My play d-baby a winner – in 2019
You’ve got to be in it to win it – but you’ve also got to check to see if you did.
I did a Google check recently and was surprised to find I was a finalist in the Hidden River Playwriting Award – in 2019.
I’d entered my play d-baby, which is about a donor-conceived teenager searching for her true identity. When I didn’t hear back, I assumed it hadn’t made the cut.
But last week, during a routine Google check on my name, I was astonished to find that I was a finalist. (As a former journalist I find it useful to occasionally check where my work has ended up, so it wasn’t complete vanity that sent me searching.)
There were 63 semi-finalists in the competition, whittled down to 27 finalists, so I was in good company.
Belated congratulations to the winner, Jason Forbach of New York, for his winning entry Heathen Hill, a futuristic play where six men in an internment camp for homosexuals turn to creativity, art and truth to help them survive.”
Forbach is a Broadway actor and Heathen Hill was his first play. It had an industry-only rehearsed reading in New York in September 2019 directed by Kevin Newbury and starring Dan Amboyer.
And belated thanks and much gratitude to Hidden River Arts, an independent Philadelphia-based literary, visual and performing arts organisation “dedicated to the service, support and celebration of all artists”.
This is the third gong for d-baby, which was a finalist in the 2018 New York-based international playwriting competition New Works of Merit, and a semi-finalist in the Gary Marshall Theatre’s 2018 New Works Festival in Burbank, California.
Great roles for older women – available for producers now
d-baby is the story of Dee, 17, a donor-conceived teenager searching for her true identity in the wild west of the commercial gamete-trading industry in the United States, and is available to producers now.
It’s a four-hander, with exciting roles for two teenagers (1F and 1M) and two women in their 60s. The story is fictional but it’s based on true events that happen every day in the world of donor conception.
The play draws parallels between Dee’s situation and the play she is studying at school, Ion, by Euripides, and the challenge posed by the Oracle of Delphi: know thyself.
Written as a companion play to e-baby, my play about surrogacy (but not a sequel), d-baby is about a group of people for whom the fundamental human question, “Who am I?” may be impossible to answer.
The play makes creative use of technology, including Skype, text and email in a truly modern story of our times.
d-baby has had rehearsed readings in Sydney, Singapore, Melbourne, Hobart, to critical acclaim.
Director and film maker Nadia Tass, who read early drafts (and who directed e-baby in Sydney in 2016), described it as “a story of our times” with “wonderfully rich characters”.
Writer and former Honorary Professor of Performing Arts at Monash University Peter Fitzpatrick, who attended the Melbourne reading in 2018, described the play as “engrossing, moving and thought-provoking”.
The play is particularly relevant now, when actors are calling for better roles for older women.
According to The Guardian on May 29, in an open letter signed by more than 100 actors, including UK actors Juliet Stevenson and Keeley Hawes, the Acting Your Age Campaign called for equal representation between men and women over 45. As AYAC pointed out, female actors have a “shelf life”, while male actors have a “whole life.”
So, if you’re an older female actor looking for a rich, complex and challenging role, or if you’re a producer interested in a four-hander play exploring a vital social issue of our times, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
d-baby is published by Australian Plays Transforms. https://apt.org.au/product/d-baby-2/
Support and information for donor-conceived people, and for anyone else interested in this important issue, can be found at the Donor Sibling Registry, a non-profit organisation founded in 2000 by Wendy Kramer, and which has connected more than 22,000 donor-conceived people with their donors since its inception.