The SWP Writer-in-Residence Program supports an emerging female or non-binary playwright to bring an original adaptation of a classical work to the Spicy Witch stage
Meet our 2019 Writer-In-Residence: Gina Femia
Gina Femia has written 30 full-length plays, which include ALLOND(R)A (Winner: Leah Ryan Prize), The Mermaids' Parade (Semifinalist, The Relentless Award, Finalist, Princess Grace Award), REBELS TIL DEATH (Playwrights Horizons reading series), Annie and the Fat Man (Honorable Mention, The Kilroys), THIS HAPPENED ONCE AT THE ROMANCE DEPOT OFF THE I-87 IN WESTCHESTER (Workshop, Youngblood), Super, or, How Clark Graves Learned to Fly (semi-finalist The O’Neill and The Princess Grace Award), For The Love Of (Pride Films & Plays, Theatre of NOTE), We Are A Masterpiece (Nominated Outstanding Original Full-length play, NYIT Awards) and The Violet Sisters (Great Plains Theatre Conference).
Gina is a current member of Joust Theatre’s Writer’s Round Table and Project Y Writer's Group. She is a New Georges Affiliated Artist and a New York Madness Company Member, and has received residencies with P73’s Summer Residency, Powerhouse, NTI at the O’Neill, SPACE on Ryder Farm, and Fresh Ground Pepper.
MFA, Sarah Lawrence College (Lipkin Prize in Playwriting).
A Q&A With Gina
Why are you excited for the SWP Writer-in-Residence program?
It’s truly an honor to be chosen as this year’s Writer-in-Residence and I cannot wait to get to create something brand new with Spicy Witch Productions!! I’ve been a longtime fan of their work and getting to work alongside them is a dream come true. Something that drew me to this residency is the collaborative nature at its core. I’m really excited to work with the ladies of SWP in order to choose the source material and to use it as a launching pad to making something powerful, poignant - and maybe even kinda magical. I’m also a huge fan of challenges and venturing into the unknown - I have never created an adaptation before and am lucky to be able to do so with a company so well versed in it for my first experience.
What are some themes, ideas, dreams, or challenges that you hope to explore during your residency?
I’m hoping to create some badass roles for women and to take a well-worn tale and turn it on its head while still remaining true to its core! As much of my work features LGBT stories and characters, I am looking to include these voices in the play I write as well. I also hope it’s fun - we all need some fun nowadays, maybe more than ever.
What do you enjoy the most about adaptations of classical theater?
Classical theatre has passed the test of time; references are ingrained into the fabric of our social consciousness whether we consciously realize it or not. Adaptations help us take what is timeless and look at it through a modern lens. They allow us to say, "We love and know this thing, but how does it apply to today?" In many ways, I think adaptations are more important than ever within this tumultuous political environment; people’s rights are being stripped away, people’s selves are being rejected, all in the name of politics, of what has been deemed as right and wrong. I think we can take classical works and bring them to the present in order to have a human conversation about these present realities and I’m so excited to do that with SWP.
Anything else you would like to share?
Have I mentioned I’m excited? I’m excited. I can’t wait to see what we all create.
The Writer-in-Residence Program
The Spicy Witch Productions Writer-in-Residence Program supports the work of an emerging playwright. Throughout the course of our season, the playwright works with SWP on an adaptation of a classical text, chosen collaboratively by the company and the playwright. Ideal candidates should be inspired by our mission to create theater that explores themes of gender and identity and to support female and non-binary artists.
The writer-in-residence will develop their new play through a series of workshops, a public reading about half way through the process, and an optional company retreat. The world premiere will be produced by SWP, in repertory with the play's source material, in the spring.