December 31, 2021
Always good to end on a high note...
As announced in September, Miranda decided, after some time of reflection, to end its 30-year run. With our remaining funds, we are granting awards to six playwrights writing compelling stories.
After receiving over 150 submissions, we assembled a diverse group of theatre professionals to create a Reading Committee. This group included Zoe Anastassiou, Shaun Bennet Fauntleroy, Elaine Romero, Pennell Somsen, and Helen Young.
The submissions were impressive. In the second and third rounds of evaluations we found notably promising and exciting work as well. It is thrilling that there is that much good writing out there!
The final grants of $1,000 each have been awarded to the following playwrights:
Is There Even Porn in India by Dipti Bramhandkar
Juggernaut by Ciara Ni Chuirc
The Breakfast at the Bookstore by Lisa Langford
ROBAMA by Ro Reddick
[landscape play] by Colette Robert
Paper Dream by Lyra Yang
We hope that this support will help shepherd these new works towards productions, reaching audiences far and wide.
We are forever grateful to everyone who has supported our work from the beginning.
We thank our Board of Directors, past and present, who always had faith in what we set out to accomplish. Particular thanks go to Pennell Somsen who came to Miranda as a playwright, served as Literary Manager, joined the board, and guided us through the Liz Smith Reading Series Selection process. Her wisdom and sensibilities have been invaluable.
Finally, special thanks to all the brave, bold and gifted artists who joined forces with us. It was grand!
Cheers, peace, and gratitude ...
The 3rd Annual
Liz Smith Reading Series
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.
ADMISSION WILL BE FREE
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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