In Dialogue: Knowing Cairo
Written by Andrea Stolowitz
Part of the inaugural year of our In Dialogue Series featuring contemporary plays “in dialogue” with the body of work, themes, or style of our featured playwright.
Date of performance: April 1, 2013
Directed by: Adriana Baer
Featuring: JoAnn Johnson*, Rebecca Lingafelter* and Anya Pearson
About the Play:
Rose, an elderly German-Jewish New Yorker, is a screamer. Approaching the big 8-0, she has managed to scare away an array of caretakers with her overwhelming antics. That is until her busy psychoanalyst daughter hires Winsome, an African American woman, who proves to be Rose’s match. When Lydia realizes how close the two have become, she suspects Winsome of being a clever grifter, but are her suspicions based on truth, or merely produced by jealously? Alternately funny, moving and disturbing, this play raises questions of trust, race, and family obligation.
From the Playwright:
“When I was doing my MFA at UCSD, Athol Fugard was on faculty and I studied with him. This play was written partly in response to his challenge to us to write a personally challenging play about class, race, and family.”
Andrea Stolowitz’s plays have been presented at The Cherry Lane (NYC), The Old Globe (SD), The Long Wharf (CT), New York Stage and Film (NY), and Portland Center Stage (OR). The LA Times calls her work “heartbreaking” and the Orange County Register characterizes her approach as a “brave refusal to sugarcoat…issues and tough decisions.” A recipient of Artists Repertory Theater’s New Play Commission, Andrea will premiere her newest work Ithaka at the theatre in 2013. She is also a 2012 Oregon Literary Fellow, and the inaugural playwright to receive a grant from the Sustainable Arts Foundation. Her latest play Antartikos was workshopped nationwide at New Harmony Project (IN), Portland Center Stage’s JAW Festival, and at Seattle Repertory Theater. Pittsburgh Playhouse mounts the world premiere in 2013. The Old Globe Theater world-premiered Knowing Cairo, which earned San Diego’s “Billie” Best New Play Award and an LA Times’ Critic’s Pick. It is published by Playscripts Inc. and continues to be presented nationally and internationally. She is a founding member of Playwrights West and the Portland Regional Representative to the Dramatists Guild. An MFA playwriting alumna of UC-San Diego, Andrea teaches at Willamette University and the University of Portland and has served on the theater studies faculty at Duke University and UC San Diego.