Featured Contributors, Sept. 18

An account of the toll of #MeToo reporting, and a report on new-play cross-pollination.

Katy Lemieux. (Photo by Todd Lemieux)

For Dallas-based freelance arts writer Katy Lemieux, reporting a blockbuster news story exposing alleged sexual harassment by a significant theatremaker in her community was complicated not only by his fewer-than-six-degrees of separation from her but by the fact that Lemieux’s father was also dying at the time. She soon felt grief seeping into the stew of “unpleasant and inconvenient” feelings that preoccupied her for more than a year. For an essay in this issue, Lemieux explores this fortuitous intersection. “I think a lot of people grapple with a seemingly never-ending litany of questions and complicated thoughts after a death,” she says, “and that became just as true during the aftermath of this story.”

Frances Madeson.

Immersing herself over three days in the development of Jonathan Norton’s A Love Offering at InterAct Theatre Company in Philadelphia, writer Frances Madeson says, “was like watching a bird of paradise flower in time-lapse photography.” The floral analogy is apt for the National New Play Network’s Cross-Pollination project, as detailed by Madeson in this issue. Norton’s is one of three new plays blooming in unfamiliar soil; the others are James Ijames’s history of walking at Cleveland Public Theatre and Lisa Langford’s Rastus & Hattie at Dallas’s Kitchen Dog. Madeson ventured another analogy, calling the play development process itself “riskily journalistic, in the sense that it was centrally about inquiry, with no guarantees as to the significance or ramifications of what would be revealed.”