Recognizing the wealth of talented writers in Ridgefield and the surrounding community, the Ridgefield Theater Barn initated a Playwrights’ Collective – inviting community playwrights to be a part of our community theater. Jesse Longman, a local writer, whose plays have been produced at various theaters across the country, initially proposed the group and gave it a kick start. The colllective is now under the direction of dramatist, Joanne Hudson, whose plays have been produced throughout the US and abroad. The Theater Barn brings playwrights together in a forum where they can share and develop their work, benefiting from peer review and collaboration. Anticipating that the group will continue to grow and evolve organically, the Barn has many ideas for its future, including ways in which the works of playwrights in the group may be performed and developed.
The Playwrights’ Collective meets on second Wednesday's at the Ridgefield Library from 6-9pm where they read their work aloud. They are beginning to incorporate informal full-length play readings within the 3 hour sessions, after which the work is discussed. Actors are invited to attend; here they get a good chance to read some meaty work and also participate in discussions of the work providing valuable feedback to playwrights.
Joanne Hudson's (dramatist) plays have been produced and developed throughout the US and abroad by: The Huntington Theatre Company and Boston Playwrights’ Theatre (Boston), HERE Art Center, East Side Commedia at The UndergroundZero Festival/PS122, NYFringe, Columbia Stages, SIPA (School of International Public Affairs at Columbia University) and The Collective Unconscious (NYC), Z-Space and The Marsh (SF) Iceland Fulbright and the Vestmannaeyjar Iceland Library (Iceland). In 2008 she traveled to Iceland on a Fulbright Scholarship where she completed work on the play, "unbidden," and was commissioned by the library there to write a children's play, about the 1627 raid on Iceland by Algerian pirates that killed and kidnapped half the population. "The Absolutely, Positively True Tale of Floki and Loki" and "unbidden" are both housed at the Vestmannaeyjar Iceland library. Her screenplay "The Toymaker” (co-written with husband, Spencer Eldridge) was a recent semi-finalist in the Academy of Motion Pictures Nicholl Fellowships. Joanne has directed many of her own plays as well as directing the work of others beginning with Stringdberg's "Miss Julie" for The Salty Women Festival (a festival of six plays by or about women, devised and produced by Ms. Hudson) and Williams' "The Glass Menagerie" for Infinity Repertory in Bedford Hills, NY. Since then, she has devised and directed site-specific productions in Ridgefield CT, where she makes her home. She holds an MFA in Theatre/Playwriting from Columbia University School of the Arts where she was the recipient of the Brander Matthews Theatre Scholarship. Her latest and upcoming production is the "Ridgefield Independent Film Festival (RIFF)” a site-specific town-wide film festival which she is creating and directing, while partnering with The Ridgefield Library, The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, The Ridgefield Playhouse, Keeler Tavern Museum, The Garden Of Ideas and more in Ridgefield, CT.
Reading Emily Howard's play
"Life Happens in the Kitchen"