The New York Coalition of Professional Women in the Arts & Media honored FRONT LINES: Political Plays by American Women as one of 5 honorees at their March 2009 Biennial Collaboration Award celebration.

CURRENT REVIEW

Reviews

PRAISE FOR "THE RADIANT":


“HERE’S ONE SHOW THAT JUST MIGHT GLOW IN THE DARK! THE RED FERN THEATER COMPANY PRESENTS THE RADIANT, SHIRLEY LAURO’S PLAY ABOUT THE ACCLAIMED PHYSICIST AND CHEMIST MARIE CURIE. AFTER HER HUSBAND’S DEATH, WHILE RAISING TWO CHILDREN, SHE ISOLATES RADIUM AND TAKES UP WITH A YOUNG LAB ASSISTANT. WHICH IS MORE RADIOACTIVE?”
The Radiant By Alexis Soloski
Voice Choices, THE VILLAGE VOICE, Wednesday, Feb 27 2013

“THE RADIANT IS A SERIOUS, DISTINGUISHED PLAY THAT CREDIBLY PORTRAYS THE ENERGY, PERSISTENCE, COMMITMENT TO SURVIVING AND BECOMING A SUCCESS, BRILLIANCE, DEDICATION TO SCIENCE, PERSONALITY AND PASSION OF MME CURIE.”
QPORIT, Wednesday, February 27, 2013

"[MARIE CURIE’S] WAS THE SORT OF LIFE ABOUT WHICH ONE WOULD EXPECT MAJOR DRAMATIC WORKS TO BE WRITTEN – AND THAT IS JUST WHAT SHIRLEY LAURO HAS DONE.”
A SEAT ON THE AISLE... Monday February 25, 2013

“LOOKING TO EXPLORE THE LIFE AND TIMES OF MARIE CURIE? I SUGGEST YOU CATCH THE RED FERN THEATRE COMPANY’S PRODUCTION OF THE RADIANT BY SHIRLEY LAURO!”
nytheatre.com, February 23, 2013

"SHIRLEY LAURO HAS WRITTEN AN INTRIGUING PLAY ABOUT THE BEHIND-THE-SCENES LIFE OF TWO-TIME NOBEL PRIZE-WINNING SCIENTIST MARIE CURIE. THE DRAMA JUXTAPOSES HER LABORATORY DISCOVERY OF RADIUM IN METAL WITH HER ROMANTIC ENTANGLEMENT THAT CAUSED A SCANDAL AND THREATENED HER CAREER."
William Wolf, New York Calling, ABOUT TOWN, Feb 22, 2013

"'THE RADIANT' CASTS A GLOW ON MARIE CURIE...THE PLAYWRIGHT GIVES HER STUBBORNNESS, DETERMINATION, SINGLE-MINDEDNESS, [AND] PASSION..."
Christine Dolan, The Miami Herald Tribune, March 25, 2011

"AWARD WINNING PLAYWRIGHT SHIRLEY LAURO'S EXPLORATION OF THE SCIENTIST AND WOMAN [MARIE CURIE] COMES TO LIFE...WONDERFUL AND HIGHLY APPRECIATED BY AUDIENCES."
Around Town -Miami, March 26, 2011

"THE SCIENCEPHOBE NEED NOT WORRY: THE SCIENCE IS HANDLED QUICKLY AND DEFTLY IN 'THE RADIANT' BY SHIRLEY LAURO ..."
TotalTheater.com, March, 2011

"SHIRLEY LAURO HAS WRITTEN AN INTRIGUING PLAY ABOUT THE BEHIND-THE-SCENES LIFE OF TWO-TIME NOBEL PRIZE-WINNING SCIENTIST MARIE CURIE. THE DRAMA JUXTAPOSES HER LABORATORY DISCOVERY OF RADIUM IN METAL WITH HER ROMANTIC ENTANGLEMENT THAT CAUSED A SCANDAL AND THREATENED HER CAREER."
William Wolf
New York Calling ABOUT TOWN, June 18, 2012

"... LAURO'S CURIE HAS A STEELY, EVEN FORBIDDING EXTERIOR OF DETERMINATION AND SELF-CONTROL THAT MASKS A RAGING SWIRL OF INSECURITY, SHYNESS, MOURNER'S GRIEF, AND NEED ..."
South Florida Review, March 28, 2011

