GPTC CONNECT
FEBRUARY 23 7:00PM CST
AGENCY AND ACTIVISM OF BLACK FEMALE PLAYWRIGHTS

Connect with the theatre and GPTC Community. Each month a panel of artists examines a theatrical work and shares their personal stories that connect them to the art, and you are invited to be part of the discussion.

Email commons@gptcplays.com to register for the discussion and receive information on how to participate.

This February, we’re honoring Adrienne Kennedy and Lorraine Hansberry and sharing the ways these incredible playwrights continue to influence contemporary writers. Join us for an incredible lecture by Professor Peggy Jones with panelist Kim Louise and help us celebrate the lives and legacies of these Black women playwrights.

Professor Peggy Jones presents:

AGENCY AND ACTIVISM OF BLACK FEMALE PLAYWRIGHTS

To borrow from feminist art historian Whitney Chadwick, Black women playwrights, specifically Lorraine Hansberry, Adrienne Kennedy, Suzan-Lori Parks and Lynn Nottage, give theatrical form to the growing gulf between the White American dream and the Black American reality.

These writers’ works examine the cultural social sphere created by the dominant population, with goals of uncovering and upending epistemologies of ignorance around race and gender in the United States. This presentation will share brief playwright bios, along with examples of how they utilized their agency to create works which necessitate new frameworks of understanding and social justice action via critical race/gender-based theoretical models.

Peggy Jones, M.F.A. is an Associate Professor of Theatre and Associate Director of the Women’s and Gender Studies program at the University of Nebraska-Omaha. Her research interests include intersections between language and identity. She received an Individual Artist Fellowship from the Nebraska Arts Council for her play, The Journey, about Aaron Douglas, the first black graduate from the art department at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 1922. She wrote a book chapter titled My Mother Tongue: A Linguistic Autoethnography in African American Women’s Language: Discourse, Education and Identity. She also has a book chapter titled It’s All in the Game: How NOT to Teach The Wirein Predominantly White Institutions, which is in the edited volume, Using HBO’s The Wire to Teach Urban Issues, McFarland Press. She is part of GPTC’s Commoners writing residency.

Kim Louise’s love of writing started in elementary school and by the time she was in junior high school, the first of her many poems was published as part of a Black History exhibit at the Great Plains Black History Museum. A native Omahan, Kim has penned over eleven novels and five novellas, writing for Kensington Press (BET Books), Genesis Press, and Harlequin Enterprises and earned a spot on Amazon’s bestseller’s list for mass market fiction. Her poetry has been published by the Cathartic Literary Journal and Third World Press. One of her short stories appears in the national anthology Chicken Soup for the African American Soul. Kim is the past president of the New African Writer’s Workshop and has facilitated the North Omaha Summer Arts Women’s Writing Group for the past 10 years. Kim has written 20 plays–one of which received a full production at the Union for Contemporary arts. Her monologue Yoke Bells was performed as part of the Verbal Ofrendas Mexican American Historical Society of the Midlands program, and her play The Bystanders was a toured, staged reading at Metropolitan Community College Campuses. She holds Master’s of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from the University of Nebraska at Omaha. When she’s not writing, Kim enjoys walking, listening to podcasts, reading, cardmaking, and found-object art. She is part of GPTC’s Commoners writing residency.

 

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GPTC CONNECT
JANUARY 26th 7:00 pm
GENERATIONAL STORYTELLING

Connect with the theatre and GPTC Community. Each month a panel of artists examines a theatrical work and shares their personal stories that connect them to the art, and you are invited to be part of the discussion.

Email commons@gptcplays.com to register for the discussion and receive information on how to participate.

This January, when so many of us are missing our families, we’ve invited playwright Noah Diaz and will read aloud his short play  https://www.playathome.org/plays/diaz-house. Maybe you’ll be in our cast!

HOUSE by Noah Diaz

When your grandfather never returns from his adventure around the world, you pack a bag and begin your search to find him. As time slips by, you realize that perhaps what you were looking for could have been found at home the whole time. HOUSE is an epic and poignant short play about growing up, leaving home, and knowing when it’s time to go back.

Our panelists will share personal experiences about being grandparents, having grandparents and the epic adventures that connect us to one another.

The Panelists

Noah Diaz Noah Diaz is a playwright and television writer from the Iowa/Nebraska border. His plays have been developed with Roundabout Theatre, La Jolla Playhouse, Baltimore Center Stage, Two River Theater, The Sol Project, First Floor Theater, and The Playwrights Realm, where he is the current Page One Resident Playwright. He is a recipient of the ASCAP Cole Porter Prize for Excellence in Playwriting, a five-time recipient of playwriting awards from the Kennedy Center, and is currently under commission from La Jolla Playhouse, Manhattan Theatre Club/Sloan, Baltimore Center Stage, and Audible/Amazon Studios. MFA: Yale School of Drama.

He writes on Joe Exotic for NBC Universal, USA, and Peacock and is currently developing projects with Hulu and AMC.

