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Ep. 72: The 19th Amendment Project

This week Burning Coal Theatre premieres The 19th Amendment Project, a collection of short plays written by some of the most accomplished women and/or non-binary playwrights working today, writing on the passage of the 19th Amendment 100 years ago and its ongoing impact. The League of Women Voters of Wake County is co-producing this project, along with 12 other Triangle area theaters.

This is the first of nine interviews with the playwrights and creatives involved in The 19th Amendment Project.

About the Guests

Dianna Wynn joined the League of Women Voters in 2014 and has served on the LWV-Wake Board since 2015. In addition to serving as LWV-Wake’s president, she co-chairs the Communications Committee, co-chairs the Redistricting Committee, co-chairs the 100th Anniversary Committee, co-facilitated the development of LWV-Wake’s strategic plan, and is a member of several other LWV-Wake committees. Dianna is a communication consultant, textbook author, and a former college professor. For over 30 years Dianna provided communication skills training and assisted in developing strategic messaging strategies for corporate clients and nonprofit organizations. In addition, she has provided advocacy training to litigators, Department of Justice employees, college students, and citizen activists. She has an MS in Communication and Public Address from the University of North Texas and a BA in Speech Communication with a minor in Political Science from California State University Fullerton. Dianna previously served on the Board and as President of the ACLU of North Carolina. She also previously served on the Board of Artspace in Raleigh.

Jerome Davis is Burning Coal Theatre Company’s founding artistic director. He has worked at Trinity Repertory Company (Providence), People’s Light & Theatre Company (PA), New Jersey Shakespeare Festival, Phoenix Theatre (SUNY/Purhchase), Wellfleet Harbor Actors’ Theatre (Cape Cod), Columbia University, and Soho Rep, New Dramatists, Avalon Rep and MINT Theatre (NYC). Originally from Murfreesboro, Tennessee, he studied in New York with Uta Hagen, Nikos Psacharapolous and Julie Bovasso. He has presented more than two dozen world premieres, providing Raleigh audiences with stimulating new works by local, national and international playwrights and is the recipient of the 2018 Raleigh Medal of the Arts.

Hannah Benitez (Playwright, The 19th Amendment Project, The 19th) is a writer, actor and musician managed by Writ Large (LA) and represented by Elaine Devlin Literary Inc (NYC). Upcoming Feature Film (Screenplay & supporting character): El Baptismo with Vanguardia Films in Puerto Rico. Upcoming Playwright Productions: GringoLandia with Zoetic Stage, End of the Exodus with New Mexico State University, and The 19th– Burning Coal Theatre. Other recent productions of Hannah’s plays: Dike – developed with The New York Theatre Workshop as Director Tatiana Pandiani’s 2050 Fellowship Project & developmental production with Urbanite Theatre. Ashe In Johannesburg- commission and premiere Burning Coal Theatre. Adaptive Radiation-world premiere Denizen TheaterNew Paltz, NY. Novel in development: Trains to Hell Go Faster. As an actor/musician Hannah’s select credits include The Album (Tectonic Theatre Project; NYC development, directed by Moisés Kauffman), Humira-Commercial (Lead-Drummer), Indecent – GableStage, A Fiddler On The Roof – freeFall Theatre, Dogfight – Slowburn Theater, Loves Labor’s Lost – Montana Shakespeare, among others. She’s the recipient of the Playwright Development Grant Program, New Plays on Campus Award, and featured in American Theatre Magazine as one of “6 Theatre Workers You Should Know”. She is a member of Actors Equity and the Dramatist Guild. @hannahbenitezzz

Tamara Kissane (Playwright, The 19th Amendment Project, Thunderclap) is a theatre-creator, actor, director, playwright, workshop leader and coach. She is a podcaster for Artist Soapbox, and a founding member and writer for Curious Theatre Collective. She is also North Carolina’s Piedmont Laureate. https://tamarakissane.com/

Resources

For more information about The 19th Amendment Project, visit https://burningcoal.org/.

Check out the RDU on Stage Live Chat with Burning Coal Theatre’s Artistic Director Jerome Davis and The League of Women Voters’ Dianna Wynn.

Hear what the other 19th Amendment Project playwrights have to say about the collective of work.

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