Columbia Theatre Artists Make the 2023 Kilroys List
The newest Kilroys List has been released, featuring plays by Gethsemane Herron ’19 and Playwriting student Katie Đỗ.
Founded in 2013, the Kilroys List seeks to champion unproduced or underproduced plays by women, non-binary, and trans playwrights by highlighting them on a public list published annually by the organization. A notable former listee is Tony-Award-winning Professor of Playwriting, Lynn Nottage, who made the 2015 list for her play, Sweat. The most recent Kilroys List looks specifically at those plays that were postponed or canceled due to the COVID-19 Pandemic.
The Kilroys List also includes the names of theatre artists and collaborators who have tirelessly advocated for new plays. Several Theatre alumni have been highlighted as artist advocates, including Raquel Almazan ’15, Migdalia Cruz ’84, Blossom Johnson ’19, Meropi Peponides ’13, Alice Reagan ’04, and Mei Ann Teo ’14.
2023 marks the first year that the Kilroys will transition from “The List” to “The Web” as the collective undergoes a shift to a more nuanced online presence post-pandemic. The original “List” format is still available on the Kilroys website, as well as the new interactive virtual space that makes up “The Web.”
Plays featured on the list are regarded as important and overlooked, and the hope is that their coveted inclusion on the list will lead to their production in the near future. Herron’s featured play, KIN, was originally workshopped at Playwrights Center and is described as “the first part of a three-part work, and an investigation of the ripple effects of sexual trauma, memory, and the temporality of violence.”
According to dramaturg Amrita Ramanan, "Kin is a three-act journey of a writer's navigation through her experience with childhood molestation by a relative. Shifting time, space, and place, Gethsemane's raw, compelling, and brilliant examination of sexual trauma and healing effectively values her characters' perspectives in multitudes. We enter the world through GHC's reflection in writing and the manifestation of her younger self who guides her on a pathway of understanding. As a survivor of sexual abuse, Gethsemane's play tore me apart and put me back together. It's complex, nuanced, deep, intimate, and beautiful.”
Đỗ’s play, love you longtime (already), looks at the relationship of a mother and daughter between the years 1974 and 2018, as told by the daughter. In an interview with South Coast Repertory, Đỗ described the play as “dreamy, meta, and intimate,” and said, “I wrote this play because I love Vietnamese women and have been around a lot of them and feel as though… whenever there is infidelity in their relationships there’s so much shame. I really wanted to talk about infidelity in Vietnamese culture and how the patriarchy really upholds it and the effects it has on specifically [this] mother and daughter’s psyche.”
Teo commented on the play, sharing, "I first read this play at 2am after a long day. By the time I was done, I was ugly crying into my pillow. I was pulled into loving characters—all Vietnamese and utterly full in their humanity. The way Katie has observed her family's struggles and spun this tale of what it means to be immigrant, human, desiring of more than is available, capable of harm and longing for love—it reached deep into me and stays with me."
More information about the Kilroys List and the 2023 writers can be found here.