NNPN Festival Spotlight Part 1: Jacqueline Goldfinger

Todays News

BY PHILIP LEDERER SRQ DAILY FRIDAY WEEKEND EDITION FRIDAY APR 26, 2019

Florida Studio Theatre teams up with the National New Play Network (NNPN) this year to host the NNPN Women in Playwriting Festival right here in Sarasota, inviting four women playwrights from around the country to bring their latest work for a series of staged readings from April 24 through May 10. The featured artists each receive a week of development sessions with FST, followed by the reading and a talkback session to receive feedback from the audience. In this four-part series, SRQ goes backstage with the playwrights.

A playwright and poet currently based at the University of Pennsylvania, Jacqueline Goldfinger’s latest play, Babel, takes audiences to a near future, where parents learn the behaviors and traits of their children within the first weeks of conception, and these findings will determine their futures. The reading will be tonight at FST.

What do you hope audiences will take away from their experience with Babel? Goldfinger: I hope that audiences will take away new knowledge about how reproductive technologies are evolving, and the moral and ethnical questions that they will present, so that we can be prepared for the future. I also hope that audiences simply have a good time. One reason that I put these questions in the context of two couple's relationships is so that we can also laugh and enjoy their relationships. 

Why are festivals like these important today? We have entered a Golden Age of American Playwriting, and there is more great new work than we could possibly produce on our stages. Festivals give us the opportunity to hear more new voices, stories and ideas, to laugh and cry together, by encountering pieces that might not find their way to full production.

How can the theatrical community support women playwrights year-round? Buy tickets to shows written and directed by women. If you notice that a company in your community is not producing plays written by women, then send an email and let the theater know you're disappointed that their season does not include female voices. There's no excuse for female voices being excluded from the stage.

How does playwriting give you a voice? I'm a very curious person, and a very passionate person, and playwriting gives me the opportunity to dive deeply into topics that perk my interest. The stage is a safe place to do dangerous things, so there are definitely taboo topics that I feel I can explore through theater that I cannot do elsewhere. 

Pictured: Jacqueline Goldfinger.

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