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  • 05 Sep 2017 7:14 PM | Amy Oestreicher

    Can You Make a Trauma-Warrior Resilience Kit...from Picture Frames, Leftovers, and High Heels?

    Placing myself in other people’s words, as in placing myself in other people’s shoes, has given me the opportunity to get below the surface — to get “real.” - Anna Deveare Smith

    Picture Frames:

    One of my favorite parts of performing Gutless and Grateful at the esteemed Feinstein’s/54Below was getting to premiere one of my Original Songs, Picture Frame.

    Read more at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/can-you-make-a-trauma-warrior-resilience-kitfrom_us_59a91304e4b0c50640cd5e96  


  • 04 Aug 2017 5:06 PM | Judith Pratt

    Art Age Publications, which publishes plays for senior theatre companies, has published my ten-minute comedy, METAPHORICAL SHOES--probably because the main characters are between 65 and 90! It's also been very popular with small theatre companies.

    So if you're 65 or older and looking for a show, check it out at https://www.seniortheatre.com

  • 09 Jul 2017 3:10 AM | Amy Oestreicher

    Excited to have my monologues published on a great site, PerformerStuff!  I have varying age ranges and topics - definitely many in the female empowerment area!


    Here's my profile and check out the monologues: https://amyoes.com/monologues

    You can also find them here: https://performerstuff.com/generalpwprofile/155014/pw

  • 21 Jun 2017 3:00 AM | Amy Oestreicher

    On Huffington Post

    Are you near New York on June 30th? Maybe you can tell me if I'm completely insane.

    "I'm performing a show about my life next week!"

    "Oh yeah? What's it about?"

    "Uh...there's a discount code?"

    "Uh...[panics] watch my TEDx Talk? [hands out postcard, runs in other direction]"

    I've been having the hardest time trying to explain exactly what I'll be singing about at New York's most famous supper club on June 30th.

    Oh, and why I have Kathie Lee Gifford and NBC's Today Show to thank for it.

    Oh...and why I chose a venue with the finest dining in the city to sing about what it's like to be denied even a single drop of water for six years?

    Oh. And why critics are calling a show with my surgeons operating notes read on a voiceover..."hilarious?"

    Am I crazy for bringing a musical called "Gutless & Grateful" to Feinstein's/54 Below this month? A cabaret club most famous for award-winning, Broadway entertainment? Is anyone going to even WANT to buy a ticket with a story that may be..."hard to digest?" or..."make your stomach turn?" (Sorry - too much?)

    Maybe, That's why I'm offering a special discount this time - just in case I've lost it completely.

    When I tell people my “stomach exploded” people don’t really know what to make of it.

    Apparently, Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb did. Six years ago, I was thrilled; I never thought I’d be featured on the “Today” show.

    As a teen, I was merely thrilled to get my very first college acceptance letter. I couldn’t believe I had gotten into the musical theatre program at University of Michigan. All my life, I had dreamed of pursuing a career in theatre, on Broadway, in every musical possible — and this was my golden ticket. I didn’t realize in two weeks my world would drastically change forever.

    It was the night of our family Passover Seder — a favorite holiday of mine. As always, there were 30 joyous and over-stuffed friends and family surrounding us. As always, we told the Passover story with our mouths full of laughter, song, brisket and kugel. As always, I felt snuggly embraced by the love and warmth of the people in my life and the safety of a time-honored family tradition. And then I felt something that I had never experienced before.

    Just a Stomach Ache

     A simple stomach ache that escalated into excruciating pain, never ceasing and only growing worse for two entire days. As the pain grew more and more intense, my father drove me to the emergency room for a routine X-ray, although my physician reassured us that it was only gas. On the way to the hospital, (as my mother has told me) my cheeks suddenly puffed up like a chipmunk, and I collapsed as soon as I tried to get out of the car. Then I don’t remember anything else but the physical sensations of awful pain. All I remember is gradually waking up about six months later.

