In 2002, the Pacific Playwrights Festival celebrates the work of women playwrights, including Beth Henley (Crimes of the Heart, The Miss Firecracker Contest), Lynn Nottage (Crumbs from the Table of Joy) and Julie Jordan (Tatjana in Color), April 26-28 at South Coast Repertory Theatre. Steve Drukman (The Grossers, Gone Native) is the lone male among the writers, who also include Julia Cho.
Henley, a Pultizer Prize winner for Crimes of the Heart, contributes Exposed for a April 26 reading at 3 PM on the SCR Mainstage. Mark Rucker directs the drama, set in Los Angeles on the day of Winter Solstice when a cell phone mix up brings two confused former foster kids with an upscale couple and the unscrupulous journalist, who shares the husband's bed.
In Intimate Apparel, Nottage creates Ester, a plain, uneducated African American woman living in New York City at the turn of the 20th Century. Ester falls in love with a man named George through letters and regales her lingerie customers with tales of her long-distance paramour. Intimate Apparel will be read April 27 at 10:30 PM on the Mainstage. La Jolla Playhouse's Kate Whoriskey directs.
Our Boy by Jordan focuses on the lone survivor of a horrific tragedy who moves to a new town to escape his past. Instead, he becomes entangled with a tight-knit group, struggling with their own histories and what the future will bring. Lisa Peterson directs the reading on April 28 at 11 AM on the Mainstage.
Drukman's entry is Truth and Beauty, a comedy about what happens to extremely close friends when one of their number falls in love and brings a new person into their midst. Douglas C. Wager directs the play April 27 at 2 PM at the Westin South Coast Plaza Mesa Verde Room. Cho's 99 Histories, directed by Chay Yew (Red), tells the story of Eunice, a Korean woman whose strongest memory of childhood is her mother reading letters that made her cry. Having returned home pregnant and with an attitude, she confronts her mother about that aspect of her past. 99 Histories plays April 26 on the Mainstage at 1 PM.
Tickets are $8. South Coast Repertory is located at 655 Town Center Drive in Costa Mesa. For reservations, call (714) 708-5555. South Coast Repertory is on the web at http://www.scr.org.
Begun in 1998, the Pacific Playwrights Festival has read six recent additions to the South Coast Repertory season - The Beard of Avon, Kimberly Akimbo, Tom Walker, Hold Please, Getting Frankie Married - and Afterwards and the Lincoln Center-bound Everett Beekin, which starred Bebe Neuwirth in its New York debut.
— By Christine Ehren