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February 17, 2011

UMBC Department of Theatre Presents GRRL PARTS

An Annual Festival of New Plays with New Roles for Actresses

Susan McCully, artistic director; Eve Muson, director

March 2 - 6, 2011
UMBC Theatre

Contact: Thomas Moore
Director of Arts Management

This release is available as a pdf file.

Photo by Rich RigginsThe UMBC Department of Theatre presents GRRL PARTS, an annual festival of new commissioned plays with new roles for actresses, at the UMBC Theatre from March 2 through 6. The 2011 festival features two world premieres (both commissioned plays) and one United States premiere:

Runaways, a commissioned work by Ellen McLaughlin
Snip, a commissioned work by Karen Hartman
• The United States premiere of What Is the Custom of Your Grief? by Timberlake Wertenbaker

The three plays share a theme of young women--sisters, wives, mothers and lovers--bound together by desires and destinies beyond their control. The domestic becomes epic and the personal poetic in these tales of support and betrayal among women.

Formerly known as the IN10 Festival, GRRL PARTS has commissioned new plays by Heather McDonald (The Two Marys), Tina Howe (Milk and Water), Naomi Wallace (Duet for Water), Lee Blessing (Into You), Caridad Svich (Stepping on Water), Kia Corthron (Trickle), Phyllis Nagy (The One, The Other) and Naomi Iizuka (This Girl I Used to Know).

All three plays will be presented at each performance.
Wednesday, March 2nd, 8 pm (preview)
Thursday, March 3rd, 4 pm (free performance for UMBC students, faculty and staff)
Friday, March 4th, 8 pm (opening night, with a talkback session following the performance)
Saturday, March 5th, 8 pm
Sunday, March 6th, 2 pm

Admission and Public Information
$10 general admission; $5 students and seniors; $3 for the preview.
The performance on Thursday, March 3rd is free for the UMBC campus community.
Information and reservations: 410-455-2476.
Tickets are also available through MissionTix at
Public information:

Ellen McLaughlinAbout Playwright Ellen McLaughlin
Ellen McLaughlin's plays include Days and Nights Within, A Narrow Bed, Infinity's House, Iphigenia and Other Daughters, Tongue of a Bird, Helen, The Trojan Women, The Persians and Oedipus. Producing theaters include The National Actors' Theater, The Public Theater, New York Theater Workshop, Classic Stage Company, the Actors' Theatre of Louisville, the Intiman in Seattle, the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, the Almeida in London and the Guthrie Theater, Minnesota. She is the recipient of grants from the Fund for New American Plays and the National Endowment for the Arts. She is the winner of The Great American Play Contest, the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize and the Writer's Award from the Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest Fund. Recent work includes Ajax in Iraq for the ART Institute, Penelope for the Getty Villa and Septimus and Clarissa for Ripe Time in NYC.

Karen HartmanAbout Playwright Karen Hartman
Karen Hartman's Goldie, Max, and Milk premieres this season at Florida Stage and the Phoenix Theater, and Wild Kate opened at ACT in San Francisco (Conservatory). Her twenty plays and musical works include Goliath (Dorothy Silver New Play Prize), Gum, Leah's Train, Going Gone (N.E.A. New Play Grant); Girl Under Grain (Best Drama in NY Fringe); ALICE: Tales of a Curious Girl (Music by Gina Leishman, AT&T Onstage Award); Troy Women; Donna Wants; Sea Change, with AnnMarie Milazzo; and MotherBone, with Graham Reynolds (Frederick Loewe Award).

Her plays have been performed in New York at the Women's Project, National Asian American Theatre Company, P73, the New York Fringe (Best Drama), and Summer Play Festival, and at regional theaters including Center Stage, Cincinnati Playhouse, Dallas Theater Center, the Magic, and elsewhere. They are published by Theater Communications Group, Dramatists Play Service, Playscripts, Backstage Books, and NoPassport Press. Hartman is a multiple award winner with grants from the Rockefeller Foundation at Bellagio, the N.E.A., the Helen Merrill Foundation, a Daryl Roth "Creative Spirit" Award, a Hodder Fellowship, a Jerome Fellowship, and a Fulbright Scholarship to Jerusalem. An alumna of New Dramatists, she has taught playwriting extensively, including at the Yale School of Drama, and currently leads popular writing workshops in New York. She is writing the scenario of Kung Fu Panda Live for Franco Dragone and Dreamworks.