"LAURO['S] CURIE IS NOT THE SANITIZED, SAINTLY GREER GARSON. THIS PIONEERING WOMAN PROJECTS A CURT, OFF PUTTING EXTERIOR FORGED OUT OF DETERMINATION AND SELF-CONTROL - WHICH CONCEALS A MAELSTROM OF SHYNESS, FEAR AND HEARTACHE... AND A GIRLISH RELIEF IN THE RARE MOMENTS THAT [SHE] LETS DOWN HER GUARD."
Variety.com, 3/​​30/​​2011

"ALL THROUGH THE NIGHT" by Shirley Lauro
(New York Premiere, October5 , 2009; World Premiere, June, 2005)

"A SIGNIFICANT SERIOUS AND INTENSELY MOVING NEW WORK BY A PROVEN BROADWAY PLAYWRIGHT...A SHOW THAT'S BOTH RUMINATIVE AND REVELATORY, SMART AND EMOTIVE, IMMERSIVE AND DISTANCING. AND MOST IMPRESSIVE OF ALL, THIS IS A PLAY WITH ENOUGH DARING TO LOOK AT THE POLARITIES OF WAR WITH A STRONG SENSE OF THE COMPLEXITY OF HUMAN LIMITATIONS...IT'S A VERY SMART AND YET STRIKINGLY SYMPATHETIC PROBING OF AN AGE-OLD SOCIEO-POLITICAL QUESTIONS. WHEN TOTALITARIAN AND/​OR AUTHORITARIAN REGIMES--RISE TO POWER, WHY DO MOST ORDINARY PEOPLE DO NOTHING TO STOP THEM? ...LAURO IS A SKILLED STRUCTURALIST...A COMPELLING NEW PLAY."
Chris Jones, Chicago Tribune, June 13, 2005

"FILLED WITH CRISP WRITING, FULLY DEVELOPED CHARACTERS TELLING THE NEGLECTED STORIES OF GENTILE GERMAN WOMEN DURING THE RISE AND FALL OF THE NAZI REGIME...THE RESULT [IS] REMAKABLE. SELDOM HAVE I SEEN SUCH A POLISHED, SMARTLY CONSTRUCTED WORK FLOW AS NICELY IN A WORLD PREMIERE...ALL THROUGH THE NIGHT IS ONE OF THE FINEST NEW WORKS SHOWN ON A CHICAGO STAGE IN SEVERAL YEARS...THESE STORIES, SO RICH IN DRAMA AND EMOTION, SO WONDERFULLY WRITTEN...FLOWS SMOOTHLY, CONTAINS EMPATHETIC CHARACTERS...ALL THE REASONS WE GO TO SEE THEATRE. THIS PLAY IS A TRIUMPH FOR SHIRLEY LAURO...SEE THIS SHOW."
Chicagocritic.com, June 13, 2005

"STIRRING TO WATCH...THE PLAY IS FILLED WITH ENGROSSING MOMENTS...EVOKES THE SENSE OF SUFFOCATING TERROR THAT SATURATED THE NAZI REGIME, CULTIVATED BETRAYAL IN THE NAME OF PATRIOTISM...RISES TO LEVELS OF HIGH DRAMA THAT STIR[S] THE VIEWER..."
Dan Zeff, Copley News Service, June 13, 2005



PRAISE FOR FRONT LINES: Political Plays by American Women

“[Front Lines]...aims to demonstrate that women can dramatize gritty or unlikely subjects, and upend our sense of what are appropriate topics for female authors.”

“[This anthology]...signals that tradition no longer dictates what women can write about.”
--By Jean Forst
In These Times, June 1, 2009

“Plays tell stories, and the best ones stay with us...The stories in this collection of critically acclaimed works by seven leading female playwrights address some of the most contentious of contemporary issues, and they will stick in readers' minds for a long time.”
-- Carolyn M. Mulac, Chicago P.L.
Library Journal, 5/​1/​2009


"[Shirley] Lauro the playwright of A Piece of My Heart, and co-editor Alexis Greene collected seven recent plays that make a strong case for the female embodiment of all that is fair, fearless, and right with mankind...the plays of Front Lines offer ammunition and inspiration.”
-- J.Y.C.,
Dramatics Magazine, 5/​1/​2009

FRONT LINES, edited by Alexis Greene and Shirley Lauro, joins works by Tennessee Williams and Andrew Lloyd Webber in Playbill.com, "Plays of Note" Section: "This new collection of plays [FRONT LINES] provides an introduction to the politically inspired work of some of America's leading women playwrights."

