Meet the playwrights of venus in orange, Paula Cizmar & Laura Shamas.

PAULA CIZMAR is a playwright whose work often combines poetry and politics and is concerned with the way stories get told in a culture—and with who or what gets left out of the discussion.  Her work has been produced at Portland Stage Company, the Women’s Project (New York), the Jungle Theatre (Minneapolis), San Diego Rep, Passage Theatre (NJ), Theatre LaBeet (London), and Playwrights Arena @ LATC, among others.  Two of her plays were nominated for the first Kilroy List.  One of these, The Chisera, was selected for the 2016 Mach 33 Festival of Science-Driven Plays, awarded second place in the Ebell of Los Angeles Playwriting Competition, and was produced at Cosumnes River College; the other, January, was presented in New York City in March 2016 as part of the New Play Development Series at MultiStages Theatre; a production is planned for next winter. Paula has received commissions from Center Theatre Group, Salt Lake Acting Company, Echo Theatre, Portland Stage Company, and Playwrights Arena.  Among her many awards are an NEA grant, and a TCG/Mellon Foundation On the Road grant.   She is one of the authors of the acclaimed documentary theatre piece, Seven, which has been translated into 20+ languages and has been performed in 32 countries. She an Associate Professor of Theatre in Playwriting at the University of Southern California’s School of Dramatic Arts.

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LAURA SHAMAS’ first full-length play was inspired by Virginia Woolf: The Other Shakespeare. What if Shakespeare’s sister was a literary genius, too?

Since then, her work has been produced, developed, or presented at many theaters, including: The Public Theater, Native Voices at the Autry, Native Earth Performing Arts (Toronto, Canada), The Naked Expedition Project, Oklahoma City Theatre Company, Free-Rain Theatre (Canberra, Australia), Purely Pensive Productions (Melbourne, Australia), The Lark Theatre, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Golden Thread Productions, Walnut Street Theater, Utah Shakespearean Theater Festival, West Coast Ensemble, The Glines, Philadelphia Theater Company, Soho Theatre (London), The Old Globe, The Geva Theater, and the Denver Center Theater Company.

Published plays include: Lincoln VacationMolière in LoveRe-SourcingUp To DateLady-Like, Portrait of a Nude, Picnic at Hanging Rock (adaptation), Amelia Lives, and The Other Shakespeare.

Among her playwriting honors are: Finalist for the 2015 Native American New Play Festival (Oklahoma City Theatre Company), the 2008 Garrard Best Play Award from the Five Civilized Tribes Museum, a Fringe First Award for Outstanding New Drama (Edinburgh), and a Drama-Logue Award.

Her play Circular is on the 2015 Kilroys List (Honorable Mention) and was a 2016 O’Neill National Playwriting Conference Semi-Finalist. It was presented on October 1, 2016, at Artemisia Theatre’s Fall Festival, Chicago.

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