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‘She Wrote Plays’ audio drama collaboration rediscovers works of women playwrights

Crystal Graham

she wrote plays WTJU A podcast collaboration will share the work of women playwrights from a century ago bringing together University of Virginia students and faculty as writers, actors and producers.

WTJU 91.1 FM and UVA Drama present “She Wrote Plays” – a new take on works from a century ago by forgotten women playwrights. An in-person event will kick off the series on April 7 at 5 p.m. at UVA’s Helms Theatre in Charlottesville.

Charlottesville-based playwrights, tech producers and actors have taken these old scripts and adapted them into modern radio dramas.

At the kickoff event, actors will perform a live enactment of two plays by Alice Gerstenberg, best known for her experimental, feminist dramas of the 1920s and 1930s followed by a talk-back with the audience. This event is free and open to the public.

“These playwrights are largely forgotten now, not owing to the quality of their work, but because the feminist themes they explored seemed of only passing interest to male-dominated producers, critics and even audiences,” said Doug Grissom, UVA Drama professor. “However, these are lively, vibrant plays. They deserve to be rediscovered.”

These two performances and six more plays will be released by WTJU as an audio drama podcast this summer.

“America is undergoing an audio storytelling resurgence, and podcasting has opened up audio storytelling to new creators pursuing new forms to reach new audiences. We’re excited to share the work of important women playwrights from a century ago – and their themes that still resonate today,” said Nathan Moore, WTJU general manager.

The audio drama series serves as a hands-on learning opportunity for UVA students. Alongside professional staff and faculty, students have been involved in this project as actors, writers and assistant technical producers.

For more information, visit WTJU.net.

Crystal Graham

Crystal Graham

Crystal Abbe Graham is the regional editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1999 graduate of Virginia Tech, she has worked for nearly 25 years as a reporter and editor for several Virginia publications, written a book, and garnered more than a dozen Virginia Press Association awards for writing and graphic design. She was the co-host of "Viewpoints," a weekly TV news show, and co-host of Virginia Tonight, a nightly TV news show. Her work on "Virginia Tonight" earned her a national Telly award for excellence in television.