Blog30

Celebrating the members of the League of Professional Theatre Women

Cecilia Copeland

Cecilia CopelandPlaywright and Artistic Director
New York, New York USA

Where do you look for inspiration? I don’t typically look for things but just start writing and then they present themselves fully dressed demanding an audience and a suitable story to go with it.

What’s your favorite movie – Dune; cocktail – Gin Martini, stirred, not dry, not dirty, straight up, olives on the side.

What play or production changed your life? The first play I ever wrote solidified for me that I was meant to be a writer. It was a one act called The Amusement Bomber and was made into a short with Metro Screen Productions. The writing was an instruction in thought development and the piece turned out to be very synchronistic in ways that I couldn’t explain beyond to accept that by writing I was beyond the limitations of myself. That sounds more vague and esoteric than I wish it sounded, but it’s the truth.

Is there anything you still dream of doing? Lot’s of things! I want to have a major Broadway Production of one of my plays that features a female protagonist in the science fiction genre, explores poetic realism as a style, and uses Transmedia. I would also like to have a family with a partner who engages me on all levels, especially the intimate ones. I would like to promote and assist in establishing government policy that develops the Arts in the United States and to earn a very comfortable living via my creative writing.

I feel most like myself when I … am around someone who gets me or when I’m writing.

What is your best escape? It’s pretty rare for me in my life right now, but I think making love is the best escape ever because it’s not a solitary escape it’s a co-created reality that’s good for one’s soul, body and mind.

What’s the one thing nobody knows about you? I was going to say that my answer to the last question might be a good one, but I don’t know if I can answer because I don’t believe I can truly be certain of what someone else doesn’t know.

Cecilia Copeland. Playwright and Artistic Director, NYMadness. Recipient of the Lennis J. Holm Scholarship at the Writers Workshop, Finalist for Mabou Mines Residency, and Semifinalist for The O’Neill Playwright’s Conference. Her work has been produced by Metro Screen Australia, Culture Project, IATI, The Disreputables and workshopped at TerraNOVA and New Dramatists.

Marcina Zaccaria

Marcina ZaccariaWriter, Director, Administrator
New York, New York USA

Where do you look for inspiration?
I find that often I look toward painting as a source of inspiration. Lately, I have been interested by the Futurists. I recently became interested in the futurists who originated in Italy in the early 20th century, as I previously had some understanding of futurism with regard to Russian art. The Futurists loved speed, technology, and the industrial city. Futurism, as described by Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, prides itself on throwing away the static and irrelevant concepts of the past and celebrating change, originality, and innovation in culture and society.

I am quite metered and even keeled. When I see the blitz and buzz of futurism, I find a forward momentum. Futurism speaks to finding transformation in motion. Sculptures like Umberto Boccioni’s ‘Unique Forms of Continuity in Space’ are inspirational in terms of their analysis of movement and fluidity. How can I use that patterning to create interesting options for choreography? How can that movement immediately lend itself to thinking about how to direct a scene from a play?

I am just beginning to consider painting again, and I constantly ask myself to attempt that practice even though it is outside of my artistic discipline. I enjoy looking at the dynamics of movement and the expression of natural forms. I find it incredibly freeing. How do we use light and shadow to create the perception of forward momentum? How do we find vocabulary to critique the lines, curves, twists, and bends that can be found in futurist paintings?

I appreciate working on this on a two-dimension canvas, as it seems easy to create options in a choreographic rehearsal, particularly when a skilled scenic designer is nearby. When I become too reliant on what I already know, and when my thinking gets to be a bit static, I think it is quite liberating to test out these ideas. After all, futurism influenced art movements such as Art Deco, Constructivism, Surrealism, and Dada. Maybe, it’s where the next great idea is, and I think it’s worth looking.

Marcina Zaccaria is a director, administrator, and writer. She has directed at New Dramatists, Soho Rep, HERE, and DTW, and has been an administrator at Lincoln Center. A NY International Fringe Festival Adjudicator, her monologues are in “InterJACtions: Monologues from the Heart of Human Nature (Vol. II)”, available on Amazon.com.

Laurie James

Laurie_JamesPlaywright/Actor
New York, New York USA

Where do you look for inspiration?
I am inspired by all around me, what I see, hear, touch, read, while walking along the water’s edge under a hot sun, but mostly just by people, what they say, do, their daily lives, how they interact and react to situations, the choices they make, the company they keep, the pets they keep, the clothes they wear.

