2001 | New Works Festival


by Naomi Lazard, directed by Robert Kalfin, with Veronica Cruz, Tovah Feldshuh, Clark Huggins, Jane Lowe, Valerie Niccore, Francisco G. Rivela, Stephanie Wang, Richard B. Watson

The Elephant And The Dove by NY poet and NEA grantee, Naomi Lazard, is the story of Frida Kahlo, a woman whose life is a constant struggle for survival of the spirit, the flesh, and as an artist in relation to Diego Rivera, her husband, tormentor, and deepest love; accompanied by a plot in which contemporary moviemakers create a film that will exploit her life story.

NAOMI LAZARD started writing as a poet in a workshop with John Logan at the University of Chicago. She has published six books of poetry, a book of translations of the poetry from the Urdu of Faiz Ahmed Faiz (the beloved 20th century Pakistani poet) (Princeton University Press); a book for children (Greenwillow), short stories, screenplays and is the author of “The Elephant and the Dove.” Awards and Grants: Ann Stanford Memorial Award (1998); National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship for Translation (of Faiz Ahmed Faiz from the Urdu) (1996); Ordinances selected as best book by Writers’ Choice (1985); Traveling and Writing Grant; University of Montana (1981); National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship (Poetry) (1981); CAPS Grant: New York State Council on the Arts (Poetry) (1979); Ferguson Award; Friends of Literature in Chicago for The Moonlit Upper Deckerina (1978); di Castagnola Award; The Poetry Society of America for Ordinances manuscript (1977); 1976: FELS Award for poems from Ordinances (1976); CAPS Grant: New York State Council on the Arts (Poetry) (1975) Ms. Lazard is working on a new comedic play entitled “With all Due Respect.” In addition to writing, she is a graphic artist, and very involved with the Hamptons International Film Festival. A Dramatist Guild member.


by Michael Murphy, directed by James Cunningham with William Joseph Brookes , Stacie J. Dotson, Mark Lien, Jane Lowe, Stina Nielson, Jerry Rago, Ken Wiesinger

Lions On The Nile by Michael Murphy (a recent NYC transplant via San Francisco) is an epic docudrama set in 1855, that follows the historic expeditions of Captain Sir Richard F. Burton and Captain John Speke as they search Africa for the source of the Nile, and the scandalous relationship that develops between them.

MICHAEL MURPHY "Lions on the Nile" received a staged reading at FirstStage, a new play development group founded by the Sundance Theatre Lab, and a Brown Foundation Development grant for historical plays. Michael is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society in London, which sponsored the Burton-Speke expeditions dramatized in the play. His play, "The Debating Society,” appeared at Denver Center Theatre’s TheatreFest this past June, directed by Randall Myler. "The Legendary St. Vincent Design" appeared at the Wings Theatre in New York this past July/August, directed by Jules Ochoa. Both plays were developed at The Playwrights Lab in San Francisco, a playwrights collective that received a NEA grant for new play development. Other plays: "Absolute Reality" (Nat Horner Theater, NYC), "The Book of Jeremy" (White-Willis New Play Award; Finalist, Jerome Fellowship; Finalist, Julie Harris Beverly Hills Theatre Guild Festival); "My Mother Danced with Frank Sinatra" (Finalist, ALR New Play Search), "The Hatmaker" (Finalist, Key West New Play Festival) and "Like Noah Rain" (Blue Bear Theatre). Screenplays: the short film, "Time’s Arrow" (1996), and the feature, "The Light of Day" (Honorable Mention, Monterey Film Festival and currently under option for production in 2001). Michael moved to NYC from San Francisco last year. A Dramatist Guild member.


by David Muschell, directed by Elowyn Castle with Gena Bardwell, William Joseph Brookes, Milton Carney, Daniel Hicks, Mark Lien, Stina Nielson, Lorca Peress, Carolyn Tenney

SURF by Georgian playwright David Mushcell is a two-act play that brings the internet to the stage through a contemporary chat room, and the emotional relationships that result. The play presents an original concept: the actual chat room dialogue is projected onto the stage.

DAVID MUSCHELL’s work as a playwright has resulted in four national and five regional awards, including the Southeast Playwrights’ Competition, the Little Nashville Competition sponsored by Feedback Theatrebooks, and the Stage3 New Play Competition. Ten of his plays have been published. His most widely produced, “Mixed Emotions,” has been seen in twenty-three states, Canada, and Japan. He also writes nonfiction, including two books on word origins, Where in the Word? and What in the Word? He is an assistant professor at Georgia College & State University in Milledgeville, Georgia, where he teaches English, speech, and creative writing. Mr. Muschell just completed a one-act comedy, “Muriel and Abby Find Irving,” about death and friendship; and two new plays will be coming out this fall from Baker’s Plays of Boston: “The Jesus Trip” and “The Golden Nest.” A Dramatist Guild member.


by C. Rusch, directed by Lorca Peress, with Gena Bardwell, Hadley Boyd, Daniel Hicks, Everton Lawrence, Jane Lowe , Francisco Rivela, Miguel Sierra,

The Charity Fish Fry Tinikling Show by South Carolinian C. Rusch, is an absurdist romantic comedy with a comedia del arte sense. This one-act play weaves a wacky romantic story which includes a show, a botched romance, a philanderer, a professor, a sex pot, a fortune teller, buried treasure, a magic tree, and more with tinikling dance (a dance performed with wooden dowels that are rhythmically beaten on the floor).

CHRISTINE RUSCH has been a founding artistic director of a playwrights theatre in Greenville, NC; with the NC Humanities Committee, she created the educational program Human Values in New Works for the Stage; was a founding board member of the NC Writers Network, and is a 2000 Drama Fellow of the SC Academy of Authors. Studies include: John Ford Noonan, Arthur Giron, Bill Hardy, Harvena Richter, M.Ed. Temple Univ. Fellowships/Admin: The VA Center for the Creative Arts, Dorset Colony House, Southern Appalachian Repertory Theatre, Mars Hill, Hambidge Center for the Creative Arts and Sciences, Rabun Gap, The Millay Colony for the Arts, various Artist in Residencies; Playwrights Fund of NC, Best Lunch Theatre Ever, and Southeastern Playwrights Conference. Productions/ Awards: NC Black Repertory, Performance Network, Ensemble Studio Theatre, Actors Theatre of Louisville National Playwrighting Competition (Semifinalist), Works by Women, Southeastern Theatre Conference, Love Creek Short Play Fest, Theatre Works, New Ensemble Actors Theatre, Turnip Theatre Fest, and numerous others. Publications and anthologies include Café La Mama Issue of Lamia Ink! Upcoming production: “Trane: Behind the Blues” (Dallas; Oslo); and “Sarajevo” (Cauchemar Literary Journal). Dramatists Guild and The Authors League member.


Lorca Peress MultiStages Artistic Director
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