Joan Vail Thorne is a playwright, librettist, and director. As a playwright she is best known for her play THE EXACT CENTER OF THE UNIVERSE, which starred Frances Sternhagen in an Off-Broadway run. She has won the Southern Playwrights Festival, the Southern Theatre Festival, and the Sarett/Crawford playwriting awards. Her other plays include SIGNS AND WONDERS, which was read at New York Theatre Workshop, THE ANATOMY OF A FEMALE POPE and BEWARE OF WATER HYACINTHS, which were read at The Women’s Project. She is also a librettist who has written two operas with composer Stephen Paulus: THE WOMAN AT OTOWI CROSSING, presented by Opera Theatre of St. Louis, and SUMMER, adapted from the novella by Edith Wharton, presented by The Berkshire Opera Company and The Center for Contemporary Opera in New York. Another of her libretti—for the opera POCAHONTAS, composed by Linda Tutas Haugen—premiered as a co-production of the Virginia Opera and the Virginia Arts Festival in the spring of 2007. Her texts for narrator and orchestra, also written with composer Stephen Paulus, include "Voices from the Gallery" and "Windows of the Mind-The Five Senses," both available on CD. She wrote and directed two short films, “Last Rites” and “Secrets,” seen on PBS and Cinemax. As a director, Ms. Thorne has worked on Broadway with the renowned American director Alan Schneider and Off-Broadway at such theatres as American Place Theatre, Ensemble Studio Theatre, the Jewish Repertory Theatre, and The Women’s Project. She has also directed at regional theatres such as The Alley of Houston, the Asolo, the Dallas Theatre Center, Florida Stage, and People’s Light and Theatre Company. She has served on the faculty of The Juilliard School and still teaches directing at Playwrights Horizons Theater Studio of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. Ms. Thorne is a member of ASCAP, SSDC, the Dramatists Guild, The League of Professional Theatre Women, and The Women’s Project.