(Updated 3/1/22) Internationally produced and recognized playwright Elana Gartner has been produced in New York, Ohio, Tennessee, New Zealand, and has had virtual readings through theaters in Ohio, Colorado and Washington DC. Elana’s work has been a semi-finalist for the 2021 Eugene O’Neill Playwriting Conference and participated in the 2021 Kennedy Center Playwriting Initiative. Elana is the founding member of EMG Playwriting Workshop, and holds memberships with the Dramatists Guild, Honor Roll!, Manhattan Oracles, and the International Centre for Women Playwrights (ICWP), where she was a board member for five years. Elana was the co-founder of the ICWP 50/50 Applause Awards which recognized those theaters that produced seasons with at least 50% being women playwrights. In addition to her work for gender parity in theater, Elana has also joined Counting Together to work on disability equality and access in theater. During the pandemic, Elana founded Four Walls Theater which produced socially responsible theatre virtually with artists from across the nation. Four Walls Theater paired each play with a cause of the playwright or director's choosing and supported the non-profit world at a time of crisis. Elana is a recent MFA graduate from Spalding University in playwriting.
WEBSITE AND SOCIAL MEDIA
FB: @elanagartner, https://www.facebook.com/elanagartnerplaywright
MORE ABOUT ME
I have had two truly stunning moments that stick out to me from my career. The first was when I attended the Great Plains Theater Conference many years ago. It was such a deep immersion in the culture of playwriting. We ate together, made playwright jokes together, worked together, thought together, problem solved our plays together; it was the first time that I felt my tribe at the most visceral level. There are people from that experience that I am still in touch with, some that are even Honor Roll! members. But that was how I knew what I was shooting for when it came to a theater community that I wanted to be a part of. The second moment was in 2020. It was after George Floyd's murder. I was the Artistic Director of Four Walls Theater. My associate artistic director and I realized that we needed to have our next play be about Black Lives Matter. We read many plays and finally came up with one that was fantastic. : a very topical play on a white cop shooting a Black teen but there were many gray areas within the play. Our artists who came from around the country also brought their own experiences to the play, some of them directly from Minneapolis or Louisville where Breonna Taylor had been murdered. Sometimes we heard protests while we were rehearsing. The play was virtual and we had a talkback afterwards. It was the longest, most engaged talkback that we had had. The audience was so passionate, so eager to discuss the things that were pressing on them from the protests, from the murders, from the injustice. I was so grateful to see that theater still would have a place in the world, that it was still so desperately needed, to have such important conversations at critical times.
WHAT I'M WORKING ON
For my writing, I am working on the second draft of a full length that plays with time. For myself, I am reading a play of a BIPOC playwright a week.
Women, lesbian, sexual abuse, #MeToo, disability, epilepsy, drama, alternate time structure, historical, magical realism, surrealism, family.
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