This summer, Planet Connections Theatre Festivity (PCTF), the brainchild of arts professional Glory Kadigan, turns 10 years old. In that decade, PCTF has successfully changed the landscape of the theatre festival and all of New York independent theatre. The multi-award-winning theatre festival will celebrate in a big way by premiering more than 50 timely and topical plays and musicals written by the next generation of playwrights. Each play contains a powerful message serving as a parable of various world themes. The Tenth Planet: Planet Connections Theatre Festivity will run fromJuly 9 through August 5, 2018 at The Clemente, 107 Suffolk Street, NYC.www.planetconnections.org. Artists presenting works from all across America, including Denver, Los Angeles, New Orleans, Providence and New York City; and from all over the planet, including Japan, Yugoslavia, Russia, Peru, France, Belarus, & Haiti are part of this years festivity.
Good Pilgrim presents Kathleen Jones’ one-woman exploration featuring Amie Cazel
Pregnant Pause – It’s not always a “blessed event.”
Part of the 10th anniversary season of Planet Connections Theatre Festivity at the Theaters at the Clemente, 107 Suffolk Street, New York City, running
Friday 7/20 @7:30pm-9:00pm, Sunday 7/22 @9:30pm-11:00pm, Saturday 7/28 @11:15am-12:45pm, Wednesday 8/1 @9:15pm-10:45pm, and Saturday 8/4 @2:30pm-4pm
Playwright Kathleen Jones has woven a fascinating one-woman show featuring her college-pal, Amie Cazel:
Essie has two due dates on the horizon: opening her first Broadway show, and the birth of her first baby. Her complicated decision is made more so by the news that her baby has a genetic disorder. Haunted by her past, Essie stands at a crossroads between her life’s work and the future of her family. Pregnant Pause premiered at United Solo Theatre Festival in 2016.
Follow playwright Kathleen Jones on her blog: www.hellokathleenjones.com and Good Pilgrim @goodpilgrimnyc.
OK, so for those who are not ardent followers of your blog (www.hellokathleenjones.com), tell us about yourself as an artist
Amie (Cazel) and I met in grad school at Catholic University– I was an MFA playwright, she was an MFA actor. I’ve basically been writing plays for her since day one when Professor Gary Sloan assigned us together!
That’s great. I love hearing things like that. Thank you for sharing, now share with us a little something about the play that we WON’T see in the press release.
This play is about women in theatre who get pregnant and deal with that situation– and about this one actress in particular, Essie, and her decision between a disabled pregnancy or a career on Broadway. I wrote this play specifically for Amie. Essie’s story is not my story or Amie’s story (it’s not biographical!). But it is “our story” in the sense that we’re women with children (in Amie’s case) or thinking about children (in my case) and we have an equal, burning desire for professional creative fulfillment. Where do you go with that? Who lets you have both? Also, our director is currently seven months pregnant.
WOW! OK, talk about art imitating life – or maybe life intimidating art. I think you answered this already but how does your play resonate today? Feel free to be blunt.
At one moment, Essie laments in the play to her husband: “You know, if you had a job offer on Broadway… You could… send your understudy on when I go into labor and be back the next day. But that’s not the way it is for women. And you say we’ll split care, but we can’t, like, split my body.” As much as things change for women and equality (and we hope they keep doing so!), pregnancy remains the same. It’s the woman’s body that goes through the pain, the joy, the abortion, the labor, the suffering, the nourishing. The journey happens in and through and with her body and that doesn’t change, no matter what her journey is. And I want to talk about it.
I’m learning that Planet Connections Theatre Festivity is -like- the BEST place to tell such a story. Right?
We loved that Planet Connections cares deeply about the community coming to see the plays, as well as the community that each play addresses (in our case, women in theatre).
Where do you see it going in the future? What’s the next step?
I’d love for communities (colleges, community centers, churches, women’s groups) to use this play as a jumping off point for hard discussions about working women and the challenges we face. I would love for actresses in their thirties and forties all over the country to just pick up this play, memorize it and self-produce it as a showcase piece for themselves. I’d love this play to become something people turn to when they think of handling tough topics onstage with grace, and I hope lots of people want to produce it after us!
We produced Pregnant Pause in 2016 and it’s a privilege to be back with the same team now. With all the changes we’ve been through since then in our personal and professional lives, the joy of being in the room with these smart, talented, courageous women never goes away!