Playwright Jacqueline E. Lawton to visit Elon for masterclass and reading

Lawton will premiere new script with Elon students to demonstrate the playwriting process.

American playwright Jacqueline E. Lawton will visit Elon on March 4 to give a playwriting masterclass, as well as share a brand new script titled “The Inferior Sex” as part of the 2017-18 New Works Playwriting Symposium. 

Playwright Jacqueline E. Lawton. Photo by Jason Hornick.
In the afternoon on March 4, Lawton will guide students through playwriting exercises and share her tips for writing engaging and effective scripts in a three-hour masterclass. Later that same day, Lawton will share her new script, “The Inferior Sex,” in a world-premiere reading. Student actors will read the script aloud and then join in a public discussion of the characters and storytelling. As a playwright, Lawton often uses script readings to learn about the strengths of her writing, generate ideas, and make edits as she works on her second draft of the play. Those attending the reading will have the opportunity to experience and engage first hand with the process of writing a new play.

About “The Inferior Sex:”
It’s the summer of 1972. As the war in Vietnam intensifies, the battle to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment ramps up across the nation, and Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm remains undeterred in her campaign for president. In midtown Manhattan, a small woman’s magazine is on the verge of collapsing and threatens to dash the hopes and dreams of a group of women tired of being treated as second class. “The Inferior Sex” is the behind-the-scenes look at a woman’s magazine that gets political and breaks new ground in an ever-changing world.

Lawton was named one of the top 30 national leading black playwrights by Arena Stage’s American Voices New Play Institute. She received her MFA in playwriting from the University of Texas at Austin, where she was a James A. Michener Fellow. She participated in the Kennedy Center’s Playwrights’ Intensive (2002) and World Interplay (2003). Her plays include: “Anna K;” “Blood-bound and Tongue-tied;” “Deep Belly Beautiful;” “The Devil’s Sweet Water;” “The Hampton Years;” “Intelligence;” “Love Brothers Serenade;” “Mad Breed;” “Noms de Guerre;” and “Our Man Beverly Snow.”  She is assistant professor at University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill where she teaches playwriting, dramaturgy and theatre for social change.

The reading of “The Inferior Sex” will take place in the Isabella Cannon Room, Center for the Arts, on Sunday, March 4, at 6 p.m. It is free and open to the public.

The 2017-18 New Works Playwriting Symposium is sponsored by the Fund for Excellence, Department of English, and Department of Performing Arts.