We’re very excited to have U.S. playwright Andrea Stolowitz as our 2015 Playwright in Residence! While here, Andrea will conduct research into a new piece of theater entitled Schlüterstraße 27. We’ll present her work-in-progress this spring!
Schlüterstraße 27 is a theater piece based on the 1939-1948 diary of a German-Jewish immigrant who leaves Berlin and moves to NYC to flee Nazi persecution. He’s fifty-eight years old and is trying to reestablish his role as the provider of his family who have all come to NY too. But he can’t really make it in this new land: the language is alien, establishing a new doctor’s practice is too difficult at an advanced age and his children won’t listen to him. And back home people are disappearing–either immigrating or going missing. More than anything he wants to return to his language and his books and his home at Schlüterstraße 27. Despite all the wises, home no longer exists and worse still, family dysfunction and mental illness weave their way into those who remain alive. The chronicle of a time period where the biggest historical event, the mass killing of the Jews, is never directly mentioned. The diary sits in the Holocaust museum in DC.
The author of the diary is Andrea’s great-grandfather. The resulting project is the story of Andrea’s trek to Berlin to understand the root of her family’s dysfunction and mental illness in order to write a play about it. A play within in a play which makes a circular journey back to where it all began and where it all ends. Berlin.
Andrea’s plays have been presented at The Cherry Lane (NYC), The Old Globe (SD),
The Long Wharf (CT), New York Stage and Film (NY), and Portland Center Stage (OR). The
LA Times calls her work “heartbreaking” and the Orange County Register characterizes her
approach as a “brave refusal to sugarcoat…issues and tough decisions.”
A recipient of Artists Repertory Theater’s $25,000 New Play Commission, Andrea premiered her newest work Ithaka at the theater in 2013. The play had its mid-west premiere in Chicago in 2014 at Infusion Theater.
Andrea’s play Antarktikos was awarded the 2013 Oregon Book Award for Drama and was published in July in Theatre Forum magazine. The play world-premiered at The Pittsburgh Playhouse in March 2013 and was workshopped at The New Harmony Project (IN), Portland Center Stage’s JAW Festival, and at Seattle Repertory Theater.
Knowing Cairo received its world premiere at the Old Globe Theatre, which earned San Diego’s “Billie” Best New Play Award and an LA Times’ Critic’s Pick. It is published by Playscripts Inc. and continues to be produced nationally and internationally. It was presented at Profile Theater (OR) in 2013.
Tales of Doomed Love premiered in Washington, DC at The Studio Theater. As part of the 2008 Fringe Festival, DC Theater Scene called it “one of the finest entries in the Capital Fringe” and the Triangle Independent named its production at StreetSigns Center for Literature and Performance (Chapel Hill, NC) “best new play.”
Andrea is a founding member of the playwrights collective Playwrights West (www.playwrightswest.org) and works as a collaborating writer with the award-winning devised theater company Hand2Mouth Theater (http://www.hand2mouththeatre.org).
A Walter E. Dakin Fellow at The Sewanee Writers Conference, Andrea has also been awarded residencies at Ledig House, Soapstone, and Hedgebrook, and Arts Grants from North Carolina, Oregon, and private foundations. She is a 2013 Oregon Arts Commission Fellowship winner.
An MFA playwriting alumna of UC-San Diego, Andrea has served on the faculties at Willamette University, The University of Portland, Duke University and UC-San Diego.