Kate R McGrath

the pulse:

resides in:
Drexel Hill, PA

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their site:
pdc profile

Playwriting Biography:

Kate Rindfleisch McGrath

2900 School Lane Drexel Hill, PA 19026 kmcgrath06@hotmail.com (610) 626-5191


Kate is a playwright, dramaturg, performing artist and teaching artist.  She conducts workshops for youth and adults, specializing in playwriting through improvisation. Workshops involve participants in writing for the theatre using on-your-feet writing and acting exercises, and group or individual playwriting and revision techniques.

Kate has worked for Philadelphia Young Playwrights as a teaching artist for over twenty years, leading workshops in dozens of schools, including those participating in their Stagewrite, Anti-Violence, and cross-discipline programs, and is a two-time winner of the Adele Magner Memorial Award.  She currently serves as teaching artist for PYP at a variety of schools, including J.R. Masterman School, and the Science and Leadership Academy.  She teaches acting to children and teens at Walking Fish Theatre, and ArtSpace Lansdowne, and at Holy Child Academy in their after school and summer theatre programs. Kate has taught Theatre and Playwriting at The Shipley School in Bryn Mawr, PA, The Walnut Street Theatre School, the Pennsylvania Performing Arts Academy, Wolf Performing Arts Center, and the Montgomery County Cultural Center’s Heart of the Arts program (nine years as their Theatre/Playwriting teacher). Other Educational Outreach work has included dramaturgy in the scchools for American Music Theatre Festival’s Rainbow Connection, actor/facilitator with Interact Theatre Company’s outreach program InterAction, and educational performances for the Franklin Institute and NJ State Aquarium.  In addition to teaching young people, she has led playwriting workshops for adults at the University City Arts League in Philadelphia and ArtSpace Lansdowne. 

Kate received her Bachelors in Theatre and Creative Writing from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where she was a Morehead Scholar, and her Masters in Theatre from Villanova. Further training: the National Theatre Institute, The London Theatre School, The Folger Theatre Conservatory, Playwrights' Circle at the Walnut Street Theatre School, and Arden Continuing Training (Acting and Playwriting). Kate is a founding member of New Plays Rising in North Carolina, a past member of Playwrights Platform in Boston, and has served as a script reader for American Repertory Theatre, Philadelphia Festival Theatre for New Plays, and The Wilma Theatre.  As an Arts Administrator she has served as a Samuel Fels Intern at the Wilma Theatre, Marketing Director for Venture Theatre, and  Executive Associate at The Independent Eye.  She is a lifetime and founding member of the Philadelphia Dramatists Center, and produced their Playwriting Conference at the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg Center. As a dramaturg, Kate worked for two seasons with Philadelphia Theatre Workshop, and three years as a dramaturg for Young Voices--a co-production of InterAct Theatre Company and PYP. She worked for several years as dramaturg and actress for Women’s Ensemble Action Via Education (WEAVE).   Kate is currently a PDC Board member, as well as the first PDC at IronAge Playwright in Residence for the iyear 2012-13. 

Kate’s numerous plays have been performed locally, nationally and internationally. BLUEBIRD OF HAPPINESS was produced at the 2011 Philly Fringe, and WHAT WANDA WANTS was featured as a co-production by the City Paper and the Philadelphia Dramatists Center at the 2004 Philadelphia Fringe Festival.  Other Philadelphia area productions: Walking Fish Theatre’s Fresh Fish 2.0, St. Joseph’s University’s Women’s Place Theatre, Celebration Theatre, The Ritz Theatre in Oaklyn, NJ, The Theatre Guild of NJ, Theatre Under the Stars, PlayWorks, The Brick Playhouse, Fictitious Theatre Company, Philly Primary Stages, and three times at Community Education Center’s ‘Holiday Tales’ program. HOW TO FOLD and GETTING SASHA were produced as part of the Shubin Theatre's last two April Fests.  A SUDDEN BURST OF INACTIVITY directed by Michelle Pauls and featuring Susan Giddings was produced at the Independent Voices Festival in January 2013 at Centre Theatre. 

NOVEMBER WOMEN was a finalist at the Lovecreek Festival, NYC, a recent winner of the Philadelphia Ethical Society Playwriting competition, and produced at St. Joseph University's Women's Place Theatre.  SEAFOOD, with music by Charles Pettee, was selected as Best Play of North Carolina and produced by the Perihelion Theatre Company, and was a finalist at Boston’s Theatre In Process National Playwriting Competition.  WAITING FOR RAIN was produced by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Kate is a co-author of MELTING, a play created through the collaboration of seven playwrights from all over the U.S.  Her one-acts NOVEMBER WOMEN and GETTING SASHA were previously published on-line (Theaterwords.com) and have received innumerable international and U.S. productions from Canada (Edmonton Fringe Festival) to Ireland, Kazakhstan, Russia, and beyond.  Recent readings of her newer plays have included such venues as Hedgerow Theatre (FALLING OFF) Primary Stages (THE BLANKET) The Blue Grotto Series (THE PLAYDATE) and The Painted Bride (FUNNY MAN, directed by Dr. Roberta Sloan of Temple University.)  Her one-acts MOTHER'S DAY and IMITATE THE SUN are published by YouthPlays.com.

