The plays range from the early one-acts, including the comedic STATUES and EXHIBITION, to the gothic BRIDGE AT BELHARBOUR. They began their life at Brandeis, and went on to be produced regionally and at the Manhattan Theatre Club. The short plays continue with the academic satires, BRUSSELS SPROUTS and THE SEARCH COMMITTEE, to the tour de force SUNDAY AT FIVE ON THE COTE D’AZUR. All are collected in ACTS of LOVE.
THE AGREEMENT, a contemporary comedy about divorce, was originally commissioned as a radio play for NPR’s “Earplay”, starring the late Lou Jacobi and Marilyn Sokol as the lawyers. The play then went on to New York and the incomparable Manhattan Punch Line, on 42nd St., which specialized in contemporary comedies, producing David Ives “All In The Timing” and a number of Janet’s early plays.
LOOK MA WE”RE DANCING, a comedy about sibling rivalry, was commissioned by the Invisible Theatre, Tucson, and opened in January 2012
ALMOST IN VEGAS started its life as THE DESERT, and does what Janet does best – makes you laugh, then hits you in the belly. It was first done at Pittsburgh Public Theater and went on to Manhattan Punch Line, where the title was changed because the producer didn’t feel “The Desert” was funny enough.
A SMALL DELEGATION, written under a Rockefeller Bellagio Grant, came out of a major trip Janet made to Beijing, shortly after the end of The Cultural Revolution, invited to teach the 5th Generation of Chinese screenwriters including Zhang Yimou and Chen Kaige. It was first produced by the Philadelphia Festival Theatre for New Plays at the Annenberg Center. The play has original music by Tan Dun, Choreography by Shi-Zheng Chen (who later directed it in Beijing, in translation) and design by Ming Cho Lee.
THE AGREEMENT, ALMOST IN VEGAS, and A SMALL DELEGATION are published by Broadway Play Publishing in the book PLAYS BY JANET NEIPRIS
NATIVES came next and is probably the strongest comedy. The audience at all productions never stops laughing. This is good for a comedy. The play started its life at the Invisible Theatre in Tucson, AZ. and is published by Broadway Play Publishing.
AFTER MARSEILLES, a post-apocalyptic play was written while Janet was Playwright –in-Residence at the O’Neill Playwrights Conference, 2002, directed by Danny Goldstein, starring Marin Hinkle and the now infamous Jesse Ferguson. There she met playwrights and now pals, Mark Ravenhill and Victor Lodato. The play is “in progress”.
JEREMY AND THE THINKING MACHINE, Book and Lyrics by Janet Neipris and Barbara Greenberg, Music by Janet Neipris, began life at the 13th Street Theatre, NYC, had a “long sleep”, and was revived in an informal presentation at the O’Neill Conference. It went on to be commissioned by the National Theatre, London, presented in schools in UK, produced at the National, and published by Samuel French. UK and NYC.
A QUESTION OF COUNTRY, written under a second Rockefeller Bellagio Grant, is based on an original story out of South Africa, and takes place in the apartheid and post-apartheid years. It involved many trips to the country, and hundreds of interviews. The first workshop was at the McCarter Theatre, the second at the Culture Project, the third at Emerson College, Boston, and the fourth, in 201l, at Negro Ensemble Company.