by Janet Allard
Conceived and developed with Michael Bigelow Dixon
In this breezy "NASComedy" the fast lane is stalled to a screeching halt by the arrival of a woman driver on the NASCAR scene, and egos get bruised as Holly "Legs" Nelson starts stealing the show, driving so fast some think she's cheating. Her rival wants to sabotage her success, which results in a fast-paced story of NASCAR drivers and their kooky fans, all in pursuit of high-octane glory. And for the sexism of these chauvinist drivers? Well, they're all played by women!
COMMISSIONED BY THE GUTHRIE THEATER
The House of Narcissus is gearing up for the fashion show of the season, but life on the runway can be treacherous. An activist plots to destroy the show, the supermodels can't find their shoes, Echo is in love with Narcissus, and Narcissus is consumed by the one thing he can never obtain: himself. In this world of unrequited love, insatiable desire, and fabulous clothes, what is the cost of falling in love with illusion? A high-fashion adaptation of the classic story of Echo and Narcissus.
UNTOLD CRIMES OF INSOMNIACS
COMMISSIONED BY THE GUTHRIE THEATRE
PREMIERED AT THE GUTHRIE LAB THEATRE
In this dark and offbeat comedy with music, seven people embark on interconnected quests one night for excitement, connection, and a purpose for being alive. In a dreamlike state, they criss-cross the concrete jungle -- meeting up on the Internet and in cars, planning strange crimes and daring escapes, and craving experience in darkness to lend their daylight lives more meaning. When the sun rises, the feelings of these disquieted hearts have been radically rearranged...for those who are still alive, that is.
COMMISSIONED BY THE GUTHRIE THEATRE
In a car, in an abandoned lot, two teenagers meet up in the middle of the night. Tilly spies on the object of her love through binoculars, while Jim intervenes to save her from this unrequited love obsession. Although the two strive to connect and reveal themselves, their perceptions of one another are constantly shifted by jealousy, secrets, lies, and unfulfilled desires. Are they best friends, or acquaintances on their way to becoming strangers?
COMMISSIONED BY THE KEEN COMPANY
It's Valentine's Day and the pressure is on. Seventeen crazy characters search for love in a round-robin game of speed dating. Everyone's in on the action: a hopeless people-pleaser, a Frenchman, a guy hung up on his previous girlfriends, an art therapist, a clown, and more. They're desperate, chatty, needy, strange -- and the clock is ticking. Will they find love before time runs out?
OFF BROADWAY PREMIER - PLAYWRIGHTS HORIZONS - YOUNG PLAYWRIGHTS FESTIVAL
Painted Rain explores the relationship between two boys in an orphanage, on the verge of being separated by adoption. The younger boy, an energetic non-conformist, tries desperately to draw out his older roommate, who is an aspiring painter confined to a wheelchair that he refuses to relinquish for leg braces. Both boys strive to live life the way they want to live it and make their own choices, despite the external pressures and expectations of a well-meaning social worker. As the impending separation nears, these two "almost brothers" struggle to break through their alienation and isolation to find companionship and connection.
"Painted Rain is full of spunky charm and rueful humor. If you love to see the triumph of the human spirit, then this is a play not to be missed." - Marion Larson, The Courier (Aberdeen, NJ)
"Painted Rain is the most interesting and subtly involved work...the themes of alienation and needed companionship are strongly sounded." - Doug Watt, New York Daily News
"A good ear for dialogue and fine-tuned sense of humor keep Allard's theme fresh." - Leo Seligsohn, New York Newsday
"An unpretentious blend of feeling and comedy" - Edith Oliver, The New Yorker
"Miss Allard deals sensitively and perceptively with the tensions and mutual affection between two young orphans awaiting adoption. The play's ending is heartfelt." - John Beaufort, The Christian Science Monitor
"It's a moving play. Her characters transcend their specific disabilities and delve deeply in the human realm. This is not a play about disabilities, but about friendships, experiences and the commonality of man. It's moving whether it's about someone in a wheelchair or simply two people who need each other...'" Jack Hofsiss, Tony Award Winning Director
"...its language rings pure gold, and its modestly conceived characters behave to the life." Clive Barnes, The New York Post
COMMISSIONED BY THE GUTHRIE THEATRE
The night of a big party, members of an all-girl singing group gather in a backroom. Accusations and rumors lead to shifting alliances and a shocking revelation. As pressures of the pack mentality escalate, one of the girls must decide where her loyalties lie -- with her sister or the group.
THE VELVETEEN RABBIT
Full-length. 65-75 minutes
9-14 actors, gender flexible
“Once you are Real you can't become unreal again. It lasts for always.” A stuffed toy rabbit’s quest to become real through the love of a child drives this adaptation of Margery Williams’ timeless tale that celebrates the power of love to transform out lives. Join a boy and his rabbit in a world of strange and wonderful magic with talking toys, wild adventures, and secret burrows, as they come to discover the true meaning of what it is to be Real.
“A splendid adaptation of the novel by Britain’s Margery Williams which has been reworked for the stage by Janet Allard...The Velveteen Rabbit” will charm the socks off the children in the audience, and older folks should enjoy it as well. - Tom Titus, Los Angeles Times
ALICE IN WINTER WONDERLAND
By Janet Allard and Michael Bigelow Dixon
inspired by the stories and characters created by Lewis Carroll
Full-length. 75-85 minutes
6-20+ actors, gender flexible
Alice is having a horrible holiday. Her parents are busy, her neighbors are mean, and her brother is totally annoying. On top of all that, she has homework -- on Christmas Eve! -- which involves writing a book report on Alice in Wonderland. While reading, Alice becomes drowsy, sees a White Rabbit, and follows it down a rabbit hole, plummeting her into Wonderland in the middle of winter. Now it's up to Alice, and many of Lewis Carroll’s iconic characters, to restore Wonder to Wonderland. A contemporary, heartfelt reimagining of the classic story that is sure to bring joy and warmth to the holiday season.
“Well-played…romantic treatment of the avenging hero of pulp Western fiction.” – Washington Post
“Constellation augments its classical thrust in a thoughtful way with ‘Zorro’, which continues the company’s laudable efforts at delivering intimate theater with high standards for design." – Washington Post
“This mini epic offers big fun on a little stage.” – the Washingtonian
“An entertaining stage adaptation of the famous tale” – Metroweekly
“Even a skeptic, or a non-superhero fan, can warm to Janet Allard and Eleanor Holdridge’s new take on this old story” - Metroweekly
“It’s just fun!” “I think it has legs.”
-WETA, Around Town
“Co-writers Janet Allard and Eleanor Holdridge have folded a dash of feminist thinking into the romance and derring-do, and it doesn’t feel at all forced…This can be turgid stuff, for sure, but director Holdridge knows a thing or two about leavening melodrama with drollery and weaving together conflicting tones. She does it deftly here.”
--Jane Horowitz, The Washingtonian
A CHRISTMAS CAROL
This timeless holiday classic is creatively retold with a unique twist by having every actor -- both male and female, young and old -- take turns playing Scrooge. Jacob Marley's ghost and three other spirits take Scrooge on a journey through time and space, as Scrooge confronts his misdeeds and awakens to a deeper purpose in life. All of the dialogue is taken directly from Charles Dickens' novella in this interpretation of Ebenezer Scrooge's transformation from a cruel and miserly curmudgeon to a joyous and generous soul.
"...intelligent, creative and unique. It draws inspiration directly from Dickens' words, rather than from rehashed sentimentality, and confronts the audience with an uncomfortable truth: We are all Scrooge."
Tom Weber, Post-Bulletin (Minnesota)