Marsha Estell

Marsha Estell

Marsha Estell is a resident playwright alumnus at Chicago Dramatists, 3ARTs fellow, and recipient of the Illinois Arts Council Fellowship for Playwriting. Her plays include "Heat", World premiere, Chicago Dramatists, nominated for a Joseph Jefferson Award for Outstanding New Work, it received productions at Bloomington Playwrights Project, (2005), ETA Creative arts, (2007), Fleetwood Jourdain Theatre...
Marsha Estell is a resident playwright alumnus at Chicago Dramatists, 3ARTs fellow, and recipient of the Illinois Arts Council Fellowship for Playwriting. Her plays include "Heat", World premiere, Chicago Dramatists, nominated for a Joseph Jefferson Award for Outstanding New Work, it received productions at Bloomington Playwrights Project, (2005), ETA Creative arts, (2007), Fleetwood Jourdain Theatre and Etta Grace Theatre, Salt Lake City Utah, (2012). Heat was a finalist in the Dayton Playhouse Future-Fest and Theodore Ward Award for African American Playwrights, and was a semi-finalist, Princess Grace Awards. It was anthologized in “New Plays from Chicago”, Chicago Dramatists). "Mama said there’ll be days like this - The History of the Girl Groups" (World premiere, the Black Ensemble Theater, BTAA Nomination.) "Before I Wake" (Finalist. Theodore Ward Playwright award and Many Voices Playwright Competition). "Big butt girls and other fantasies…The Remix" (A One-person show) Chicago Funny Women Festival, Los Angeles Women’s Theatre Festival, Solo Jams, MPAACT Theatre, Lifeline Theatre Fillet Solo Festival and Ripe Mango Productions, New Perspectives Theatre, NY, Wordfest. "Third Rail", (one act play) produced at Fleetwood Jourdain Theatre, 2016. " In search of a love supreme…a play with Jazz", 10 minute plays "The Crooner” and "Black Girl in Bathtub" were featured in BLACK LIVES, BLACK WORDS festival, 2015 -2016. Currently, The Crooner is being expanded into a full-length play. She was commissioned by Next Theatre, Evanston, Illinois to write "What You Need to Know", a play based on workshops with Evanston residents on the subject of education. Her plays have received readings at Chicago Dramatists, Goodman Theatre, Chicago Theater Company, ETA Creative Arts Foundation, Dayton Playhouse, Congo Square, Theatre, New Perspectives, and Famous Door Theater. Ms. Estell has taught playwriting at Chicago Dramatists, and is a teaching artist for Pegasus Theatre. Ms. Estell is also an actress, favorite roles include Angel, in "Blues for an Alabama Sky", ASF, Charlesetta, "East Texas Hot Links", Onyx Theatre Ensemble, "Carla from Coffee will make you Black", to name a few. Television Credits – Chicago PD. She is a member of the Dramatists Guild, SAG/AFTRA and Actors Equity.

Plays

  • In Search of a Love Supreme... a play with Jazz
    Follows two middle aged jazz geeks and best friends, Ronnie and Oates as they search for love between the riffs, the beats and the sheets. They stumble through life’s obstacles, craving the ultimate sweet spot. They imitate the famous Jazz improvisers they admire - those who broke rules and expanded musical boundaries creating an exciting art form. Ronnie is in control of everything except for her health...
    Follows two middle aged jazz geeks and best friends, Ronnie and Oates as they search for love between the riffs, the beats and the sheets. They stumble through life’s obstacles, craving the ultimate sweet spot. They imitate the famous Jazz improvisers they admire - those who broke rules and expanded musical boundaries creating an exciting art form. Ronnie is in control of everything except for her health issues and Oates - who has an insatiable appetite for women including Ronnie, often disappears when she needs him the most. Now their 25 year friendship is on the verge of collapse. Is their love of Jazz enough to save their relationship before it’s too late? Using the back drop of a live jazz quartet, this funny and bittersweet play explores the power of love through friendship, loss, and forgiveness.
  • HEAT
    Heat
    1 front porch,
    three generations of women,
    105 degrees
    Heat is a big hearted play full of story-telling laughter and healing.

    Lots of things run in the Williams family: senility, good (and bad) hair, relationship woes—“It’s a Williams women tradition: can’t keep no men,” one dryly observes. But the most important thing the women of Heat share is each other, made...
    Heat
    1 front porch,
    three generations of women,
    105 degrees
    Heat is a big hearted play full of story-telling laughter and healing.

    Lots of things run in the Williams family: senility, good (and bad) hair, relationship woes—“It’s a Williams women tradition: can’t keep no men,” one dryly observes. But the most important thing the women of Heat share is each other, made clear on a sweltering summer weekend when the Williams sisters, return to their family home to visit their ailing mother, Mudear.

Recommended by Marsha Estell

  • The Amen Trilogy
    5 Feb. 2019
    This is a beautiful play, it strikes every chord of emotion, it is a skillfully constructed odyssey that explores faith, death, and more importantly love in it's many forms. A must-read, and I can't wait to see it fully staged!