Benefiting: National Eating Disorders Association
Produced by Ego Actus
Written by Penny Jackson
Directed by Joan Kane
“SAFE is a drama set in Manhattan about two unhappy teenagers, one anorexic and the other overweight, who find themselves in danger when they encounter charming Phillip, an older teacher with a dangerous secret.”
- Fri 6/1/12 – 7:00pm
- Sat 6/2/12 – 3:00pm
- Mon 6/4/12 – 10:00pm
- Wed 6/6/12 – 4:00pm
- Sat 6/9/12 – 8:00pm
- Thu 6/14/12 – 6:00pm
Answers by Penny Jackson
Karen Tortora-Lee’s Question
How did you come up with the title for your show?
Penny: As a teacher and parent, I would always hear the term “safe” when discussing children and adolescents. I decided to write about two teenage girls who, although they may be protected by money, find themselves in real danger by their parents’ selfishness and the pressure of today’s world for women to be physically perfect.
Diánna Martin’s Question
If you were going to invite 5 people (from the past or present) to see your show – who would you invite … and why?
Penny: I would invite Sylvia Plath because she understood the pressures of being a too smart woman and of course because she wrote “The Bell Jar”, which is a book that one of my main characters, Liz, reads in the treatment center for her anorexia. I would invite Queen Elizabeth I because she was not only one of the most powerful women in history, but also supported playwrights. I would invite Virginia Woolf, who convinced me, as well as so many other female writers, to find a room of my own. In the present I would invite Sarah Ruhl, a playwright I so admire, and Toni Morrison, the Novel prize winning novelist, whose “Bluest Eye” is such a lovely and powerful book about identity.
Antonio Minino’s Question
What is the biggest sacrifice you’ve made for your art and was it worth it?
Penny: Sleep. When I’m writing, I can’t sleep because my mind is still composing dialogue and scenes. I’m also a real nervous wreck every time I see my work performed. But even tired and jittery, it’s still worth it.
Geoffrey Paddy Johnson’s Question
Was there any unexpected discovery made during the development of this production and can you share it with us?
Penny: As a novelist who spends way too much time alone in front of my computer, I really appreciate the collaborative effort it takes to create a play. I have learned so much from my director, my producer, my actors, and all the other wonderfully talented people involved in my production team. My play , like a child, truly needs a village to mature. What started as an observation about bullying in a high school class is now a fully realized dramatic work.
Michelle Augello-Page’s Question
What do you hope the audience receives from the experience of seeing this show?
Penny: I hope that my adults in my audience will remember that when you are an adolescent, you cannot see the future, and that every day to a young person can feel like the last day. I hope that my young members of the audience will be able to see beyond their present and that the future is indeed within their grasp. I also hope that my play shows that if we believe that advertising and the media dictates the way we must look and behave, then we are not safe.