About the Play and the Playwright

Marian X

"From September to June," says playwright Marian X, "I teach English, Drama and Journalism. So whenever a good idea for a play hits me, I'm too busy to work on it right then and there. My solution is to jot down the idea and throw it in this folder. It gets pretty fat as the year goes on, but I won't look at it until school is out. Once that happens, I spend the next 10 weeks hoping that there's a dramatic story in that folder."

A few years ago, the folder yielded an idea about Hattie and Lucille, inseparable childhood friends who reunite after 35 years. The Screened-In Porch was first developed by Sangoma, the Women's Company at Crossroads Theatre in 1994 and then produced on their main stage two years later. "The Screened-In Porch," says Marian X, "is a part of my exploration of the inner life of the African-American family through the eyes of its women." Playwriting is my medium because I'm a closet exhibitionist with stories to tell. And, as Zora [Neale Hurston] would say, 'there's no agony like bearing an untold story inside you.'"

Marian X believes The Screened-In Porch examines "what it means for a woman to turn 50, both in terms of sexuality and place in society." It looks at many facets of women's lives whom society often sees only as mothers and grandmothers, but no longer as women. That change, being beyond childbearing years, sometimes allows or forces women to see themselves in new ways in relation to their families, each other and how they go about living their lives. Marian X writes the "stuff that you all think about but don't want to say." The Screened-In Porch shows us the power of reconciliation and love and that community is necessary in all of our lives.

Marian X, a native of Philadelphia, studied literature at Morgan State University and received an M.A. in Theatre from Villanova University. Her plays include: Warrior Stance (1992), The Mayor'sWife (1990), Wet Carpets (1987), Dream Variation (1985) and Idella (1983) and have been produced at Crossroads Theatre, Theatre Center Philadelphia, St. Louis Black Repertory, Penumbra Theatre, Oregon Stage Company, Freedom Theatre and the Oakland Ensemble Theatre. Ms. X is affiliated with the Black Theatre Network, Philadelphia Dramatists Center and the Dramatists Guild, Inc. MARIAN X's, plays have been produced at Crossroads Theatre, Theatre Center of Philadelphia, St. Louis Black Repertory, Penumbra Theatre, Oregon Stage Company, Freedom Theatre and the Oakland Ensemble Theatre. She received her M.A. in Theatre from Villanova University.


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