Plays Announced For Play Reading Series Featuring Local Playwrights
Three local PEI playwrights will have their plays read at the Watermark Theatre this August as part of the theatre’s Play Reading Series. The three plays are “Through Eden” by Stuart Smith, “Past Artistry” by J.J. Steinfeld, and Jennifer Platts-Fanning’s play “Held to the Fire”.
Actors from the Watermark acting company, with scripts in hand, will read the plays to an audience. This allows the playwrights to further develop their work. “Plays are meant to be heard and it’s so helpful to the development of a play for a playwright to be in a theatre amongst the audience to hear how the play is working”, says Watermark Artistic Director Robert Tsonos.
Stuart Smith‘s play tells the story of Evey Gaudet who has arrived back on PEI to see her old flame, Aden MacKenzie, after a three year absence. Over the course of a single, storm-filled evening, old resentments are revisited, and new secrets are revealed. Can the pieces of the past be put back together again? Stuart studied theatre arts at Acadia, where he completed a thesis on the plays of Peter Shaffer. In the decades since then, he acted, directed, and produced shows in New Brunswick and Maine, in both community theatre and through drama programs at schools. In the early 90s, he co-founded the St. Croix Theatre Company in New Brunswick. He was artistic director of that company for six years, until he moved to PEI. Since moving to the island in 2000, Stuart’s focus has been on educational theatre in junior high, but he has recently started writing again for the stage as well as getting back on the boards as an actor.
J. J. Steinfeld is a fiction writer, poet, and playwright who lives on Prince Edward Island. He has published eighteen books, including Anton Chekhov Was Never in Charlottetown (Stories, Gaspereau Press), Would You Hide Me? (Stories, Gaspereau Press), Misshapenness (Poetry, Ekstasis Editions), Identity Dreams and Memory Sounds (Poetry, Ekstasis Editions), Madhouses in Heaven, Castles in Hell (Stories, Ekstasis Editions), An Unauthorized Biography of Being (Stories, Ekstasis Editions), and Absurdity, Woe Is Me, Glory Be (Poetry, Guernica Editions). Over fifty of his one-act plays and a handful of full-length plays have been performed in Canada and the United States, including the full-length plays The Franz Kafka Therapy Session, The Golden Age of Monsters, and A Television-Watching Artist; and the one-act plays Godot’s Leafless Tree, The Waiting Ends, The Entrance-or-Not Barroom, The Word-Lover, Laugh for Sanity, Back to Back, Imaginative Drinking, In a Washroom of a Prestigious Art Gallery, More Than Money, A Play of Disbelief, Memory Sounds, and A Question of Eternity.
J.J.’s play Past Artistry deals with the relationship between creativity, the past, family, artistic life and artistic vision. A forty-seven-year-old artist is visited by the man, now old and wanting to confess his act before he dies, who shot him thirty-two years before. The shooting, when the artist was fifteen, led him to become an artist and he does not want to know the truth about the unknown assailant who has never been caught. The entrance of the old man into his life affects the artist’s relationship with his artist daughter and with his art-dealer friend.
Jennifer Platts-Fanning is a playwright and short story writer. She spent a year acting in various ACT (A Community Theatre) gigs including Plays in a Day, A Man of Two Minds and Our Town. As a backpacking vagabond in her 20s, she slung pints for a living at The Worlds End in Edinburgh, Scotland and “worked” alongside Christopher Lee as an extra in the movie Greyfriars Bobby. While living in Cork, Ireland she once sat sipping warm Guinness in a small, brightly lit IRA pub teaching the gruff old men the lyrics to Barrett’s Privateers. Jennifer’s ultimate goals for writing Held to the Fire are twofold. Firstly, she hopes people struggling with bipolar will feel represented, understood and heard. Secondly, she hopes those outside the disorder will have a better understanding of this life-changing illness.
Jennifer’s play’s main character, Phoenix, is spinning, caught in her own maelstrom. Inner demons threaten to dismantle her life. A lover, a mother, a woman saddled with a frenzied mind, she journeys from constellation mythologies to moon gardening, yurts to communing with Death. A raw and unveiled window into the dark depths of human consciousness.
The dates and times of the plays are:
August 4th at 1:30PM – Through Eden by Stuart Smith
August 15th at 1:30PM – Past Artistry J.J. Steinfeld
August 22nd at 1:30PM – Held to the Fire by Jennifer Platts-Fanning
Tickets are only $10 and can be purchased by going to the company’s website http://www.watermarktheatre.com
For more information, or to set up an interview with any of the playwrights please contact Andrea Surich at 902-963-3963 or firstname.lastname@example.org