Joyce Van Dyke’s plays include Daybreak (Off-Broadway world premiere, Pan Asian Repertory Theatre), The Women Who Mapped the Stars (commissioned and produced by Central Square Theater), A Girl’s War (Golden Thread Productions, New Repertory Theatre, Boston Playwrights’ Theatre), and The Oil Thief (commissioned by Ensemble Studio Theatre / Sloan Project, produced by Boston Playwrights’ Theatre). In 2021, two new plays had readings: American Othello (staged reading, Gloucester Stage Company), and The Prize (commissioned by Martha’s Vineyard Playhouse, zoom reading); and her new solo show about Julia Ward Howe, Representation And How To Get It, had a first production at Hardwick Town House in Central Mass. Her adaptation of her play, The Women Who Mapped the Stars, commissioned for touring to schools, will begin touring in 2022 in Maine. Joyce is a MacDowell Fellow and Huntington Playwriting Fellow whose work has been supported by grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, Massachusetts Cultural Council, AGBU, and United States Artists Projects. Other playwriting awards include the Gassner Award, the Elliot Norton Award for Outstanding New Script, and The Boston Globe’s “Top Ten” plays of the year, and her plays have been anthologized in Contemporary Armenian American Drama and Laugh Lines: Short Comic Plays. Trained originally as a Shakespearean, she later completed the Boston University playwriting program under Derek Walcott and Kate Snodgrass. She has taught Shakespeare for many years at Harvard Extension School where she won the Shattuck Teaching Prize and where she currently teaches playwriting.
WEBSITE AND SOCIAL MEDIA
FB: Joyce Van Dyke
MORE ABOUT ME
Reading all of Shakespeare's plays from the beginning to the end of his career in their (probable) order of composition changed my life. To watch his unceasing development – to see that he wasn't always "Shakespeare"! – but that he evolved, and you could watch that evolution over two decades as he experimented in every play with language and form and genre. I was fascinated by how he worked and reworked certain situations and characters in successive plays: e.g., the woman accused of adultery whose passionately outspoken friend comes to her defense (Beatrice, Emilia, Paulina); how he invented monologues/direct address to leverage character and audience into a free-fall into the unknown depths of the self (Hamlet, Angelo); how he began to give more and more to his minor characters; how brilliantly he revised even tiny details, single words; how deeply he researched his subjects – reading everything he could get his hands on, to judge from the source studies. And throughout, his fascination and empathy with strangers / the other / the "foreigner" – including, as I see it, women; and his bone-deep understanding that any human being, any person/persona, is an actor . . . and I would never have had that reading experience if I hadn’t been in an English graduate program that required me to choose a "major figure" to study. It turned out to be the wrong path for my life, but it put me on the right path.
WHAT I'M WORKING ON
I want to write about the climate crisis and am trying to figure out how.
Lyrical, climate, dream play, eros, women scientists, time-bending, social justice, civil rights, political, Armenian, Middle Eastern
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