Dennis Chowenhill, Virago resident dramaturg and director of the new play reading series.
Virago Theatre Company, The Afterlife of the Mind, by William Bivins, directed by laura lundy-paine. THE AFTERLIFE OF THE MIND WAS READ IN OUR SUMMER READING SERIES AND THEN GIVEN A FULL PRODUCTION in 2009 AT THE ASHBY STAGE (BERKELEY)AND STAGEWERX (SF).
Every year, Virago selects new works from playwrights for our New Play Reading Series. Typically, scripts are selected to fill three to four evenings of rehearsed, staged readings, directed and hosted by Virago as part of our official season. Scripts are performed by skilled actors, and with strong attendance by the public.
At our 2006 reading series playwright John Byrd’s The Death of Ayn Rand and The Hermit Bird were standouts for our audiences. Based on their feedback, Virago produced The Death of Ayn Rand in the summer of 2007, and worked collaboratively with Byrd to expand The Hermit Bird into a full-length play, which was produced by Virago in Spring 2009.
William Bivins’s haunting The Afterlife of the Mind, an audience favorite at the 2008 New Play Reading Series, received a full production in the Fall 2009. Other plays from our New Play Reading Series that were eventually given full production include A Bed of My Own by Robert Hamm, Mankind’s Last Hope by John Byrd, Shoot O’Malley Twice by Jon Brooks, and Beekeeper by Jennifer Roberts. Other Virago World Premieres include Zombie Vixens from Hell—The Musical by John Byrd, AROUSAL by George Pfirrmann (produced in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York 2013-2014), and The Singularity, by Crystal Jackson, produced in New York at The Flea Theater, July/August 2015.