Timberlake WertenbakerAbout Playwright Timberlake Wertenbaker
Timberlake Wertenbaker grew up in the Basque country near Saint-Jean-de-Luz. She was Arts Council writer in residence in 1983 and Resident Writer at The Royal Court Theatre in 1985. She is the recipient of numerous awards including an Olivier Award and the 1990 New York Drama Critics Award for Our Country's Good and a Writers' Guild Award for Three Birds Alighting on a Field.

Major productions include: The Line (The Arcola Theatre), Galileo's Daughter (Theatre Royal, Bath), Credible Witness, The Break of the Day, Three Birds Alighting on a Field, Our Country's Good, The Grace of Mary Traverse, Abel's Sister (Royal Court Theatre), Ash Girl (Birmingham Rep), After Darwin (Hampstead Theatre), The Love of the Nightingale (Royal Shakespeare Company). Translations include: Elektra, Hecuba (ACT, The Getty), Wild Orchids (Chichester Festival Theatre), Jenufa (The Arcola Theatre), The Thebans, Mephisto (Royal Shakespeare Company). TV/Film productions include The Children starring Kim Novak & Ben Kingsley and Do No Disturb starring Frances Barber.

Eve MusonAbout the Director, Eve Muson
Eve Muson is an assistant professor of Theatre at UMBC, where she teaches acting, directing and other performance courses. Her research interests include collaborative playmaking, the development and production of new works, the adaptation of mythological and archetypal stories in contemporary settings, and theatre for young audiences. From 1991 to 2007 she was an assistant professor at Boston University's School of Theatre, where she taught courses in acting, collaborative playmaking, directing, and dramatic literature. At Olney Theatre Center she directed main stage productions of Venus (Suzan-Lori Parks), the musicals Godspell, Big River, and Peter Pan, and her own plays Cinderella and Her Sisters and Pearls From Salt, an adaptation of folk tales about girls entering womanhood.

She has also directed new plays at Boston Playwrights Theatre, dozens of original plays for young audiences at the American Stage Festival (New Hampshire), and Edinburgh Fringe Festival (Craig Lucas's Blue Window). She was twice cited for Outstanding Direction by the Kennedy Center/American College Theatre Festival for her work on two new plays, Un Tango En La Noche and a musical version of Jack London's Call of the Wild. In 2007-2009 Muson held the position of Director of the Olney Theatre Institute, the educational and community outreach arm of Olney Theatre Center.

Susan McCully - photo by Richard AndersonAbout the Artistic Director, Susan McCully
Susan McCully is a scholar of feminist theatre and a dramaturg, as well as a playwright and performer. She has performed her one-woman show Cyber Becomes Electra at colleges and universities across the country, University of Toronto, University of Exeter and the Kolibri Pince in Budapest. In 2004, she opened the Philadelphia Gay and Lesbian Theatre Festival with her show Inexcusable Fantasies, which she performs regularly in alternative theatre spaces. Her play Still the One was performed at Manhattan Theatre Source and has been published by Hawarth Press (2004). At UMBC, where she is a lecturer in the Department of Theatre, she teaches a range of courses in theatre history, dramatic literature and works on the departmental productions in the role of dramaturg. She is a specialist in cross-gender casting and gender performance; she also teaches courses in queer theory and feminist representation for the Women's Studies Program. She earned her B.A. in Theatre and Dance at DeSales University; an M.F.A. Playwriting from The Catholic University of America; and a Ph.D. in Theatre History, Theory & Criticism from the University of Wisconsin.

Images for Media
High resolution images for media are available online:

• From I-95 between Baltimore and Washington take exit 47B. Take Route 166 toward Catonsville and then follow signs to the Commons Garage, then follow pedestrian signs to the Theatre.
• From I-695, take Exit 12C (Wilkens Avenue) and continue one-half mile to the entrance of UMBC at the roundabout intersection of Wilkens Avenue and Hilltop Road. Turn left and follow signs to the Commons Garage, then follow pedestrian signs to the Theatre.
• Online campus map:

Photo by Rich Riggins

Posted by tmoore at February 17, 2011 3:50 PM