In mid-July, 13P (13 Playwrights Inc.), will open its 13th and final production, Melancholy Play, written by the current artistic director, Sarah Ruhl. Then, from a perch of successthe focus of much critical attention and praise, with a cultivated audience, secure in its fundinga success that many comparatively young theater companies surely find enviable 13P will implode.
Quiara Alegría Hudes writes from the music in her bones. Her work, which delves deeply into notions about family ties, war, love, joy, and despair are all exemplary excavations into the mind of a poet-musician-playwright whose craftsmanship is as profound as her skill for lyricism and whose passion for writing is as infectious as her radiant laughter.
Touching down on the plane at Midway last Tuesdayit all hits me. While Ive been produced in Chicago before, I realize how different this Chi-town trip is.
The first time I saw Erin Layton present one of her monologues, she stood in street clothes on an empty stage speaking while very deftly creating the laundry, the sheets, and a wash tub out of thin air. Her simple and elegant physicality brought to life the experience of one struggling woman inside Irelands Magdalene laundries.