Today’s podcast is divided into two parts, two conversations with two theater-makers who couldn’t be more different. But the commonality that ties these two together is the subject of representation both on stage and in the theater industry. First up, I chat with Triangle theater-maker Jesse Gephart who is directing the upcoming Theatre Raleigh production of Doug Wright’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play I AM MY OWN WIFE. Based on a true story and inspired by interviews conducted by the playwright over several years, this play tells the story of Charlotte von Mahlsdorf, who managed to survive both the Nazi onslaught and the repressive East German Communist regime while living openly as a transgender woman. Following my conversation with Jesse, I interview Susan Steadman, a playwright based in Wilmington who has spent a lot of time researching and writing about feminism and the theater. Her upcoming play, (ANTI-)MATERIAL(ISM) is being produced as part of the NC 10 by 10 Festival, which features 10 short plays by North Carolina playwrights.
The Theatre Raleigh production of I AM MY OWN WIFE runs July 10th – July 20th. For more information visit: https://theatreraleigh.com/.
The NC 10 by 10 Festival runs July 11th – July 20th. For more information visit the Cary Playwrights Forum website.
About the Guests
Triangle theater-maker Jesse Gephart has been performing in the Raleigh-Durham area since 1998 and has been seen in over 35 productions. He has been fortunate enough to have been cast in many different types of roles, from working in the ensembles of THE BEST LITTLE WHOREHOUES IN TEXAS AND ROBBER BRIDEGROOM; supporting parts in DISTRACTED, AVENUE Q, AND AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY; to leading roles in THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW, SLEUTH, and SIGNIFICANT OTHER. Since 2007, he’s directed over 20 productions, including the recent production of GODSPELL at Theatre in the Park. After the Theatre Raleigh production of I AM MY OWN WIFE, Gephart begins work on the North Raleigh Arts and Creative Theatre production of BE MORE CHILL.
Susan M. Steadman, a longtime Dramatists Guild member, has written for and about the stage for several decades. Her 15 produced and/or published plays include THE THING WITH FEATHERS, a finalist in the LaBute Festival, performed at the St. Louis Actors Theatre (2014) and slated for the Eden Prairie Players in September 2019; (ANTI-)MATERIAL(ISM), taking stage in NC 10 x 10 in summer 2019; THE CINDERELLA CHRONICLES (YouthPLAYS), produced in six countries, and WHAT DOESN’T KILL ME…, three one-acts examining women’s roles in society, staged in both metro-Atlanta and Wilmington, NC (2014). She has also contributed to and shaped the production COMMON PLACE, UNCOMMON ENCOUNTERS, which included short work by several playwrights in 2017; penned two audience participation murder mysteries, coauthored with her daughter; and spearheaded several partially devised touring shows for children. In addition, an excerpt from the full-length LOVE IS A SEVEN-LETTER WORD, performed in GA in 1993, was published in BEST SCENES FOR KIDS (2015), and there have been many performances of her ten-minute plays, both fully produced, including NEW AGE FAREWELLS and MUCH MUCH LATER at Onion Man Productions (GA), and in staged readings. Susan has directed over 70 productions and headed two improv troupes. Author of the critically lauded reference work, DRAMATIC RE-VISIONS, which examines theatre and feminism, she has contributed to journals, magazines, and books. She holds a Ph.D. in theatre from LSU and currently serves as Executive Director of the Port City Playwrights’ Project in Wilmington, NC.
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