2015-2016 Tennessee Williams Playwright-in-Residence Cheri Magid

Special thanks to 2015-2016 Tennessee Williams Playwright-in-Residence Cheri Magid for a wonderful year! We wish her the best of luck as she returns to New York City, where she is on faculty as the Area Head of Craft and Text at New York University’s Dramatic Writing Program. While in Sewanee, Cheri taught an undergraduate course in playwriting and worked on her own projects. Enjoy watching professional readings of Cheri Magid''s The Gaba Girl here and The Tavern Wench and​ ​The Chosen Ones ​here.

The Gaba Girl was directed by T. Ryder Smith and read by actors Nigel De Friez, Libby Matthews, and Josh Tyson. Sewanee's own Megan Roberts also performed. The play is based on the fantastic but true story of Lester Gaba and his famous mannequin Cynthia. In 1937 Lester, a young soap carver, meets an infamous socialite and finds himself attracted to her best friend, an androgynous and closeted theatre director with dreams of going to Hollywood. To avoid his growing homosexual feelings for the director, Lester creates a life-sized mannequin that looks exactly like the socialite. Questions of what is real and what is not reach dizzying heights—until they don’t. This event was funded by the Mellon Globalization Forum, the NYU Dean’s Grant, the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, and "Why All the Fuss about the Body?": An Interdisciplinary Conference on Local and Global/ized Bodies.

We also hope you enjoy Cheri Magid''s The Tavern Wench, in which a sailor falls hard for an erotica writer (but is he falling for her or the seduction of her stories?), and The Chosen Ones, in which a doctor of Chinese medicine is coerced into working as Heinrich Himmler's private physician. Their sessions become a battle of wits and manipulation with the world stage in balance. Special thanks to actors Sarah Baskin, Ron Riley, T. Ryder Smith, and Sewanee student Chase Brantley.

Cheri Magid was a 2013-14 Audrey Resident at New Georges, a 2014 Walter E. Dakin Fellow at the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, and is a member of the Dorothy Strelsin Writers Group at Primary Stages. Lydia, or the Girl at the Wheel, Magid’s radio play about the earliest days of burlesque, aired on National Public Radio and her short story “Yeah, We Got That” was featured on Playboy Radio. She wrote the screenplay Story of D, about the real story behind the writing of the famous sadomasochistic novel Story of O, for Nicole Kidman, and she currently writes on the Emmy-Award-winning kids’ show Arthur. She is also the Area Head of Craft and Text at New York University’s Dramatic Writing Program, where she is on faculty.