Behind all that Primary Stages does is a commitment to inspiring, supporting and sharing the art of playwriting, and the belief that the future of American theater relies on nurturing playwrights.
One of our many programs that embody that mission is our Fordham/Primary Stages MFA program in playwriting, co-directed by Primary Stages Managing Director Elliot Fox, in collaboration with Fordham’s Matthew Maguire.
Fox states, “I am honored to have the opportunity to work with some incredibly talented writers and faculty in this new MFA program that we launched in 2012. Fordham is an incredible university and the environment that we are creating together is very exciting for both our institutions and the artists who join us.”
The Fordham/Primary Stages MFA in Playwriting offers writers the opportunity to develop and produce their work in a rigorous university setting while fostering relationships with a preeminent Off Broadway theatre company. This two-year program provides students with two productions with professional directors, networking in the New York industry, plus guidance from a broad range of professionals in theatre, television, and film.
A fully realized production is a rewarding experience for the writers in the program. The first show of the semester was an evening of two one-acts which ran April 2-5 at Fordham’s White Box Studio Theater. The first was Fit for a King by Melisa Annis, directed by Kel Haney:
Not quite living the dream, Margo – a washed up English actress – is worried about her cantankerous, gin-swilling husband, John. Out of ideas, she turns to an old friend, hoping he’ll be the tonic he needs.
The second one act, All the People You’ve Been, was by Matthew Capodicasa, directed by Jesse Jou:
Emily has a problem. Her big sister, Amanda, is totally, completely, devastatingly depressed. And nothing seems to help. Until Emily buys her a necklace. A necklace that, when Amanda wears it, turns out to be something more than it appears.
After seeing the final productions of the one-act plays, Fox commented, “I am so impressed by what our students are accomplishing with their productions. The experience of taking a new play through the production process is invaluable and we want it to be an integral part of the program. The blend of professional and student artists in the process creates a tremendous opportunity for everyone involved and I look forward to presenting the two full-length plays from our graduating students, Jenny Rachel Weiner and Eljon Wardally.”
As full-length plays, the two upcoming shows exist on a larger scale. Nina, written by Jenny Rachel Weiner and directed by Sarah Krohn, is a coming-of-age tale:
Meet Nina. She’s from Florida, she grew up in the 90’s, and she talks to her Mom six times a day. Shaken by the news that her best friend/back-up-husband is marrying her polar opposite, Nina is catapulted back to the traumatic time of her Bat Mitzvah, when she first realized how scary it is to grow up.
Bishop, a new play by Eljon Wardally, will be directed by Seret Scott in mid-May:
October, 1983 near Fort Rupert, Grenada. Prime Minister Maurice Bishop risks a coup that would divide his nation while political activist Sherry Ann and her husband Conroy struggle to keep the war outside from dividing their home.
These shows are ticketed events, but tickets are free and all are welcome to attend! Both plays will run at The Veronica Lally Kehoe Theatre, on Fordham’s Lincoln Center Campus (113 West 60th Street, New York, NY 10023). Click on the show posters above for tickets to each production!