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    The Women’s Work Project
    Full-length LAB May Mini-Fest, May 2016

    Since 1994, NPTC’s Women’s Work Project has had the goal of not only helping to develop specific plays, but to support residents’ growth as accomplished and skilled playwrights—to provide added tools in the practice of the craft and to strengthen individual voices. Our focus has always been on bringing scripts to production quality.


    New works are presented in various public forums. For the Full-length LAB, invited and staged readings garner public feedback and our “Off the Page” component allows for workshop productions that get plays on their feet without script in hand. This is a critical but painfully rare step in the process. Full productions occur when feasible. Artistic Director Melody Brooks leads the Women's Work Project with Senior Dramaturg Celia Braxton, PhD, supported by Program Manager Mary McGinley. Guest directors and dramaturges participate on a regular basis in each LAB as active collaborators with the writers.


    Bliss Point
    by Joan Castagnone, directed by Luisa Battista

    with: Bill Blechingberg, Anne Fizzard, Randy Holden, Mikaela Lynn Johnson


    Alice and her estranged son Bruce must find a way to heal the past, even though they have not seen each other in 50 years…well not in this world anyway. Join us for sneak preview of the first act of this new comedy. 


    JOAN CASTAGNONE earned her MA in English and Creative Writing from the University of North Dakota. She received an ATA award for an adaptation of The Three Sisters for the Drama Department’s main-stage and had a number of her plays produced throughout the state. A former playwright member of the Women’s Project, she was invited to New York for the development and reading of her full-length, Blackbirds, as part of their Midwestern Voices Project. She has published poetry and short fiction in over twenty quarterlies and literary magazines and was the founder and editor of Bloodroot, a literary magazine dedicated to the publication of women writers and artists. Joan was one of the first abridgers at Random House Audio Books. During a long hiatus from the creative writing life, she worked in corporate communications and, later, as an acquiring/ developmental editor at Church Publishing Inc. She is a member of Charles Maryan’s Playwrights/Directors Workshop.


    LUISA BATTISTA joined Women's Work in 2014 after co-directing Night of the Working Dead for NPTC, a collection of one-acts by Richard Wentz. She directed Occupy Bronxville, Ms. Castagnone's script for ON THE MARGIN in the 2014 Short Play Festival, then moved over to the Full-Length LAB. Luisa holds a BFA from SUNY at Purchase’s conservatory, and has been an off B’way performer, network television promo producer, independent video producer, photographer, and VO artist.

    Mommy's Little Princess

    by Teresa Lotz, directed by Celia Braxton

    with: Cynthia Bastidas, Patrick Michael Kelly, Karen Vigo


    Ingrid, her fiancé, and her new roommate find a unique way to play house. What's a "normal" relationship anyway?


    TERESA LOTZ is a playwright, composer and lyricist/book-writer whose play She Calls Me Firefly received a showcase production with NPTC and VH Theatrical Development Foundation in April 2015 at NPTC Studio. It was previously performed at Cherry Lane TONGUES reading series. Other works include The Bowl (Women's Work Short Play Lab 2014), Petunia and Fang (West Village Musical Theatre Festival 2014) with composer Kiyun Kim, The Toucan Man (words) with composer Jesse Goldman (reading, NYU, 2013), Grounded; an original One Act Musical (book and lyrics) with composer-lyricist Ryan Korell (Nashville, 2012). She works with Parity Productions, and is the Executive Director of LezCab. Teresa is a member of the Dramatist’s Guild, ASCAP, and apprentice with the League of Professional Theatre Women. Bowling Green State University, B.M. Music Composition. New York University, M.F.A Musical Theatre Writing.


    CELIA BRAXTON, Ph.D. is the Senior Dramaturg for the Full-length LAB. She was previously a dramaturg with the Short Play LAB, directing in the 2012 and 2013 festivals. Elsewhere, she has helped devise numerous one-person shows, including initial work with Stephanie Berry on her Obie-winning The Shaneequa Chronicles, and a dance/drama adaptation of Macbeth with the Avalon Theatre of e/Motion. Celia has presented at numerous academic conferences. She is an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Theatre program of LaGuardia Community College, and is very happy to be working in the CUNY Start program at Queensborough Community College..


