By Aaron Malkin, Senior Literary Fellow
As my time begins to wind down at Arena, I can't tell you how excited I am to have the opportunity to produce the final workshop in this year's Downstairs Series. Each year, the Downstairs Series recognizes an emerging talent as a Walton Fellow (named after the generous Barbara Walton, whose Barbara R. Walton Endowment Fund for New Playwrights helps support the series). When it came time to select this year's fellow, I suggested a friend from school and emerging Philadelphia-based playwright, Jessica Goldschimdt. I was lucky enough to have gone to the first reading of her new play, The Death Book, in January. The play chronicles the Thompson sisters, reunited at their family home in California, who are trying to say goodbye to their mother and still get out alive. I was moved by its humor, poignancy, and truth.
Tomorrow, after over a month of conversations and logistics, Jessica and her director (Sophia Shackleton, another collaborator from school) arrive in DC for a weekend of work with an incredible cast of local actors. The weekend's work will conclude on Monday (May 14th) evening at 7pm in the Kogod Cradle with a reading of the piece for an invited audience. If you're interested in attending the reading, please RSVP to Aaron Malkin (email@example.com or 202.554.9066 Ext. 5075).
Looking forward to an exciting weekend of conversation and exploration!