WMU News

Visiting playwright's work presented in readers theater

Jan. 29, 2003

KALAMAZOO -- A special reading of a work by an award-winning playwright will be presented Tuesday, Feb. 11, at Western Michigan University.

Claudia Allen, a visiting writer in residence at WMU, is a member of the Playwrights Ensemble at Chicago's Victory Gardens Theatre, where eight of her plays have been main stage productions: "The Long Awaited," "Still Waters," "Ripe Conditions," "Deed of Trust," "Hannah Free," "Cahoots," "Winter" and "Fossils." A ninth play, "Unspoken Prayers," will premiere at Victory Gardens in spring 2003.

The reading, at 8:30 p.m. in Room 1301 of Wood Hall, will be from "Hannah Free" and will be presented in a readers theater format. The lesbian-gay themed play also touches on issues of aging. The reading will feature WMU faculty and students along with professional actors from Kalamazoo and Chicago.

Allen's work also has been produced nationally and internationally. She is the recipient of two Joseph Jefferson Awards and was recently named one of 12 finalists for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, which serves as a personal tribute to Smith, a writer and actress with a lifelong love of theatre. The Blackburn Prize comes with a $500 award for being named a finalist, while first prize in the competition is $10,000. Victory Gardens Theater nominated Allen for the honor.

Allen lives in Chicago and teaches playwriting at the University of Chicago, Lake Forest College and the Training Center at Victory Gardens.

For more information, call the WMU Department of English at (269) 387-2572.

Media contact: Mark Schwerin, 269 387-8400, mark.schwerin@wmich.edu

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