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KickAss Plays For Women: Four short plays

KickAss Plays For Women: Four short plays
Your Price: $17.95 CDN
Author: Jane Shepard
Publisher: Samuel French (cover image may change)
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 109
Pub. Date: 2008
ISBN-10: 0573663432
ISBN-13: 9780573663437
Cast Size: 2 female

About the Play:

KickAss Plays For Women contains four one-act plays by Jane Shepard. This gritty, hard-edged drama is a compilation of four powerful short plays, featuring strong, contemporary female roles that give new muscle to actresses of exceptional range. All successfully produced on the New York stage, each play examines in very different ways the tender, funny, often tortuous quest for meaning. Jane Shepard writes powerful and explicit dialog for female actors with both intense drama and modern humour in all four of these works: Nine; Commencing; Friends of the Deceased; and The Last Nickel.

Nine is a fascinating play about the power of language. Two women held against their will, locked in a room and chained apart, use their words to motivate and push one another in order to survive their situation. A complicated relationship is revealed as the two women use not only kind words to lift one another up but also cruel and even obscene words to stir one another up in an attempt to find the humour and strength they need to fight against their captors. (Premiered in 1995 at the Circle Rep Lab in New York City; Cast: 2 female)

Commencing: Kelli can't wait for the blind date her friends have set her up on. Until it turns out the person who shows up not only isn't her type, but is very disappointed lesbian named Arlin. Mutually appalled, yet appallingly intrigued, they spend the night in a cycle of bickering and flirting but ultimately find they have a lot in common after all. (Premiered in 1996 at the HERE space in New York City; Cast: 2 female)

What people say:

"I've seen two great one-acts in my life, [Edward Albee's] Zoo Story and this play." — NYTheatre.com

Friends of the Deceased finds a wealthy and embittered widow lingering long after her husband's grave site service only to confront a mysterious and unsuspecting young woman upon her late arrival to the funeral. Convinced that the young woman is her husband's mistress, the widow attempts to buy a confession but learns an even deeper, unforeseen truth. (Premiered in 2002 at McGinn/Cazale Theatre in New York City; Cast: 2 female)

The Last Nickel centers on sisters dealing with the aftermath of a tragic death in the family. Through the use of children's hand puppets giving real-time commentary on the action, we are transported to a happier time of childhood memories but can never fully escape the unnerving truth that something horrible has happened. Equal parts theatrical, funny, and touching. (Premiered in 1996 at One Dream Theatre in New York City; Cast: 2 female, 2 male puppeteers)

Three selections from KickAss Plays for Women (Nine, Commencing, and Friends of The Deceased) debuted off-Broadway in 2016 at Gene Frankel Theatre under the collective title Commencing: A Night Of Jane Shepard Shorts. Each play features two female roles, and most roles are age-flexible. There is almost always a play from the KickAss collection being produced somewhere in the world.

What people say:

"Wild and true. Like all the best writing." — Marsha Norman, playwright: night, Mother, Getting Out

"Exploring a primal human need for communication, these Kick Ass Plays ignite that so much needed inner-dialogue; and even more important, the need to feel. Life needs space and time for silence or reflection. Without that, life dies. The Kick Ass Plays inspire us to keep communicating and feeling." — TheatreReview (New Zealand)

About the Playwright:

Jane Shepard is an award-winning American playwright, screenwriter, actor and film director who grew up in Boulder, Colorado, and trained as an actor, graduating from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in 1978 before turning to writing. She spent 25 years working in New York City before moving her base of operations back to her hometown in 2008. She is the recipient of multiple accolades for her playwrighting, with over 35 productions in New York City, around the U.S. and internationally.