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The Birth of Venus

by Lisa Meyers (world premiere)
directed by Claire Avitabile
October 8-23, 2011 – Thursdays through Sundays at 7:30pm
at the Cedar Riverside People’s Center Theatre in Minneapolis

425 South 20th Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55454

Betty is a transgender woman who has only two wishes in life: to become physically and emotionally female, and to fly a rocket into space. She befriends Ron, a goofy single father who breaks faces professionally, and Trish, a surgeon struggling to conquer her loneliness. Together they build doghouses, bake cakes, make Play Dough creatures and spaceships, and explore the depths of love and friendship in a play that mixes poetic realism with a touch of the fantastical.

This past May, Venus was produced at Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts, the weekend of the playwrights’ own graduation (yes, she is that young – and brilliant). 20% Theatre’s production will be the first professional (not educational) production of this play. Meyers is a two-time winner of The Blank Theatre Young Playwrights Festival in Hollywood, CA. Her play, Respect for the Electric Field of Horses, was selected for the Young Playwrights Inc. National Playwriting Competition in New York. She has also had two readings with RoaN productions in New York. Meyers will begin the University of Iowa’s prestigious MFA in Playwriting program this fall, and will actively be involved with this production.

Tickets: $12-$20 sliding scale; $10 Students/Fringe. Seating is very limited and reservations are strongly recommended – Reserve below or call 612-227-1188 or email tickets@tctwentypercent.org.

Welcome to Iowa

I just got here.

Wow.

It’s beautiful. It’s flat.

There’s a lot of corn.

But seriously, it’s beautiful. I love love love love my apartment. It is cute and purple and pink and cheap and it already feels like home. The people are nice here; the people at Wal-Mart smiled at my rainbow hair, and the employees were totally cheerful and awesome helping us with the furniture. I like Iowa. It feels genuine.

Quite unlike the reception Harold Hill received when he arrived in River City:

I’ve met several people from my program, and have already communed with the intensity, energy, and dynamic spirit of fellow artists. I start orientation next week, so I’ve been practicing, writing scenes, taking deep breaths, taking walks.

Does anyone have any suggestions for a writing prompt? If I write something based on your prompt, I’ll send it to you.

Two bits of exciting news:

First of all, I’m pleased to announce I have been accepted into the Playwrights’ Workshop at the University of Iowa, and will be on the three-year path to an MFA in Playwriting. Iowa was my first choice for graduate school, and I look forward to working hard and developing as a writer.
UIowa

Second, The Birth of Venus, which is in rehearsals right now at Smith with an exceptional cast, will be produced in October at the 20% Theatre Company in Twin Cities, Minnesota. Details to follow, as well as additional information about the upcoming Smith production in May.

New article by fellow Smith college senior Angela Tosca discusses the recent staged reading and the upcoming production.

From the article:

In the inaugural installment of the Smith Theatre New Play Reading Series last Thursday, theatergoers had a chance to preview The Birth of Venus, which will be presented during this year’s Commencement Weekend. Though auditions for the final cast are pending, faculty member Normi Noel directed a talented group of actors through the staged reading, among them Annie-Sage Whitehurst ’11 as Betty, Meg Lydon ’13 as Trish and Hampshire College alumnus Rory Madden as Ron.

The play, the brainchild of Lisa Meyers ’11, is sometimes sad, sometimes funny, but always magical and lighthearted as it follows a woman named Betty through gender reassignment surgery. As Betty’s relationships with her past, herself and her body evolve, so too do her relationships with her two closest friends, Ron and Trish.

The symbolism inherent in a play that deals so heavily with transformation presented on the occasion of her Commencement is not lost on Meyers. “It’s very symbolic,” she said. “It very much marks the end of my Smith career.”

Production Photos

A few pictures from my history:

My first produced play, Noel, June 2006, The Blank Theatre Young Playwrights Festival

Respect for the Electric Field of Horses, June 2008, The Blank Theatre Young Playwrights Festival

Left to Protest, Beyond Convention III, Hunger Artists Theatre Company, November 2009

Introduction

Welcome to my revitalized website to follow my playwriting and theatrical life. The biography, resume, and press links are at the top, and this space will be used for posts about projects, with pictures, videos, and, likely, philosophical musings.

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