Leah Kornfeld Friedman

To  an Actress:

When I was about six years old a Library Lady in the South East Bronx  chose me to be in her show.   I was to sing  "alla wetta, junti  alla wetta , alla wetta,  junta pluma rey”.    She taught me the words (all in French, which was Greek to me)  and showed me the facial expressions and movements to use.   And she made me a blue crepe paper costume.   The audience was a bunch of kids who sat on the floor in a circle.   I was terrified, but I did it,  and afterward the Library Lady treated me to my very first ice cream soda (with whipped  cream on top)!   Many years later in my play PUSHING THE  D TRAIN BACK TO BROOKLYN,   a little girl in Act One and then a woman in Act Three sing this very same  song to an imaginary audience.    The place:  an imaginary library.   It seems I  hadn’t  traveled far,  but over the years and along the way,  I have been grateful for these  recollections of the past which have inspired  the process of creating  the pages in this book.    The journey has filled me with much joy,  which is what I wish for you as you make  Essie’s  monologues your very own.  

Leah (flower)

​2005 - Honorary Mention: Moving Arts One-Act Play Festival1998, l999 - Finalist: Shenandoah International Playwrights Retreat Festivall994, l996, l997 - YADDO Fellowships 1994 - Winner: Gallery Players Playwrighting Contest, Columbus, Ohio1997 - Finalist: Francesca Primus Prize, Denver Center for the Performing Arts1986 - Playwrights Fellowship: New York Foundation for the Arts1986 - Winner: National Foundation for Jewish Culture Playwrights AwardPRODUCTIONS:  CLUB SODA: WPA Theatre, NYC, (acclaimed reviews: New York Post, Variety); Queens College, NY; Stage West, Ft. Worth, Texas, ( favorable reviews); St. Genesius Theatre, Los Angeles, CA, (Dramalogue Award); National Jewish Theatre, Chicago, IL (Nominated, Jefferson Award, Chicago Herald Tribune).THE

​GOOD STENO: Workshop presentation at Hayworth Theater, Los Angeles, CAPUSHING THE D TRAIN BACK TO BROOKLYN: Theatre for The New City, NYC, NY THE RACHEL PLAYS: American Jewish Theatre, NYC, NYBEFORE SHE IS EVEN BORN:Theatre for the New City, (acclaimed reviews: The Village Voice, New York Post, Other Stages and others; Obie nomination) N.Y.C.; 92nd Street Y, NYC, NY; WOW Café Theatre, NYC, NY; The Streisand Center for Jewish Cultural Arts, L.A.; Smith College, Amherst, MA (the play was studied by students in Holocaust seminar); The Art Barge, Amagansett, L.I.; Jewish Women’s Theatre Project,  L.A.  THE FLOWER GIRL: Gaslamp Quarter Theatre, San Diego, CASTAGED

READINGS: 1983-2009. WOWCafé Theatre, N.Y.C.; Circle In The Square, N.Y.C.; Jewish Repertory Theatre, N.Y.C.; The Cast Theatre, L.A., CA; Ensemble Theatre, N.Y. and L.A.; University of Pittsburgh theater, Pittsburgh, PA; New Playwrights Theatre, Wash. D.C.; SUNY Theater, Albany, NY.FILM:  SHOULD’VE BEEN ROMEO, screenplay co-written with Paul Ben-Victor. Produced in 2011, starring Ed Asner and Carol Kane.EDUCATION:BFA, Brooklyn College, Brooklyn, NYMFA, Brooklyn College, Brooklyn, NY(Wilson Lehr Award for Outstanding Theatre Graduate Student)OTHER:Listed in Oxford Companion to Women’s Writing in United States 1994​Guest Artist, National Foundation for Jewish CultureGuest Artist, Symposium/Retreat at Jacobs PillowGuest Lecturer, Smith College, Northampton, Mass.Guest Lecturer, SUNY AlbanyPlaywright-in-Residence, University of PittsburghAdjunct Lecturer, Brooklyn College, l977-l98l