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Celebrating the members of the League of Professional Theatre Women

Archive for the tag “California”

Caridad Svich

Caridad Svich, member of the League of Professional Theatre WomenPlaywright, Translator, Songwriter, Editor
South Gate, California USA

Where do you look for inspiration?
Politics, poetry, music, film, literature and human experience

What’s your favorite book / movie / line from a play / pop culture guilty pleasure / cocktail?
Too many favorites but among them in random order are the films – Terence Malick’s Days of Heaven, Todd Haynes’ Velvet Goldmine, Martin Scorsese’s Raging Bull, Allison Anders’ Gas Food Lodging, Jane Campion’s Bright Star, and Sidney Lumet’s Dog Day Afternoon.

What play or production changed your life?
Bruce Springsteen in concert with the E Street Band.

Is there anything you still dream of doing?
Recording a CD of music, writing a novel, making a film, setting up a writers institute

I feel most like myself when I ….

am walking through a park in the beauty of spring

What is your best escape?
London.

What’s the one thing nobody knows about you?
I love Hello Kitty.

Caridad Svich is alumna playwright of New Dramatists, founder of NoPassport theatre alliance and press, Drama Editor of Asymptote literary journal, associate editor of Contemporary Theatre Review (Routledge/UK) and contributing editor of TheatreForum. She is recipient of the 2011 ATCA Primus Prize, and the 2009 Lee Reynolds Award from LPTW. Visit her at http//www.caridadsvich.com

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Laura Annawyn Shamas

Laura Annawyn Shamas, member of the League of Professor Theatre WomenPlaywright, Educator
Los Angeles, California USA

“My First Big Role: Playing A Boy”
The first play that changed my life was Six Who Pass While The Lentils Boil by Stuart Walker, published by Samuel French. In the 1960’s, I was eight years old and lived in Ponca City, Oklahoma, with my parents and brother.

My mother’s close friend decided to direct Six Who Pass While the Lentils Boil for the community theater there. One of the biggest roles in it calls for a dutiful young boy who does not betray the Queen, even though many tempt him to do so. A casting notice went around town, and all the boys interested in acting tried out for the role. My mother’s friend, the director, suggested that I audition, even though I was a girl. As an eight-year-old, I did not find this to be a strange idea. Sure, I could play a boy, I thought. Why not? I have a brother, so I know how boys act.

I auditioned; the competition was fierce in Ponca. But I was given the role. To look more convincing, I got a “pageboy” haircut and became “Sir Davey Little Boy.” My parents helped me to memorize my lines—well, “helped” is a euphemism. (Ask them about it sometime. They still remember it as an unpleasant ordeal.) What I remember most about being in the show is that I got to wear green tights and was dressed sort of like Robin Hood. My brother was envious!

Although my young parents were struggling financially at the time, my father gave me a huge bouquet of roses for the opening; I still have the card that came with them, addressed to “Sir Davey Little Boy.” In performance, we had no need of a prompter because I’d memorized the entire script by rote; the adult actors came to depend on me to help them with their lines if they “went up.”

To this day, I enjoy stirring lentils. And with this early experience, portraying a boy when I was a young girl, my love of theatre began.

Laura Annawyn Shamas is a writer, mythologist and educator. Her plays include: Up To Date, Lady-Like, Portrait of a Nude, and an adaptation of Picnic At Hanging Rock. Details about her new book Pop Mythology: Collected Essays are available at her website: laurashamas.com. Member: Chickasaw Nation.

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