What’s your favorite movie?
Could there be any movie better than Gone With the Wind?

Is there anything you still dream of doing?
I dream of living to be 114 years of age, like a woman I heard about on TV, I dream of being able to speak Italian and live in Italy for at least a year; I dream of writing plays and having them performed in regional theatres, off-Broadway and on Broadway; I dream of standing on stages facing and inspiring audiences; I dream of every woman being able to bring forward her individuality and reach her potential and desired goals; I dream of a world without war, at peace, in happiness.

What is your best escape?
The beach, white sand, blue water either crashing or quietly cascading, scraggly trees bending and inviting, myriad shells daring you to pick up and add to your already overflowing collection.

What’s the one thing nobody knows about you?
Nobody knows that I like to walk in crowds, study the varied faces, wonder where each one is from, where going, what doing, how their lives are lived, etc., and make up stories.

Author/actor Laurie James has toured her original solo dramatization, Men, Women, and Margaret Fuller, throughout USA, in theatres, Chautauquas, colleges, libraries, conference sites as well as Mexico, Hong Kong, Edinburgh. Her book, Men, Women, and Margaret Fuller, won New York Foundation for the Arts non-fiction award. www.lauriejames.net

Blog30 is Back!

After an unexpectedly lengthy hiatus – due to professional and personal distractions – Blog30 is back!

At one minute past midnight on Monday February 18th, the daily blog celebrating the individual members of the League of Professional Theatre Women re-launches with five new blog posts, and a Week in Review on Saturday.

In addition to a photo and a short bio, we invite League members to answer any of the following questions which tickle their fancy.  How would YOU answer these?!

* Where do you look for inspiration?
* What’s your favorite book / movie / line from a play / pop culture guilty pleasure / cocktail?
* What play or production changed your life?
* Is there anything you still dream of doing?
* I feel most like myself when I …
* What is your best escape?
* What’s the one thing nobody knows about you?

Blog30 launched January 1, 2012 – go to Find Her to locate a LPTW member’s post.

~Melanie, Lanie, Susan, Shaun

Blog 30 Goes on Hiatus for the Summer

Cheers of “school’s out for summer” can be heard around the country. And, we are screaming our version as well. Blog30 is going on hiatus for the summer.

We have had fun working on Blog30 for the past five and a half months, but we are looking forward to a summer vacation. It gives us the chance to take a breather. Here’s to hikes in the woods, lots of tennis playing, enjoying cocktails and being creative.

We will see you again in the fall. In the meantime, you’ve got a couple of months to read all of the entries since January, and visit the League of Professional Theatre Women’s web site for other news.

— Melanie, Lanie, Susan & Shaun

 

Introducing Team Blog30!!

Meet the women
who have administered and nurtured
Blog30 for the past 24 weeks:

Shaun logs in each submission and follows up missing info, and keeps the League’s Facebook page up to date. Susan copy edits the submissions and pulls the quotes for the Week in Review and From the Archives. Melanie tracks dates, inputs into the blogsite, and sends out the reminders, and Lanie tweaks and uploads photos and adds tagging for optimum web hits for each member.

As we celebrate the League’s 30th Anniversary, I felt it was important to shine the spotlight on the individuals who make up the League. This Blog30 experiment has surpassed expectations! I’ve loved the unique responses to our specific questions, and look forward to indulging in the League’s favorite cocktails…. – Melanie Sutherland

Blog30 offers a snippet, a peek, a window into the lives of the accomplished members of the League of Professional Theatre Women. It’s been great fun to celebrate the vanguard members as well as those new to the League, and to learn things about each other none of us knew. – Lanie Zipoy

Blog30 has been like my crash course in the League and its members! As copy editor and pull-quote picker, I’ve read just about every one of ‘em, and have been surprised, amused, sometimes frustrated, generally interested, definitely more in tune with who we are. Don’t know what I was thinking when I shot off my mouth at last year’s annual meeting (I think that’s what got me into this!), but boy, have I come to admire the persistence and generosity of my Blog30 cohort, bravely pursuing new posts and prepping entries through up and down, thick and thin, seriously, a helluva year. – Susan Bernfield

When Melanie first brought up her idea of a Daily blog for the League, I was thrilled. I expected it to be a great tool to increase the League’s visibility and a fun way to highlight what makes our League Ladies so fantastic. These expectations, however, in no way prepared me for just how imaginative, witty, inspiring, and courageous our bloggers are, or for how well Blog30 has been received. From the lengthy blog entries to the briefer ones, I’ve so enjoyed reading these personal glimpses into the minds of the women who make theatre happen in NYC and around the world. I’ve also gotten to know three of the most fabulous ladies in town a bit better as we soldier on together to keep Blog30 running. Not a bad few months, I’d say. – Shaun Bennet Fauntleroy

From the Archives!


