Chestertown, MD, February 6, 2004 — The Rose O'Neill Tea & Talk Series presents “Contemporary Theatre: New Voices, New Trends,” a talk by professional dramaturg and Washington College alumna Michele Volansky, Monday, February 16, at the O'Neill Literary House. Volansky will discuss emerging playwrights and directors, trends in contemporary American drama, and the challenges and rewards of working in professional theatre. The event is free and all are welcomed to enjoy tea, conviviality and discussion. Tea served at 4 p.m., talk begins at 4:30.
A 1990 graduate of the College, Volansky is now in her fourth season as dramaturg for the Philadelphia Theatre Company. She has worked on over 100 new and established plays in her 12-year career, developing new works by writers such as Sam Shepard, Daniel Stern, Warren Leight, Jeffrey Hatcher, Bruce Graham, and Tina Landau. Her work on Shepard's rewrite of Buried Child (directed by Gary Sinise) and Dale Wasserman's One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (directed by Terry Kinney and starring Gary Sinise) earned her two Broadway credits and participation in the Tony Award for Best Revival of Cuckoo's Nest. She also has served as a guest dramaturg at South Coast Rep, the Atlantic Theatre Company, Victory Gardens, and Next Theatre, in addition to her staff time at Actors Theatre of Louisville (1992-95) and Steppenwolf Theatre Company (1995-2000). Her own play, titled Whispering City, was produced as part of the Steppenwolf Arts Exchange Program in Fall 1999. She is the 1999 inaugural recipient of the Elliot Hayes Award for Dramaturgy and is the president of LMDA, the Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas. In addition, Volansky is a member of the Advisory Board for Theatre Forum magazine and an artistic advisor for the Chicago-based Serendipity Theatre Company and Chicago Dramatists. She has served as an artistic consultant for the TCG playwright residency program, a reader for the Eugene O'Neill Center's National Playwrights Conference, and grants review panelist for the Five-County Arts Council.
Volansky earned her B.A. in English from Washington College—where she works as a lecturer in drama—and her M.A. in theatre from Villanova University.
The Rose O'Neill Tea & Talk Series showcases the research, writing and talent of Washington College's faculty and is held in the College's O'Neill Literary House. Established in 1985, the Literary House was acquired and refurbished through a generous gift of alumna Betty Casey, Class of 1947, and her late husband Eugene, in memory of his mother, Rose O'Neill Casey. Now approaching its 20th anniversary, the O'Neill Literary House is a large, eclectic Victorian home that reflects the spirit of Washington College's creative writing culture.