Celebrating the members of the League of Professional Theatre Women

Archive for the tag “Hedda Gabler”

Shirley Lauro

Shirley Lauro, member of the League of Professional Theatre WomenPlaywright, Novelist, Editor
New York, New York USA

Where do I look for inspiration?
Deep, emotional life experiences. What is closest to me, whether personal or situations I observe that touch so deeply, I feel compelled to express and share them.

Favorite line from a play?
“Time and the hour run through the roughest day.” Macbeth.

Favorite drink?
Dry martini with olives!

What play changed your life?
Ibsen’s Hedda Gabler, Ghosts, and A Doll House. Born in small town Iowa, I felt suffocated growing up. Ibsen made me believe I could be free and create life for myself.

Is there anything you still dream of doing?
I started as an actress and would like to act again. Also I would like to feel freer to open up and write everything in my heart.

I feel most like myself when I –
“You can take the girl out of the country, you can’t take the country out of the girl!” What I do miss about Iowa is the country in summer, barefoot, laying under a tree in the grass, looking up at the sky, only alive to my senses.

What is your best escape?
Traveling. Lately cruising – sitting on a boat deck, reading, sipping wine, maybe a game of Scrabble.

What’s one thing nobody knows about you?
I’m addicted to TV’s “Deal Or No Deal” game show! Watch it especially late night.

Shirley Lauro. Open Admissions: Broadway: one Tony nomination, adapted for CBS TV. A Piece of My Heart: Vietnam Vets selection: “Most Enduring Play on Vietnam”. Co-editor: Front Lines anthology. Novel, The Edge: Doubleday, publisher. Grants: Guggenheim, NY Foundation For Arts, 3 NEAs. Affiliations: DG’s Fund Board, EST, Actors Studio Playwrights Unit.

Glenda Frank

Glenda Frank, member of the League of Professional Theatre WomenTheatre Writer, Playwright, Educator
New York, New York USA

Three decades ago, Bertolt Brecht changed my life. I had always considered myself a realist, but Epic Theatre mystified and intrigued me. When my career ladder vanished in a reorganization, I decided to reorganize my life. I returned to graduate studies to work on Brecht for my doctoral project. My weak German skills made American theatre a wiser concentration. I earned my Ph. D. in 1992 and had found a passion for all things theatre.

Eight years ago Ibsen changed my life. After trying for years to write a full length play, I decided to update Hedda Gabler. I titled my first full-length play about a computer start-up company Tarazed Gamma. At the end my Hedda, protagonist and villain, is alive, ambitious as ever, and in her ninth (reluctant) month of pregnancy. For my second and third plays I experimented with different writing techniques and am approaching my fourth play from a new perspective. I haven’t written anything close to Brechtian yet.

As for inspiration, plots and characters continually interrupt my reading. There I am on a lazy Sunday morning, looking over the New York Times Book Review, and a plot leaps into my head, one I will need to tweak and twitch into workable shape. Or in the middle of a news article, a character insists on chatting — but leaves out whole sections of the dialogue, which I have to research to fill in. Or I’m correcting student papers, when, bang, I’m in the middle of a scene in an unfamiliar setting. People used to call this daydreaming. I’m still learning to stop what I’m doing and write everything down before finishing the article or grading the next paper. I’m trying to clear my calendar to make more time for reading and writing.

After I write a scene, I’m happy. I may tear it up a week later, but I am alive in the process. Sometimes the pleasure lasts two days and people tell me I glow. I feel lucky to have found a new passion in my 60s — and the support of the League.

Glenda Frank has just completed her third full-length play; holds a Ph.D. in Theatre; teaches at FIT, SUNY; and reviews for Plays International (a British mag)and The Fourth Estate, her series of short plays about endangered journalists, was a critical success at the 2010 NY International Fringe Festival.

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