Celebrating the members of the League of Professional Theatre Women

Search Results for: “KS Stevens

KS Stevens

KS Stevens, member of the League of Professional Theatre WomenPlaywright
New York, New York USA

When I look for inspiration among playwrights, I look to Rodgers & Hammerstein, Kander and Ebb, Laurents and Sondheim. The attention paid to crafting rich stories and characters made my experiences in the theatre emotional ones. I grew up devouring the musicals from Rodgers and Hammerstein. When I got older I rented their musicals and to see what else they had done and saw South Pacific. When I first watched and heard the song “Carefully Taught” I cried. Here was this writing team from the ‘40s and ‘50s that I thought only wrote sweet musicals with children in King and I and Sound of Music and I now heard this song talking about racism being taught and learned, 30 years before I was born. It was so bold and unique. That’s when I realized musical theatre and theatre could have social impact for the better. They tackled racism and civil rights in their shows over and over. When I realized without them there would be three less Asian-American musicals it really made me stop and think about their views and what drove them as artists to use theatre as their artistic vehicles.

My new musical BIG EXCELLENT 20TH REUNION is intentionally ethnically diverse on stage and behind the scenes. It is historically the first Off Broadway production that was created by and has lyrics, libretto and composition written by an Asian-American woman. In addition to this, I am self-producing it. It is very funny because it talks about loss, family and the impact of HIV, civil rights, and cancer within a close circle of friends. It also gives voices to those that haven’t seen much representation. My characters are dynamic because they are beautiful, with flaws, and could be anyone’s best friend, brother, sister, daughter or son. And if one person stands up for someone else inside the theatre, then hopefully they will continue in real life.

KS Stevens debuts her new musical BIG EXCELLENT 20TH REUNION June, Off Broadway. (creator, producer, librettist, lyricist and composer.) Credits: Butch Mamas!, Yellow Lens & The Scene, “GO Magazine’s: 100 Women We Love.” Member: Dramatists Guild of America, Women’s Initiative 50/50 in 2020, Asian American Film Lab, & WOW Cafe Theatre.


Gerda Stevenson

Gerda Stevenson, member of the League of Professional Theatre WomenActor/writer/director/singer-songwriter

I look for inspiration all around me, in my own and others’ experience, in the work of fellow artists, and in research.

I have many favourite books – Germinal by Emile Zola, Sunset Song, by Lewis Grassic Gibbon, and I love the poetry of Sharon Olds.

Ran – Kurosawa’s version of King Lear – is a superb film, and I admire Pather Panchali by the great Indian filmmaker Satyajit Ray.

I love the line: “If music be the food of love, play on…’ from Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night. For me, music is indeed this – I come from a family of musicians – my father is the composer/pianist Ronald Stevenson, my sister the harpist/composer Savourna Stevenson, my niece the fiddler/composer Anna-Wendy Stevenson. And my brother Gordon is a violin maker. My son, Rob MacNeacail, plays bass guitar, bagpipes and piano, and right now, my favourite bit of pop culture is his band, Miasma, with their debut album, Feathered Feet – it’s memorably melodic, has great harmonies, and intelligent lyrics.

My guilty pleasure would be Crannachan – a delicious Scottish dessert – whipped cream, whisky, heather honey, and fresh raspberries, with toasted oatmeal. It goes down well with a glass of champagne!

Two plays that made a huge impression on me when I was young were The Trojan Women, directed by the Romanian, Andrei Serban (La MaMa theater company), and The Cheviot, the Stag, and the Black, Black Oil, by Scotland’s 7:84 Theatre Company. The former was a passionate expression of pacifism (like Kurosawa’s Ran), and the 7:84 production was a powerful piece of political theatre, about the exploitation of the Scottish people and their land by successive British governments.

My best escape is to go walking in the Scottish Highlands – by mountains and loch-sides, wild and remote places of my homeland, with my friend Jenny. We’ve known each other since we were born. We take our dogs with us, carry our tent, basic food for a few days, collect firewood on the way, choose where to pitch our tent each evening, and light our camp fire. There’s no one around for miles, no cell phone reception, and it’s paradise.

Gerda Stevenson: Twice nominated for Critics Awards Theatre in Scotland, BAFTA Best Film Actress Award. Nominated LPTW’s Guilder/Coigney Award. Original plays, and dramatisations of classic Scottish novels for BBC Radio. Stage play, Federer Versus Murray, shortlisted London Fringe Theatre Writing Award, 2010, runner-up Best Scottish Contribution to Drama on Edinburgh Fringe, 2011.

