Old Stupid Village
A new play in development by Elizabeth Irwin
PIC Mini-Residencies are short developmental intensives designed to help a writer move their work to its next stage. Typically structured as 2-4 rehearsal sessions, culminating in a staged reading, each mini-residency is built around the needs of the writer.
For this mini-residency PIC, in collaboration with the UMass Amherst Department of Theater, will host playwright Elizabeth Irwin and her work-in-progress, Old Stupid Village, for 4 consecutive rehearsals culminating in a public staged reading. She will be joined by a full cast, director Elisa Gonzales, as well as Stage Manager Leigh Rohe. The team will work together to help Elizabeth fine-tune her script, and the culminating reading will also include a developmental conversation with the audience.
A Summary of Old Stupid Village
When Jordan, a biracial member of the cleaning staff at a historical re-enactment village in central Massachusetts tries to get transferred to the “costumed historic department” and is denied due to “lack of fit” she starts to investigate how accurate the history being preserved actually is and decides to call bullshit.
Meet the Team
Playwright Elizabeth Irwin
ELIZABETH IRWIN was born in Worcester, raised by Brooklyn and finished by el D.F. (aka Mexico City). She was a member of the Soho Rep Writer/Director Lab, Playwrights Realm Writing Fellow, the Public Theater’s Emerging Writers Group and Playwrights Realm’s Page One Resident Playwright. Her play My Mañana Comes (Lucille Lortel Outstanding Play nominee, Drama Desk Outstanding Play Nominee, Outer Critics Circle John Gassner Award Nominee), received its critically acclaimed off Broadway debut at the Peter Jay Sharp theater. Her site specific plays terrace play (2021) and coffee shop play (2022) completed sold out runs in Flatbush, Brooklyn. She and Erin Daley (Primary Stages) self-produced a site specific version of her play Support at ART-NY in 2023.
Director Elisa Gonzales
Elisa Gonzales is a professional voice and dialect coach, actor, writer, and Assistant Professor of Voice and Acting in the Department of Theater. As a voice, text, and dialect coach, Elisa has coached productions for American Players Theatre, the St. Louis Shakespeare Festival, the Phoenix Theatre Company, WAM Theatre, the Hangar Theatre Company, Silverthorne Theatre Company, as well as universities and colleges across the country. As a performer, she has worked at the New York International Fringe Festival, the Nuyorican Poets Café, San Diego Repertory Theatre, Commonwealth Shakespeare Company, the La Jolla Playhouse, and many others. Elisa is a certified teacher of Knight-Thompson Speechwork and a certified Associate Teacher of Fitzmaurice Voicework®. Elisa holds a BFA in Acting from Emerson College and an MFA in Theatre Performance from Arizona State University. She is a proud member of Actors’ Equity Association, VASTA (Voice and Speech Trainers Association), the Dramatists Guild, ATHE (Association for Theatre in Higher Education), and NALAC (National Association of Latino Arts and Culture).
Stage Manager Leigh Rohe
Leigh Rohe is a student at University of Massachusetts Amherst studying Theater and English. They are very excited to be involved with this project and are thankful for the opportunity!
CHRISTY played by Ashland Sullivan................18, white, very pretty in a trashy way, confident, sarcastic, rabid, mildly terrifying.
JORDAN played by Kai-Kahlila..........................17, biracial (black/white), cute, smart in a non-school way, has a determined streak, loves a good party.
MARSHALL played by Ben Shih .......................16, Asian, adopted, sweet, a little off socially but it works for him, everything about him is from all over the place.
GEOFFREY played by Deveir Cockett.................25, black, breathtakingly handsome, noticeably unfunny, competent in a way that makes him very boring.
BRENDA played by Anna Kefalas.......................40, white, every year she’s lived etched into her rosacea face, pear shaped, bitter, reliable worker.
MELISSA played by Yadira Román-Rivera...........16, Latine, comes off as eternally serious, speaks almost exclusively in a monotone, very good at her job.
Attend the Reading
October, 5 6:30-9:30 pm
Room 413 in the Bromery Center for the Arts at UMass Amherst Department of Theater.
SPACE IS LIMITED SO REGISTERING IN ADVANCE IS HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
Steps to register:
1. Fill out the form
2. Once you have done so, you will be taken to a Square portal. To complete the purchase of your ticket. Student tickets are free. All others are $10.
3. You will receive a confirmation from PIC with further information about the event. You will also receive a separate email from Square.
4. Join us in room 413 at the Bromery Center on October 5th.
*A note on content. As sensitivities can vary from person to person, PIC doesn't typically issue content warnings.. If you have specific content concerns, please reach out with questions.
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Audience will be invited to participate in conversation and feedback of this piece with the playwright. Some notes on how we facilitate that feedback:
Feedback is meant to serve the artist and leave them excited to continue exploring their work.
Please respond ONLY to the specific questions posed by the artist/facilitator, and keep your responses brief (1-3 sentences) so we can make sure to hear from a variety of voices.
Helpful ways to start your response: "I noticed...I was struck by...I'm curious about..."
Not as helpful: "I liked/I didn't like...My story/My experience is..."