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Release: May 21, 1999

Second member of UI Iowa Playwrights Workshop is invited to O'Neill Theater Center

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Iowa Playwrights Workshop graduate student Kirsten Greenidge has been invited to develop her play "Josephine 65" this summer at the 1999 National Playwrights Conference at the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center in Waterford, Conn.

Greenidge is the second University of Iowa student whose work has been selected for the Eugene Center this season. Levy "Lee" Simon, Jr., was invited to the O'Neill Festival as the winner of the American College Theatre Festival's Lorraine Hansberry Award for his play, "The Bow Wow Club."

Greenidge's play is an African-American gothic drama about the relationship between two families in a small New England town.

A native of Arlington, Mass., Greenidge is a first-year student in the Iowa Playwrights Workshop. She has a bachelor's degree in U.S. history from Wesleyan University in Middletown, Conn. Her play "each loop like you mean it" was produced in the Iowa Playwrights Festival this spring.

Greenidge has performed at Wheelock Family Theatre in Boston and studied playwriting with UI alumna Darrah Cloud. She is member of the Dramatists Guild, and her plays have received the Wesleyan Playwright's Advancement Award, spots in the Playwright's Platform Summer Festival of New Plays, and finalist recognition for the Do Gooder Productions New Plays Contest and the Prince Williams Sound Play Lab in Alaska.

The prestigious National Playwrights Conference (NPC) was established in 1964 and is dedicated to the development of talented playwrights and their work. Over the years NPC has nurtured more than 480 playwrights and almost 500 plays through an intensive month-long residency of work with professional directors, dramaturgs and Equity actors.

Approximately 1,200-1,500 manuscripts are submitted for consideration each season. After selection, the playwrights spend the time until the conference to further develop their plays. They participate in a pre-conference event where the playwrights read their plays to each other and the conference artistic staff. They then consult further with the artistic director and their assigned directors and dramaturgs concerning the direction and further development of their plays.

A company of Equity actors is assembled to bring each work to life. Each play receives four or five days of rehearsal during which playwrights are encouraged to rewrite based on observing the interaction of the actors with their scripts. Finally each work is given two staged readings before a public audience consisting of both professionals and the general public.