--Judy Samelson
Playbill.com June 27, 2009




CLARENCE DARROW'S LAST TRIAL
(World Premiere 2005)

"New Theatre's world premiere production of the Shirley Lauro script features the work of demonstrably skilled actors and designers, and it has come to life under the watchful eyes of diretor Rafael de Acha and its accomplished playwright."
-The Miami Herald

"When you combine an intelligent, thoughtful playwright--a creative director--a group of exceptional actors, even a set so improbably creative, it shows what can happen in the most unlikely of small theatres ...New Theatre does it again with the world premiere of CLARENCE DARROW'S LAST TRIAL, a court room drama based on fact and written by respected playwright Shirley Lauro, who spent some four years researching and writing this play. It is worth the wait. Lauro, who has won a string of writing awards, once again proves she knows how to entice an audience, waiting for the next surprise twist, and sending a message.
...Author Lauro already has a Tony nomination, two Drama Desk nominations, wrote a play which was a finalist in The New American History Awards and has a roomful of other literary prizes. The verdict on this latest play is that it can only add to her prize-winning ways.
-The Entertainment News and Views

"The material is innately interesting, and the production under director Rafael de Acha provides moments of genuine emotion...Tara Vodihn...invests the role of a mixed-race prosecutor with dignity, intelligence and smoldering outrage."
-Sun Sentinel

OPEN ADMISSIONS
(Full and short length versions)

"Packs a punch!...explosive confrontation...OPEN ADMISSIONS has had a profound effect on its audiences, leaving some viewers in tears, others stone silent...a devastating play...a no-win confrontation that shows us the full dimensions of a contemporary tragedy."
-The New York Times

"A small masterpiece"
-New York Magazine

"OPEN ADMISSIONS," at the Music Box, merits more than just an A for relevance. Shirley Lauro has written a thoughtful, sometimes comic, and ultimately moving drama about an inner-city black youth's collision with a well-meaning educational policy that can have dire consequences."
-The Christian Science Monitor

"Shirley Lauro's OPEN ADMISSIONS is funny but infinitely more, it is poignant."
-The New York Post


A PIECE OF MY HEART

"...infused in the emotions and intent woven into the Vietnam-era drama ...the characters in the play, anticipate adventure but quickly adapt to war's realities...[a] rollercoaster of emotions displayed onstage...more than poignant."
-The Holland Sentinel, September, 2013

"...Shirley Lauro's new play A PIECE OF MY HEART, is a catharsis as well as a coup de theatre...There have been a number of plays dealing with Vietnam...but none with the direct, emotional impact of Ms. Lauro's work...(she) has turned first hand impressions into a disturbing drama that evokes empathy for survivors as victims."
-The New York Times

"Vietnam drama sparks...Surprised audiences...brought them to tears with sobs filling the auditorium and a standing ovation at the finish...drawing on the experiences of women in the Vietman War, Shirley Lauro's A PIECE OF MY HEART found solid dramatic context on the stage..."
-Variety

"A PIECE OF MY HEART...takes up a subject largely missing from the reams of material written about Vietnam, namely the women sho served there...seamlessly interweaving the stories of the six principals...the play is exceedingly moving as the women gather at the memorial wall in Washington and experience a heart wrenching expiation---one that also affects those watching them from the audience...in not straining for a hit, the (theatre) may have produced one in A PIECE OF MY HEART."
-The Wall Street Journal

"Shirley Lauro's cathartic...rousing...skillfully dramatized...creating an exhilarating sense of reconciliation and triumph. Ms. Lauro was able to take disparate characters and create a complete narrative from their stories, no small task."
-Christian Science Monitor

"A PIECE OF MY HEART...one of the most compelling and valuable (plays) yet written on a subject...rarely treated with such straight-forward authenticity...mercurial staging...separates the soldier from the politics of his mission...needs to be seen now."
-The Detroit News

"In A PIECE OF MY HEART...there's what amounts dramatically to an almost religious expiation---a final recognition of what actually went on in Vietnam and afterwards..."
-The Irish Times

"It's a stunning show!"
-The Oregonian

"I am passionate about producing this play here in Germany to our military community. It is important to demonstrate that war is not really about politics or government but about people. This play is sympathetic to those who serve their country and protect its citizens only to be ostracized when they return, an concept which is just as relevant today as it was forty years ago. Even more, it is the highly personal story of young women, the challenges that face them, and the ways in which they are forever changed by a shared experience, each one leaving behind something she can never get back."
-Liz Nye, Producer, Little Black Box
Ramstein Air Base, Germany

THE CONTEST

"A tenderly evocative family album about a midwestern Jewish family in the '40's...THE CONTEST lightly wears a coat of nostalgia much of it funny, but the play is not a comedy, rather it's a skillful play that rises far above its genre...its characters freshly observed, the situation richly specific, a play with dramatic impact!"
-The New York Times

