Celebrating the members of the League of Professional Theatre Women

Archive for the month “March, 2013”

Week in Review, February 25 – March 2, 2013

LPTW’s Blog30 was created to highlight the diversity, passion and brilliance of the individual members of the League of Professional Theatre Women in celebration of the organization’s 30th Anniversary. Today, the women featured in the previous five days receive a little more attention, a second chance for readers to learn about them. The Week in Review gives our readers the opportunity to experience a week’s entries in one easy sitting.

Theatre’s been in my blood since I was a kid stage actor in Pittsburgh, PA and
continued through to the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, London. — Zanne Hall, February 25

There is something truly satisfying in being able to haul your own body 25 feet
up into the air on nothing but fabric, knowing that you have the strength to
hang on as you perform complicated wrapping patterns and poses, falling and
twirling and spinning through space. — Talia Pura, February 26

Unconditional love does it all the time. — June Rachelson-Ospa, February 27

When I looked around on opening night at the diverse sea of faces in the
audience, I knew this was not like any audience I had seen in any other Boston
theater. — Margaret Fofonoff, February 28

I love to park it for a few hours in the Drama Bookshop and read whatever is on
their wall of Staff Recommended plays. — Jennifer Lane Bustance, March 1

I adore social, emotional, and impersonal math — the adding and subtracting of items that actually can’t be quantified. — Jenny Lyn Bader, March 2

Jenny Lyn Bader

New York, New York USA

When I was a child, most of the stories I encountered were written from a male point of view, so when I began writing, I too wrote stories from a male point of view! Remarkable to think about now, at that time it was the default setting for fiction.

Default settings do change and not always for the better. These days if you order coffee with milk you are asked if you want skim. When did skim become the default? That has to do with dieting trends and is perhaps a subject for another day…

But the shift from the inevitable male narrator must be seen as auspicious. What a breakthrough that in our times we don’t have to take a male pseudonym or masquerade as men in a fiction. When we do, though, it still helps, which feels sad. Yet at least today we have the privilege of airing and hearing a rich variety of female voices.

Wendy Wasserstein was my mentor for seven years, and before that I was her assistant for seven years. I admired how she approached the page without hesitation, even as she frequently repeated the Zen koan, “Plays are hard.”

I must confess that answering a question like “What is the one thing nobody knows about you?” is utterly confounding: there are so many.

Other things you are unlikely to know about me:

I adore social, emotional, and impersonal math — the adding and subtracting of items that actually can’t be quantified.

Against the advice of close loving friends, I wrote a full-length play in verse.

For a long time, I harbored fantasies of having a pet turtle.

In a recent interview, I revealed for the first time my early use of boy narrators. The interviewer, upon hearing this quirk of mine, responded that she had done the same thing. I wonder how many voices have developed by trying on other voices first.

My guilty pleasures are vintage port and vintage humor.

Jenny Lyn Bader co-founded Theatre 167, serves as Director of Artistic Development and co-authored the Jackson Heights Trilogy. Plays include Mona Lisa Speaks (Core Ensemble), None of the Above (New Georges), and Manhattan Casanova (Hudson Stage). A Harvard graduate, she contributed frequently to the New York Times “Week in Review” when it existed.

Jennifer Lane Bustance

JennyPlaywright, Arts Administrator
Astoria, New York USA

Where do you look for inspiration? Travel! Nothing inspires me more than visiting a new city (favorites include Prague and Barcelona) but barring that, I love to park it for a few hours in the Drama Bookshop and read whatever is on their wall of Staff Recommended plays.

What’s your favorite movie: All About Eve Song from a Musical: “Finishing the Hat” from eSunday in the Park with George  Cocktail: I’ll take a glass of white wine over a cocktail any day. Book: Crime & Punishment, or Jane Eyre, or The Unbearable Lightness of Being or The End of the Affair or Revolutionary Road or… I could keep going (I love to read.)

What play or production changed your life? Mary Zimmerman’s Metamorphoses and the SoHo Rep production of Sarah Kane’s Blasted. But really, other theatre artists have changed my life much more dramatically than any individual production. Sarah Ruhl, Chuck Mee, Kelly Stuart, Lucy Thurber, Stuart Spencer — these remarkable writers are also wonderful mentors and teachers. They’re the ones who have changed my life.

I feel most like myself when I… am writing. Or, more accurately, I feel most like myself when I have just finished writing: in that moment when I am satisfied with the work, before the dark cloud of self-doubt has a chance to descend.

What is your best escape? Video games. I think I enjoy them because they tell me stories and offer me small, meaningless tasks to finish, so I feel like I’m engaged but it couldn’t possibly matter less whether or not I’m good at it or I finish at a certain time, etc.

What’s the one thing nobody knows about you? I don’t know how to admit this, I think it’s going to out me as a bad theatre nerd, but… I don’t like Chekhov. There. I’ve said it. It’s out there. Please don’t judge me too harshly.

Jennifer Lane’s work includes Harlowe (developed under the mentorship of Sarah Ruhl, winner of the Alec Baldwin Fellowship at Singers Forum); and The Seer and the Witch (developed in the terraNOVA Groundbreakers Playwriting Group). Jenny is the Administrative Director for the LPTW and the Literary Manager for APAC. BA: Sarah Lawrence; MFA: Columbia University.

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