As a creator of original solo pieces, Kate has performed throughout the region. Her one-woman show THIS IS MY PLACE was featured in the Women’s Theatre Festival at The Painted Bride, and she has performed other solo original work (BELOVED, UNPACKING) at the Women in Performance Festivals produced by Women Theatre, Inc., Glue Performance Series, the Delaware 10 Minute Play Festival produced by City Theatre, and the CEC.  At Villanova she performed five of her solo pieces under the title THRESHOLDS.








Kate R McGrath's Blog

Cool video teaser for Ashes
by Kate McGrath
posted: 2014-01-16 08:31:57

 Hi again.  Still the same self-promoting hustler I've always been, sorry! Please come see the show.  Folks have been saying they don't know where the show is, so here is the info: 1636 Sansom.  In between 16th and 17th on Sansom Street.  It is at Off-Broad Street Theatre.  Used by Azuka, Maukingbird, etc. etc.  Hope you can come.  8 pm Fri, Sat, Sun and a 2 pm only on Sunday.

Here's the YouTube trailer to show the work of the amazing Isa St. Clair.  Please tell your friends!--Kate




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bill rolleri said on 2014-01-16:

Kate, Am aiming for the Sunday showing. For years you have not tooted your own horn enough (if at all)so, when you do speak up, PDC members should heed the call.



Inside the Iron Age residency--ASHES blog from Kate
by Kate McGrath
posted: 2014-01-08 07:02:17

Sooooo, opening of ASHES is tomorrow.  Final revisions, watching a mesmerizing actress tackle tricky historically-based text, seeing how an invested and talented director shapes text and staging ideas into moments of living and breathing theatre, hearing those first samples of music and sound--all so exciting.  ASHES is not a traditional play in terms of either structure or content--the design is to create a touring piece of interest to students or communities around a social justice topic, but within those perimeters the team at Iron Age has been hard at work making this a piece of theatre (puppets, projections, voice-over, etc.) so we hope the appeal will be for a broad audience.  The last ten pages, which were to serve as a bridge back to the present, had to be refined and reduced at the suggestion of the team, so I went with it--made those cuts in a hurry so that the script could be finalized in time to share it. All you playwrights know how challenging that can be. While listening to the play during a few runs, and being on book for the actress a few times, I found places earlier in the play I can cut later on. There was and still is a lot of deliberate repeition of themes/events due to the going in and out of time periods--part of the cyclical/circular structure I always envisioned for this.  So, going into the touring production later I already have new ideas for trimming back in some places, putting a few things back in others.  Watching Isa has been a joy in and of itself, I can not say enough about her devotion, talent, and magical presence on stage.  Hope you can come and see the play at either venue. Thanks to Todd H and John D for all the pr--the info is out there if you need it.  Let me know whatcha think if you can catch the show--  I value and crave the collective PDC genius and energy, as I always have, but especially now!   Stay warm. --K



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PDC@Iron Age Residency Production coming in one week!
by Kate McGrath
posted: 2014-01-02 05:08:30

PDC Members, please come to see the PDC @ Iron Age Residency 2013-14 full production opening next weekend, January 9th-12th  running five performances at Centre Theatre (Iron Age's home) in Norristown and moving to Philly January 17-19th for five performances at Off Broad Street in Center City, Philadelphia!  

UP FROM THE ASHES, Tragedy and Change by PDC member Kate McGrath asks the question: why do workers face risk of death or injury even today, in 2013, when we have such examples from our past to motivate real and lasting change?
The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire forms the central part of this one-woman show that examines the labor movement’s efforts before and after the 1911 tragedy, from multiple points of view—factory owners, protesters like Mother Jones and Rose Schneiderman, and the immigrant workers themselves. The American Dream belonged to all of them. So what went wrong?
PDC at Iron Age Residency. Featuring Isa St. Clair. Tickets, times, directions to the two locations, discount information etc.  at:   http://iron-age-theatre.ticketleap.com/


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Bill Hollenbach said on 2014-01-05:

This PDC Iron Age residency deserves the support af all PDC members. But you must go see this play for it's own merits. The script is written with craft and passion. When you leave the theatre you' will be looking within, examining your soul. A must see.


james dimartino said on 2014-01-02:

The relevance of the Triangle Shirt Waist disaster stands out in the light of the Bangladesh Garment Workers fire... how quickly we forget. Who thinks about dead Coal Miners when we flick a light switch? It's the collateral damage of our consumer society. Kudos to Ms. McGrath for shining a light into our dark past and our muddy now.



This weekend PDC LAB @ Walking Fish!
by Kate McGrath
posted: 2013-12-13 06:19:27

 PDC Members!  This is your chance to see this pilot program, co-project of PDC and Walking Fish Theatre in action and to support the great work of three of our members.  $6 at the door per show, or Festival pass for $15.  

This week City Paper ran this article below: it also gives the basic info we have sent you before. Thanks, Mark Cofta for helping promote.

Hope to see you all at the Fish!--Kate, PDC Board Member



By Mark Cofta 
Published: 12/12/2013 | 


The Philadelphia Dramatists Center’s new play lab at the Walking Fish Theatre presents a show-and-tell of three plays in process by accomplished local writers: Bill Hollenbach’sInside the Gatehouse on Friday, David Robson’s Paint/Gun on Saturday and, on Sunday afternoon, The Bibliophile by Brian Grace-Duff. The program helps playwrights develop new work in a safe, nurturing environment. These rehearsed readings, cast with professional actors, allow the writers to hear their work brought to life — and provide valuable audience reactions. 

