February 2003

"A Born Writer"

On Thursday, February 6, "Women at the Footlights" brings this season's second meeting with a playwright. Lynn Nottage's new play, "Intimate Apparel" (2003),  takes place in 1905 New York, where an independent but lonely seamstress agrees to wed a Caribbean stranger she knows only through his letters from the Panama Canal.

Critics across America have hailed the plays of Lynn Nottage.  The San Francisco Chronicle thought "Las Meninas" (2002) "a great story," told with "passion, energy and cheeky wit."  Newsday called "Mud, River, Stone" (1996) "funny," "disturbing," & "deeply thought-provoking."  "Por'knockers" (1995) won praise for its "taut writing" (New York Post) & "satirical eloquence" (New York Times).  And "Crumbs From the Table of Joy" (1995) earned acclaim as "lovely" (Variety), "sweet" & "gently nourishing" (Washington Post), "a hint of feasts to come" from "a born writer" (Village Voice).

Our February meeting will feature Lynn Nottage herself. Nottage grew up in Brooklyn.  By the age of eight she had written her first play.  At New York's High School of Music and Art, she co-wrote her first musical; at Brown University, she studied with Paula Vogel, whose "How I Learned to Drive" (1997) launched our "Meet the Playwright" series.  Nottage earned her M.F.A. from Yale School of Drama, then worked four years for Amnesty International.  She now writes for film, television, & stage, & is planning a sequel to "Intimate Apparel."

We'll meet at Delray Vietnamese Garden, 4918 Del Ray Ave., Bethesda.  Dinner begins at 6:30 p.m.; our discussion is 7:30-9:30.  From Bethesda metro, take both up escalators, turn left onto Old Georgetown Rd., walk five short blocks to Del Ray Ave. & turn right.  Drivers can find inexpensive garages on Del Ray Ave., Cordell Ave., & Old Georgetown Rd. (park above the first floor to avoid the two-hour limit). 

To attend this meeting you will need a reservation. Call Mark Gruenberg at 202-898-4825 or e-mail [email protected].  For your copy of "Intimate Apparel," send $8 to Beatrice Rouse, P.O Box 5443, Rockville, MD  20848 (301-443-8005 & [email protected]).

Charm City Lingerie

The magazine Variety calls Lynn Nottage "a playwright to watch."  On Sunday, March 16, at 2 p.m., Footlights will watch the world premiere of Nottage's newest play, "Intimate Apparel," at Center Stage, 700 N. Calvert St. in downtown Baltimore.  Tickets are $32 & include a post-show discussion.  We must receive payment by February 28 & can't issue refunds.  But we CAN get you a ride to the theater from many DC-area metro stations; just ask.  Mail your check to Robin Larkin, 5403 Nibud Ct., Rockville, MD  20852 (240-669-6300 & [email protected]).  We'll distribute tickets in the lobby just before the performance, & have dinner afterwards at a nearby restaurant.

Uneasy Lies

"Women at the Footlights" goes royal Monday, March 3, when we discuss "Elizabeth the Queen" (1930), by Maxwell Anderson.  "Elizabeth" depicts the stormy liaison between England's aging "virgin queen" & the dashing young Earl of Essex.  "Written with splendor" (Nation), "Elizabeth" is "exciting" (New York Telegram), even "moving" (New Republic), a "wise" play "of notable beauty" (New York Times).  Our meeting will feature director Richard Clifford, whose production of "Elizabeth" we'll attend 2 p.m. Sunday, April 13, at the Folger Shakespeare Library, 201 E. Capitol St., SE.  Tickets are $32 & include a special post-show discussion.  Mail your check to Robin Larkin, 5403 Nibud Ct., Rockville, MD  20852.

Footlights on Stage

January's end offers the chance to see a Footlights member on stage at the H Street Playhouse, 1365 H St., NE, where in October we saw "The Amen Corner."  On January 20-22 & 26-28, at 8 p.m., the Madcap Players will present an evening of eight new ten-minute plays. "That Country," by Timothy Hanson, stars Footlights' own Bud Larkin.  January 20 is pay-what-you-can; otherwise tickets are $15.  Call 800-494-8497 or go to

Dinner Discussions

Thurs., Feb. 6: "Intimate Apparel," Delray Viet Gdn
Mon., Mar. 3: "Elizabeth the Queen," Luna Books
Tues., Apr. 8: "Boy Gets Girl," Luna Books
Thurs., May 22: "The Rainmaker," Delray Viet Gdn
Wednesday, June 11: "Ghosts," location TBA

Theater Trips

Sun., Jan. 26: "The Last Seder," Theater J
Sun., Mar. 16: "Intimate Apparel," Center Stage
Sun., Apr. 13: "Elizabeth the Queen," Folger Library
Sun., June 8: "The Rainmaker," Center Stage
Date TBA: "Ghosts," Shakespeare Theatre

More Information

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