Archive for August, 2017

‘d-baby’ a semi-finalist in Garry Marshall New Works Festival

I’m thrilled to report that my new play d-baby has just made the semi-final list for the Gary Marshall Theatre’s New Works Festival in Burbank California.

d-baby is a high-concept play with themes that will resonate strongly with modern audiences, especially young people.

Its themes are:

  • identity and belonging
  • nature versus nurture
  • shame
  • secrets
  • religious and moral conflict

It is a coming-of-age story with a difference. It is about a teenager who has been created for one family but is genetically related to another.

It’s about a teenager for whom searching for her true identity means risking the love and support of the only family she has known.

A new stolen generation

It’s about a new stolen generation of adults for whom answering the basic human question: “Who am I?” is becoming increasingly complex and difficult.

The story and characters are fictional but they are based on real events that happen every day in the world of donor conception.

The events in d-baby can’t happen here in Australia, as commercial gamete trading is banned here. That’s why it’s set in the US.

But it shines a spotlight on what could happen should Australia go down that path, and reflects some of the emotional landscape that donor-conceived adults are negotiating here, and some of the moral challenges facing parents of donor-conceived children here, such as when and how to tell.

Above all, it’s about great characters striving for self-knowledge and connection in an increasingly disconnected world.

The play has taken 12 months to write, and has the support of acclaimed director Nadia Tass, who directed the highly successful Sydney production of e-baby for the Ensemble Theatre.

It was written to answer the questions raised during the Q & A for my play e-baby in Melbourne on International Women’s Day 2015, “But what about the child?”

This was a deliberate omission in e-baby, which is about the relationship between an intended parent and the surrogate she hires in the US.

But I always thought it was a question worth exploring,

d-baby  is not a sequel to e-baby. It’s a different story with different characters – and you don’t have to see one to understand the other. But it’s the same setting, and I like to imagine that Nellie, the surrogate mother from e-baby lives down the road from June and Dee from d-baby in Boston, unaware that they are both sharing the same complex journey of making families in the 21st Century.

“I read a lot of scripts, but this one is musical.”

Laura Schuster, actor an teacher, Singapore

The play had its first reading in Singapore in February, hosted by actor and teacher Laura Schuster and with the parts of Dee and Zac being read by students from the Singapore American School, and the parts of June and Tess being read by Laura, Susie Penrice Tyrie,  and Angela Ryan.

Here are some comments from the reading:

“I read a lot of scripts, but this one is musical.”

“I relate! The whole lawyer part, that’s like what my mom says to me.”

“When the guys were reading Zac, especially Ethan, it sounds like stuff he would say.”

“…this is the first time I’ve read a character whose my exact age, so I’ve never really related to a character that closely, I guess. It was just so interesting.”

“I love the line that there’s some relief to know that he’s not going to be fat and bald.”

“There’s so many lines in this that we can remember. already, They’re gems.”

The play has also attracted the interest and support of groups supporting donor-conceived people both in Australia and the United States.

The play is a four-hander with some voice overs, set in Boston, Massachusetts. Its setting is multi-locational.

It would suit an intimate theatre and a company that prefers plays that can both challenge and entertain.

 For more information or production inquiries, please email me at jane.cafarella@gmail.com


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