarger. Any questions, contact us at CTChapterLPTW@gmail.com.

Toast the Vote!

Toast the Vote!

Join us for three play-excerpt readings to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, giving women the vote.

PAST EVENT July 22, 2020 — The Woodhull Project by Emma Palzere-Rae


NEW DATE Aug. 20, 2020
 — Lifting As We Climb by Charlene A. Donaghy. Inspired by Mary Eliza Church Terrell. Commissioned for WomenKind 2020

Sept. 23, 2020 — Susan B. by Toby Armour

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!
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.

RSVP HERE

You must RSVP for each session you wish to attend. You 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.

You may invite women interested in the Chapter to attend (they will be asked to type in your name so we know how they got the link).

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
Commissioned for WomenKind 2020 
Aug, 20, 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.

ABOUT THE PLAYWRIGHTS and PERFORMERS
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.

*Member Actors’ Equity Association

Emma Palzere-Rae is manager of the Ignite Program for the Thames River Innovation Partners from Safe Futures in New London. She served served as the Director of Development and Communications. Her diverse background and experience in non-profit management, the arts and culture sector and human services will serve Ignite programming well. After fifteen years in New York City producing theater and other programming, Emma came to southeastern Connecticut when she was appointed the first Executive Director of The Chorus of Westerly in Rhode Island. Since that time, she has been active in the community, volunteering with her children’s schools, arts organizations and various non-profits. She has served on the Board of the Southeastern CT Women’s Network and is currently on the Board of the CT Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals. She is also a member of the new CT Shoreline Chapter of Soroptimists International, where she was awarded the Women Helping Women award. This fall she will be a recipient of an ACE award, given by Writers Block Ink.

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
Virginia Wolf 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!

This series is being produced by Virginia along with Co-Founders Mary Miko and Lauren Yarger. Any questions, contact us at CTChapterLPTW@gmail.com.

Chapter Co-Founder Elected to LPTW Board of Directors

CT Chapter Co-Founder Lauren Yarger has been elected to the League of Professional Theatre Women’s Board of Directors. She has served as a member of the League’s Oral History and Membership committees. She, Mary Miko and Marie Reynolds founded the Connecticut Chapter of the League in 2016. 
Lauren is owner of Gracewell Productions which produces inspiring storytelling in theater, literature and the arts. She will be producing two play-reading series here in Connecticut: one with Susan Cinoman for short one acts and one for full-lengths (stay tuned for details). She also is producing a play by Dorothy Lyman and a song cycle by a New York composer.

She has been taking advantage of being sheltered at home to be in touch with all of our Connecticut members. 

“I am blown away by the talented and creative women we have in our chapter!” she said. “They have some great ideas for ways the chapter can be of service to its members, both now, online, and in the future when we are able to meet in groups again. I love hearing story after story of how our members have met through events or introductions from chapter members and have connected for jobs and projects. That’s what the League is all about!”

Members who haven’t yet been able to schedule a one-on-one conversation with Lauren can reach out at CTChapterLPTW@gmail.com to find a time that works. Phone or Zoom have worked well!

Here is the full slate of officers and directors elected:
OFFICERS: 
Co-President: Mary Hodges
Co-VP of Membership: Alisa Matlovsky
Co-VPs of Programming: Sherry Eaker and Wendy Peace
Co-VP of Communications: Nancy Rhodes
Treasurer: Liz Amadio
Co-Secretary: Cheryl L. Davis
 DIRECTORS: (Alphabetically) Abigail Zealey Bess, Cate Cammarata, Laura Caparrotti, Katherine Elliot, Susan Izatt, Kim Marie Jones, Tanya Khordoc, Cynthia Straus and Lauren Yarger.

The following Directors will be continuing their
current board terms: Co-President: Shellen Lubin (also a member of the CT Chapter), Executive Vice President Katrin Hilbe, Co-VP of Membership Tricia McDermott,  Co-VP of Communications Kate Mueth, Co-Secretary Kate McLeod , 
Board Members Elizabeth Van Dyke, Kat Mustatea and Debora Balardini.  Current Members beginning a new term: Katherine Elliot, Laura Caparrotti.

Inside Playwriting

Get the Scoop on the business of writing plays from experts at our panel between sessions at the Women’s Playwright Initiative in Ivoryton Feb. 22.

Have you ever thought about writing a play? Have you written a play, but wonder how to get it produced? Have you done some other type of writing and wonder whether you can make the switch to playwright?

Come get the scoop on writing for the stage when the CT Chapter of the League of Professional Theatre Women and the Dramatists Guild’s Western New England Region host Inside Playwriting, a panel between sessions of Ivoryton Playhouse’s Women’s Playwright Initiative Saturday, Feb. 22

Panelists include TV writer and playwright Susan Cinoman, Broadway Producer and playwright Tracey Knight Narang, Director Shellen Lubin, Emmy-Award-Winning Actress and Playwright Dorothy Lyman, Director and Artist/Playwright Kato McNickle. Playwright Emma Palzere Rae, the Dramatists Guild Regional Rep, will moderate.

The panel is open to ticketholders for the initiative, which will feature four play readings in two sessions at the playhouse, 103 Main St. Ivoryton.

At 2pm:

Savior by Sharon Goldner
Directed by Kate Katcher
Two modern moms at a yoga class dealing with an absurd yet very familiar situation, – what do you do when your five year old tells you he is the messiah?

1200 miles from Jerome by Crystal V. Rhodes
Directed by Kathryn Markey
During World War II, a mother, her two daughters, a young school teacher and a fourteen year old Japanese American fugitive from a “Relocation Camp” are forced to flee the town of Jerome, Arkansas headed to New York City.  The journey is over 1200 miles of roads where African Americans aren’t allowed to sleep in most hotels, eat in most restaurants, use restroom facilities or purchase gas at many stations.  It is a trip filled with danger, one that could prove to mean the difference between life and death.

