Category: The Tragic Ecstasy of Girlhood
Kira Rockwell is the 2019 recipient of The Association for Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE) Judith Royer Excellence in Playwriting Award for her play The Tragic Ecstasy of Girlhood. Congratulations!
Third-year MFA playwright Kira Rockwell was a second place recipient of the Paula Vogel Award in Playwriting for her play The Tragic Ecstasy of Girlhood (produced here last October). The award, presented by the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival, recognizes the outstanding student-written play that celebrates diversity and concerns issues of gender and sexuality.
First-year MFA playwright Eliana Pipes's Snow Brown and the 7 Stereotypes was the National Finalist for the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival's John Cauble Award for Outstanding Short Play. The award seeks to bring recognition to the area of student-written short plays and to encourage young writers to develop the short play form in preparation for the playwriting profession. (Other plays by Eliana were cited for distinguished achievement in other categories.)
Read more about KCACTF and this year's award recipients and nominees here. Congratulations, Friends!
Third-year MFA playwright Kira Rockwell's The Tragic Ecstasy of Girlhood has been awarded top prize in The Bridge Initiative: Women in Theatre's second Bechdel Test Fest! The play was BPT's season opener last fall. Congratulations!
Our season opener, current MFA playwright Kira Rockwell's The Tragic Ecstasy of Girlhood, has its West Coast premiere tonight produced by Los Angeles-based Third Culture Theatre with Palms Up Academy. The play runs through Dec 16. Congratulations! More
Review from The Boston Globe
The title is overly melodramatic and so is the play at times, but Kira Rockwell gets a lot of things right in “The Tragic Ecstasy of Girlhood.’’
Rockwell’s jolting and urgent new work, which features a diverse and passionately committed young cast at Boston Playwrights’ Theatre, focuses on four teenage girls in a Texas residential treatment facility who are coping — or not — with the suicide of one of their housemates.
Part two of production dramaturg Eliana Pipes' conversation with The Tragic Ecstasy of Girlhood playwright Kira Rockwell about her play, writing, process, and what’s next.
On the cover page [of the script], you call The Tragic Ecstasy of Girlhood a poetic drama; how do you see the role of poetry in this piece?
I am really inspired by the works of Naomi Wallace, who writes these gritty dramas about the working class and she always finds a way to bring out the poetry in their circumstances. In Girlhood, there’s poetry to be heard in the way the girls think, feel, and speak. The play deals with heightened emotions and aims to break through any defense mechanism to get below the surface.
Even though we never see them directly on stage, church and therapy are major and mandatory parts of these girls’ lives. How do you think those institutions affect the play?
At the age most the girls in Girlhood find themselves, you’re still trying to figure out how your body works, and where you fit into the world, but then you have these adults, mostly with good intentions, who try to spoon-feed you the answers to life that will fix all of your problems. They say things like, “If I had known this at your age, things would have been very different for me.” I think both church and therapy are very personal journeys, but when you’re a teenager, you aren’t really allowed to make decisions for yourself on that scale, and sometimes those things become more harmful than helpful. More
Production dramaturg Eliana Pipes talked with The Tragic Ecstasy of Girlhood playwright Kira Rockwell about her play, writing, process, and what’s next.
What is the genesis of 'The Tragic Ecstasy of Girlhood'?
Before moving to Boston to pursue my MFA in playwriting, I was working in the recreation department at a youth residential care facility back in Texas. The play is very much a work of fiction, but the subject matter is inspired by those three years. The play’s inception was actually an accident or rather a rebellion. I was supposed to be working on an entirely different play, one about a church and a sinkhole, and while I was stuck I started to hear dialogue between three teenage girls. . .forty pages later I thought, “This is going to be my next play.” Recently, teenage girls have been getting a huge spotlight in American Theatre, Barron’s Dance Nation and DeLappe’s The Wolves, and I believe if those stories about girlhood are going to be seen, then these teenage girls deserve to be represented in the conversation.
How did you become a playwright?
In short, Katori Hall’s The Mountaintop. Longer version: I’ve always been a writer and then, in eighth grade I became an actor. But it wasn’t until undergrad while pursuing my BFA in theatre performance at Baylor University that I dared to combine my two artistic identities. It was there that I took my first playwriting course and, as cheesy as it sounds, found my identity in the theatre community. In retrospect, I think I’ve always been a playwright at heart and I feel so thankful for my formative acting years that have since laid the foundation for my current writing endeavors. More