    Waking Up Without a Stomach

    I awoke as a newborn does, discovering sensations around her for the first time. Lying flat in a hospital bed, I only had a view of the ceiling for my first weeks coming out of a coma. I reoriented myself with the world of sound, sight and those I loved, who were all waiting for me when I awoke.

    Unable to talk, sit up or control my trembling hands, a doctor — who seemed to know me very well at this point — explained as gently as he could about happened to me. Apparently, my stomach exploded due to an unforeseen blood clot. So much pressure had built up inside of me that my stomach actually burst to the ceiling in the operating room. Both of my lungs collapsed, I needed 122 units of blood and I was even read my last rites. I had no stomach. I couldn’t eat or drink, and the doctor didn’t know when or if I would ever be able to again. What do you say to that?

    I asked why this happened to my family, to my doctors and to myself. Why was I blessed with such luck and blessings my entire life only to become a helpless victim of circumstances?

    Wait, Seriously? Why Me?

    Then I rethought that word — victim. What makes a victim? Certainly, I had control over my own mindset, my passions, my thoughts and my dreams. That was my turning point. I stopped asking, “Why me?” and started asking myself, “Why not?”

    You can call it bad luck that I spent six of the past 10 years unable to eat or drink. Being quite crafty as an artist and performer, I decided to make my own luck. My life was too full to suddenly resign to being a “patient” or a “victim” for the rest of my life.

    "Only Healthy People Can____."

    Although my mother...and everyone else questioned whether it was too soon to mount three of my own art shows, star in musicals, teach nursery school, learn karate, start my own chocolate business and remain as vital internally as I once felt on the inside and outside, I went past my fear and nerves. I took a risk based on the passion I still felt in my heart.

    Eight years after my coma, I was finally headed towards a life of medical stability. I learned through experience that things can heal with time, and that it’s not always the prettiest or easiest way. It was an extremely difficult journey, trying to make sense of the bizarre story I was now the lead character in.

    My story was apparently something the “Today” show was extremely interested in. My anatomical circumstances landed me on Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb’s lovable hour of chat on NBC, and all at once, I was out there in the world.

     

    2012-10-26 18.35.19 

    Kathie Lee Gifford and David Friedman wrote a beautiful song for me called “Still Alive,” an upbeat, joyful testament to my positive attitude throughout 27 surgeries.

    The Sick Girl Gets to Be a Role Model?

    I received hundreds of emails and friend requests all at once. Suddenly, everyone wanted to know more about the “girl whose stomach exploded.” How did I survive without a stomach? How did I sustain myself if I couldn’t eat or drink for years? Had this ever happened to anyone before?

    No, it hadn’t. It was that bizarre. But as bizarre as my story was, could I show them the person behind the “medical miracle?”

    “Still Alive” became the final song of my one-woman musical, “Gutless & Grateful.” I lost my stomach but gained a story. And now I’m taking my show across the country, inspiring others with the bizarre reality that anything is possibility with a bit of resilience.

    As much as I love being bizarre, I do wish my life were more normal at times. I still think about my old life and the feeling that anything was possible. But everything and anything became possible once I was willing to wander from my teenage fantasies and take on this new life on proudly. I can’t be 18 again, but, lucky for me, I can be the best 30 I can. This isn’t the path I planned for myself, but does anyone’s life ever work out exactly how they plan it?

    When Life's Crazy Enough to Sing About

    My stomach exploded. My world changed in an instant. My life took a detour as all lives do. So I made the best of it, and now I have my detour to thank for all the gifts in my life. I’m Gutless, but I am oh so Grateful. Grateful to be who I am.

    And honestly? There’s nothing bizarre about that.

    Okay. A little bizarre.  But isn't that what we love about theatre?

    Well...that's up to you to decide, of course.  Come to 54 Below on June 30th and decide for yourself.

    https://youtu.be/HjBoXW27sHE

    I'll be singing and dancing in the same red dress I've worn for six years, with an open wound that will probably never heal, oh, and wrapped in more gauze, tape, and bandages than a mummy. My life is far from perfect.

    But I'm doing what I love. And hopefully you'll love it too.

    See ya in the club, New York.  You bring the ticket, I'll bring the crazy.