Fri.-Sun., Dec. 13-15, $7, Walking Fish Theatre, 2509 Frankford Ave., 215-427-9255,walkingfishtheatre.com

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Apologies to David Robson. No "e" .
by Kate McGrath
posted: 2013-11-27 09:36:07

 I was in a rush and got David Robson's name wrong in my blog post.  I have gone thru and corrected everything on the website, the event post, any other notices, etc.   My sincere apologies to him and to those who have corrected me since this morning. (And this from a girl whose maiden name is Rindfleisch...sigh.) Gotta go pack a car. Happy Thanksgiving to all.--Kate

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PDC LAB @ Walking Fish readings coming up!
by Kate McGrath
posted: 2013-11-27 06:26:57

Please come and support this pilot program--of interest to new and old PDC members alike--Bill, David and Brian are the featured playwrights.  Read on and save the dates!  --Kate 

A PLAYWRIGHT’S PROCESS: Please join the Philadelphia Dramatists Center and Walking Fish Theatre at LabFest, the inaugural public sharing of the 2013-14 PDC LAB @ Walking Fish, December 13, 14 and 15 at Walking Fish Theatre.  An exciting new play will be read each night by a cast of professional actors. Tickets will be available at the door for $6 per reading, or a LabFest price of $15 for all three performances. Reserve your seat by calling (215) 427-9255 or leave your ticket information at info@bsomeday.org. Further information and directions to Walking Fish Theatre can be found by visiting http://www.walkingfishtheatre.com.  A  moderated discussion will follow the readings.

 The schedule for the staged readings is as follows:

      Friday, December 13 @ 7pm, THE GATEHOUSE by Bill Hollenbach directed by Stan        Heleva

Saturday, December 14 @ 7pm, PAINT/GUN by Dave Robson, directed by Gina Martino

Sunday, December 15 @ 2pm, THE BIBLIOPHILE, by Brian Grace-Duff directed by Michelle Pauls


Philadelphia Dramatists Center (PDC) members Brian Grace-Duff, William Hollenbach, and David Robson were selected this past September to become the first participants in this unique pilot program: PDC LAB @ Walking Fish Theatre, which represents a new play development partnership between Walking Fish Theatre and the PDC. The lab produces workshops and readings intended to help playwrights take their plays through various stages of revision, the creation of a safe environment for playwrights, with a goal toward ultimately moving the play from page to stage. 


Michelle Pauls, Co-Artistic Director at Walking Fish Theatre, commented recently on what the LAB is designed to accomplish. “Play development is of the utmost importance in our line of work. That means giving time and space to a playwright to write, read, change, read again, etc. for an extended amount of time--longer than the usual rehearsal schedule of two to four weeks, much longer. There needs to be space for the play to grow, so that means time in between reading drafts--it is a process! At Walking Fish Theatre, we are process-driven, we believe in the artist, and want to provide a safe place for an artist to create. We are so excited to team up with PDC to workshop three brand new plays, all at various stages of development. Who knows, you might see one of them on our stage soon!”


First up on Friday, December 13 at 7 pm, will be playwright Bill Hollenbach.

Bill Hollenbach’s work ranges from the political and social, THE PERSECUTION OF CITIZEN VASILYCH, INSIDE THE GATEHOUSE, CITIZEN PAINE, and THE GHOST OF JOE HILL; to absurdism, SEVERED HEADS; and to farce, JIMMY THE D and THE CONTESTANTS, a radio play. His works have been honored as the Grand Prize Winner at Midwest Radio Theatre, as a recipient of a Special Opportunity Stipend from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, and as a finalist at Dayton Playhouse’s FutureFest. His produced plays have appeared in many venues from Milwaukee to New York City.


Bill has this to say about the LAB process:  “Rewrites.  The nasty bane of a playwright's existence.  Each time you turn your hand to it, your confronted by what you've already written.  And you like it.  So it's easy to soldier on tinkering and tweaking when what you need is to look at the play in a whole new way.  Wham!  That's what I've got from the PDC/Walking Fish Lab experience.   I thought I knew the play, INSIDE THE GATEHOUSE, to be about four wealthy, white characters in their gated community suddenly finding themselves under attack from without and, under stress, turning and attacking  each other within.      But when I met with director, Stan Heleva, his first words were: "Casting.  What would you think if I cast two of the characters as black?"  Wham!  My play is about us versus them, I protested.  How can I bring the them inside? Pretty easy when somebody really gets you to open your mind.  I think it works.  Come see.”


Saturday December 14th at 7pm will feature David Robson’s play PAINT/GUN. Like Hollenbach, Robson is no stranger to play development, and he recently shared his insights on what the LAB has offered him:


“Once a first draft, maybe a second, is done, this playwright needs to air it out. The solitary name of writing a play keeps me in a bit of a bubble, and there's a nervous pleasure that comes from sharing it with a sympathetic director, an insightful dramaturg, and thoughtful actors. The first out-loud reading of my new play PAINT/GUN was a shock. I'd lived for over a year with the characters' voices in my head, but I had no idea whether those voices would translate from page to mouth. But at that first reading, it quickly became clear to me that the actors were pretty much hearing what I had written. It sounded great; they got this story of these three characters


immediately. Our work continued though. Director Gina Martino helped the actors navigate the play's shifting allegiances and the often deadpan humor. Dramaturg Theresa Leahy filled all of us in on the world of the play. As for me, I looked for the cracks--the places where stakes needed raising, the lines fell flat, or the diction wasn't specific enough. This kind of process is invaluable because unlike a novel, say, a play has to live and breathe in real time and until it begins to live and breathe in front of you, you don't quite know what kind of beast you have on your hands. The beauty of working on a play is that although it has my name on it, this beast is no longer mine alone. I have fellow travelers on this journey. Their commitment to the play is something for which I'm very grateful.”