Week in Review, May 28-June 3, 2012

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. Every Sunday, the women featured in the previous six days, as well as three others from our first two months, receive a little more attention, a second chance for readers to learn about them. Sunday is often a day for reflection, offering the opportunity to catch up on the previous week’s activities. Now, the Week in Review gives our readers the opportunity to experience a week’s entries in one easy sitting. We hope you enjoy the latest addition to Blog30.

Memorial Day – no blog, May 28

My favorite guilty pleasure is that I can (and do) watch PRIDE & PREJUDICE every time it’s on. Which, thanks to cable, it always is. – Paula D’Alessandris, May 29

i learned how to balance embarrassment and purpose as i pranced around the stage in very little clothing in SWEET CHARITY in front of my Physics/Calculus teacher, Mr. Book (who was as by-the-book as his given name would indicate). – chandra thomas, May 30

I dream of making a theatre experience in Egypt – as we are a body-languaged people – to release our bodies from borders and tell what we really want to tell about ourselves. – Asmaa Yehia Eltaher, May 31

If one person stands up for someone else inside the theatre, then hopefully they will continue in real life. – KS Stevens, June 1

I have a hard time not working, but I love what I’m doing, so I really don’t need an escape. – Catherine Schreiber, June 2

From the Archives:
It exploded my notion of who I was in the world, or who I could be, and shed a stark light on the kinds of stories I wanted to hear and participate in telling. – Manda Martin, February 5

I am competitive with myself – and sometimes, others – always striving to do the right thing while trying to figure out what the right thing is.  – Julie Carpenter Sylvester, February 12

In an extremely organized fashion (I am a Virgo, after all), I methodically and avidly read all the biographies of African-American figures, and all the ones of women; not surprisingly, I was particularly interested in their stories. – Cheryl Davis, February 19

Melba LaRose (yes, that’s her real name) escaped to the West Coast in the ’70s in a full-length black velvet coat, hot pants, floppy hat, and ripped fishnets — the strangest thing that ever got off the bus. – Melba LaRose, February 26

Find Her

Blog30 Launches!
Introducing Team Blog30
Taking Memorial Day Weekend off
Summer Hiatus
Blog30 is Back!

Alexa Kelly
Alexis Greene
Alice Reagan
Alisa Matlovsky
Alix Claps
Amanda Pekoe
Amy Stoller
Andrea Caban
Andrea Kuchlewska
Angelica Page
Angelina Fiordellisi
Anna Nugent
Anne Dunning
Anne Hamilton
Anne Phelan
Anne Stewart FitzRoy, CPA
Antoinette LaVecchia
Asmaa Yehia Eltaher

Barb Kielhofer
Billie Allen

Cara Reichel
Caridad Svich
Carol K. Mack
Carolyn Feleppa Balducci
Catherine Gropper
Catherine Porter
Catherine Schreiber
Cecilia Copeland
chandra thomas
Chelsea Silverman
Cheryl L. Davis
Chiori Miyagawa
Cindy Cooper (Cynthia L. Cooper)

Deborah Asiimwe
DeVida Jenkins
Dorothy Leeds

Edie Cowan
Elaine Smith
Elizabeth Hess
Elizabeth Ireland McCann
Elsa Rael
Enid Futterman

Gabriele Schafer
Gail Kriegel
Georganne Aldrich Heller
Gerda Stevenson
Ginny Louloudes
Glenda Frank
Gwynn MacDonald

Harriet Slaughter
Helen E. Richardson
Helen Stern
Hilary Adams

Jacki Barlia Florin
Jennifer Lane Bustance
Jenny Lyn Bader
Jessica Litwak
Jessi D. Hill
Jill BC Du Boff
Joan D. Firestone
Joanne Pottlitzer
Joyce Liao
Joyce Maio
Judith Binus
Julia Miles
Julia Pascal
Julie Carpenter Sylvester
June Rachelson-Ospa

Karin de la Penha
Katie Pearl
Katrin Hilbe
Kristin Marting
KS Stevens
Kyle Blumenthal

Lanie Zipoy
Laura Annawyn Shamas
Laura Caparrotti
Lauren Yarger
Laurie James
Lenore DeKoven
Linda Chapman
Lisa Rothe
Lorca Peress
Ludovica Villar-Hauser
Lucy Wang
Lynne Rogers