    *****WW SCRIPT: Tunnel Vision by Andrea Lepcio, Off the Wall Productions, Pittsburgh, Fall 2015*****


    Trajectory: The Mind in the Cave

    by Ann Chamberlin, directed by Mary McGinley

    with: Richard Brundage, Shereen Macklin, Kensiwe Mathebula, David Farrington, Amy Gaipa


    In an imaginative playground on the set of a supposed theatrical production, the scenic designer attempts to paint himself out of the box his father constructed for him years ago at Los Alamos. Simon says, weapons of mass destruction come in many forms


    ANN CHAMBERLIN is an early member of the WW Project, with JIHAD, The Play having been developed and produced in 1996 at NPTC, winning the OOBR Award for Outstanding Production that year. NPTC is currently moving the play Off Broadway, after having performed it in the Women On Stage for Peace Festival in Bogotá, Colombia in August 2015. Ann has written many plays which have been produced across the country from Seattle to New York, and several screenplays. She is also the author of nineteen books. Her trilogy set in the 16th-century Ottoman Empire was on the bestsellers list in Turkey for nearly a year. Another award-winning trilogy is set in the days of early Islam. Ann's novel "Choosers Of The Slain", about the Valkyrie from Norse mythology, is currently being developed as a Sci-Fi/Fantasy series for television. She is currently Chair of the Historical Novel Society North America Conference, and works part-time at the Middle East Library at the University of Utah as a research consultant.


    MARY MCGINLEY is a NYC director who served as Artistic Director of the Carolinian Shakespeare Festival in NC for 15 years. She has worked as a director, dramaturg, performer and administrator at many regional theaters across the country and in the New York area. She is the director of Actors Alternative Studio where she teaches acting, Shakespeare and does private coaching. She also teaches at Kean University in NJ. Mary is a member of the Lincoln Center Theatre Director’s Lab. She received her M.F.A. in Directing from Mason Gross School of the Arts and her B.A. in Acting from Rutgers University. A member of the League of Professional Theatre Women, Mary currently directs The Garden, A New Plays Project for New Millennium Theatre Works and leads Weird Sisters Consortium, an advocacy group for women working in Shakespeare. 


    Mother of God!

    by Michele A. Miller, directed by Melody Brooks

    with: Phillip Gregory Burke, Colie McClellan, Romy Nordlinger, Ken Perlstein, Ray Rodriguez, Viet Vo


    Written by a Jewish mother about the ultimate Jewish Mother, you won't find this story in your family Bible!

    Profound, profane, humorous, thought-provoking, and somewhat  historically accurate.


    MICHELE MILLER’S full-length play, Real Estate, was a semi-finalist in the 2002 American Theatre Coop Playwriting Contest and received readings at Women's Project, Word of Mouth and Vital Theatre. Her one-act, Products of Conception, was produced in the Estrogenius Festival at Manhattan Theatre Source in 2003, the Strawberry Festival in 2004, and was a 2012 semifinalist for Eden Prairie Players Collection of One-Acts. Bedtime Stories, was produced as part of the Development Series at Manhattan Theatre Source in 2004. Her short play Power Girls Support Group was part of the inaugural WW Short Play Festival in 2008 and in 2011 NPTC developed and produced her comedy, Mother of God! at the Richmond Shepard Theatre. With that play, Michele was also a finalist in the 2012 Princess Grace Awards. Her one-act comedy, Crazy For You, Baby was a finalist in the 2012 Estrogenius Festival where it was given a reading. Other short plays of Michele’s have been seen at Boston Playwrights' Theatre, the Women’s Project, and Blueberry Pond Theatre. She is currently developing a new musical, CHRONIC, with NPTC. She is a member of the Dramatists Guild of America and the League of Professional Theatre Women.


    MELODY BROOKS is an award-winning producer and director working in NYC since 1983. In 1991 she founded NPTC and serves as Artistic Director and CEO. Its mission and goals are a result of her long experience working in the Off- and Off-Off Broadway arenas. Brooks leads the Women’s Work Project, which develops short and full-length plays by 10-14 members per year, and produces ON HER SHOULDERS in association with the New School for Drama. These are staged readings of plays by women from the past with a "Play In Context" component of scholarly playbills and live introductions. Brooks is also Executive Producer for NPTC’s Voices From the Edge Program, which has showcased more than 75 new works by African-American writers since 1997. Through these and other programs Brooks has developed and directed numerous original and classic plays for NPTC. Other developmental directing credits include works for the Downtown Urban Theatre Festival, the Queer at HERE Festival, and Edinburgh International Fringe Festival. She currently serves on the Board of the League of Professional Theatre Women and is co-chair of the LPTW Gilder/Coigney International Theatre Award.



    Joan Castagnone, Ann Chamberlin, Jennie Contuzzi, Holly Eaton, Teresa Lotz, Michele Miller, Charlotte Colavin Ortiz, Alexis Roblan



    France-Luce Benson, Sandra Daley-Sharif, Donna Kaz, Andrea Lepcio, Kim Merrill, Marisa Petsakos, Cynthia Robinson, Heather Violanti


    *****WW SCRIPT: Dancing on Eggshells by Cynthia Robinson, Off-Broadway run at the Billie Holiday Theatre Spring 2015*****