Women’s Theatre Festival Executive Director Johannah Maynard Edwards stops by RDU on Stage to interview Playwright Audrey Cefaly and Dramaturg Carolyn Messina.
Audrey Cefaly’s plays include The Gulf (Edgerton, Lammy, Charles MacArthur Nominee), Alabaster (NNPN Record-Breaking RWP, Kilroys, Calicchio Prize), Maytag Virgin, The Last Wide Open, The Story of Walter, Fin & Euba, Tell Me Something Good, The Believers, and Love is a Blue Tick Hound. Cefaly is a member of the Playwrights’ Arena cohort at Arena Stage and a Dramatist Guild Foundation Traveling Master. She is published by Samuel French, Smith & Kraus, and Applause Books. Cefaly has developed plays with NNPN, Everyman Theatre, Signature Theatre, Vermont Stage, 16th Street Theater, Capital Stage, Cincinnati Playhouse, About Face, Florida Rep, Kitchen Dog Theatre, Circle Theatre, Serenbe Playhouse, Aurora Theatre, Theater Alliance, Quotidian Theatre Company, Contemporary American Theater Festival, and University of Alabama at Birmingham.
Carolyn Messina (dramaturg) was honored to play Weezy in the staged reading of ALabaster at The Vinyard Theatre in NYC for the 2019 National New Play Network Fundraiser. Her Off-Broadway credits include the Samuel French Off Off Broadway Festival – The Gulf (Kendra), Clurman Theatre – The State of Tennessee (Bertha/Mrs. Wire), and the Strawberry One-Act Festival – Fin and Euba (Euba, winner best actress). Regionally she has appeared most recently in Birmingham Festival Theatre’s Maytag Virgin (Lizzy); City Equity Theatre’s August: Osage County (Barbara) and Superior Donuts (Randy); Terrific New Theatre’s Love Is a Blue Tick Hound (Lina/Kendra), Split in Three (Nola), The Kathy and Mo Show (Mo), 6 Women with Brain Death (Jolene), Jacques Brel Is Alive And Well, and Vital Signs; Brad Bailey’s award-winning one-woman show Womenfolks; Birmingham Children’s Theatre’s The Miracle Worker (Annie Sullivan) and Charlotte’s Web (Nat’l tour/Town Hall-Charlotte). She also has served as dramaturg for Audrey Cefaly’s Alabaster (NNPN Showcase), Maytag Virgin (World Premiere), and Love is a Blue Tick Hound (Borough of Manhattan College). She is a proud graduate of the William Esper Studio, NYC (Joel Rooks, Suzanne Esper, Maggie Flanigan). Thank you Mr. Key, MG, Mac, Miz G, and Gis. And thank you Jude, for always and forever being true north. www.carolyn-messina.com
Johannah Maynard Edwards is the Executive Director of the Women’s Theatre Festival based in Raleigh, NC. Johannah began making theatre when she was 15 and co-founded her first company, p.i.e., when she was 19. She has directed, devised, and produced countless theatrical productions in NYC, Minneapolis, and the Triangle. A passionate arts educator, Johannah has been a teaching artist at Raleigh Little Theatre for the past ten years and has taught at Arts Together, Sterling Montessori, LearningSpring, NC Governor’s School, through the America Reads program in NYC public schools, and most recently as the Interim Theatre Program Director at Longleaf School of the Arts. Johannah is a Chief Rep for PAAL, the Parent Artist Advocacy League for the Performing Arts and serves on the Arts Learning Community for Universal Access through the Office of Raleigh Arts. She’s an outspoken advocate and consultant for access and inclusion in theatre and has created a resource guide for presenting sensory-friendly theatre. She’s a contributor to RDU Onstage and is developing audio content for theatre practitioners and producers. Johannah is a graduate of NYU/Tisch School of the Arts/Playwrights Horizons Theatre School.
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