Playwright Martyna Majok’s work is making a great impact, most recently “Ironbound” at Round House Theatre (where it won the Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding Original Play) and Rattlestick Playwrights Theatre, and “Cost of Living” at Williamstown Theatre Festival and set for its New York debut at Manhattan Theatre Club this season.
Her new play “queens” will receive a development workshop and two public readings at the Playwrights’ Center on Monday, January 9 and Tuesday, January 10 at 7 p.m. as part of the Ruth Easton New Play Series. This series features free public readings of new plays in progress by Playwrights’ Center Core Writers. Readings take place at the Playwrights’ Center, 2301 E. Franklin Avenue in Minneapolis.
Reservations are recommended and can be made at pwcenter.org.
In “queens,” the lives of two generations of immigrant women in Queens collide in a series of small apartments. In reference to the title, Majok says, “‘Queens’ is a location and a status. I’m writing about female immigrants who are masters of their own small domains. They have dignity. Their resilience, what they’ve survived and transcended in their lives, commands respect. But that’s not always how they’re treated in this country. My mother and the women I’ve known growing up, a lot of them single mothers, were people that came over and just by virtue of this country had to be incredibly tough and stand up for what they needed to survive. That’s the essence of a queen to me. Standing firmly on your own two feet, ready to go into battle.”
“Never has this country needed the urgency of Martyna’s voice more than this moment,” says Playwrights’ Center Producing Artistic Director Jeremy B. Cohen. “I can’t wait to share her artistry and wit with our community, as well as amplify the varied and essential stories of female immigrants in the U.S., which Martyna sculpts so beautifully.”
Martyna Majok was born in Bytom, Poland, and aged in Jersey and Chicago. She has worked with Actors Theatre of Louisville, Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Rattlestick Playwrights Theatre/Women’s Project Theatre, Williamstown Theatre Festival and Ensemble Studio Theatre, among others. Awards include David Calicchio Emerging American Playwright Prize, New York Theatre Workshop’s 2050 Fellowship, the Kennedy Center’s Jean Kennedy Smith Award, and NNPN/Smith Prize for Political Playwriting. Commissions from Marin Theatre Company, South Coast Rep, Manhattan Theatre Club and The Geffen Playhouse. B.A.: University of Chicago; M.F.A.: Yale School of Drama, Juilliard. Martyna was the 2015-2016 PoNY Fellow at the Lark Play Development Center. http://www.martynamajok.com
The Ruth Easton New Play Series at the Playwrights’ Center, now in its 12th year, provides selected Core Writers with 20 hours of workshop time to develop a new play in collaboration with top-notch actors and other theater artists. Plays receive two public readings, giving audience members a unique and immediate way to experience new work and a chance to be part of the creative process. Plays recently seen in the Ruth Easton New Play Series that have full productions this theater season include George Brant’s “Marie and Rosetta” Off-Broadway at Atlantic Theater and Carlyle Brown’s “Finding Fish” at the Illusion Theater in Minneapolis.
The 2016-17 Ruth Easton New Play Series kicked off in December with “Wink” by Jen Silverman. After “queens” in January, the series will feature “Eden Prairie, 1971” by Mat Smart on February 6 and 7, “The Sea & The Stars” by local playwright Harrison David Rivers on March 6 and 7, and “Minneapolis/St. Paul” by Lee Blessing on April 3 and 4. Details at pwcenter.org/ruth-easton-series.
All events in the Ruth Easton New Play Series are free and open to the public. Reservations are recommended; reserve your spots at pwcenter.org or by contacting the Playwrights’ Center at (612) 332-7481 or firstname.lastname@example.org.