Who Writes This Stuff, Anyway?
The playwrights behind Domino Theatre's 69th season.
Nicholas Hope, Jessie Jones and Jamie Wooten (The Savannah Sipping Society) have been a comedy-writing team for many years, turning out Dearly Beloved, Christmas Belles, The Red Velvet Cake War, Always a Bridesmaid, The Sweet Delilah Swim Club and others. Hope won the Southwest Regional Playwrights Competition for his first play, A Friend of the Family, and the Texas New Playwrights' Award. Jones co-authored the feature film Kingdom Come and the funeral comedy Dearly Departed, and has published a number of short stories. Wooten won the Writers' Guild of America Award and was a long-time producer and writer for the TV series The Golden Girls, where he won the Writers' Guild of America Award.
Ken Ludwig, who adapted Agatha Christie's Murder on the Orient Express for the stage, has had six shows on Broadway and six in the West End, and he has won two Laurence Olivier Awards, three Tony Award nominations, two Helen Hayes Awards and the Edgar Award. His work has been commissioned by the Royal Shakespeare Company and has been performed in thirty countries in over twenty languages. Broadway and West End shows include Crazy For You, Lend Me A Tenor, Moon Over Buffalo, Twentieth Century, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Treasure Island.
Born in Torquay, U.K. in 1890, Agatha Christie wrote her first novel, The Mysterious Affair at Styles, in response to a challenge from her sister Clara. It was published in 1920. Altogether she published 66 detective novels, 15 collections of short stories, 19 plays (many of which are adapted from her novels), as well as an autobiography and Come, Tell Me How You Live about her time in Syria and Iraq with her second husband, archaeologist Max Mallowan. The Guinness Book of World Records calls Christie the best-selling novelist of all time, with total sales of around four billion copies.
Mountain Community Theatre’s special Miracle began in 1982 when the newly formed group wanted a holiday play. Two of the co-founders, Peter Troxell and Rita Wadsworth, dashed off a script for Miracle on 34th Street. The play was a great success, and MCT subsequently produced the show in 1983, 1984, 1987, 1992 and 1994. Through Peter Troxell’s efforts, in March 1995 MCT reached an agreement with members of Valentine Davies’ family, granting MCT permission to publish and produce the play. In February 1996, Phyllis Macy, a long-time active MCT-er, arranged for The Dramatic Publishing Company to publish and license others to produce MCT’s adaptation of Miracle on 34th Street.
Valentine Davies was an American film and television writer, producer, and director. His film credits included Miracle on 34th Street, Chicken Every Sunday, It Happens Every Spring, The Bridges at Toko-Ri, and The Benny Goodman Story. He won the 1947 Academy Award for Best Story for Miracle on 34th Street, which he also published as a novella. He died in 1961.
Sir Alan Ayckbourn (Time of My Life) is an Olivier and Tony Award-winning playwright. He lives in Scarborough, North Yorkshire, and has written 87 full-length plays, such as Absurd Person Singular, The Norman Conquests, Bedroom Farce and Communicating Doors, many of which have been produced in London's West End and New York as well as around the world. His theatrical career began straight out of school when he worked as an acting assistant stage manager with Sir Donald Wolfit. As an acclaimed director, he has worked extensively in the West End and at the National Theatre. He was the Artistic Director of the Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough, from 1972 to 2009, where the majority of his work has and continues to be launched.
Melanie Marnich’s plays include Quake, Blur, Tallgrass Gothic, These Shining Lives, Calling All, Beautiful Again, The Sparrow Project and A Sleeping Country. These Shining Lives premiered at Baltimore Center Stage in April 2008 and was a finalist for the Susan Smith Blackburn Award and the Weissberger Award in 2005. Two of her plays, Quake and Tallgrass Gothic, have premiered at the Actors Theatre of Louisville’s Humana Festival of New American Plays. Her plays have been produced or developed at New York’s Public Theater, Steppenwolf Theatre, London’s Royal Court Theatre, the Guthrie Theater, Arena Stage, Portland Center Stage and Denver Center for the Arts. She lives in Los Angeles.
Norm Foster (Hilda's Yard) was born in Newmarket, Ont., and raised in Toronto. He studied radio and television arts at Centennial College in Toronto and Confederation College in Thunder Bay, and had a 25-year career in radio - some of it in Kingston - before a friend persuaded him to go to a community theatre audition in Fredericton, N.B. Foster, who says he had never seen a play until then, got the lead role (Elwood P. Dowd in Harvey), fell in love with theatre, and two years later wrote Sinners, which Theatre New Brunswick produced. He went on to become Canada's most produced playwright and has written more than 45 plays. They include The Motor Trade, Ethan Claymore, The Melville Boys and Wrong for Each Other.
Joe DePietro (Over the River and Through the Woods) was born and raised in New Jersey, and graduated from Rutgers University with a degree in English. He wrote the book and lyrics for the musical I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change, which opened in 1996 and ran until July 2008, making it the second-longest-running off-Broadway musical ever. His other credits include the plays The Virgin Weeps, The Kiss at City Hall and The Art of Murder, and the book and lyrics for musicals All Shook Up, Memphis, The Thing About Men, Toxic Avenger and Nice Work If You Can Get It.