The Playwrights Foundation's 2013 Spring Rough Readings Series at Stanford University and in San Francisco will feature Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig's The World of Extreme Happiness, March 11 & 12: Monday, March 11 in Roble Hall at Stanford University, and Tuesday, March 12 at NOH Space in San Francisco.
The Spring series features a playwright tackling issues of life and death zooming in on character, global perspectives, and forgiveness. Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig's The World of Extreme Happiness deadlocks two kids from a rural Chinese village between familial duty and Americanized ambitions of consumer driven happiness.
When Sunny is born in a rural vilage on the Yangtze River, her parents dump her in a slop bucket and leave her to die because she isn't a boy. Sunny survives, and at 14 leaves home for a Shenzhen factory to fund her brother's education. There she works grueling shifts cleaning toilets and dreams of promotion. Desperate to maximize her only capital--her youth--Sunny attends self-help classes and learns ways to improve her chances at securing a coveted office position. But when her dogged attempts to pull herself out of poverty hurt a fellow worker, Sunny begins to question the design of a system she has spent her life trying to master, and starts to fight for an alternative.
The Rough Readings Series is like a professional playwriting gym. Selected writers are assigned a stellar cast and director drawn from the 'A' list of local talent, and eight hours in our studio to work out with a new play in its early development,. The plays are then subject to two open rehearsal sessions in front of audiences who are eager to hear this rough work. The results are often extraordinary. Many of these plays and playwrights are first introduced to the Bay Area theaters through the series, or are presented in collaboration with theaters interested in producing the work.. Some illustrious examples from previous Rough Readings Series are Katori Hall (The Mountaintop) , Rajiv Joseph (Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo) and Peter Nachtrieb (Bob).
Readings are 100% FREE of charge. A $20 donation in advance comes with a reserved seat & a drink! To RSVP email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 415.626.2176.
Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig The World of Extreme Happiness
Directed by Desdemona Chiang
Monday, March 11, 7:30pm at Roble Hall, Stanford University
Tuesday, March 12, 7pm. NOH Space - 2840 Mariposa Street, SF
Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig's play Lidless received the Yale Drama Series Award, an Edinburgh Fringe First Award, the Keene Prize for Literature, and the David Calicchio Emerging American Playwright Prize. In 2011 she was awarded the Wasserstein Prize by the Educational Foundation of America. She has been a finalist for the Blackburn Prize, received residencies at Yaddo, MacDowell, Ragdale, and the Santa Fe Art Institute, and is under commission from South Coast Rep and Seattle Rep. Her plays have been produced by Trafalagar Studios 2 on the West End, Page 73 Productions in New York, Interact Theatre in Philadelphia, and the Contemporary American Theatre Festival in West Virginia. They have been developed at the Hedgebrook Women Playwrights Festival, Seattle Rep, PlayPenn, the Alley Theatre, Marin Theatre Company, Ojai Playwrights Conference, the Playwright's Foundation and Yale Rep. Frances received an MFA in Writing from the James A. Michener Center for Writers at UT Austin, a BA in Sociology from Brown University, and a certificate in Ensemble Created Physical Theatre from the Dell'Arte International School of Physical Theatre. Her work has been published by Glimmer Train, Methuen Drama, and Yale University Press. Frances was born in Philadelphia, and raised in Northern Virginia, Okinawa, Taipei and Beijing.