Marsha Norman Will Craft New Play About Issues Facing Girls and Women

News   Marsha Norman Will Craft New Play About Issues Facing Girls and Women
Pulitzer Prize winner Marsha Norman ('night, Mother) will write the inaugural play for Theatre for Humans, an arts and entertainment production company "dedicated to telling the poignant stories of those impacted by current global issues," the troupe announced on July 11.

Marsha Norman
Marsha Norman

The soon-to-be-titled project will be "a powerful play that examines the challenges of women and girls in the United States and developing countries around the globe." It will debut in spring 2013 at an Off-Broadway space to be announced.

Playwright Norman (Getting Out, The Secret Garden, The Color Purple), said in a statement, "I am truly privileged to join this courageous production. We read these terrible stories every day in the paper and shudder. What I hope to do is create a play that investigates the ongoing violence toward women and children in the world, and searches for some kind of answer to the question, 'What Can We Do?'"

This project marks the first time that the United Nations Department of Public Information, through its Creative Community Outreach Initiative (CCOI), will team up with a theatrical producer. CCOI will collaborate with Theatre for Humans "to explore the issues and challenges facing women and girls around the world."

The production "will offer an in-depth look at our world as seen through the eyes of women from various cultures and countries and the United Nations and NGO field staff who assist them. Through music and words, audiences will be able to experience these women's remarkable stories of courage, determination and survival in a world full of inequities. The emotionally stirring narratives will be performed by a cast of professional actors alongside featured guest readers from all walks of life, including celebrities, journalists, political figures, business leaders and everyday women."

The producers are working with UN field offices and specialized agencies around the world "to receive expert advice on the issues affecting women and girls, contacts in the region, and guidance while in the field." Andrea Ciannavei will travel with the producers to do interviews and collect the stories that Marsha Norman will weave into the fabric of the play. The creative team will visit ten countries throughout Asia, Africa and South America between July 12 and Oct. 15.

Issues to be considered for his play include "violence against women, human trafficking, women as peacekeepers, girls in areas of conflict and women's economic and political empowerment."

Susan Blyth and Terry Merkle are Theatre for Humans founders and producers of the play. Theatre for Humans, LLC, is an arts and entertainment production company "with a mission to develop and support projects that highlight current U.S. and global social issues, give voice to those whose stories must be told and engage the public to take action. Theatre for Humans believes that one voice can make a difference, and many voices can change the world."

The company was founded in Los Angeles. Merkle is the owner of Paradigm Shift Worldwide, a marketing, production and special events company in Los Angeles that specializes in creating events and marketing campaigns for the major Hollywood Studios and international corporations. Blyth has been a Broadway touring company manager, development manager for arts and education organizations, associate producer and a marketing and special events project manager for the entertainment industry and major corporations.

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