In addition to the new project from Kron (Well, 101 Humiliating Stories) and Tesori (Caroline, or Change, Violet, Shrek), who are writers in residence at the 2009 festival, Ojai will also workshop new plays from Stephen Belber (Geometry of Fire, Match), Bill Cain (Stand-Up Tragedy, Equivocation), Leslie Carrara-Rudolph ("Sesame Street"), Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig, Stephen Adly Guirgis (The Little Flower of East Orange, Our Lady of 121st Street, Jesus Hopped the A Train) and David Weiner (Blood Orange, System Wonderland).
The Ojai Playwrights Conference workshops run Aug. 4-16, with public presentations offered Aug. 11-16 in California's Ojai Valley.
The 2009 Ojai Playwrights Conference projects follow:
By Stephen Belber
"A woman is mysteriously drawn to a deserted vacation home. She searches for a letter she wrote to herself at thirteen. The letter was to her future self on how to be 'happy.' A man is back from jail. They come across one another on a wintry day. He claims to have known this woman way back when. Their entire lives are taken out for show and tell like glow-in-the-dark yo-yo's. And around and around they go, rising, falling and twirling to memories of first kisses, first love and the pains of growing up. A tender, funny and moving drama!"
A play for an older actress
By Bill Cain
"It has been several thousand years since anyone has added a new chapter to the family saga that is the Bible. Perhaps each family should write its own story and add it to the Bible in order to keep the story current. This is one family’s entry. A poignant, penetrating comedy/drama about a mother who will let nothing, not even death, get in the way of her love for her two sons, whether they want it or not. A touching, surprising story of the two sons’ and their love for their mother to the very end."
By Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig
"Fifteen years ago Alice was an interrogator at Guantanamo. Thanks to drugs she has forgotten this traumatic time. But one detainee cannot forget. He tracks down Alice to get back his life. He demands a shocking payment for the damage she wreaked on his body and soul during their interrogations. A physical, visual, theatrical tour de force about the startling rituals employed to re-humanize a world losing sight of its common humanity."
By Stephen Adly Guirgis
"Out of jail, clean and sober, and home in New York City, Jackie is in crazy love. But Veronica, his lady, is not so clean and sober. But nothing can come between them ever -- except a hat. You see, there’s this hat on their table. This hat is not Jackie’s hat. Then there’s this gun Jackie borrows from the wrong person to shoot the hat. Events ricochet into wild complication. The path to true love is full of hair-raising twists, turns and collisions in this ferocious comedy of need and consequence; unbridled passion and brittle self-control."
By David Weiner
"Carter Dean brings his wife, Mara, with him on a business trip to Cambodia. He has no idea that she will become fast friends with the resident business 'facilitator,' Dr. Heng. When Mara encounters a mysterious green-eyed child, Carter realizes their visit is about to become more than 'just business.' A new play about a marriage torn apart by loss; a business deal in a country devastated by horrific genocide; and a global deal dependent on a mysterious man with connections to the government and the Killing Fields. A provocative and timely new play about the ethics of survival."
By Leslie Carrara-Rudolph
"Once upon a time there was a girl, Leslie, whose brain wouldn’t let her sleep at night. So she takes it out of her head, puts it on a leash, and lets her mind wander. This whimsical musical play is narrated by a candy loving, red headed, sock puppet with four teeth named Lolly Lardpop. With the help of her musical buddy, 88’s, on the piano, they pop into the 'thought bubble,' gather up pink monkeys, a magic tutu, and some very large pants. The first act is a hoopla of joy, silliness and lots of heart. The second act is a live interaction celebrating the imagination between audience, Leslie, and the puppets!"
By Lisa Kron (writer) and Jeanine Tesori (composer)
"A musical adaptation of Alison Bechdel's acclaimed graphic novel, 'Fun Home.' The book charts Alison's attempt to understand her father through the common and unspoken bond of their homosexuality." Workshops and seminars include "Symposium A: The American Musical: A Celebration With Multiple Tony-nominee Jeanine Tesori" (Aug. 11) and "Symposium B: An All-Star Evening of Solo Performance" (Aug. 13).
For tickets, phone (805) 640-0400 or visit OjaiPlays.