    Amy is offering a special discount code for readers, AMY35 when you buy tickets online. Catch Gutless & Grateful at New York's Feinstein's/54 Below on June 30th, 2017 Oestreicher is currently touring the country with her musical, “Gutless & Grateful,” which was inspired by her appearance on the “Today” show. You can learn more about the musical here, bring it to your area, or see where she'll be next.


  • 06 Jun 2017 7:38 AM | Aphra Behn

    UN/MASKED, Memoirs of a Guerrilla Girl On Tour by Aphra Behn was published by Skyhorse. 

    In alternating chapters and eras, Aphra Behn's memoir divulges her secret lives. In the ’70s her public identity was that of a struggling actress and girlfriend of a famous Hollywood star, while privately she was a victim of domestic violence, chillingly addicted to her life-threatening relationship. Two decades later she began a nineteen-year career as an activist with the clandestine arts gender-justice warriors The Guerrilla Girls, granting the reader a security pass into a mysterious and renowned revolutionary arts secret society. A compelling and page-turning read, and a testament that fighters for fairness and justice are not born: they are made.   - Kia Corthron, playwright

    “Fierce, funny and shrewd, much like the Guerrilla Girls themselves, Aphra Behn has written a memoir filled with so much hope and frustration it’s impossible to put down.  A page-turning how-to about changing the world, and the challenges therein.” - Theresa Rebeck, playwright (Seminar), television writer (Smash) and novelist (I’m Glad About You)

    “Aphra Behn's book is more than a wildly entertaining snapshot of 80s art culture. More than an answer to the question of, “Who were those crazy feminist activists behind the gorilla masks?” It is a generous, fearless, often hilarious coming of age tale that takes Behn from being a victim of domestic abuse in Hollywood to becoming an artist and part of one of the most unforgettable art protest groups of our time.” - Elissa Schappell, author of “Use Me” and “Blueprints for Building Better Girls”

    “I loved this book by a woman with dreams that don't get realized but she makes her life work, no matter what, and tells her story with such honesty and clarity. An incredible achievement. It is unique, original and Aphra Behn is what Arthur Penn would say, somethin’ else.” —Estelle Parsons, Oscar winning actress

  • 05 Jun 2017 11:29 AM | Catherine Frid

    Catherine Frid's 10 minute play This Isn't Toronto is part of Long Story Short, an anthology published by the Playwrights Guild of Canada.

    In This Isn't Toronto, a mother and daughter navigate a life-changing crossroad in their relationship.

  • 06 May 2017 1:07 PM | Amy Oestreicher
    FIBERS is a solo performance based on extensive oral history interviews I've conducted with my family about my grandmother's survival through Auschwitz and immigration after the War. After its premiere staged reading was so well received, I am eager to publicly workshop these excerpts further, possibly followed by a facilitated talkback, and discussion - You can learn more about the project at www.amyoes.com/fibers, and I have read my article in the Wisdom Daily Publication:
    http://thewisdomdaily.com/grandmothers-death-love/

    My goal with "FIBERS" is to shift an entire community ethos in the direction of inclusion – to bring untold stories to light,  to give courage and a sense of belonging to people who are struggling with all kinds of challenges, and to help build a society that gives everyone the kind of awareness and generosity of spirit that makes that world a better place. 
    To read the script, send me a note at amyoes70@gmail.com.
  • 08 Feb 2017 9:06 AM | Lynne S. Brandon

    Lynne S. Brandon’s short play, “Isosceles,” has been published in Off The Rocks Vol.20, NewTown Writers Press, Allison Fradkin editor, Chicago; and is available from Lulu Press (lulu.com).

     “Isosceles” queers "the Erotic Triangle," the sexual dynamics of two men contesting for a woman’s favors.  In 1910, Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas lived in Paris.  In “Isosceles,” butch dyke Gert and femme Alice spend an evening with noted womanizer Pablo (Picasso).  The artists’ Cubist works (Tender Buttons, Picasso’s “Absinthe”) inform the trio’s word play.  Alice uses all the power available to her and, by the end, she is the focus of the “masculine” attention.  In an isosceles triangle, there is always one short side, opposite one dominant angle.

