JEANNENE BYBEE (Family Portrait)
Jeannene Bybee is a playwright, actress and director with a special interest in experimental theatre and short performance pieces. Family Portrait is a portion of a full-length play Bybee is writing about the six wives of Henry VIII. Her play Dressed to Kill is a finalist in the Lamia Ink 1997 International One-Page Play Competition and will be performed in New York in January. Her plays have also been produced at the Changing Scene in Denver and at Eastern Michigan University. Bybee is the Community Affairs Director for the Town of Parker, which includes administration of the Parker Cultural Commission. She holds a B.A. in theatre arts from the University of Northern Colorado and an M.A. in arts administration from Eastern Michigan University.
Comments on the play: "In the days before photography, painted family portraits recorded the images of history. In some cases, much can be gleaned not only from the portraits themselves, but from who was included—and even more telling, who was left out. This show uses such a painting to explore the character of Katherine Parr, King Henry VIII of England’s sixth and final wife.
CHRISTINE EMMERT (Sunstroke)
Christine Emmert has worked in the Rocky Mountain-area theatre scene for the last 20 years as actress, director, playwright, producer and educator. Her two pieces on the sixties, Pressed Flowers and Apple of Discord, premiered in Denver last September; other works recently produced include Homunculus, Rose Red, Killing the Griot, On Line and Lenore. Emmert works closely with HAG (Her Acting Group), where she contributes as both writer and performer. She is founder of Cedar Bear Productions, a company dedicated to Native American themes, which has presented Storyteller throughout the Front Range communities. Presently Emmert is in final production stages for publication of her children’s book, Titania’s Mountain, and is also at work on My Siberian Dacha, a novel about the Russian labor camps in the ‘50s. In her work life Emmert is a member of the speakers’ bureau for RAAP (Rape Assistance Awareness Program).
Comments on the play: "Sunstroke is a play very close to my belief in theatre as a vehicle for ideas and change. The theme of "Body and Soul" appeals deeply; your soul and body are not dichotomy, but one unified theme. Giordano Bruno could not deny his soul to save his body—both had to be martyred."
JUDY GeBAUER (A Pair of Eyes)
Judy GeBauer’s plays have been produced at the Long Wharf Theatre, Philadelphia Festival Theatre, the O’Neill Theatre Center and Irish Arts Center, among others. She is the recipient of the HBO Writing Award, grants from the Steinberg Charitable Trust and the W. Alton Jones Foundation, and an Innovation Award from the Colorado Federation of the Arts. She is an associate of the Rocky Mountain Women’s Institute. Away from theatre she is a passionate Dodger fan.
Comments on the play: "Most of my plays focus on social injustice. This little piece is trying to examine something of that on a very personal level: a woman who was served up a dream dish and swallowed it without chewing. I like her for not being a victim, for not complaining, for being a good sport once she knew the joke was on her."
ELLEN K. GRAHAM (The Axe Man)
Ellen Graham is a Denver native and graduate of the University of Chicago. Recent productions of her work include What the Good Man Does is Always Right (at the Arts Center of the West) and Beauty is That Medusa’s Head (at the Changing Scene). She is currently living the "office-drone-by-day, writer-by-night lifestyle popularized by Franz Kafka."
Comments on the play: " The Axe Man is about the effect of friend on friend, sister on sister, sex on language, and principle on practice, and asks whether it’s better to try to impose order on chaos or to just dive into it headfirst."
JUANITA POPE (Come Sunday)
Juanita Pope holds a B.A. from the University of Denver. She is active in Denver’s theatre community; she appeared in Langston Hughes’ Black Nativity for three seasons with Eulipions Cultural Center as well as in The House of Blues and Mamma I Want to Sing. She produced and directed the documentary Jazz Is What I Growed Up To in conjunction with the University of Denver and Denver’s world-renowned jazz club El Chapultepec. Pope’s work Come Sunday was inspired through the considerations of some "very serious soul-searching" concerning the internal dynamics of the black church. In writing the play she chose to convey these considerations in a poetic sense, using metaphors and rich gospel music.
Comments about the play: "In the final analysis of Come Sunday one realizes the importance of being ‘whole,’ as does the theme for the Colorado Women Playwrights Festival—‘Body and Soul.’ Anytime you speak of ‘body and soul’ in the same sentence you emphasize being whole. The Bible, believe it or not, talks much about not just the soul, but the body as well. And when it speaks of the body and soul, it denotes in most instances the importance of being whole—not fragmented. It’s an important notion—body and soul."
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