January 2004

"The Play’s the Thing" 

On Thursday, January 22, 2004, Footlights will discuss the very heart of our theater-going experience, for without the play, what is there? Footlights’ member Debbie Minter Jackson will lead a panel of local playwrights on "Playwriting: the Process."  Joining Debbie will be Roy Berkowitz, D. W. Gregory and Shankar Vedantam. Together they will explore the creative process of playwriting—character development, creating scenes, tensions, pacing—the intricacies of getting it down and done.

Debbie Minter Jackson flutters between playwriting and acting, last appearing in Bee with A.S.I.A. Theater. She’s currently working on her first full-length play – an excerpt was well received at the June reading of the Black Women’s Playwrights’ Group.

D.W. Gregory is the author of The Good Daughter which had a wonderful world premiere (October 9 - November 23) at the New Jersey Repertory Company in Long Branch, NJ, Radium Girls (numerous honors and productions, including at Catholic University in 2003), and The Good Girl Is Gone.

Our own Roy Berkowitz featured Debbie Minter Jackson in premiere productions of his Aubergine Days, Goin’ Under and Killer Blues. Roy continues to get kudos for productions of ‘Neitzsche’ Ate Here, After All, and other works performed in regional theaters across the U.S.

Shankar Vedantam’s first play, Tom, Dick and Harriet, has just won a national playwriting award from Philadelphia’s The Brick Playhouse and will be produced in May 2004. What a way to begin!

Our dinner-discussion meeting takes place at Casa Fiesta. Contact Mark Gruenberg for reservations (202-898-4825 or [email protected])

Jump into 2004

Our first theater-going event of the new year takes us to the Clark St. Playhouse on Sunday, January 11 at 2 p.m. where we will see the Washington Shakespeare Company’s production of Tom Stoppard’s Jumpers which we discussed at our December 9 meeting. The Clark St. Playhouse is located at 601 S. Clark St., Arlington, VA (Crystal City).  For directions call 703-418-4808 or visit Tickets are $17 and include a special post-show discussion for Footlights. Mail your check to Robin today!

Arthur Miller’s The Crucible Next

On Monday, March 1, our dinner-discussion will focus on Arthur Miller’s classic The Crucible. Betty Byrne will moderate our discussion. Guest speakers include the director of the Keegan Theatre production, Susan Marie Rhea, Helen Hayes nominee, and Keegan Theatre Artistic Director, Mark Rhea (John Proctor). Here is a chance to hear a new perspective on the award-winning classic. We meet at Casa Fiesta. Contact Mark for reservations. We will start taking reservations at the conclusion of our January 22 meeting; not before then.

Footlights will attend the performance of The Crucible Sunday, March 14, at 2 p.m. at the Clark St Playhouse with post-show discussion included. Look for details in the next newsletter.


For dinner-discussion meetings: Call or e-mail Mark Gruenberg, 202-898-4825 or [email protected]. We begin taking reservations for the next meeting at the conclusion of the current meeting, but not before. Please be considerate of fellow Footlights members. Call Mark to cancel if you cannot make the meeting, so someone else can attend.

For theater tickets: Call or e-mail Robin Larkin, 240-669-6300 or [email protected]. Send your check for the amount of the ticket, payable to Footlights, to Robin Larkin, 5403 Nibud Ct., Rockville, MD 20852. Your cancelled check is your receipt. Tickets are distributed by Robin at the theater just before the performance.

Location for dinner-discussion meetings: For the present, we meet at Casa Fiesta, 4910 Wisconsin Ave., NW (202-244-8888), one block south of Fessenden St. on Wisconsin Ave. and two and a half blocks south of the Jenifer St. exit (elevators only) from the Friendship Heights Metro stop. We meet for dinner at 6:30 p.m.; the discussion starts at 7:30. Please pay for your dinner at the time you place your order.

About Footlights

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Visit our website at Address all inquiries to Mark Gruenberg.

Please support Footlights. Send your tax-deductible contributions to Robin Larkin, 5403 Nibud Ct., Rockville, MD 20852. 


Sunday, January 11, 2 p.m. at Washington Shakespeare   Company's Clark St Playhouse
        Performance of "Jumpers" Tickets are $17 
Thursday, January 22, 6:30 p.m., 
        Dinner-discussion on "Playwriting: the Process"
Monday, March 1, 6:30 p.m.,
       Dinner-discussion at Casa Fiesta: Arthur Miller’s The Crucible
Sunday, March 14, 2 p.m. 
       Performance of The Crucible at Keegan Theatre (Clark St. Playhouse) – ticket price tba