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, we provide a second chance for readers to meet more of our member-bloggers from February.

From the Archives

At age 90, my greatest inspiration comes from waking up and facing the day. – Marion Simon, nee Faggen, February 15

I loved everything about it, but was fascinated and downright entranced by what was happening backstage, which eventually led me to abandon performing for what I thought was the “interesting stuff”.  – Sue Bartelt, February 18

I feel most like myself when I … am kicking ass. Metaphorically speaking that is, I don’t get violent with other people. – Barb Kielhofer, February 21

I look to my dreams for inspiration – they are full of strange beauty. – Elizabeth Hess, February 25

From the Archives!


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, we provide a second chance for readers to meet some of our member-bloggers from February.

From the Archives

I would love to travel more, to meet more, different people and continue to watch those airplanes – maybe a third career as a some kind of tour guide? – Michele Volansky, February 13

Seeing that show changed my life, and wonder of wonders, I actually got to tell Ms. DeMille and thank her. What a feeling!!! – Edie Cowan, February 16

I seem to remember there being some simple staging and change of lights that suggested a change from the characters being backstage to being onstage within one of the songs – I just thought it was the most magical thing. – Regina Gatti, February 20

“What time is the show,” our first caller asked? “What time can you get here?” My husband answered. – Gail Kriegel, February 23

Week in Review, June 4 – 10, 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.

Favorite Movie: The Producers Ginny Louloudes, June 4

Is there anything you still dream of doing? Calling the opening ceremonies of the Olympics. – Alix Claps, June 5

I want to keep bringing Italian theater to the States and to open the first Italian theater in New York. – Laura Caparrotti, June 6

As I always say, I’m the only person I know who went from the best seats to the gods, instead of vice-versa, as in the normal course of events! – Zoe (Corell) Kaplan, June 7

Kindle me not.Susan Jonas, June 8

I can’t ride a bike and I am terribly embarrassed about it. – Deborah Asiimwe, June 9

From the Archives:
Both passions have known each other for a long time, but I always thought they would be incompatible for a long-term relationship. – Lauren Yarger, February 4

Where do you look for inspiration?  Books, subway rides, memories.  – Susan Laubach, February 8

I am stimulated by vision and transformation, the unknown, the unexpected. Ideas abound, and art emerges. – Lorca Peress, February 10

And with a foreign name, even bigger and odder than I was, in a country where being English was so important, I desperately wanted to fit in. – Ludovica Villar-Hauser, February 2

Deborah Asiimwe

Deborah Asiimwe, member of the League of Professional Theatre WomenMy full name is Asiimwe Deborah GKashugi, but I officially go by Deborah Asiimwe.
Theatre practitioner, playwright and performer
New York, New York USA and Kampala, Uganda

What’s your favorite book?
Maya Angelou’s I know why the caged Bird Sings

Favorite line from a play:
“When the madness of an entire nation disturbs a solitary mind, it is not enough to say the man is mad.” Betrayal in the City: Francis Imbuga

What’s your pop culture guilty pleasure?
I enjoy watching the episodes of “Army Wives”….endlessly 😉

What play or production changed your life?
The musical – Sarafina!

Is there anything you still dream of doing?
Learning a new language.

I feel most like myself when I ….
This keeps changing, but for now, it would be when I am with my brilliant, funny 5-year-old nephew who is not afraid of asking me any questions that come to his mind.

Where do you look for inspiration?
Landscapes. Sitting by a water body. Silences.

What is your best escape?
Reading gossip columns

What’s the one thing nobody knows about you?
I can’t ride a bike and I am terribly embarrassed about it.

Deborah Asiimwe is a playwright, producer and performer from Uganda. Her numerous plays have received productions and readings in the US and East Africa. Asiimwe received her MFA in Writing for Performance from CalArts and was the overall winner of the 2010 BBC World Service African Performance playwriting competition.

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