The new play Jump opens at PlayMakers this weekend as part of a rolling world premiere and explores the themes of grief, suicide, mental illness and how we connect with each other. PlayMakers’ Producing Artistic Director Vivienne Benesch calls Playwright Charly Evon Simpson and Director Whitney White a dynamic duo, part of an amazing pipeline of women’s voices in theatre. Towards the end of this episode, you’ll hear what Playwright Charly Evon Simpson has to say about her writing process and the process of bringing a new play from page to stage. But first, I sat down with Director Whitney White to talk about the joys and challenges of directing a new play, the theatricality of Jump, and the importance of gender parity in the theatre.
About the Guests
Charly Evon Simpson’s plays include Jump, Scratching the Surface, form of a girl unknown, it’s not a trip it’s a journey, and more. Her work has been seen and/or developed with Ensemble Studio Theatre, Ars Nova, The Lark, Page 73, Chautauqua Theater Company, Salt Lake Acting Company, National New Play Network through its NNPN/Kennedy Center MFA Playwrights Workshop and National Showcase of New Plays, and others. Jump is receiving a National New Play Network Rolling World Premiere with productions at PlayMakers Repertory Company (Chapel Hill, NC), Milagro Theatre in a co-production with Confrontation Theatre (Portland, OR), Shrewd Productions (Austin, TX), and Actor’s Express (Atlanta, GA) in 2019. Behind the Sheet is premiering at Ensemble Studio Theatre in New York City this month. She’s currently a member of WP Theater’s 2018-2020 Lab, The New Georges Jam, The Amoralists 18/19 ‘Wright Club and she’s The Pack’s current playwright-in-residence. Charly is a former member of SPACE on Ryder Farm’s The Working Farm, Clubbed Thumb’s Early Career Writers’ Group, Ensemble Studio Theatre’s Youngblood, and Pipeline Theatre Company’s PlayLab. She is currently an adjunct lecturer at SUNY Purchase. For more information visit, http://www.charlyevonsimpson.com.
Whitney White is 2018 recipient of the Susan Stroman Directing Award. She is currently in residency with Ars Nova as part of their 2018 Makers Lab, where she is developing Definition an original concert-play, and The Drama League as part of their Next Wave Residency where she is developing an original adaptation of Anton Chekov’s Three Sisters, with music. She is an Associate Artist at Roundabout Theatre Company and was a 2050 fellow at New York Theatre Workshop. White directed the critically acclaimed What to Send Up When it Goes Down by Aleshea Harris (The Movement) last fall. For more information visit: https://whitney-white.com/.
The National New Play Network rolling World Premiere of “Jump” runs through February 10th at PlayMakers Repertory Company in Chapel. Hill for more information visit: http://playmakersrep.org/.
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