West Palm Beach's only professional multi-award-winning resident theatre, Palm Beach Dramaworks, presents its 6th annual Master Playwrights Series featuring the work of Lanford Wilson, Jean Genet and Wendy Wasserstein beginning today, December 10th with additional dates in February and April at the Don & Ann Brown Theatre (201 Clematis Street). Inspired and produced by Mark Perlberg and sponsored by Nancy and Jay Parker, the Master Playwright Series invites audience participation, discussion and an overview of the work and themes of each playwright in addition to staged readings of their work.
The Master Playwright Series was developed in 2007 as part of Dramaworks' educational initiative. Every season three playwrights are examined, with two segments devoted to each playwright. The first segment is an overview of the playwright's life and work, with scene readings by professional actors. The second segment is a staged reading of one of that playwright's important plays. In addition to the readings, the audience is invited to discuss the work and themes.
The initial program will focus on Lanford Wilson, beginning with an examination of his life and work today, December 10 and the 11th, followed by a staged reading of Fifth of July on December 17 and 18. The first of the trilogy of Talley plays, Fifth of July (1978) takes place at the reunion of a group of friends who came of age in the '60s, and are now trying to come to terms with their disillusionment, their shattered dreams, and the lingering damage and pain of the Vietnam War.
The second offering on February 4th & 5th will be an overview of French playwright Jean Genet followed by a staged reading of The Maids on February 11th & 12th. The Maids tells the story of Claire and Solange, two housemaids who fantasize and act out sadomasochistic rituals against their mistress when she is away. Genet's play was inspired, in part, by the infamous Papin sisters who, in 1933, brutally murdered their employer and her daughter in France.
The final segment of the series highlights the work of Wendy Wasserstein with an overview on April 1st & 2nd and a staged reading of The Heidi Chronicles on April 8th & 9th. This Pulitzer Prize-winning play follows the life of Heidi Holland from the 1960s through the 1980s, simultaneously tracing the changing role of women during those two decades.
Dates and reading times are as follows: Lanford Wilson Overview – Today, December 10th at 7PM; Tuesday, December 11th at 2PM & 7PM. "Fifth of July" – Monday, December 17th at 7PM; Tuesday, December 18th at 2PM & 7PM. Jean Genet Overview – Monday, February 4th at 7PM; Tuesday, February 5th at 2PM & 7PM. "The Maids" – Monday, February 11th at 7PM; Tuesday, February 12th at 2PM & 7PM. Wendy Wasserstein Overview – Monday, April 1st at 7PM; Tuesday, April 2nd at 2PM & 7PM. "The Heidi Chronicles" – Monday, April 8th at 7PM; Tuesday, April 9th at 2PM & 7PM.
Individual tickets to each segment may be purchased for $18 each. A discount package which includes one ticket to each of the six segments is also available for $90 by contacting the box office at (561) 514-4042 ext. 2