David Robson is an award-winning playwright whose work for the stage has been hailed as "an important contribution to contemporary theater" by the Philadelphia Inquirer. He has an MFA in creative writing from Goddard College, an MS in English Education from St. Joseph's University, and a BA in Communications from Temple University. His plays include ASSASSIN (InterAct Theatre Company/Act II Playhouse), PLAYING LENI (co-written with John Stanton, Madhouse Theater Company), A FEW SMALL REPAIRS (Painted Bird Productions/Theater Catalyst), and MAN MEASURES MAN (InterAct Theatre Company, Barrymore Award nomination). He is the recipient of two fellowships in playwriting from the Delaware Division of the Arts. David is a member of the Dramatists' Guild and a former playwright in residence at the Lark Play Development Center in New York City. 

Finally on Sunday, December 15th at 2 pm, the LAB will present THE BIBIOPHILE by Brian Grace-Duff, directed by Michelle Pauls.  As a playwright, Brian Grace-Duff uses his full breadth of theatrical experience –from directing to design to stage management- to inform his work and fuel his passion to be a true collaborator on fearless plays. Most recently, he was selected as the Artist-in-Residence at BRAT Productions, which culminated in the world premiere of THE LAST PLOT IN REVENGE. Other recent presentations include FOR CHANGE with Philadelphia Theatre Company’s PTC@Play and work in Philadelphia’s One Minute Play Festival.



The lab is also designed to foster a relationship between Philadelphia-based playwrights and an important local theater. By facilitating intensive workshop opportunities, hosting staged readings, and moderating focused/specific post-reading discussions, PDC LAB @ Walking Fish Theatre is meant to serve as a model for artistic partnerships between playwrights and theaters throughout the city—partnerships that strive to cultivate an enduring, thoughtful, and engaged local audience.


The Co-producers:


B. SOMEDAY PRODUCTIONS AT WALKING FISH THEATRE: B. Someday Productions, a 501.c.(3) non-profit theatre-arts corporation, is a small independent producing and presenting theatre company, producing main stage shows, cabaret productions, educational outreach programs, co-producing comedy, and family theatre programs. B. Someday was honored with its first Barrymore Award for its outreach program, Of Mythic Proportions in 2010 by the Theatre Alliance of Greater Philadelphia. Established in 2007, Walking Fish Theatre, home to B. Someday Productions, is located in Kensington, on the Frankford Avenue Corridor of the Arts in Philadelphia. B. Someday is committed, within its community and beyond, to bringing and creating art on the Frankford Avenue Arts Corridor. B. Someday Productions uses theatre, literature and myth to bring together artists and the community to discover new strategies for urban our challenges. B. Someday celebrates tradition while renewing the creative process through producing theatre--original, adaptation and in existence--providing educational programs and operating the Walking Fish Theatre.


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Ear Fuzz better link for details
by Kate McGrath
posted: 2013-11-08 11:07:39

 This is the real link is for the info about Ear Fuzz at Plays and Players coming up on Monday, November 18th.  Hope PDC members can attend and celebrate over at P&P


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EAR FUZZ coming up in a few weeks!
by Kate McGrath
posted: 2013-11-07 17:09:52

 Hi, everybody!  Please come out to support the PDC @ Plays and Players Residency, the details are in the link below.  Please save Monday, November 18th as a wonderful opportunity to come and see what is up over at our sister organization, Plays and Players.  It is always an interesting time, and our chance to hear the new batch of residents share.  How cool!  Hope you can all make it!--Kate McGrath 



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Celebration Theater-PDC short plays submission deadline approaches!
by Kate McGrath
posted: 2013-09-15 05:43:04

 Hi, ladies of the PDC! 

Just a reminder that the deadline for submitting to the PDC Celebration Theater co-production entitled Girltalk is this Thursday, September 19th.  The guidelines are in the link to the Celebration Theater website, below.  The call is for ten minute plays, old or new, and we'd love for you to submit your plays (three play limit) so please consider doing so asap!!!


Thanks everyone!--Kate

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Open Dress of RED HERRING at Villanova Theatre on Sept 29th a benefit for Ed Shockley
by Kate McGrath
posted: 2013-09-09 11:02:03

 September 9th, 2013

Villanova Theatre offers a Pay-What-You-Will Open Dress Rehearsal of Michael Hollinger’s RED HERRING on Sunday, September 29th --proceeds to  benefit PDC Founder Ed Shockley and his family, while Ed continues to recover from his stroke of a year ago.

 Every now and then the world of theatre becomes audience to a drama that plays out in the life of one of its own central figures; in this case that‘s multiple-prize-winning playwright Ed Shockley who is fighting his way back to recovery after suffering a stroke. In the absence of health insurance. PDC friend Michael Hollinger’s play RED HERRING is opening the fall season at Villanova Theatre, and the proceeds from the production’s open dress rehearsal will serve as a benefit for the Shockley family. Here is a great way to see a terrific play by one of Philadelphia’s better-known playwrights, and help Ed out at the same time. PDC members are urged to come on out to this one-of-a-kind event!

