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The Farm Theater Awards Playwright Judith Leora With 2019/20 College Collaboration Project Commission

The Farm Theater Awards Playwright Judith Leora With 2019/20 College Collaboration Project Commission

Now in its sixth season of supporting emerging female writers The Farm Theater has awarded their 2019/20 College Collaboration Project Commission to playwright Judith Leora. Ms. Leora will collaborate with Hillsborough Community College in Hillsborough, FL (fall 2019), Birmingham Southern College in Birmingham, AL (winter 2020), and Shenandoah University in Winchester, VA (spring 2020). This will be Birmingham Southern College's second time participating in The Farm Theater's College Collaboration Project.

The project will kick-off in February when the playwright will have an opportunity to converse with groups of students from each of the partner schools via video, to discuss the theme she is writing about and shape the direction of the play. The script will have a three-day workshop, cast with professional actors, in NYC in August 2018. Each of the three schools will produce the play during the academic year and the playwright will rewrite during each process. The project will culminate in a public reading in NYC in June 2019 with a cast made up of students from each school alongside professional actors.

The College Collaboration Project has multiple schools commission an early career playwright to write a play that each school will independently produce throughout the academic year. The faculty, students, and playwright collaborate throughout the year in the development of the text. The script will be a full-length play with a minimum of five characters. The majority of the characters will be under thirty years of age so that undergraduate actors can successfully play the roles. The play will reflect the students' thoughts on the theme suggested by the playwright. This will be The Farm Theater's seventh installment of the College Collaboration Project. Past seasons have featured playwrights Lindsay Joy, Micheline Auger, Morgan McGuire, Jan Rosenberg, Kimberly Belflower, and Erin Mallon.

Judith Leora Productions: Showpony (The Victory Theatre Center, Burbank, CA/LA Times Critics Choice), Elijah (Bristol Valley Theatre, Naples, NY), Gideon (Ego Actus Productions/Paradise Factory, NYC), The Cookie Fight (BVT), Gideon (University of Massachusetts at Lowell (commission) and Weird About the Baby/NYC Icon Plays (Ego Actus Productions); Workshops: Painting with Lulu (MadLab Reading, The Kraine Theatre, NYC), Showpony (The Livingroom Series, The Blank Theatre, Hollywood, CA), The Cookie Fight (Last Frontier Theatre Conference), The X and the Y (New Play reading series, Bristol Valley Theatre), The Raven (co- librettist) Emerging Actors Theatre Notes From a Page and Heart-Shaped Uterus (MadLab Readings, IRT Theatre). Numerous short plays produced in New York, including multiple plays with the ESPA Detention series, New York Madness, One Minute Play Festival (5x), Pussyfest, Stampede Lab, etc.

The Farm Theater The name is inspired by the "farm" system of baseball whose role is to provide experience and training for developing players. The Farm Theater develops early career artists that may not have the support system afforded others, through workshops, productions, and mentoring. The centerpiece of our programming is The College Collaboration Project. This program is in its sixth year and has commissioned seven female playwrights. We have worked in collaboration with sixteen colleges. Lindsay Joy's In The Event of My Death, which was developed in the first year of the program was produced Off-Broadway by Stable Cable and had a sold out run, the 2017/18 collaboration commission, In the Cotton by Morgan McGuire was awarded the Mark David Cohen National Playwriting Award by the Kennedy Center, and the College Collaboration Project has been featured in American Theater Magazine and on HowlRound. The Farm Theater has produced numerous solo shows, including Artist Director Padraic Lillis' show on suicide awareness Hope You Get To Eleven or What are we going to do about Sally? which was awarded Best Solo Show and Planet Advocate Award at the Planet Connections Theatre Festival. In 2017 The Farm Theater partnered with Planet Connections Theatre Festival to produce Alex Riad's The Floor Is Lava. The play was awarded Best New Play and Best Production of a New Play and The Farm Theater was awarded The Planet Advocate Award for raising money and awareness for Girls Who Code.

Photo credit: Amy Gaipa

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