Julia Jordan Coming of Age: Her Characters Are Complicated-Like Adolescents Really Are
Kaiden, Elizabeth, American Theatre
Julia Jordan's youthful characters linger in the mind long after they leave the stage. Her stories play over in the imagination like catchy tunes. The playwright, whose work for young and adult audiences will be seen in no fewer than five New York productions this year, strips her characters and her plots to their bare bones and offers up a kind of theatrical marrow that nourishes the most basic human appetites.
Jordan is a graduate of the Juilliard playwriting program and has been living and working in New York City--most often, to her frustration, in jobs unrelated to theatre--for 14 years. Theatreworks/USA, a company that is devoted to new work for young audiences, was the first to offer Jordan's work major visibility--in 2002 the company presented Sarah, Plain and Tall, a musical based on a Patricia MacLachlan book, to captivated audiences and critical praise. This summer, Jordan and her musical collaborators, Nell Benjamin and Laurence O'Keefe, spent several weeks at the O'Neill Music Theater Conference in Waterford, Conn., turning Sarah--a love story involving a widowed farmer in Kansas and the free-spirited title character, who soars in like a gust of fresh air from Maine--into a fulllength musical for audiences of all ages.
Theatreworks called her …
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Publication information: Article title: Julia Jordan Coming of Age: Her Characters Are Complicated-Like Adolescents Really Are. Contributors: Kaiden, Elizabeth - Author. Magazine title: American Theatre. Volume: 20. Issue: 9 Publication date: November 2003. Page number: 82+. © 1999 Theatre Communications Group. COPYRIGHT 2003 Gale Group.
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