Women in Jeopardy!
By Wendy MacLeod
Directed by Sean Daniels
Originally produced at Geva Theatre Center, Rochester, NY .
February 24, 2015 through March 22, 2015
About the Premiere Production
Thelma and Louise meets The First Wives Club in this fun and flirtatious new comedy by Rochester-born playwright Wendy MacLeod. Divorcees Mary and Jo are suspicious of their friend Liz’s new dentist boyfriend. He’s not just a weirdo; he may be a serial killer! After all, his hygienist just disappeared. Trading their wine glasses for spy glasses, imaginations run wild as the ladies try to discover the truth and save their friend in a hilarious off-road adventure.
Women in Jeopardy! is a rare play—a laugh out loud comedy written by an extraordinary female playwright, featuring a cast of six where divorced women in their forties drive the action. Although that might not seem unusual on the surface, it is extremely rare to find well-written roles for women in their forties in a play that’s filled with love, sex, friendship and humor. Agents and producers nation-wide have so many fantastic bankable actresses to find parts for, but no shows to showcase them in. We’re confident that Ms. MacLeod has written a new play that will prove to be extremely desirable to every city with talented, middle-aged actresses just waiting for strong, empowered roles like these.
We are requesting funding from the Edgerton Foundation for an extra week of rehearsal with the creative team including the director, playwright and designers (lighting, sound, costume, video and scenic). Additional rehearsal time is essential for producing a new work for the America theatre. Given the unique structure of the piece, additional time is essential. Having full design meetings with the playwright present—and being able to speak directly with her and hear what she expects to be coming as rewrites happen—is invaluable. With a new comedy, it is essential to “try out” comedic bits—what reads as funny on the page may not work when it’s “up on its feet”. The success of these efforts depends completely on time. A grant from the Edgerton Foundation will allow Geva’s artistic team valuable time needed to experiment with and set comedic bits, revise pages in order to improve flow and tell the story in the best way possible, and make the exciting discoveries that come with putting a new play on its feet for the first time. Making it possible for the design team to be present earlier in the rehearsal process and including the playwright in design meetings are unusual opportunities and will advance the development of this new work, making it more likely to have a future life in the American theatre. The gift of time is invaluable to the success of new plays.
Director: Sean Daniels
Set Design: Michael Raiford
Lighting Design: Brian Lilienthal
Sound Design: Matt Callahan
Costume Design: Amanda Doherty
Dramaturg: Jenni Werner
Cast: Julia Brothers, Scott Rad Brown, Jennifer Cody, Liam Craig, Ashley Shamoon, Laurie Wells
Additional Funders: First Niagara, Madeline's Catering, Warm 101.3