January 2003

Women Playwrights at the Footlights (Part One)

In April 1999, Footlights met with Paula Vogel to discuss her Pulitzer Prize-winning play "How I Learned to Drive" (1997). On Monday, January 13, 2003, "Meet the Playwright"--now an annual Footlights tradition-- meets our current series, "Women at the Footlights," when we discuss "The Last Seder" (2002) with playwright Jennifer Maisel. In "The Last Seder," four adult sisters & their parents share a final family holiday before their father moves into a nursing home. When it premiered last May, "The Last Seder" won praise for combining "copious helpings of warmth and affection" (Chicago Reader) with an "undeniably moving" climax (Chicago Tribune). It's a "touching" & "funny" play by a "rising-star playwright" (Chicago Sun-Times).

Like Footlights pioneer Paula Vogel, Jennifer Maisel attended Footlights co-sponsor Cornell University, where she earned a B.A. in 1987. She later received an M.F.A. in Dramatic Writing from Tisch School of the Arts at New York University. "Offbeat and often disturbing" (New York Times), Maisel's plays have reaped coast-to-coast acclaim. The Village Voice called "Mad Love" (1993) "nuanced and unsettling." The Chicago Tribune found "Dark Hours" (1991) "cunning" & "spellbinding." And for the Los Angeles Times, "Eden" (1999) showed Maisel's "formidable flair for the mysterious." Maisel is also co-author of the TV cult classic "Satan's School for Girls" (2000). 

To attend this meeting you will need a reservation. Call Mark Gruenberg at 202-898-4825 or e-mail [email protected]. Leaving a message does not guarantee your reservation, so get a reply. We'll meet at Pan Asian Noodles, 2020 P St. St., NW, one block west of Dupont Circle. Dinner starts at 6:30 p.m. (just as street parking limits lift). Our discussion ends at 9:30. Get your copy of "The Last Seder" by sending a check for $8 (payable to Footlights) to Beatrice Rouse, Post Office Box 5443, Rockville, MD 20848 (301-443-8005 & [email protected]). 

A "Seder" Invitation

On Sunday, January 26, at 3 p.m., we'll attend the East Coast premiere of "The Last Seder" at Theater J, DC JCC, 1529 16th St., NW (Dupont Circle metro). Tickets are $22 & include a post-show discussion. Mail your check, in time to arrive by January 13--also the refund deadline--to Robin Larkin, 5403 Nibud Ct., Rockville, MD 20852 (240-669-6300 & [email protected]). We'll distribute tickets in the lobby just before curtain, & have dinner afterwards at a nearby restaurant.

Women Playwrights at the Footlights (Part Two)

The Paula Vogel tradition continues Thursday, February 6, when "Women at the Footlights" welcomes playwright Lynn Nottage & her brand-new play "Intimate Apparel" (2003). "Intimate Apparel" takes place in 1905 Manhattan, where a lonely African-American seamstress agrees to marry a stranger she knows only through his letters from the construction site for the Panama Canal. Critics have raved about Lynn Nottage. The Village Voice found "Por'knockers" (1995) "full of rich, incisive writing." "Crumbs From the Table of Joy" (1995) earned accolades for "complex" & "lovingly developed" characters (Chicago Tribune), "richness of expression" (Newsday), & "overarching elegance" (Washington Post). And the New York Daily News described "Mud, River, Stone" (1996) as "a hip, witty tale," mixing "high comedy and deep anguish." To reserve your copy of "Intimate Apparel," call Beatrice Rouse at 301-443-8005 or e-mail [email protected]. At 9:30 p.m. January 13, we'll start taking reservations for our February meeting (call 202-898-4825 or e-mail [email protected]). We'll attend the world premiere of "Intimate Apparel" 2 p.m. Sunday, March 16, at Center Stage, 700 N. Calvert St. in downtown Baltimore. Tickets are $32 & include a post-show discussion. We can arrange transportation to the theater; just ask. All sales are final. Mail your check to Robin Larkin, 5403 Nibud Ct., Rockville, MD 20852.

Discussion Meetings

  Mon., Jan. 13: "The Last Seder," Pan Asian Noodles 
*Thurs., Feb. 6: "Intimate Apparel," Delray Viet Gdn 
*Mon., Mar. 3: "Elizabeth the Queen," Luna Books 

*Note changes from prior calendars

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

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