Here’s a special treat for Fountain Folk: get an inside peek at a new play written by a nationally acclaimed and award-winning playwright, screenwriter and director. This Sunday at 2pm, as part of our ‘Open Stage’ festival of guest events, the Fountain will host a reading of Mother of the Maid written and directed by Jane Anderson.
Jane’s new play, Mother of the Maid, is the tale of Joan of Arc, as seen through the eyes of her mom who is doing her very best to accept the fact that her daughter is different. The reading features Jenny O’Hara, Mathew Gottleib, Sophie Ullett, Jack Kutcher, Markie Post, Gabrielle Sunday, Corinne Shor.
Born in the Bay Area of Northern California in 1954, Jane Anderson discovered her drive for show business early on. After a few years in college, Anderson moved to New York City to pursue an acting career. In 1975 she was cast in the Off-Broadway premiere of David Mamet’s breakout play, Sexual Perversity in Chicago.
Besides acting, Anderson also worked as a stand-up comedian. It was during the creation of her routines that she discovered her passion for writing. She moved to Los Angeles in the early 1980s, earning her livelihood writing for film and television. The Challenger space shuttle disaster inspired her to write her first play, Defying Gravity. Her next play, The Baby Dance, tackled the subject of adoption. Her plays have been produced Off-Broadway and in theaters around the country, including Arena Stage, Actors Theater of Louisville, The McCarter Theater, Long Wharf, ACT, the Geffen Theater and The Pasadena Playhouse. Her published plays: Looking for Normal, The Baby Dance, Defying Gravity, Smart Choices for the New Century, Lynette at 3AM and The Last Time We Saw Her. The Quality of Life, premiered at the Geffen Playhouse and was directed by Ms. Anderson.
For her first feature screenplay, Anderson wrote a romantic comedy called It Could Happen to You about a policeman and a waitress who receives his winning lottery ticket as a tip.
While Anderson and her partner, Tess Ayers, were in the process of adopting their son, Raphael, she got word that her play The Baby Dance was to be made into a TV-movie. When actress-producer Jodie Foster offered her the chance to direct, Anderson took the opportunity to work on the story that so closely paralleled her own life. The movie adaptation, which starred Laura Dern and Stockard Channing, won a Peabody Award, a Golden Globe nomination and three Emmy nominations for best writing and made-for-TV film.
Anderson’s next foray into balancing her theatre work with film came when HBO wanted to adapt her play Looking for Normal (which won the 2001 Ovation Award for Best New Play) into a movie. The movie, titled Normal, told the story of a father who confesses to his family his desire for a sex change operation. The moving film received three Golden Globe nominations, six Emmy nominations, while Anderson herself scored nominations from both the Writers and Directors guilds for best writing and directing.
Anderson continued to write for HBO, and the ground-breaking work on their The Positively True Adventures of the Alleged Texas Cheerleader-Murdering Mom, which stared Holly Hunter, gained her an Emmy, a PEN Award and Writers Guild Award for best teleplay.
Anderson wrote the TV movies When Billie Beat Bobby, starring Holly Hunter, and the Emmy-nominated first episode of If These Walls Could Talk II, staring Vanessa Redgrave. However, even with her busy Hollywood schedule, Jane’s theater work (including Food & Shelter, Smart Choices for the New Century, Lynette at 3AM, and The Last Time We Saw Her) have had runs Off-Broadway and in regional theaters all over the country, including Actors Theater of Louisville, Williamstown, McCarter Theater, Long Wharf and Pasadena Playhouse.
Anderson made her feature film directorial debut with 2005’s The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio, the story of a 1950s housewife who writes advertising jingles to help keep her family afloat. Continuing the theme of advertising, she joined the team of writers of the critically acclaimed AMC series Mad Men for the show’s second season.
Jane resides in Los Angeles with Tess and Raphael, where she continues to write for both stage and screen.
Join us this Sunday at 2pm! Be part of the creative process in the development of an exciting new play at the Fountain Theatre.
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