     Performed at Smith College (2008) and SLAMBoston! at the renowned Factory Theatre in Boston (2010), it also had a staged-reading in “She Speaks,” part of the “365 Women a Year: A Playwriting Project,” in Kitchener, Ontario, 2015.

  • 30 Jan 2017 11:11 AM | Sandra Dempsey

    AIR APPARENT by Sandra Dempsey 
    has been published in Long Story Short: An Anthology of (Mostly) Ten-Minute Plays- a collection of twenty-five very short but powerful plays that pack a punch through a variety of genres and styles, issues and experiences, as well as characters and performance roles.

    AIR APPARENT: One of the forgotten, Aisling is losing her grasp on the periphery of society as she struggles with the after-effects of "that day." Her health is destroyed by the gray dust, she can't even keep up with her meagre dog-walking, and she is left as one of the thousands with terrible, insidious internal injury, struggling for every breath. 

    Ideal for a range of readers from drama students to aspiring theatre practitioners, and for those working in community and professional theatres, Long Story Short gathers from acclaimed and emerging playwrights a breadth of plays that are united in their ability to create complete and moving stories that transcend the page in about ten minutes each. ISBN 9781770915633  

    http://www.playwrightscanada.com/index.php/long-story-short-an-anthology-of-mostly-ten-minute-plays-print.html
     

    sd@SandraDempsey.com

    www.SandraDempsey.com

  • 19 Dec 2016 5:38 PM | Farzana Moon

    Meet our Authors: Farzana Moon – December 2016

    14 December 2016

    Farzana Moon is a teacher, poet, historian and playwright with a Masters in Education. She has published work on Sufi poetry, historical and biographical accounts of the Moghul emperors, and has written plays based on stories from religion and folklore.

    http://www.cambridgescholars.com/Content/Images/uploaded/Meet%20our%20Authors/Moon.jpeg

    Her publications on the Moghul emperors include: Babur: First Moghul of IndiaThe Moghul ExileDivine Akbar and Holy IndiaThe Moghul HedonistGlorious Taj and Beloved ImmortalThe Moghul Saint of Insanity; and Poet Emperor of the Last of the Moghuls: Bahadur Shah Zafar.

    Her other non-fiction publications include Holocaust of the East, an account of the partition of India and Pakistan, and works on religion and spirituality, including Irem of the Crimson Desert, Prophet Muhammad: The First Sufi of Islam and No Islam but Islam. Farzana has also published works of fiction, such as Romance Quartet, and her play Osama the Demented had a stage reading in Stockholm. 

    She has a new book about the Quran forthcoming, and is currently writing another book, The American Queen (a work on Ora Ray Baker, the wife of Hazrat Inayat Khan, who was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico).


    Farzana describes the experience of publishing multiple titles with Cambridge Scholars Publishing:

    “Academic publishing is a niche within the wider publishing market, and I was given the opportunity to publish my first scholarly work, Holocaust of the East, by Cambridge Scholars. CaroI Koulikourdi was the friendliest of editors, and it was a rare delight to work with someone so affable and helpful. I was moved by her kindness and expertise, and decided to publish two more titles with Cambridge Scholars: No Islam but Islam and The Moghul Saint of Insanity. Despite the diversity of subjects, the editors’ knowledge extended widely across the various disciplines. I applaud their patience and dedication as they stayed loyal to the high standard of their scholarly vision admired by university presses in America. All of my titles are much sought-after by scholars and universities, and I am very grateful to have published with Cambridge Scholars.”


    As part of the Meet our Authors campaign, we are offering our readers a 50% discount on The Moghul Saint of Insanity. To redeem your discount, please enter the promotional code MOADEC16 during checkout. Please note that this is a time-limited offer that will expire on 16th January 2017.


    You can find out more about Farzana and her work at her website by clicking here, or watch a video of her poem Politico 2016 being recited by actor Kaleb Alexander below.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uj1dHlegPWM



     


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