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Friday, February 24, 2017

The Pipeline Playwrights host readings of new plays

From the left: Patricia Connelly, Jean Koppen, Soo-Jin Lee and Ann Timmons. [Pipeline Playwrights]
By David Siegel

Northern Virginia is very much alive in its support for original play development by local playwrights. The diversity of the Northern Virginia demographic provides for fresh experiences to base a play on.

One example is the recent launch of Pipeline Playwrights, a collaboration of four accomplished Northern Virginia women playwrights with a goal to build “a pipeline to production.”

The Pipeline Playwrights believe “theater should reflect the reality of our daily lives while exploring the infinite variety of our experiences as women.” Their goal is “to communicate individual truths that transcend the separate self and bind us together in community.”

The four playwrights – Patricia Connelly, Jean Koppen, Soo-Jin Lee, and Ann Timmons – will work individually and as a team to develop new plays, have public readings, and gain feedback from audiences.

Free readings, with professional actors, beginning Feb. 27, will be held over the next few months on Monday nights at MetroStage in Old Town, Alexandria.

Timmons’ play, “A Very Present Presence,” will take place Feb. 27. This is how Timmons describes the play: “When daily pressures become too much for Alice, her plan to take some time away to sort things out is interrupted by a visitation from her great aunt Nell—who died 20 years ago! As Alice navigates a world of ghosts and family secrets, time travel, and self-discovery, she learns that her problems spring from sources far deeper than she imagined.”

Lee will have a reading of her play, “The Men My Mother Loved,” on March 20. It’s about “how a vacation to Korea turns a mother-daughter relationship into a fantastical exploration of why it’s worth reuniting with ex-boyfriends,” Lee says.

Readings of Connelly’s “Around the Snake Turn” and Koppen’s “Unprotected” will be held in April and May.

MetroStage’s artistic director Carolyn Griffin says she is delighted to be able to offer the Metrostage venue for the Pipeline readings. It is a “great way to introduce audiences to new plays and playwrights that they may not yet know.”

Where and When: Pipeline Playwrights’ readings will take place on Feb. 27 and March 20, 7:30 p.m., at MetroStage, 1201 N. Royal St., Alexandria. There is no charge. Additional readings will be scheduled for later this spring.

This piece is based on an article that appeared in DC Metro Theater Arts, which also includes interviews with Anne Timmons and Soo-Jin Lee.

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