 Ed Shockley is unique among theatre artists in more ways than one. But fundamental to that is the fact that he gave “supporting-actor” status to the advancement of his own career when he founded the Philadelphia Dramatists Center in the mid-nineties after achieving widespread recognition as a highly gifted artist. He made it his goal to create a support resource in the form of a community of aspirant playwrights to help elevate the City of Philadelphia to greater height as a “theatre town.” As a consequence, many of the dramatists who have gained stature through the production of their work locally, regionally and nationally in the last decade owe much of their success to the teaching, coaching and mentoring of Ed.

 We hope to see tons of PDC members out at Villanova on

Sunday, September 29th at 8 pm

VILLANOVA THEATRE – 800 E. Lancaster Ave. – Villanova, PA – Box: 610-519-7474 RED HERRING    written by Michael Hollinger    directed by Harriet Power          

(Production dates:  October 1 - October 13, 2013) 

About the play: “madcap mischief, rising to helium-giddy heights!" – Washington Times - Three love stories, a murder mystery, and a nuclear espionage plot converge in this noir comedy about marriage and other explosive devices. It's 1952: America's on the verge of the H-bomb, Dwight Eisenhower's on the campaign trail, and I Love Lucy's on Monday nights. Meanwhile, Senator Joe McCarthy's daughter just got engaged to a Soviet spy, and Boston detective Maggie Pelletier has to find out who dumped the dead guy in the Harbor—or else lose out on a honeymoon in Havana. A blunt-nosed, sharp-eyed look at love and tying (and untying, and retying) the knot.    


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Colonial Quickies second weekend! And a good review!
by Kate McGrath
posted: 2013-07-17 12:35:12

 One more weekend to see Colonial Quickies featuring plays by PDC members Alex Dremman and Kate McGrath, among others.  Good summer fun.  Here's the link to a review that ran in a local paper the Delco News!


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You actually make it seem relaly easy along with your presentation but I find this matter to be actually something which I think I might by no means understand. It sort of feels too complex and extremely huge for me. I'm looking forward on your next put up, I will try to get the cling of it!


Bill Hollenbach said on 2013-07-19:

Kudos, Kate.



Colonial Quickies is opening in two days!!!
by Kate McGrath
posted: 2013-07-09 15:02:38


Hi, PDC members!  Make sure you check out the upcoming production of Colonial Quickies.  PDC members have been featured in previous years, and this year my play OVERBITE gets its premiere!  Affordable, fun, and in a great suburban location-- this theatre loves local playwrights!  So get yourselves on out to it in the next two weeks!  I'm gonna be there with bells on this Saturday night.  Please join us.  Below is the basic info, and you can always go to their website...Cheers, Kate


Colonial Quickies! Up Next

colonial_logoOur 2012-2013 season concludes with our 13th annual Summer Short Play Festival “Colonial Quickies!” The ‘Black Box Theater production will feature original short plays written by playwrights from across the region and the country, staged by nearly 30 local theater artists.

This production is not recommended for younger children as some plays contain adult language and mature situations.

Production opens on Friday, July 11 at 8 p.m., and continues through Sunday, July 21.

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IronAge Residency: Update from the salt mines!
by Kate McGrath
posted: 2013-06-11 11:01:07

 Hi, all!  Just did another draft/revision of the play I am writing (one-woman show to tour) for the residency at IronAge. During the last month, very useful feedback came to me from some IronAge company members I admire, namely Ray Sarceni (whose play Manna I saw this past year at IronAge--really very cool and made my head spin) and Bob Weick, author of Marx in Soho, one of the company's touring productions, and John Doyle, who is my main point person this year.  Getting feedback from these guys is like getting golf lessons from Phil Mickelson.  Or something like that.

So I tried a new framing device, and made the motivation to tell the story of these factory workers in the 1900s a bit clearer--I hope.  I also added things that will be cut later--hmm. What is that expression: "...One step forward, two steps back..." Or perhaps it is a little bit like adding liquid --milk or water--to confectioners' sugar.  Ever wondered what's going on there, seems like the sugar just goes into a black hole, and you need to add more to make good frosting. You want this sucker to be THICK. But you also have to be able to spread it, goddamn it.  So you add more water.  A capful of vanilla goes in. Desperation takes over. Now it's just a GLAZE--holy crap!  Then it seems you are randomly adding more and more powdered sugar, you get a little wacky, there's stuff in your hair, you yell at the kids to back away, which they do so in terror of what you are creating in the kitchen, a white cloud descends....etc.  

So, my process is a little bit like that.  I just need to find the right consistency for the play to feel informative but not preachy. I want the audience to weep a little and think a lot more.  That kind of thing.  Then, next week, I will begin hearing the play with an actress--I'll have to update you on that once it happens but it is kind of exciting and definitely more exciting than frosting by itself, or frosting for frosting's sake.  

Tonight I'm off to Plays and Players to take in the EAR (Emerging Artists in Residence) showcase.  I think it used to have the word "fuzz" in the title, but no longer?  Anyway, it is at 8 pm down there, in case you didn't get the info.  Three PDC playwrights are on the docket: Robin, Alisha and Tommy, and there are other thing happening as well.