"A pot of gold! Written with a great deal of love and compassion...a simple tale, movingly told. It's a good evening!"
-NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

"THE CONTEST is a powerful play!...and much more than the quite moving story of a girl and her family...the play is about distorted dreams of happiness, avoidance of life, compulsive and destructive hope.!
-WNYC, New York


THE COAL DIAMOND:
"Lighthearted...cleverly placed climax in an exhibition of female dominance. Ms. Lauro writes very well."
-The London Times

"In THE COAL DIAMOND Ms. Lauro writes amusingly of the petty scandals that people of limited emotional resources cling to in order to bring excitement to their lives. She writes affectionately, without condescending to them. The play is diverting."
-The Courier Journal, Louisville, KY

"A surprising play...truly original...The playwriting itself has the feel of the 1950's when American playwrights still shaped characters in minutely realistic detail...it is refreshing, almost indeed shocking, to meet people so specifically alive on the stage."
-The Soho News, NY

NOTHING IMMEDIATE:
"...The playwright creates a vivid metaphor for the unrest that lies at the heart of contemporary life...a gripping work, frightening in the way it develops an ethical clash between two vividly created personalities... moves tautly to a terrifying confrontation...[with] a sad realization that no easily diagrammed truce between the Ednas and Sandras of this world is possible.
-Louisville Courier Journal, KY

"Shirley Lauro's strong one-act [is] realistic, almost slice of life form."
-The Wall Street Journal

"Sinister...taut climax, an exhibition of female dominance. Ms. Lauro writes very well."
-The London Times

THE EDGE:
(novel)
"A really brilliant study of a personality in disintegration...beautifully written...extremely well done."
-Alan Pryce-Jones, N.Y. Herald Tribune

"A book worth reading...tackles a current problem and results in a piece of genuine, artfully created experience...It is written with the assurance of the artist and with great sensibility...Shirley Mezvinsky weaves a spell, and makes a visit in Limbo a fascinating experience."
-Daniel Stern, Staurday Review

"A powerful and moving story...Because it is so very good, men and women may find themselves following its absorbing record of one woman's journey into self-awareness with a curiosity that their own wives have never aroused."
-Baltimore Sun

"A novel with universal human appeal...for everyone who has ever wondered whether they had taken the right fork in the road when the choice was still open to them, and later doubted the rightness of that decision. The big question in their minds being "IF ONLY..."
-Martha Foley


SELECTED WORK

Full Length Plays
NEW YORK PREMIERE 2012, Red Fern Theatre, New York City; WORLD PREMIERE 2010-11 The New Theatre, Coral Gables, FL. THE RADIANT centers on the true, tempestuous, and love-torn life of Madame Marie Curie. Winner of the TCG/Edgerton Award; Ensemble Studio Theatre/Sloan Grant; and the Dramatists Guild Play Grant.
NEW YORK PREMIERE October 2009 Chicago World Premiere, 2005 "Jeff Award"
2006 Carbonell Award Nominee; 2004 NEA "Access to Excellence Award", in collaboration with New Theatre, FL; 2001 New American Play Prize (Finalist)
Dark comedy of shifting identities and cultures.
Tony & Drama Desk nominations, New York Times pick for the “Ten Best Plays of the Year” list, Dramatists Guild Hull-Warriner Award.
The Barbara Deming Prize for Women Playwrights, The Susan Blackburn Prize (Finalist, The Kittredge Foundation Award.
National Foundation for Jewish Culture Award
Susan Smith Blackburn Award (finalist)
National Endowment for the Arts Residency Grant at The Alley Theatre of Houston, TX Jane Chambers Play Award (finalist)
Multigenerational play commissioned by Theatreworks, USA.
An explosive, sexually charged drama drawing on the supernatural.
Anthology of Plays
2009 New York Coalition of Professional Women in the Arts & Media, Collaboration Award Finalist. Playwrights include: Paula Vogel, Quiara Hudes, Emily Mann, Shirley Lauro, Cindy Cooper, Nilaja Sun, Jessica Blank. Foreword by Julie Crosby, Artistic Director, The Women's Project, New York.
One Act Plays
New York Times pick for the “Ten Best Plays of the Year” list, Dramatists Guild Hull-Warriner Award, Samuel French OOBA Festival Award.
Samuel French Play Writing Award
The Heidemann Prize at Actors Theatre of Louisville's Humana Festival, selected for "Best Short Plays of 1980"
A play commissioned by Actors Theatre of Louisville showcasing the work of their Playwrights.
Other Work