Tuesday, December 18, 2012

5 Questions with Dominique Cieri

The 5th reading in our FORUM "Soundings" series is THE BABY KILLER PLAY by Dominique Cieri. This reading will begin at 7pm on December 18, 2012, and will be held at Fairleigh Dickinson University, Dreyfuss Theatre, 285 Madison Avenue, Madison, NJ. Click here for directions. Click here for a printable map of the campus (the Dreyfuss Theatre is located in Building 9).

On June 3, 2000, 18-year old Martita G. dropped her 17-month old son into the Passaic River. In this intense and probing play, the story leading up to this inexplicable act is set side-by-side with a forty-two year-old woman who is desperately trying to have her first child. Cieri’s play explores the impulses that lead to childbearing and raises questions about the motivations behind having children. Based on a true story.

Dominique Cieri is a playwright, teaching artist, and member of the Dramatists Guild. She is the recipient of the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation and New Jersey State Council on the Arts Individual Playwriting Fellowship 2003, and 2009.  A graduate of Rose Bruford College in Kent, England, and the recipient of the State University of New York Chancellor’s Medal of Excellence for Scholarship and Creative Activities, Ms. Cieri holds an MFA in Creative Writing at Goddard College, Vermont. Ms. Cieri’s plays: Pitz & Joe, For Dear Life, Last Kiss, Count Down, Safe, and The Baby Killer Play, under development at Playwrights Theatre of New Jersey. Her plays have been produced and developed in New Jersey, New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles.  Pitz & Joe is currently under contract with Warner Brothers with Josh Brolin. Her Essays on Arts and Education have been published in the New York Times, and Teaching Artist Journal. Dominique received the New Jersey Theatre Alliance Applause Award, 2010, for her artistry and dedication.  Current projects include the implementation of her work for addressing bullying through the art of playwriting; a year-long commitment to the development of new work from grant monies received by Playwrights Theatre of New Jersey through the New Jersey Arts Council for the program ‘Women’s Playwrights Project.’

1. What inspired you to write THE BABY KILLER PLAY?
A 17-year-old girl who drowned her son haunted me for many years. At the time of her story a colleague's struggle to have a child led to the idea of combining their stories and exploring the impossible reproductive choices some women have to make and the very fine lines between them.

2. This play is based on a true story. How much of it is the actual story and how much is fiction?
Although the play is based on a true event, (newspaper articles and sentencing transcripts), it is very much a fiction. Almost all of the scenes are imagined.

3. Is THE BABY KILLER PLAY a working title or did you want to elicit a strong response from the get go by naming it that?
It still remains a working title.

4. What is your favorite holiday and why? 
As a kid, definitely Christmas through New Year. I have very fond memories of "marveling" (with my sister -- we would say, "Let's go marvel at the lights.") at all of the holiday decorations and lights, especially the houses ablaze with every square inch covered in multi-colored, blinking lights.

5. You graduated from Rose Bruford College in England. Why did you choose to go to a college in another country? Can you tell us a little about your experience of being an American in England?
I was told that if I wanted to study theatre, go to England. I was young, lived in the cheapest of "flats" possible, including a row house with an outhouse. I worked in pubs, delivered the mail arriving at 4:00 in the morning to sort the mail and then eat bangers and mash, play some pool and then hit the delivery route- walking, a huge leather satchel filled with mail strapped to my shoulder.

♦ Playwrights Theatre will present these readings free of charge, with an optional donation of $10

♦ A $25 dollar donation will get you a FORUM pass that covers all of the readings.

♦ A $250 donation will get you a rehearsal pass that allows access to all reading rehearsals.

♦ Reservations can be made online at or call (973) 514-1787 X10

Click here to reserve your seat to see THE BABY KILLER PLAY.

You can also find additional information on our website about the entire FORUM reading series.

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