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The PlayFinder™

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Claudia Allen See play(s)
Claudia Allen, a "master of small-town realism" according to "Variety," created her adaptation of Stuart Dybek's "I Sailed With Magellan" as her homage to her theatrical hometown, Chicago. A founding member of Chicago's Victory Gardens Theater's Playwrights Ensemble, Allen's VGT premieres include I SAILED WITH MAGELLAN, WINTER and FOSSILS (both starring Julie Harris), CAHOOTS (starring Sharon Gless), UNSPOKEN PRAYERS, HANGING FIRE, DEED OF TRUST (starring Deanna Dunagan), and Jeff Award winners THE LONG AWAITED and STILL WATERS (also starring Deanna Dunagan). Some of Allen's more fanciful work includes the Jeff-nominated XENA LIVE: XENA LIVES! and THE GAYS OF OUR LIVES. Allen has been produced across the U.S. and overseas. The "Miami Herald" called Florida Stage's production of HANGING FIRE "insightful, moving, warmly funny...savor one of the season's great theater experiences." "Chicago" magazine's Best Playwright/1999, Allen has also been a finalist for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize (2003) and Scriptapalooza (2008). In 2000, she received a Trailblazer Award from Bailiwick Repertory Theatre. HANGING FIRE was published in an anthology from Northwestern University Press and the Alexander Street Press has published over a dozen of Allen's plays in a scholarly CD-ROM collection, "North American Women's Drama." Allen has taught playwriting at a number of schools including the University of Chicago. She is currently co-executive producer and screenwriter for the film adaptation of her HANNAH FREE (starring Sharon Gless).
Stuart Dybek See play(s)
Stuart Dybek developed an interest in music at a young age and has said that jazz music has been an important influence on his development as a writer. He attended a Catholic high school, but soon rejected the strictures of the Catholic Church. Upon graduation, Dybek entered Loyola University of Chicago as a pre-med student. He dropped out to devote himself to the peace and civil rights movements, but returned later to receive both his bachelor's (1964) and master's (1968) degrees. Dybek worked as a case worker for the Cook County Department of Public Aid, and a teacher in an elementary school in a Chicago suburb. He also worked in advertising, and then, from 1968 to 1970, he taught at a high school on the island of Saint Thomas. In 1970 Dybek turned his focus to writing; he entered the Master of Fine Arts program at the University of Iowa, where he received an M.F.A. in 1973. He has taught English at Western Michigan University since 1974. Dybek has won several awards, including an Ernest Hemingway Citation from the P.E.N. American Center for CHILDHOOD AND OTHER NEIGHBORHOODS (1980) in 1981; the Whiting Writers Award in 1985; and three O. Henry Memorial Prize Story Awards in 1985, 1986, and 1987. Other noted titles include BRASS KNUCKLES and THE COAST OF CHICAGO.