Australian playwright Sandra Shotlander comes to Salt Lake City this week for presentations of two of her plays: "Blind Salome" and "Framework." Born in Melbourne, Shotlander has taught, directed, and acted in England, Australia and the United States. During the 1970s she founded "The Plantagenets," a theatre-in-education group, and "Mime and Mumbles," theatre for the deaf.
Shotlander will be joined by critic Dr. Rosemary Curb, head of the Women's Studies Program at Rollins College in Florida, and a noted authority on Black and feminist theatre.Of the two plays, "Framework" is the most often performed, though "Blind Salome" is his favorite, according to Dr. Richard Scharine of the University of Utah Theatre Department. (Curb and Shotlander's visit is being sponsored by the University of Utah Theatre Department, as well as the Women's Resource Center at the University of Utah, the Utah branch of the National Organization of Women, and others.)
"Blind Salome" was written in 1985. Scharine says,"This play takes four tourists in an Italian basilica and draws a parallel between the central character's search for identity, and how St. Francis of Assisi led St. Clare on her search for identity.
"It sounds heavy," he adds, "but it's very funny. The play has a feminist basis but it's a warm, human play that it has very broad appeal."
The four actors who will be reading the play in it's entirety are: Karen Alexander (a PMT regular in the 1970s, newly returned to Utah), Jim Swenson, Rodger Reynolds and Marilyn Scharine.
While "Framework" is also a play about searching for identity, Scharine says, it is not a comedy and the identity its two main characters find is one of lesbianism. This play has won a national award and when Shotlander and Curb arrive in Salt Lake City they will have just finished performing it at the International Women's Playwriting Conference in Buffalo, N.Y.
On Nov. 10, at 1:10 in the University of Utah's Babcock Theatre, there will be a discussion featuring Sandra Shotlander; University Theatre Department chairman, Tom Markus; and Carolyn Bliss, an expert in modern Australian literature.
On Nov. 12, beginning at 2 p.m., Shotlander and Curb will attend a book-signing party at The Woman's Place Bookstore, 1615 Foothill Dr. At 7 p.m. "Blind Salome" will be read at the Center Stage Theatre, 3350 S. Highland Drive.
On Nov. 13, at 7 p.m., Shotlander and Curb will read "Framework," at the Center Stage. For more information call the University of Utah Theatre Department, 581-6448.