Aline Lathrop

Aline Lathrop

Aline Lathrop’s plays have been produced or developed at numerous theaters in Chicago and across the country. Her Jeff-recommended play, Merchild, was produced by 16th Street Theater, where she was also the Playwright in Residence, in 2015. "Christmas at the Staples Center" was commissioned and produced by Step Up Productions. Bordello (a Susan Smith Blackburn Prize nominee), received its world...
Aline Lathrop’s plays have been produced or developed at numerous theaters in Chicago and across the country. Her Jeff-recommended play, Merchild, was produced by 16th Street Theater, where she was also the Playwright in Residence, in 2015. "Christmas at the Staples Center" was commissioned and produced by Step Up Productions. Bordello (a Susan Smith Blackburn Prize nominee), received its world premiere at Chicago Dramatists, as did Feast (one of the "Top 5 Best New Plays," New City Magazine; First Prize, New Plays Festival, Centre Stage - South Carolina). “Toyota Tercel” and “Purity Ball” received workshop productions with Artistic Home’s Cut to the Chase Series. A Piece of Bone received its Jeff-recommended world premiere at Circle Theatre of Forest Park. …And Eat It Too has been developed at American Theatre Company, Chicago Dramatists, and Stage Left Theatre Company, and was a finalist for the Blue Ink Award, First Flight Festival, Finding Voice Award, the Lark Theatre Company's Playwrights' Week, and the Ashland New Plays Festival, as well as a semi-finalist for the Playwrights First and Princess Grace Awards.

Ms. Lathrop has also developed plays at Abingdon Theatre Company, Boarshead Theatre, Centre Stage-South Carolina, the Chicago Cultural Center, Columbia College, Northwestern University, Route 66, and Theatre Seven. Her work has been published in Audition Arsenal for Women in Their 30’s, and Audition Arsenal for Men in Their 20’s, Smith & Krauss. She is the recipient of an Illinois Arts Council fellowship and a Dr. Donahue Tremaine grant.

The playwright is a graduate of the Northwestern University Theatre Department, a member of the Dramatists Guild, and a Chicago Dramatists Resident Playwright Alumna.

Plays

  • The Hero's Wife
    Cameron doesn’t remember what he does at night, and Karyssa doesn’t tell him. He's just retired from the Navy SEALs, and most of his life has been classified. What's left, he mostly doesn't want to talk about. His young bride thinks his night terrors may be her way in. During the day, they negotiate dinner plans, career ambitions, and video games. At night, he is both more available and more...
    Cameron doesn’t remember what he does at night, and Karyssa doesn’t tell him. He's just retired from the Navy SEALs, and most of his life has been classified. What's left, he mostly doesn't want to talk about. His young bride thinks his night terrors may be her way in. During the day, they negotiate dinner plans, career ambitions, and video games. At night, he is both more available and more dangerous.

    The story moves forward in time, flipping back and forth between short daytime and shorter nighttime scenes, as Karyssa tries to connect with Cameron through nostalgic skype sex and secretly learned Arabic sleep talk. In the end, she will risk both of their lives to reach him.

    The Hero’s Wife is a single-set, full-length, ensemble-based drama for one woman (20’s) and one man ( 40’s).
  • Feast
    When Christine fell in love with a soldier, a lie was born that became a wall between her and her twin children, now twenty-four years old. When the family reunites for Thanksgiving weekend in their small, Midwestern town, each comes armed with a unique coping strategy. But as the festivities unfold, holiday visitors illuminate some of the family’s absurdities, and it becomes clear that the feast this group...
    When Christine fell in love with a soldier, a lie was born that became a wall between her and her twin children, now twenty-four years old. When the family reunites for Thanksgiving weekend in their small, Midwestern town, each comes armed with a unique coping strategy. But as the festivities unfold, holiday visitors illuminate some of the family’s absurdities, and it becomes clear that the feast this group craves has little to do with turkey.

    The action occurs mainly in the family’s thinly walled home. Chaos is pervasive as multiple conversations overlap. Offstage scenes interrupt onstage action, effectively transforming characters as they react to the events occurring within their earshot.

    Feast is a full-length, five actor (3w: 40’s, 30, 23; 2m: 23, 40), unit-set, ensemble based comic drama, with no special costuming or technical requirements. The play has been developed at the Abingdon Theatre Company, The Playwrights Collective, Centre Stage-South Carolina!, where it won First Prize in their New Playwrights’ Festival, and Chicago Dramatists, where it was produced in 2007. Running time is approximately ninety minutes.
  • ...And Eat It Too
    Sheila and Naomi are two young HIV research scientists who make opposite professional
    choices when they become mothers. But each must face new challenges to her marriage
    and to her sense of worth, as she tries to find her own way in this world of antiquated
    maternal expectations and modern opportunities that come with a price. The play asks
    how a mother, or anyone else today, may...
    Sheila and Naomi are two young HIV research scientists who make opposite professional
    choices when they become mothers. But each must face new challenges to her marriage
    and to her sense of worth, as she tries to find her own way in this world of antiquated
    maternal expectations and modern opportunities that come with a price. The play asks
    how a mother, or anyone else today, may define important, meaningful work.

