Nora's Playhouse

Congratulations to Jacqueline Allen Trimble on her NEA Creative Writing Fellowship!

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The National Endowment for the Arts has announced that Nora’s Playhouse’s board member and Co-Literary Curator Dr. Jacqueline Allen Trimble is one of 35 writers who will receive an FY 2021 Creative Writing Fellowship of $25,000. This year’s fellowships are in poetry and enable the recipients to set aside time for writing, research, travel, and general career advancement. Fellows are selected through a highly-competitive, anonymous process and are judged on the basis of artistic excellence of the work sample they provided. Trimble was selected from 1,601 eligible applicants. The full list of FY 2021 Creative Writing Fellows is available here.

Trimble is a Cave Canem Fellow and a 2017 Alabama State Council on the Arts Literary Fellow. Her poetry has appeared in various journals including The Louisville Review, The Offing, and Poet Lore and in anthologies which include The Night’s Magician: Poems About the Moon, edited by Phillip C. Kolin and Sue Brennan Walker and the forthcoming The Beautiful, a collection of fifty poets representing fifty states.  In addition to her academic work, she also writes essays, such as “A Woman Explains Why Learning Poetry is Poetry and Not Magic Made Her a Poet,” which appeared in the anthology Southern Writers on Writing. Published by NewSouth Books, American Happiness, her debut collection won the 2016 Balcones Poetry Prize. Recently Trimble has turned her attention to television, writing five episodes for the South African soapie, Die Testament, which aired in September 2019. Trimble holds the B.A. in English from Huntingdon College and the M.A. and Ph.D. in English from the University of Alabama.  She is Professor of English and chairs the Department of Languages and Literatures at Alabama State University

Trimble joined Nora’s Playhouse as an Artistic Associate in 2017 and served as the Associate Dramaturg for our 2018 co-production of A Doll’s House at Montgomery, Alabama’s Cloverdale Playhouse. In 2020, she joined our board and she and Dr. Sharon Friedman (NYU Gallatin) were named Nora’s Co-Literary Curators.

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BLACK LIVES MATTER

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Since Nora’s Playhouse’s founding in 2009, we have been committed to lifting up women theatre artists in a collaborative storytelling process that focuses on human rights. We must do better in living up to that mission in a way that combats racism and amplifies the voices of BIPOC theatre artists.

We stand in solidarity with the Black community and recommit ourselves to providing a space for women of color to tell their stories. We also pledge to make sure our board looks more like the communities we serve. If we are to listen and learn and do better, we must make sure all voices are represented in our leadership. We are working on other concrete steps to take going forward in our efforts to end racial injustice.

AMERICAN HAPPINESS

BY JACQUELINE ALLEN TRIMBLE

It used to be in Mayberry
folks were never colored
–not even black and white–
but beige, khaki,
a little gray. In Mayberry
Deputy Barney had one bullet
and no need for rope.
The only burning he did was for his Thelma Lou.
The sheriff had no gun,
just an Aunt Bea baking pies
and an Opie full of freckles heading off to fish
or sing or court. Whatever Opies do.
In Mayberry, no doors were barred or locked.
The jail was mostly empty.
The only water hose we ever saw
lay peacefully
curled
on Sheriff Andy’s lawn.

Mayberry was a Southern town.
Technicolor must have killed it.
Made Andy a cranky lawyer.
Sent Opie running all the way to Hollywood.
But we remember.
Black and white,
from Chicago to Watts to Selma,
we tuned in to connect the dots of Opie’s face
while we dined on mashed potatoes and buttered corn
right before our TV sets,
mesmerized,
that in this Southern town,
the sheriff used his hose to water Aunt Bea’s roses.
We were so happy and relieved
we laughed until we could not think
until we fell off our sofas and wing-backs and can-bottoms;
we laughed until we could not see or hear
until we could forget
that outside our windows
other sheriffs with loaded guns, snarling dogs, and ready hoses
made quick work of a world on fire.

(reprinted from American Happiness: New Poems, New South Books)

Jacqueline Allen Trimble lives and writes in Montgomery, Alabama, where she is an associate professor of English and chairperson of Languages and Literatures at Alabama State University. Her work has appeared in various online and print publications including The Griot, The Offing, and The Blue Lake Review. She is currently a Cave Canem fellow and the recipient of a 2017 literary arts fellowship from the Alabama State Council on the Arts. She is also an Artistic Associate of Nora’s Playhouse.

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Only 4 more chances to see A DOLL’S HOUSE!

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The reviews are out and A Doll’s House is a must see!

“…A Doll’s House premiered in 1879, the year Edison first ignited a light bulb, the year Einstein was born. If you think of all the ways the world has changed since that time, it’s amazing that a work of art could persist and remain so popular in our vastly different society. What could a play of this vintage teach us today? Plenty, as it turns out.”
Midtown Montgomery Living

“The risk Nora takes at the end of the play — a watershed moment on how women were portrayed on stage — shocked a patriarchal society who expected the stage to reinforce their standards. Fast forward to 2018 and the power of #MeToo and #TimesUp, and Nora’s heartbreakingly courageous decision reflects an understanding that sexual harassment comes in various guises and that there is still a lot to be done to galvanize gender equality.”
Theatre Montgomery

“‘It’s really the story of the unraveling of a marriage,’ said director Caroline Reddick Lawson. ‘It starts out with what seems to be a doll house perfect marriage. Two attractive young people married to each other. They have thee beautiful children. He’s just gotten a promotion to be a bank manager. Everything is happy. It’s Christmas Eve day. But then we start to see the cracks and the plot thickens. There’s everything from secrets that are revealed, blackmail, old friends who arise out of the blue.’”
Montgomery Advertiser

An interview with director Caroline Reddick Lawson:
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