Cheers, Kate McGrath, PDC-IronAge Playwright in Residence 2013

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New Opportunity for members: PDC Labs at Walking Fish!
by Kate McGrath
posted: 2013-05-28 12:42:48

 Hey, everyone!

Just wanted to make sure our wonderful PDC members have seen our new call for submissions to PDC Lab at Walking Fish Theatre.  Brand new, this play development project is quite exciting, and offers our members yet another opportunity to work with an up and coming professional theatre company in this area--one we all love, Walking Fish Theatre.  Please consider submitting--deadline is June 30th.  Best of luck to all who decide to submit.  Cheers, Kate (PDC @ ironAge Playwright in Residence 2012-13, and PDC Board member, etc. etc.)

Philadelphia Dramatists Center is proud to announce a new program for PDC members: PDC Lab @ Walking Fish Theatre!

This pilot program represents a new play development partnership between Walking Fish Theatre and the PDC. The Lab produces workshops and readings intended to help playwrights take their plays through various stages of revision, the creation of a safe environment for playwrights, with a goal toward ultimately moving the play from page to stage. 

The Lab is also designed to foster a relationship between Philadelphia-based playwrights and an important local theater. 

By facilitating intensive workshop opportunities, hosting staged readings, and moderating focused/specific post-reading discussions, PDC Lab @ Walking Fish is meant to serve as a model for artistic partnerships between playwrights and theaters throughout the city—partnerships that strive to cultivate an enduring, thoughtful, and engaged local audience.

Three (3) playwrights will be selected to participate. In addition to hearing the play read by professional actors under the guidance of directors handpicked by the Walking Fish artistic staff, the playwrights work with PDC-affiliated dramaturgs to identify questions and goals for their plays. The plays will be rehearsed and revised over the course of a three-month period, culminating with a staged reading and/or script-in-hand development performance. During this period, playwrights will meet on at least three (3) occasions with their respective casts and collaborative teams to strengthen the plays by means of improvisation, table readings, and on-site revision. Additional meetings may be scheduled as necessary. Each selected playwright is required to attend all meetings of his or her team. 

The final reading or script-in-hand performance will occur at Walking Fish Theatre in December and be open to the general public. One play will be read each night over three consecutive nights. After his or her play has been featured, each playwright is required to participate in an in-depth discussion moderated by the dramaturg. This three-night event, billed as “LabFest,” will be held at Walking Fish Theatre on December 13, 14 and 15, 2013.

The deadline for submission is June 30. 

Applicants should provide in their cover letters a DETAILED STATEMENT of the goals they hope to pursue in the development of their work during the Lab process. The works itself and the clarity, specificity, and substance of the playwright’s statement will be the sole basis for consideration. All submissions will be forwarded to the artistic personnel of Walking Fish Theatre. Final selection of three playwrights will be made by Aug 31st, 2013. Walking Fish Theatre, not PDC, makes the final selections, and will announce the three playwrights by September 1st, 2013.

Plays that are developed through the PDC Lab may be considered for full production at Walking Fish Theater during a future season at the discretion of the Artistic Directors. 


• PDC Lab @ Walking Fish accepts submissions of full-length plays, or one-act plays longer than 30 pages to be developed over a three-month period. Submissions must be UNPRODUCED. (Non-Equity or staged readings are acceptable as “unproduced.”) The deadline for application is June 30, 2013.

• All submissions should be sent to: literary@pdc1.org.

• Electronic submissions only, please, as email attachments, preferably in PDF format. Receipt of submissions will be acknowledged by an email from the PDC Literary Manager. 

• Please include in the body of the email a statement of the specific goals that you would hope to achieve during the Lab – not only for the work itself, but also for yourself as a playwright.

• Though any local playwright may apply for the Lab, only current members of PDC are eligible to participate. If your play is the work of more than one author, all authors must be PDC members. Membership must be valid throughout the full period of the LAB. 

• Walking Fish Theatre, not PDC, makes the final play selections, and will notify the three playwrights directly by September 1st, 2013. 

• Each playwright selected for the Lab must agree to attend all meetings of his or her creative team. In addition, selected playwrights must attend the culminating reading/performance and participate in the post-play discussion during the weekend of December 13th. 

• Once chosen, each playwright agrees to meet in a timely fashion with the assigned director to generate a list of goals for the Lab and to address issues related to casting, schedule, etc. 

• If you have questions about the PDC Lab @ Walking Fish Theatre, or the submission procedure, please contact Quinn D. Eli, PDC Literary Manager, at the following address:literary@pdc1.org.

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Plays by PDC members tonight!
by Kate McGrath
posted: 2013-04-26 05:11:20

Hi, PDC members!  Come on down tonight (Friday) to the Shubin Theatre to sample some great work by a few of us PDC ladies.  Joy, Robin and I all have work being performed starting at 7 pm.  One night only for these puppies, so if you can, please join us!  The offer below is for half price. Hope to see you tonight!--Kate McGrath 

Tickets 50% off! CODE '2013half'  At the Shubin Theatre Friday Apr 26 7pm FROM A WOMAN'S POINT OF VIEW: Short plays by women: Debra Leigh Scott, Robin Rodriguez, Cat Hasson West, Kate McGrath & Joy Cutler.> www.j.mp/fri26th

