DIDO: The Tragic Queen of Carthage Will Be Performed as Part of the ON HER SHOULDERS Reading Series

The reading will take place on Thursday, March 21, 2024, 7:00pm.

By: Mar. 01, 2024
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On Her Shoulders will present a staged reading of DIDO: The Tragic Queen of Carthage by Charlotte von Stein, in a first-ever English translation/adaptation by Lynn Marie Macy on Thursday, March 21, 2024. NPTC Artistic Director, Melody Brooks, directs. Doors open at 6:45pm for a 7:00pm start with The Play in Context introduction by 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. 

CHARLOTTE VON STEIN (1742-1827) was born in Eisenach, Germany, on December 25, 1742. After moving to Weimar, she became a lady-in-waiting to the Duchess of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach in 1758. In 1764, Charlotte married Baron Gottlob Ernst Josias Friedrich von Stein for social and political reasons and gave birth to seven children, of which only three survived. The following year, she met Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, with whom she shared a platonically intimate relationship; he even fostered one of her sons. For more than ten years von Stein was his constant companion and she had a profound  influence on Goethe's life and work. Von Stein was also a close friend of Friedrich Schiller. Her play, Die zwey Emilien, the only one published during her lifetime, had Schiller's name on the cover. This  led many to believe that he was the author. Not until 1923 was Die zwey Emilien published under Charlotte von Stein's name. In 1786, Goethe suddenly left for Italy without explanation or notice. She was devastated. Upon his return two years later, he began a love affair with his later wife, and the friendship was shattered. After her husband died in 1793, von Stein retired from society. The next year, she wrote the drama Dido — using the story of the Queen of Carthage to craft a literary self-portrait that reflected the years from 1770 to 1790 and the situation in Weimar at that time. The play also addresses Goethe's abandonment–in Virgil's Dido, the Queen is forsaken by her lover Aeneas, who fled to Italy. She died on January 6, 1827, in her country home outside of Weimar.

Melody Brooks (Director) is the founder and Artistic Director of NPTC. She is an award-winning producer, director and dramaturg who has been working in the professional theatre and various educational institutions for 40 years. She leads NPTC's Women's Work Project, which develops new plays by 10-15 writers each year and rediscovers women who wrote plays in the past through the ON HER SHOUILDERS component. Brooks was dramaturg for the LAB developed How to Melt ICE by Amalia Oliva Rojas (Winner 2024 LATA Award for Outstanding Achievement in Playwriting and Directing); She Calls Me Firefly by Teresa Lotz, (winner 2019 NY Innovative Theatre Award for Best Short Play), and for NPTC's OOBR-winning productions of The Taming of the Shrew and JIHAD - The Play. Brooks was honored with a "Trailblazing Women and Arts Institutions" award by RhythmColor Associates and the "Spirit of Hope" Award from Speranza Theatre Company for her career-long track record of supporting women theatre artists; and was named a "Person of the Year" in 2009 by NYTheatre.com as a co-founder of 50/50 in 2020, a grassroots initiative focused on wage and production parity for women theatre. Most recently, Brooks was honored with the "Lee Reynolds Award" from LPTW, given to a theatre woman "active in any aspect of theatre whose work for, in, about, or through the medium of theatre has helped to illuminate the possibilities for social, cultural, or political change."

 

Lynn Marie Macy (Dramaturg) is the Associate Producer and a resident director/dramaturg for the ON HER SHOULDERS Program. A playwright and director, her work has been staged nationally and internationally. Recent directing projects include: for OHS Count Partinuples by Ana Caro, Gabriel by George Sand (also script translation/adaptation) and The Necessity of Divorce by Olympe de Gouges; a staged reading of her new script Doubt & Deliberation (Theatre For The New City), Shaw's Overruled (Theater 2020), Uncle John and The Men's Room by Maxine Kern. (Cosmic Orchid). She also directed her own script: Northanger Abbey, A Romantic Gothic Comedy for Theater 2020. Other directing credits include Shakespeare's All's Well That Ends All, for Theater Ten Ten, As You Like It for Minnesota Shakespeare Company, and her own scripts 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 Dramatists Guild, a member of the NPTC Women's Work LAB, and Resident Playwright and Board President of Theatre 2020.

 

ON HER SHOULDERS was founded in 2013 to present rehearsed, staged readings of plays by women from across the spectrum of time, with contemporary dramaturgs contextualizing them for modern audiences. Since its creation, the OHS program of readings has presented 61 plays by 49 writers from circa 955 to 1970 as well as special events on theatre women in the Suffrage and Radical Theatre Movements. A unique aspect of the Reading Series is the Play In Context component, which includes a dramaturgical essay that analyzes each featured play within its own time and place; a substantial playwright biography; and an introduction to a reading or performance by a dramaturg who brings a personal perspective to the dramatist and her work. All readings include a post-performance talk-back with refreshments. OHS also hosts a unique international database, 1,000 Years of Women Writing Plays, which is free to all: http://tinyurl.com/OHS-DATABASE.  For more information about ON HER SHOULDERS, contact Program Manager Jesica Garrou at newper37@gmail.com




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