Trustus Theatre’s Artistic Director Dewey Scott-Wiley and Literary Manager Sarah Hammond announced on Thursday July 24th that Barbara Blumenthal-Ehrlich’s Big City was named the winner of the 2014 Trustus Playwrights’ Festival. The script will receive a staged reading at Trustus in Fall 2014, and the fully staged world premiere production will run August 21 – 29, 2015.
The Trustus Playwrights’ Festival saw over 500 submissions from all over the nation this year, and Blumenthal-Ehrlich’s Big City was chosen as the festival winner. Barbara Blumenthal-Ehrlich is a Boston-based writer and member of Boston Public Works, a producing collective of playwrights. Her work has been produced/developed in NYC at Playwrights Horizons, Second Stage, Roundabout, Rattlestick, Women’s Project, EST, New Georges, AracaWorks, Urban Stages, the New York International Fringe Festival, Fringe NYC Encore Series, and the Summer Play Festival; Regionally, at Actors Theatre of Louisville, Trinity Rep, Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art, Hangar Theatre, Victory Gardens, Boston Playwrights Theatre, LA’s Elephant Theatre, Long Beach Playhouse, New Mexico’s Fusion Theatre, Colorado Springs Fine Arts Festival, and Chicago’s Collaboraction Theatre. Published by Smith & Kraus and Indie Theatre Now, she won or placed in the Woodward/Newman Drama Award, O’Neill Playwrights Conference, Sundance Playwriting Lab, Princess Grace Award, the Heideman Award, Labyrinth Theatre Summer Intensive, Bay Area Playwrights Festival, and Julie Harris Award, among others. She is an affiliated artist at New Georges in NYC and Boston’s Interim Writers writing group, The Accomplice.
A modern tale about 21st Century relationships and communication, Big City introduces audiences to Jane and Joe. These friends have been living with each other for a while and are “just roommates,” except for Friday nights and the occasional Sunday morning. Now he’s drowning in urban angst and wants a deeper commitment -- a baby! -- but Jane says no. Deep down, are they really in love? Or is it just the narrowing of options and fear of being alone that comes from being closer to 30 than 20. Anything can happen over a meal of Chinese takeout and muscle relaxants, especially when unexpected guests invade the small apartment they call home.
“I started writing Big City when I was feeling like the world was operating at a faster, scarier, more absurd pace,” said Blumenthal-Ehrlich. “Thanks to wifi, our work follows us everywhere. Twitter and Facebook bring a false sense of friendship and intimacy. Not to mention that the world is scarier since 9/11. The irony is that in a world of heightened fears and isolation, we need each other more than ever. This can make for some oddball and heartrending hookups. That’s the back story of Big City, a quirky high-stakes comedy about Jane and Joe, engaged in an escalating conflict over their life as not-so-platonic urban roommates.”
Trustus Theatre is located at 520 Lady Street, in Columbia, SC.
For more information call Trustus Theatre Tuesdays through Saturdays 1-6 pm at 803-254-9732. Visit www.trustus.org for all show information and season information.