    The play traces the journeys of both couples during the first year of parenthood, with an
    overlapping structure that gives equal weight to both, while also exploring the evolution
    of the women’s relationship to each other, as well as the men’s. There are several
    secondary locations, but the main action occurs in each couple’s living room (the same
    set serves for both, often simultaneously).

    ...And Eat It Too is a full-length, four- actor (2w: late twenties/early thirties; 2m: the same),
    single-set, ensemble-based drama, with no special costuming or technical requirements.
    The play has been developed at Chicago Dramatists, Stage Left Theatre Company, and
    American Theater Company. It was a finalist for the the Ashland Plays Festival , the
    Lark Theatre Company’s Playwrights’ Week, and the Finding Voice Award, and was a
    semi- finalist for the Playwrights First Award and the Princess Grace Award.
  • Trade Show
    Isabel is newly returned to work as a trade show rep for a scientific software company. Ed is a slick advertising salesman for a leading journal. They meet at a show and begin a relationship that exists only there, and at similar events around the country. It barely feels like adultery, because the real world seems to recede into the background of purgatorial hotel rooms, and anonymous convention centers. But...
    Isabel is newly returned to work as a trade show rep for a scientific software company. Ed is a slick advertising salesman for a leading journal. They meet at a show and begin a relationship that exists only there, and at similar events around the country. It barely feels like adultery, because the real world seems to recede into the background of purgatorial hotel rooms, and anonymous convention centers. But familiarity blurs the boundary between both worlds they inhabit, and eventually they find themselves back where they started.

    Trade Show is a single-set, full-length, drama in one act for one woman and one man.
    The play takes place mainly in hotel rooms, but also in exhibition halls, both of which can be suggested by minor changes in décor, and a booth backdrop. The play has been developed at Chicago Dramatists.
  • Bordello
    Sixty miles outside Las Vegas today, sex is for sale in state licensed bordellos, where almost any fantasy can be accommodated for the right price. Set on Customer Appreciation Night, Bordello tells a back-stage story of the working girls, their dreams and ambitions, and everything that gets in the way.

    Over breakfast, the ladies prepare for the evening shift, chatting over religion, blowjobs,...
    Sixty miles outside Las Vegas today, sex is for sale in state licensed bordellos, where almost any fantasy can be accommodated for the right price. Set on Customer Appreciation Night, Bordello tells a back-stage story of the working girls, their dreams and ambitions, and everything that gets in the way.

    Over breakfast, the ladies prepare for the evening shift, chatting over religion, blowjobs, and family, at times forced to fight for love, livelihood, and even life itself. Pride comes with the Courtesan of the Year award. Sabotage lurks in a hidden razor blade that works just as well for suicide. Hope is born from love, God, and promises of porn star profits.

    The main storyline is interrupted by a series of flash-forward direct address negotiations, in which the audience is cast as customer. In these segments, the ladies shine in roles they’ve calculated to bring the highest profits. A college educated Japanese-American plays a just-off-the-boat geisha as convincingly as a seasoned streetwalker turns on a novice charm.

    Bordello is a single-set, full-length, ensemble-based drama for a multi-ethnic cast of seven women from the ages of eighteen to forty-three. The play was developed and produced at Chicago Dramatists, and was nominated for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize.
  • Merchild
    Like many eight-year old girls, Adam has a rich fantasy life. She dreams of being a mermaid and marrying a prince. She longs for a starring role in her dance school’s story ballet. Unlike most girls her age, she’s also waiting for her penis to fall off.

    Adam’s liberal-minded parents resist pressure to encourage him to conform. But when he’s attacked and nearly drowned by older boys for dancing...
    Like many eight-year old girls, Adam has a rich fantasy life. She dreams of being a mermaid and marrying a prince. She longs for a starring role in her dance school’s story ballet. Unlike most girls her age, she’s also waiting for her penis to fall off.

    Adam’s liberal-minded parents resist pressure to encourage him to conform. But when he’s attacked and nearly drowned by older boys for dancing on the beach dressed as a mermaid, they reconsider. And when he attempts self-surgery with an exacto knife, they determine they must assure his safety by any means necessary.

    Promised a cure by a gender identity specialist, Adam’s parents enroll him in a rigorous “reparative therapy” course of treatment. They throw away his “girl” toys and clothes, and adopt strict traditional gender roles. After a painful transition for all, the sacrifice seems to have paid off and Adam appears much like any other eight-year-old boy.

    But a merchild will drown out of water, while mermaids live forever in the sea. So, in the end, Adam must find her way home again.

    Merchild is a full-length, six- actor (3 female: 8, 14, 40’s/50’s; 2 male: 16, 40’s/50’s, 1 male or female adult of any age), single-set, drama, with no special costuming or technical requirements. The play has been deveoped at Chicago Dramatists and Theatre Seven in Chicago. Running time is approximately one hour and thirty minutes.

    The play has been developed at Chicago Dramatists and Theatre Seven, and was a semifinalist for the O’Neill, and a finalist for the Global Age Project.