 2013 Shubin April Fest 8th to 28th 
All tickets by date> www.j.mp/saf2013TIX
FRI Apr 26, 7PM: FROM A WOMAN'S POINT OF VIEW: Short plays by women: Debra Leigh Scott, Robin Rodriguez, Cat Hasson West, Kate McGrath & Joy Cutler.> www.j.mp/fri26th 
SAT Apr 27, 7PM: The Denise Shubin Night> www.j.mp/sat27th 
SUN Apr 28: Deep Cleaning / home improvement day; everyone pitches in, then PARTY TIME!> www.j.mp/sun28th 

 2013 Shubin April Fest Tickets
Shubin April Fest April 8th to 28th 

Online events with TicketLeap

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Ed Shockley's TENT SHOW this Thursday
by Kate McGrath
posted: 2013-04-09 07:08:19

 Hi, PDC members!  Our illustrious founder Ed Shockley is having a reading this Thursday, that is right, Thursday April 11th so please come on down to the Shubin.  Here is the info.

Come share an evening with playwright Ed Shockley and the Friends of Ed
Shockley Assistance Project for the reading of Ed's TENTSHOW, on Thurs.,
April 11, 2013 at the Shubin Theatre. This play was work-shopped in the
early 90's at NYC Frank Silvera Writers' Workshop and has been compared to
August Wilson's Fences. The reading is directed by Ozzie Jones. Doors open
at 6:30 and the reading starts at 7. Lite refreshments will be served.
Free; donations are welcome. This event is part of the Shubin April Fest.
The Shubin Theatre is located 407 Bainbridge St. For more information -
<http://www.shubintheatre.com/> www.shubintheatre.com, 215 592-0119.

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PDC at Iron Age Residency Blog
by Kate McGrath
posted: 2013-01-14 13:00:25

Last night I did my homework and took myself to Centre Theater to see Bill Hollenbach's smart and moving play CITIZEN PAINE.  This performance was part of the Independent Voices Fest, and also inspirational for me since a fantastic and specific model of a one-actor touring production (it has already toured the country and I was lucky to catch it in Norristown!) similar to what I'm working on/genre of my own current residency.  Wow--it was nothing short of riveting, and gave me such ideas about how historically-based characters can leap off the page, be grounded in moment to moment decision and discovery. Actor  Adam Altman in the role of Thomas Paine, created a Paine that was petulant and passionate, and kept me guessing with (because of Bill's interesting structure) the personal and political juxtaposed and interwoven.  One section, where a young woman is arrested and dragged thru town, tarred and hung and then burned, all before Thomas Paine's eyes, was an unforgettable key to a lifelong passion for economic equality.  The play is full of moments like that, where Bill was able to pinpoint revelations that later found their way into Paine's heartfelt treatises, including Common Sense.  

I also did not know how misunderstood and marginalized Paine was. As I watched Adam perform in Bill's play, I could identify with Paine:he's got the caring of his father the Quaker, the passion of what he has witnessed in an unjust world of constant change and all that was Philadelphia 1770's... But he also alienated a few key players along the way, and was shunted to the side. Paine's words about how we can possibly stand by while children starve in the streets, or immigrants die of typhus before they have even begun to disembark from their passage, have echoes today, ripples into the way we all vote and debate and live our own lives.  Creating "a way in"  to character is one thing I'll need to do for my own play-in-progress about Mother Jones and young, vulnerable immigrant women who chose to strike in the turbulant times one hundred years ago.  Congrats to Bill, Adam, John Doyle and the creative team who helped shape this lasting piece of theatre. Kate McGrath

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Kate McGrath said on 2013-01-15:

Thanks so much, Gordon, I'll be sure to check it out. MJ is one of several narrators I'm using, with an actress transitioning in and out of her, Rose Schneiderman, and victims and witnesses of Triangle Shirtwaist Fire...several dialects, POV and ages of speakers...--k


Gordon Bennett said on 2013-01-15:

I've seen the Paine show a year or two ago and it is excellent. If you're researching Mother Jones you might like to know that Peggy Orner has done her own one-woman show on Mother Jones, quite successfully. FYI her e-mail is mother_jones@hotmail.com


Bill Hllenbach said on 2013-01-14:

Who is this guy, Hollenbach? I'd like to meet him.


Todd Holtsberry said on 2013-01-14:

Thanks Kate!



IronAge Residency 2012-13
by Kate McGrath
posted: 2012-12-05 05:41:06

So, um, I hate research.  Which explains why I applied for a residency to write a historically-based social issue play.  Seriously, I am very glad that my recent check-in meeting with John Doyle, Artistic director at IronAge, resulted in great relief (for me) that I am on target, basically, with the topic I spent some time selecting, and  a bunch of background work, and can go full steam ahead into the next phase: hammering out a more complete draft.  John and one of his colleagues at IronAge looked at my "blueprint" for the play, which is right now a one-woman piece about Mother Jones (rabble rouser extraordinaire), the factory worker strikes circa 1900's, and the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire.  We discussed things like: balance of the main characters who will be played by one actress with transitions, the use of the key object in the play (a ragdoll that can be used in puppet fashion to play several roles but also be a child, a falling body, a Gibson Girl, a strike sympathizing socialite, etc.) and how I might do further research with someone who has made a film about the infamous fire. John assured me that the key emotional and personal moments I am interested in would be of equal interest to our targeted audience, and since IronAge has several touring plays like this out in the world, he knows wherof he speaks.

