Perishable Theater in Providence, Rhode Island is the premiere experimental, educational and developmental theater in Providence, RI. The International Women’s Playwriting Fest began in 1992 where women were just writers, not women writers, but the experiment evolved into the event it is today.
Every year the International Women’s Playwriting Competition has grown to include not only m ore entries, but more diverse entries from more countries as well. According to Perishable Theater’s Artistic Director, Vanessa Gilbert, nearly 250 one-act plays were submitted this year. Obviously, it becomes a more daunting task every year to whittle down the huge amount of good work submitted, to just three outstanding plays. The winners come with some impressive credentials.
Kit Idaszak, who wrote “The Golden Lasso” about women in war, spent the summer at the Williamstown Theater Festival where she was the dramaturge for “The Last Goodbye”, “Six Degrees of Separation” and ‘It’s Jewdy’s Show”. Her work has also been seen at The Collaboration Theater Company, Chicago Dramatists, Rasaka Theater Company and Dramatis Personae Theater Company.
“The Golden Lasso” is a troubling look at the situation of a young woman serving in wartime. Diana (named after her heroine Wonder Woman) is affected by many of the same things any man suffers – loneliness, fear of war violence, and worry about loved ones left at home. However, she suffers the additional indignities that come with prejudice and violence from her fellow soldiers
Laura Jacqmin, who wrote “This is How”, earned the prestigious Wasserstein Prize in 2008. Her play “Ski Dubai” was produced in Steppenwolf Theater Company’s First Look Repertory of New Work, and her “Look, We Are Breathing” was work-shopped at the 2010 Sundance Institute Theater Lab.
“This is How” dissects the behaviors of high school students. On the surface, the behaviors are not much different from what they’ve always been: seeking new experiences, looking for acceptance, and trying to understand their own actions. In today’s society however, teens are even more isolated and confused about what their roles are – with no one to turn to but each other.
Mary F. Unser, who wrote “Swingin’ With Petula” set in the 1960’s, holds an MFA in Dramatic Writing from Carnegie Melon. She was a semi-finalist for the Nicholls Scholarship in 2009. Her recent work includes readings of “Between Siddarta and the Angel” and “The Last Living Brother and Coffee Incident #2” at the Ensemble Theater Studio at LA’s TheatreFest.
“Swingin’ With Petula” is a time-warp back to the 1960’s when women were first rising up to seek more than a husband in life. Three women share an office, a harsh boss, dreams and the possibility of their jobs being out-sourced. One of the women has forgotten about her dream until the others remind her why it is important to follow your dreams. It ends with a rousing finish, disco ball, flashy costumes and wonderful singing.
Perishable has dedicated its 2010-2011 season to “It’s Women’s Work”, featuring the work of emerging, ground-breaking women playwrites. For more information on the season, the festival, or the call for festival entries for next year, please visit the main website of Perishable Theater.