On Her Shoulders Presents Reading of FATAL FRIENDSHIP

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On Her Shoulders Presents Reading of FATAL FRIENDSHIP

On Her Shoulders will present a staged reading of Fatal Friendship by Catherine Trotter, directed by Melody Brooks on Friday, November 8, 2019. Doors open at 6:45pm for a 7:00pm start with The Play in Context by Lynn Marie Macy, who situates the script in its historical time and place, followed by the reading and a post-performance Q&A with refreshments. Admission is by Donation ($10 suggested). The performance is at New Perspectives Studio, 458 West 37 Street @10th Avenue. R.S.V.P. to

CATHERINE TROTTER(1689-1749), was a precocious and largely self-educated young woman, who had her first novel (The Adventures of a Young Lady, later retitled Olinda's Adventures) published anonymously in 1693, when she was only 14 years old. She became a popular playwright while still under the age of 20, starting in 1695 with Agnes de Castro, staged at the Theatre Royal and printed in the following year with a dedication to the Earl of Dorset and Middlesex. In 1698, her second tragedy and arguably best-liked play, Fatal Friendship, was performed at the then-new theatre in Lincoln's-Inn-Fields. It was afterwards printed with a dedication to the Princess of Wales and established Trotter's reputation as a dramatic writer, brought a shower of complimentary verses, and increased the number of her powerful, fashionable, and eminent friends. Early in 1701, her comedy Love at a Loss, or Most Votes Carry It, was performed at the Theatre Royal and published that May. Later in the same year, her third tragedy, The Unhappy Penitent, was performed at Drury Lane.

Fatal Friendship tells the story of Gramont, a younger son of a noble family who has fallen on hard times. Pressed to marry a young heiress, he cannot admit his secret marriage to Felicia, whom is father is also pursuing. Recent scholarship has linked Trotter's tragedies more directly with her extensive philosophical writings, especially as they concern the moral obligations of adhering to vows and keeping promises. When Gramont is forced to make an immoral decision he perceives to be for the good of all, the consequences turn deadly and ensnare his best friend. In a departure from more well-known Restoration dramas, female sexual desire is unambiguously expressed and plays a critical role in the ensuing tragedy.

Melody Brooks (Director) is an award-winning producer/director, founder and Artistic Director of NPTC. Brooks leads NPTC's Women's Work Project, which develops short and full-length plays by 12-16 members per year, and produces ON HER SHOULDERS, serving as a regular Director/Dramaturg for the program. She has developed and directed numerous award-winning and acclaimed original and classic plays for NPTC and other companies. Brooks was recently honored as a Trailblazing Woman of Theatre for Artistry & Vision by RhythmColor Associates. She received the "Spirit of Hope Award" in 2015 from Speranza Theatre Company for her support of women theatre artists for more than 25 years, and was named a "Person of the Year" by as a co-founder of 50/50 in 2020: Parity for Women Theatre Artists. She is on the Board of Directors of the League of Professional Theatre Women, and was Co-chair of the triennial LPTW Gilder/Coigney International Theatre Award in 2014 and 2017.

Lynn Marie Macy (Dramaturg) is a playwright whose work has been staged nationally and internationally. Recent productions include The Surprising Measure of Buried Treasure, Sister Resisters and The Couch Potato & The Armchair Activist with The Theater Project in New Jersey; The Color Of Vengeance (NPTC WW Short Play Festival and Four Seasons NJ 1 Minute Play Festival); Lady Susan, A JaneAusten Bodice Ripper (Reading, Theater 2020); Doubt & Deliberation (Reading, Theater for the New City.) Previous productions: Northanger Abbey, A Romantic Gothic Comedy (Distilled Spirits, Blue Room Theatre & Theater Ten Ten), published by New York Theatre Experience in Playing with Canons, Explosive New Works From Great Literature; The Thrice Three Muses and Innocent Diversions, A Christmas Entertainment with Jane Austen & Friends for Distilled Spirits Theatre and Theater Ten Ten. Macy is a member of the NPTC Women's Work LAB.

ON HER SHOULDERS was founded in May 2013 to present rehearsed, staged readings of plays by women from across the spectrum of time, with contemporary dramaturgs contextualizing them for modern audiences. The program was incorporated into New Perspectives' Women's Work Project in November 2013 and continues to strive to make it impossible for producers and theatre companies to deny or ignore the 1,000-year history and value of women's contribution to the theatrical canon. To date the program has presented 49 plays by 38 writers from the years ca 955 to 1970. OHS is produced by Melissa Attebery and Melody Brooks. Kristin Heckler is Associate Producer.

NEW PERSPECTIVES THEATRE COMPANY (NPTC) is an award-winning, multi-racial company performing for the last 28 years in Midtown Manhattan, communities throughout NYC, and as of 2015, internationally. The Company's mission is to develop and produce new plays and playwrights, especially women and people of color; to present classic plays in a style that addresses contemporary issues; and to extend the benefits of theatre to young people and communities in need. Our aim is not to exclude, but to cast a wider net.

The Play in Context, the dramaturgical and scholarly presentation component to the program, is sponsored in part by the League of Professional Theatre Women, a non-profit organization promoting visibility and increasing opportunities for women in theatre since 1982.

This program is made possible, in part, by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, and in part, with public funds from the NYC Dept. of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council.

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