So, research is hardly over (really, it has only just begun!), but I am now going back to visit specific moments in history that have to do with child labor law but applied to incidents, or women's sufferage that has to do with character interaction...  No more quotes that just strike my fancy, without dramatic context. That's kind of fun, but not great dramaturgy.  I have my characters, and structure: Glory Hallelulia! In terms of the residency itself,  John gave great comfort when he said things like, "we have people for that" which doesn't mean I don't have to work hard as a playwright, but really gives one that feeling of being on a team, not having to constantly don my dramaturg's hat, and as we move toward involving an actress to really develop what I have so far, I can hardly contain my excitement!

More anon!  Best wishes to all, Kate McGrath

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Frank Burd said on 2013-01-15:

I've done a little research into the Triangle fire, to pass what I can to my children. My great aunt, my father's aunt, was on the 8th floor, the locked floor, when the fire began. She is one of those immigrant teenagers who was working there that day. She survived, jumping from a window, and was one of the lucky ones who landed in a net, though she damaged her uterus in the fall, and was never able to have children.


Bill Hollenbach said on 2012-12-05:

Great to hear you're off to such a good start. Now the real fun begins.


Todd Holtsberry said on 2012-12-05:

Thanks for letting us know how your residency is going Kate. Good stuff and looking forward to hearing more about it as you continue on this journey!


bill rolleri said on 2012-12-05:

Fabulous Launch! Bon voyage!



Celebration Theatre features PDC playwrights in GIRL TALK
by Kate McGrath
posted: 2012-11-08 10:17:39

Hi--a quick reminder to come out and support this celebration of women playwrights, all of whom are PDC members!  This Friday and Saturday at 7:30 in beautiful Historic Lansdowne, PA.  Only $5!  At Penn Wood High School, which features plenty of parking and is a shrt walk form downtown Lansdowne.  Hope you can join us! Here's the link:  http://celebrationtheater.com/rsvp/





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Celebration Theater to produce plays by PDC women!
by Kate McGrath
posted: 2012-10-19 08:12:27

Save the Date, PDC members!  Celebration Theater in Lansdowne has announced their November production of short plays by local--aka PDC--playwrights!  Congrats to the playwrights who were selected (see below) and thanks to all of the wonderful writers who submitted. Here's hoping this becomes a grand tradition. More info will come later on, but please plan to come out to Lansdowne (easily accessible by train from Center City) and support this celebration of our members' work!--Kate McGrath


GIRL TALK  a Celebration of Women's Voices



produced by Celebration Theater



November 9 & 10, 2012
Performances at 7:30 pm

Penn Wood High School Theater
100 Green Avenue, Lansdowne, PA 19050 

Tickets: $5 each


Heirloom Blue 
by Robin Rodriguez
Directed by Cassy Pressimone Beckowski
featuring Donya Coldwell and Allison Pressimone
by Diana Cavallo
Directed by Clare Hughes
featuring Ginger Fries
How to Fold 
by Kate McGrath
Directed by Terry Baraldi
featuring Delphine Evenchik 
and Clare Hughes
Lost Luggage
by Susan Cain McQuilkin
Directed by Josselyn Byrnes
featuring Cherise Rollins and Matt Slutz

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Celebration Theater to produce plays by women!
by Kate McGrath
posted: 2012-08-29 16:36:38

Aug 29th 2012

 Hi, all! Below is a posting with a real quick turn around, an opportunity to submit for PDC's female playwrights!  Yeah!  This is an enthusiastic group based in Lansdowne, PA with a performance space, an audience, actors, rehearsal space and directors all intact--all they need is great plays by some of our members!  Hope you can all send something in.  Best, PDC member Kate McGrath


GIRL TALK : A Celebration of Women Playwrights

 Celebration Theater of Lansdowne, PA,  proudly announces a call for Philadelphia area playwrights who are of the female persuasion for TEN MINUTE PLAYS or 1-2 PAGE MONOLOGUES to be considered for a local full production November 9th and 10th.   This premiere production of new work by talented local authors will  be the kick- off to Celebration Theater’s  2012-2013 season.

 Plays should be ten pages or less, feature simple scenic and lighting requirements, and be written for small casts (4 actors or less, male or female performers).  Unpublished plays only, previously produced is fine.

 Plays and monologues should be submitted electronically by Wednesday, September 12th,  2012  in PDF or Word (.doc)  format as attachments to a brief cover letter, with “Girl Talk” in the subject line to:  info@celebrationtheater.com.   Two submission limit per playwright.  All themes and subjects are welcome, women’s issues and strong roles for women a plus. 

6-7 selected playwrights will be notified in late September, and directors will cast the plays from a pool of actors, and  rehearse  in Lansdowne, PA September/October.  The production, entitled GIRL TALK: A Celebration of Women Playwrights will consist of  two fully staged evening performances of  these selected original works at Penn Wood High School’s charming proscenium 300 seat theatre. 

 Questions?  Please contact Celebration Theater at info@celebrationtheater.com

 Organization Mission: Celebration Theater's mission is to mount first-rate theatrical productions that challenge and entertain a diverse audience, both from Lansdowne and from a broad range of communities in and around Philadelphia.

 Organization Description: Celebration Theater is a regional theater that is an initiative of the Lansdowne Main Street Program (Phone: 610-745-4013), a project of the Lansdowne Economic Development Corporation (LEDC). Visit the LEDC online at www.LansdownesFuture.org.


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