New works from Ellen McLaughlin, Michele Lowe, Lynn Nottage and Alice Taun are in the spotlight at A Contemporary Theatre's Women's Playwrights Festival May 12-14. Each playwright will have a play read and performed once during the weekend with a talk back to follow.
Tongue of a Bird author McLaughlin has adapted Euripides for her Helen, May 14 at 7:30 PM. In her contemplation of the Trojan War, she asks what if Helen had waited in Egypt for her husband to come and find her and the whole war is fought for nothing at all? Lue Douthit directs.
At 2 PM May 14, ACT will read Rain Expected by Lowe (The Smell of the Kill). In Rain, a wife finds the man she trusts more than any other person -- her husband -- has made the mistake of his life. Robin Lynn Smith directs.
Intiman Theatre artistic director Bartlett Sher (Waste) directs Tuan's entry, Ajax, May 13 at 8 PM. A bottle of Jim Beam whiskey and a stolen American Music Award escalate a four person party into complete chaos in this dark comedy. Tuan is the author of Last of the Suns and Ikebana.
Crumbs From the Table of Joy playwright Nottage takes on the scandalous affair between Louis XIV's Queen and her African servant, which produces a brown-skinned bastard daughter named Louise-Marie in Las Meninas. Daniela Varon directs the reading May 12 at 8 PM. Tickets are $5. A Contemporary Theatre is located at 7th Avenue and Union Street. For reservations, call the box office at (206) 292-7676. A Contemporary Theatre is on the web http://www.acttheatre.org.
Between plays on Mother's Day, May 14, there will be an afternoon tea to be attended by the four playwrights. There will be food served, poetry reading by Dr. Mona Lake Jones and a special tour of ACT's upcoming production of Talley's Folly.
The Women's Playwright Festival is co-sponsored by Hedgebrook on Whidbey Island. Post-Festival, the playwrights will spend at week at the women's retreat, writing and reworking what they've done at A Contemporary Theatre.
-- By Christine Ehren