Paul Boesing during a span of fifty years in the theater, has done nearly everything. In New York City in the early sixties, he was a member of Joe Chaikin’s Open Theater Workshop.  He moved to Minneapolis in 1965 to join the Firehouse Theater, where he was a leading member of the ensemble.  In 1968, he was an original member of Peter Brook’s International Workshop in Paris and London.  In Minneapolis, he met his former wife, Martha, and they created many songs and music-dramas together. Paul’s acting career has taken him to many regional theater centers, including St. Paul, St. Louis, Milwaukee and Madison.  As a singing actor, he played many leading roles in the oldest and largest dinner theatre in the country at Chanhassen, MN. Paul has appeared in several seasons of The Nebraska Shakespeare Festival, playing Polonius in HAMLET, among other roles. Next summer he will play King Lear. As a composer, Paul has written hundreds of songs, and many works for the theater, from musical comedy to opera. He has written several scores for The Nebraska Shakespeare Festival.  He set a Gertrude Stein play (Photograph) to music which was very influenced by Al Carmines. For Madison Repertory Theater, he created a score for live glass instruments, performed by world- renowned glass harmonica player, Dennis James. Paul created a song/dance/theater piece for Tom Bogdan (who has sung with Meredith Monk’s ensemble) using the poems of W.H. Auden.  The premiere was presented in New York City in Februrary 1999. Last fall, his Wachsenden Ringen, a song cycle for mezzo-soprano and chamber ensemble set to the poetry of Rainer Maria Rilke, was premiered in Omaha.

Kim Louise’s love of writing started in elementary school and by the time she was in junior high school, the first of her many poems was published as part of a Black History exhibit at the Great Plains Black History Museum. A native Omahan, Kim has penned over eleven novels and five novellas, writing for Kensington Press (BET Books), Genesis Press, and Harlequin Enterprises and earned a spot on Amazon’s bestseller’s list for mass market fiction. Her poetry has been published by the Cathartic Literary Journal and Third World Press. One of her short stories appears in the national anthology Chicken Soup for the African American Soul. Kim is the past president of the New African Writer’s Workshop and has facilitated the North Omaha Summer Arts Women’s Writing Group for the past 10 years. Kim has written 20 plays–one of which received a full production at the Union for Contemporary arts. Her monologue Yoke Bells was performed as part of the Verbal Ofrendas Mexican American Historical Society of the Midlands program, and her play The Bystanders was a toured, staged reading at Metropolitan Community College Campuses. She holds Master’s of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from the University of Nebraska at Omaha. When she’s not writing, Kim enjoys walking, listening to podcasts, reading, cardmaking, and found-object art.

 

Maddie Smith was recently onstage at The Rose Theater to play her dream role, Matilda. She is a freshman at Marion High School. Maddie made her Rose Theater debut in The Doll Maker’s Gift, earlier this year as Nora. Her previous theater credits include productions at the Omaha Community Playhouse, including Little Fiona in Shrek The Music al (2018) , James Trotter in James and the Giant Peach (2018) , Chip in Beauty and the Beast (2017) and A Christmas Carol (2015 – 2018) playing the roles of Girl with Sled, Belinda Cratchit and Fan. In her spare time, Maddie loves to read, play her guitar and ukulele, listen to her favorite music on Spotify, and spend time with her beloved dog, Mori.

 

 

 

 

 

GPTC CONNECT

DECEMBER 29 7:30 pm
KEEPING OUR GHOSTLIGHT BURNING

Connect with the theatre and GPTC Community. Each month a panel of artists examines a theatrical work and shares their personal stories that connect them to the art, and you are invited to be part of the discussion.

*Email commons@gptcplays.com to register for the discussion and receive information on how to participate.

This December, our panelists will share experience of plays/events/streams that they have seen and recommend to keep us connected to theatre. There is so much work out there and we’d love to hear from you too about what you may be seeing that is fueling your love for performance and ideas about theater. It’s a “best of” list we all build together!

 

* * *

The Panelists

 

Denise Chapman

graduated from Creighton University with a BA in theatre. She went on to receive her MFA in theatre from the Theatre Conservatory at the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University. After graduation she performed with Qwest Educational Programs (now B.O.O.M) touring elementary and middle schools in the greater Chicago land area andworked as a solo performing artist. She returned to Omaha in 2006 and worked with Blue Barn’s Witching hour for three years as a director/ensemble member and at the Omaha Community Playhouse as the director of education and outreach.  Currently she is the Associate Director of the Performing Arts Collective at the Union for Contemporary Art and an adjunct professor at Metropolitan Community College.  Past Directing Credits include The Crowd You’re in WithVoices from the Center – GPTC, Withlove Felicia, Love is not AbuseHouse of Blue LeavesWho’s Afraid of Virginia Wolf, The Good DoctorSand MountainBrighton Beach MemoirsSweet, Tell Martha Not to MoanMarvelous CountryTurpentine JakeThe Nightshade TapesHello MadnessIf, and Hysterical Blindness.

 

Colleen O’Doherty

is a writer, educator, director and actor.Her short plays have been produced nationwide. She holds an MFA in Play and Screenwriting from the University of Nebraska, an MA in Teaching from the College of Saint Mary, and a BA in Spanish from the University of Nebraska at Omaha.

She has acted in many theaters around Omaha. She works annually with the Great Plains Theater Conference as a director and actor. She is half of TheAnastasis Theater Company.

 

 

 

Ron Zank

has been involved with the Great Plains Theatre Conference since the beginning, directing readings, acting, reading script submissions, responding to plays, and moderating lunchtime panels. He finally completed his PhD in 2016 (Hooray!). He has taught at Monmouth College, and is currently part of the Theatre faculty at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. He teaches Acting, Directing, and Children’s Theatre. His research focuses on stage musical adaptations of films. Recent directing projects include Saving Toyland, adapted from Herbert and McDonough’s Babes in Toyland.

 

 

 

Great Plains Theatre Commons