Miranda Theatre Company Takes its Final Bow
The Miranda Theatre Company will be ending its 30-year run by offering $5000 in grants to
playwrights. According to Valentina Fratti, Artistic Director and Founder, giving the grants is the
only way to close a theatre that has, from its beginning, been dedicated to playwrights’ development.
Emily Whitesell, founding board member, playwright and screenwriter says, "the grants feel like a
fitting expression of everything Miranda worked so hard to accomplish; a reminder to hard working
playwrights, determined to change the world, that their work matters deeply.”
In 1989, a group of enthusiastic, optimistic young actors and writers came together to create a
community that would create, develop, and produce new plays that explored the challenges that
faced them, both as individuals and as members of the global community. They were determined
that the work would inspire hope for both artists and audiences alike.
Five years later, they converted a warehouse on 30th Street into a 70-seat theatre, now occupied by
Urban Stages. Miranda produced world-premieres by then-newcomers, Adam Bock and Cusi Cram,
as well as new plays by veterans like Jeff Daniels, Rebecca Gilman and Israel Horovitz. In 2001,
when the rent was quadrupled, it was decided that it was more important to raise funds that would
go to artists rather than to landlords, so the company returned to presenting in other venues.
During their three decades of commitment to new play development, veteran actors such as,
Kathleen Chalfant, Robert Cuccioli, Celeste Holm, Kim Hunter, Robert LuPone, Angelina
Fiordellisi, and Brad Sullivan, appeared in Miranda’s productions. While actors including Geneva
Carr, Amy Landecker, Clark Middleton, and Aryan Moayed worked with the company in the early
years of their careers.
In 2018, Fratti initiated the Liz Smith Reading Series, honoring the long-time supporter and theatre-
lover. The series featured women playwrights and was held at the Cherry Lane Theatre in March, Womens’ History Month.
In its third year, the series was interrupted by the Covid pandemic. Since then, Fratti has decided to
focus on projects away from the company and feels it’s the right time to close the company’s doors.
She is very eager to use the remaining funds to give grants to emerging playwrights, giving special
attention to the artists within the BIPOC community.
Recipients will be announced December 13th 2021.
For information on eligibility and application guidelines, visit
their website mirandatheatrecompany.com
The 3rd Annual
Liz Smith Reading Series
Stay tuned for more details
WATER IN MY HANDS
by Emma Gibson
directed by Valentina Fratti
Sorrel is busy preparing for her wedding even though her fiancé has just died, and Maria’s eyebrows are still not growing back. Gerry wants to know if the weather will improve so that he can lie on his back in the grass, and Eric’s wife has someone else’s heart beating inside her. Through a series of interweaving accounts, Water in My Hands, lays bare the power of grief, and asks, ‘how do we move on when we are haunted by the life that we have not yet lived?’
EMMA GIBSON is a British theatre-maker, now living in Philadelphia, PA. In the UK she worked as an actress in London, Edinburgh, on tour and regionally around the UK in both new writing and classical theatre, for BBC radio drama, and film. In Philadelphia she has performed with many local companies, and as the founding producing artistic director of Tiny Dynamite (www.tinydynamite.org) she has produced over 20 productions ranging from Scottish one acts, to full length plays that integrate complex technology in performance. Tiny Dynamite has received several award honors including: 2018 Barrymore nomination for Perfect Blue (best media design – Jorge Cousineau), 2017 /2018 June & Steve Wolfson Award nomination for emerging theatre company, 2016 Pew Centre for Arts & Heritage Project Award, and 2011 Knight Arts Challenge Award for ‘a Play, a Pie, and a Pint’. As a writer, she has a MA in Creative and Critical Writing and in the UK worked as a freelance journalist for The Guardian Newspaper. Her play Water In My Hands, was selected in August 2018 for The Philadelphia Women’s Theatre Festival and in March 2019 for Spooky Action Theatre (DC), New plays in development series. Her second play, When We Fall, is in development. Emma also teaches and directs Shakespeare at The Shipley School in Bryn Mawr.
ALL FALL DOWN
by Lisa Ramirez
dramaturgy by Morgan Jenness
directed by Lisa Peterson
On the day of their brother Bobby’s funeral, in the now abandoned house where they all grew up, Jackie and Grace engage in an emotional, high-stakes struggle to dominate each other’s opposing version of the events that lead to their brother’s untimely and tragic death. Amidst the many voices of the Chorus of the Past and Ghosts of the Present – all living within the house – the sisters are overtaken by unfathomable memories about their powerful absent father, profoundly talented younger brother, and the family’s legacy of addiction and confused cultural identity – bringing them full circle.
LISA RAMIREZ’s EXIT CUCKOO was first presented Off Broadway by the Working Theater (Colman Domingo - director) and subsequently toured in various theaters throughout the U.S. and Ireland. Other writing credits include, ART OF MEMORY, a dance theatre piece, commissioned by Company SoGoNo and presented at the Ontological-Hysteric Theater and the 3-Legged Dog in New York (Tanya Calamoneri - director); INVISIBLE WOMEN - RISE, Foundry Theatre & Domestic Workers United (Lisa Ramirez - director); TO THE BONE, originally a Working Theater commission, was a finalist for the 2012 NPN Smith Prize, the O’Neill National Playwrights Conference and the Ellen Stewart Award; ALL FALL DOWN was conceived/written in 2013/14 at INTAR during the Maria Irene Fornés Hispanic Playwrights in Residency Lab; Contributing playwright for IN MOTHER WORDS; presented at the Geffen Playhouse and various regional theatres (Lisa Peterson - director). In 2012/13 Lisa was part of the MENTOR PROJECT at the Cherry Lane Theatre where she wrote PAS DE DEUX (LOST MY SHOE) (Cynthia Hopkins - mentor). In September 2014, the Cherry Lane Theatre presented the world premiere of TO THE BONE (Lisa Peterson - director), Pulitzer Prize nominee, recipient of the 2015 NYCT Helen Merrill Emerging Playwriting Award and the 2015 KILROY LIST. Most recently wrote DOWN HERE BELOW, (Michael French - director), an adaptation of Maxim Gorky’s THE LOWER DEPTHS for the Ubuntu Theater Project and received its world premiere in May 2019.
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"Gliding around the stage in her muslin dress, she plays two women, almost simultaneously: the woman Loomis Todd is and the woman she has spent her life pretending to be. Acting like that, it’s a kind of poetry.
- Alexis Soloski, New York Times
“Chalfant is captivating and beguiling. Gilman and Fratti turn the 2019 audience at 59E59 into the 1931 crowd in the parlor at the Point Breeze Inn, as we hang on Todd’s every word and movement, enraptured by the house of cards she has carefully constructed.”
- Mark Rifkin, This Week in New York
"Chalfant and A Woman of the World embrace that and teach us not only history, but a new way of looking at life. This is a must see." - Suzanna Bowling, Times Square Chronicle