When one is thinking comedy, one doesn’t generally think assisted suicide or missing appendages. But playwright, Jami Brandli, hasn’t let that stop her.
“I started Technicolor Life during the latter years of the Iraq War,” Brandi explains. “I knew I wanted to write a play about women in the military…[and] how families (specifically women), across generations, cope when a wounded female soldier returns home and attempts their reentry into ‘civilian life’, One way of coping,” says Brandli, “is by escaping into film,….But, as a feminist, I see how these films promote and romanticize certain female tropes that I believe can be dangerous…”
“I first encountered Jami’s play as a submission for the WordBRIDGE Playwrights Laboratory,” explains director and LAB Series producer, Michele Vazquez. “I read it and immediately emailed the program director and said, ‘we have to do this play.’ It was moving, funny, unsentimental…and it deals with some pretty uncomfortable, timely issues: sexual harassment in the military and the trauma of war, assisted suicide, alcoholism. Yet at the heart of the script is a story about a family trying to love each other and heal. I was also excited to see a script with so many complex female characters.”
“Technicolor Life” made its world premiere to rave reviews at REP Stages in Baltimore this October. WSR is thrilled to have an exclusive sneak peek at this amazing script, poised to make waves on a regional stage.
“Jami was making revisions to the script during previews in Baltimore. I got edits a week before the reading,” director Michele Vazquez revealed. “It’s very exciting to be working on a script that is still evolving.”
“Technicolor Life” is the second in the inaugural season of WSR’s LAB Series, a staged reading series dedicated to brining new plays to the ever-growing audiences here in McHenry County. Williams Street Repertory is dedicated to the mission of producing diverse and emotionally charged stories that deepen the cultural richness of our community and our region,” reveals founding artistic director, Richard Kuranda. “What better way to explore new narratives and timely issues than by creating a platform that encourages new stories to be told and shared? New work is a critical part of how we want to grow as a theatre company,” says Kuranda, “ and we are thrilled to see our audiences and the community are eager to grow with us.”
The LAB Series reading was held on Oct 26 th @ 7p at Raue Center for the Arts and featured the talents of Bree Beelow, Jessica Benson, Dawn Gerth, Tracey Lanman, Trace Gamache, Dominic Rescigno & Tim Vance. Victoria Ross read stage directions. There was a lively discussion with the audience afterwards and notes were taken to share with the playwright.
LAB Series is FREE and open to the public. The next reading will be award-winning playwright, George Brant’s “Any Other Name.” Seating is limited and as always, we invite you to stay for the discussion afterwards to share your thoughts about the script and the issues it probes.
Jami Brandli’s work has been produced and developed at HotCity Theatre, WordBRIDGE, Ashland New Plays Festival, The Lark, New York Theatre Workshop, Great Plains Theatre Conference, The Aurora Theatre Company, Launch Pad, Milwaukee Rep, Rogue Machine Theatre, among other venues. She received the John Gassner Memorial Playwriting Award, the Holland New Voices Award and most recently The Aurora Theatre Company’s 2014 Global Age Project (GAP) Prize.
Jami has appeared on The Kilroy’s THE LIST,which highlights the 46 most recommended new female-authored plays for this year. She was a finalist for the Playwrights’ Center Core Writer Fellowship, Princess Grace Award and O’Neill National Playwrights Conference. She was also nominated for the 2013 Susan Smith Blackburn Award .
“Technicolor Life” received its world premiere at Rep Stage as part of Washington DC’s 2015 Women’s Voices Theatre Festival.
Michele Vazquez (Director) is an actor, director, and teaching artist. She earned her MFA in Performance at The Old Globe Theatre in San Diego and her BFA from the University of NC at Chapel Hill. Michele has taught and directed with Aquila Theatre Company as a part of their Shakespeare Leaders Program and the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival’s touring educational program. She has worked extensively in new play development and served as a director with NYU’s Dept. of Dramatic Writing, The Actor’s Studio, and WordBRIDGE Playwrights Lab. She is a proud company member of Playing With Reality (NY), Generous Company (Baltimore) and Williams Street Repertory where she serves as one of the producers for LAB Series. www.michelevazquez.com