photo by Keily Anderson-Stale
“If we are to shift the paradigm, we must change the stories we tell.”
Playwright, composer, lyricist, director, Broadway performer, poet, and all-round energetic sort, DS (she/her) is a Fellow of both the Women’s International Study Center and the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation of New Mexico, and an emeritus Cleveland Public Theatre Artist and 10-year alum of the Cleveland Play House Playwrights’ Unit. Her plays comprise drama, comedy, rock and chamber operas, romcom, tragedy, SciFi, verse and free-verse, modern, historical, pop and C&W musicals, magic realism, and "Richard Wagner’s Entire Ring Cycle in 10 Minutes with Sock Puppets."
Magid's thoughts comparing the techniques of wrighting a play vs. the book of a musical is published in the November-December 2018 issue of The Dramatist.
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MORE ABOUT ME
Many years ago, I saw a production of Robinson Jeffers’ translation of Medea on Broadway, with Zoe Caldwell and Dame Judith Anderson – whom my father saw on Broadway as Medea – as the Nurse. Quite late in the play, the Nurse speaks of her fear – in this production, directed by Robert Whitehead, the Nurse took a full minute to cross the stage, silently, in the middle of her speech. I have only to write these words, to be once again riveted by this dangerous choice. No one coughed, no one moved, the proverbial pin did not drop. And when the Nurse finished uttering her line, there was a collective intake of breath throughout the theater.
At the time, I thought, what a magnificent actress.
This moment has expanded for me, over the years, into the understanding that it was a magnificently brave choice. It changed my conception of what the collaboration between director, text, and actor could be, and could do. There are so few truly communal experiences any more, and the one place we seem to come together as a community, even when there are vast differences in creed or economic strata, is in a theater. This is both a gift and a responsibility for the playwright and director, the storytellers, who draw together, focus, and present the world of the play to the audience in a way that lets, that encourages us all to commune.
WHAT I'M WORKING ON
An adult musical adaptation of a fairy tale; a retelling of the true history of a much-maligned and slandered archetype; a whole-cloth play-with-music about women prevailing. That's what's on the front burner.
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