At 7pm:

Court by Holly Arsenault
Directed by Jacqueline Hubbard
An intimate look at divorce and custody battles from a child’s unique, funny and raw perspective.

Deanna and Paul by Dagney Kerr
Directed by Missy Burmeister
Deanna’s a quirky waitress with a strict no tipping policy. Paul’s a surly customer with a tight lid on his heart. Their lonely worlds collide one day in a small-town diner, where one cup of coffee can change everything.

To purchase tickets for the Women Playwrights Festival please call 860-767-7318 or go to www.ivorytonplayhouse.org. League members should contact CTChapter:PTW@gmail.com to find out about discounted tickets.

Regular single ticket prices: $20 adult; $15 senior; $10 student for one performance.  Buy tickets for both performances for $30 adult; $25 senior; $10 student

About the Panelists:

Susan Cinoman

Susan Cinoman is a playwright and screenwriter whose work is published and produced internationally.  For television, she is the creator of the recurring character, Miss Cinoman, on ABC’s, “The Goldbergs” and a frequent writer and contributor. Her one- act play, Fitting Rooms, (Applause Books) is included in Best Short Plays and is produced internationally.  Other productions are Cinoman and Rebeck and Gin and Bitters, Off Broadway. Her play Sweet Sand, produced by Ensemble Studio Theatre has been recently published. Two plays were made into award-winning independent films: “Love and Class in Connecticut” and “All Me, All the Time” have screened at film festivals throughout New England. Cinoman is the recipient of the Maxwell Anderson Playwrights Prize, The Aristos Award, Theatre Ariel Award, Best Connecticut Filmmaker of 2007, Ivoryton Playhouse Writing Award and the Guilford Prize in Drama for her new play, Guenevere.

Tracey Knight Narang

Tracey Knight Narang is a producer of the groundbreaking Broadway revival of Rogers and Hammerstein’s OKLAHOMA! (Tony Award), and the highly anticipated new musical Sing Street opening on Broadway in April. In addition to producing and investing, Narang’s play To Each Their Own, received critical acclaim at FringeNYC 2015. See coined the term “Subway Etiquette“ after publishing her book “Subway Etiquette: The Straphanger’s Guide to Underground Conduct.” Narang is a member of the Board of Directors of New York City Center, and the Vice President of the Board of the Actors’ Equity Foundation.

Shellen Lubin

Shellen Lubin directed Gloria Bond Clunie’s Buck Naked in the first Women Playwrights Initiative at Ivoryton. As a director/dramaturg assisting in the development of new plays, she has directed across the country, recently working on projects with Lanie Robertson, Stuart Warmflash, Stephanie Satie, Susan Merson, and Amy Oestreicher at multiple venues. Her own plays have been produced and workshopped at Manhattan Class Company, Public Theatre, Pacific Resident Theatre, Hubbard Hall, West Coast Ensemble, American Jewish Theatre, and more. Her songs have been featured on radio and cable TV, in Milos Forman’s first American film, “Taking Off,” in numerous cabaret acts including her own, and in a one-hour special on WBAI-FM, Shellen Lubin – Songwriter/Singer. She also teaches and coaches actors, singers, and writers both privately and as a guest artist. Proud member of DG, SDC, AEA, Co-President – League of Professional Theatre Women, Past President – Women in the Arts & Media Coalition, chair – Women Playwrights Initiative – National Theatre Conference. www.shellenlubin.com @SHLubin 

Dorothy Lyman

Emmy  award -winning  actress Dorothy Lyman is known for her roles on “Another World,” “All My Children,” “Generations” and “Mama’s Family,” but she also is a director (75 episodes  of “The Nanny” for  CBS), a filmmaker and a playwright. Her first film, shot in Delaware County An Enemy of the People, “The Northern Kingdom,” is available on Netflix, as is her second film, “Split Ends.” A documentary on aging, “Janet’s Class,” is seeking distribution.  Lyman produced and directed “Enemy,” her adaptation of Ibsen’s (2016), and her full-length plays A Rage In Tenure (2017) and Soft Landing (2018) at Teatro Santa Ana in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. She can be seen on the HBO series “Divorce” and in guest star roles on other episodic TV shows.

Kato McNickle

Kato McNickle is a Connecticut-based playwright, director, and artist. A graduate of Brown University and holds a degree in Ancient Studies specializing in Greco-Roman and Sanskrit performance and continue to study the connection between art, perception, neuroscience, and performance. They have taught playwriting at the University of Connecticut, and writing and comic making at Artreach, Inc. in Norwich, CT. They are chair of the New London Artistic Council; Vice-President of the Mystic Paper Beasts Mask & Puppetry Company; producer of the Mayfly 24-Hour Theater in New London, and a member Dramatist Guild and the Star Wars Fan Club. 

Emma Palzere-Rae, Moderator

Emma Palzere-Rae (actress, playwright, director and producer), founder of Be Well Productions which produces her original touring one-woman shows include The Woodhull Project and Aunt Hattie’s House. She is co-founder of The Way of the Labyrinth Playwrights Retreat, the former artistic director of Plays for Living (NYC), and currently associate director at Artreach, Inc. (Norwich). She is a proud member of the Dramatists Guild, where she is the regional rep for New England West. Recent stage roles include Mother Miriam in Agnes of God (Madison Lyric Stage), Essie Miller in Ah, Wilderness! (East Lynne Theater Company), Sister Aloysius in Doubt (Emerson Theater Collaborative). At Mystic Seaport she co-directs and performed in Lantern Light Tours and Nautical Nightmares.