Mahayana (Yana) Landowne
Manda Martin
Marcina Zaccaria
Marcy Arlin
Margaret Fofonoff
Margery Klain
Marie Ann Chenevey
Mari Lyn Henry
Marion Simon
Martha Richards
Maxine Kern
Melanie Sutherland
Melba LaRose
Melody Brooks
Michael angel Johnson
Michele Volansky (PhD)
Michelle Haines
Mira J Spektor
Mũmbi Kaigwa

Nancy Ford
Natasha Lee Martin

Olga de la Fuente
Orietta Crispino

Pamela Golinski
Pat Addiss
Paula D’Alessandris
Paula Ewin
Paula McFetridge
Penny Jackson
Penny Landau
Petronia Paley

Regina Gatti
Richarda Abrams
Roberta Levitow
Robin Rice Lichtig
Robin Rothstein
Romy Nordlinger
Ruth Margraff
Ruth Mayleas

Sandi Durell
Sandra M. Bloom
Sandra Nordgren
Saviana Stanescu
Shaun Bennet Fauntleroy
Sheila Speller
Sheilah Rae
Shellen Lubin
Sherry Eaker
Shirley Lauro
Sondra Gorney
Sophia Romma
Stephanie Klapper
Sue Bartelt
Susan Bernfield
Susan Jonas
Susan Laubach
Susan Wallack

Talia Pura
Theresa Giacopasi
Tisa Chang
Tobie S. Stein, Ph.D.
Tricia McDermott

Valentina Fratti

Wendy Barrie-Wilson

Yvette Heyliger

Zanne Hall
Zoe (Corell) Kaplan

Week in Review, February 27 – March 4, 2012
Week in Review, March 5 – 11, 2012
Week in Review, March 12 – 18, 2012
Week in Review, March 19 – 25, 2012
Week in Review, March 26 – April 1, 2012
Week in Review, April 2 – 8, 2012
Week in Review, April 9 – 15, 2012
Week in Review, April 16 – 22, 2012
Week in Review, April 23 – 29, 2012
Week in Review, April 30 – May 6, 2012
Week in Review, May 7 – 13, 2012
Week in Review, May 14 – 20, 2012
Week in Review, May 21 – 27, 2012
Week in Review, May 28 – June 3, 2012
Week in Review, June 4 – 10, 2012
From the Archives
Week in Review, February 18 – 22, 2013
Week in Review, February 25 – March 2, 2013

Carol K. Mack

Carol K. Mack, member of League of Professional Theatre WomenPlaywright/Writer
New York, New York USA

Where do you look for inspiration?
I’m often inspired by overheard conversations on buses or on line at the supermarket. Cell phones can work well for playwrights as the other end of the conversation remains completely open to imagination. Sometimes, mid-work, a word or gesture by a stranger can point to the solution of a ‘moment’ or a problem in a play in progress. My other major source of inspiration is myth and folktale.

What play or production changed your life?
The play that changed my life was Peter Pan when Uta Hagen sent me off to audition for Wendy and I finally realized I would never get to play Lady Macbeth or Blanche Dubois or any of the characters I longed to “be” so I began to write the powerful and interesting protagonists I could inhabit in my imagination. I have always used Uta Hagen’s great acting techniques in writing and in teaching writing.

The production that changed my life was the incredibly moving way that my play Without A Trace (about a blind pianist) was produced in Scotland by Sounds of Progress, a group of very talented disabled musicians and actors with a mix of other actors and directed by the amazing Gerda Stevenson. This production illuminated the experience I think is unique to theatre, that of an entire audience being transported from their world beyond the fourth wall to the world of the play. When an entire audience is moved deeply, sometimes to tears, that moment becomes a kind of communion unlike any other experience! For a playwright the imagined “world” begins as text, and what a gift it is when realized by the talents of actors, designers, and director. In this play the musicians and actors were “seen” as the extraordinary artists they are and not “seen as” disabled. After 9/11 and because of the “Scottish play” in 2002 I realized that a play could change and/or powerfully inform the beliefs of audiences and lives of a company. This pointed the way for me to work for social change via playwriting.

What is your best escape? Walking, especially through Central Park.

Carol K. Mack‘s one act plays published in Best Short American Plays editions 1984-85, 1990, 1993-94, 2005-06 Applause Books; other plays published by Heinemann Press, Samuel French, DPS, Smith Kraus. Books published by Arcade, Holt, Skyhorse, Profile Books; plays staged at E.S.T., Berkshire Theatre Festival, A.R.T., Humana Festival, Women’s Project.

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