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A Day with Playwright Simon Stephens: Wastwater and Other Plays

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Start:
Mar 15, 2012
End:
Mar 15, 2012
Cost:
Free
Venue:
Segal Theater

In Collaboration with Columbia College Chicago Theatre Center and Steep Theatre

 Join us for a day with playwright Simon Stephens, the award-winning writer whose wistful Bluebird was a hit at the Atlantic Theatre last year. Stephens—winner of the 2006 Olivier Best New Play Award for On the Shore of the Wide World—has been one of Europe’s fastest rising stars. His varied catalog anatomizes human despair: Critic Lyn Gardner says his work is like being “hit by a ten-tonne truck.” In the afternoon, Christian Parker will direct a full-length reading of Stephens’s enviro-thriller Wastwater, and then Stephens himself will perform his work Seawall and discuss his lecture Skydiving Blindfolded.

Simon Stephens Photo courtesy Simon Kane

Simon Stephens
Photo courtesy Simon Kane

Simon Stephens is a British playwright whose work has been produced in four continents over the past decade. His plays include Bluebird, On the Shore of the Wide World(Olivier Award for Best Play in 2006), Punk Rock and Pornography. Born in Stockport, South Manchester in 1971 Simon Stephens has been writing for theatre since his first play Bluebird was produced at the Royal Court in 1998. Since then he has gone onto win multiple awards, including the prestigious Olivier Award for On the Shore of the Wide World in 2006 and have his plays produced in four continents. While in Europe, and in particular in Germany, he is considered a writer of some significance (he has been voted “overseas playwright of the year” four times by leading German magazine Theater Heute) he has only however been produced once in New York. This session will examine why that might be. There will be a reading of his dark, apocalyptic triptych of duo loges Wastwater. This play divided British Theatre Critics at its opening at the Royal Court last year. Many found it “elusive” or unnecessarily “dark” and “un-redemptive”. When the same production was taken to Vienna it received standing ovations and proved the hit of that year’s Festwochen, winning Stephens his fourth Theater Heute award.

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4:00 p.m. + 6:30 p.m. Thursday, March 15, 2012
Martin e. Segal Theatre. Free!