Some two dozen Drama aficionados gathered at The Compton Park Center in Tampa Palms on Friday (June 15th) for the 11th Annual Summer Drama Retreat presented by the Tampa Bay Great Books Council.  The discussions centered on plays by Lynn Nottage, a two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Drama.

Patrick DeMarco and Barbara Brown moderated the morning discussion of “Sweat,” a wrenching look at workers in the “Rust Belt” city of Reading, Pennsylvania, as they coped with factory shutdowns, family conflicts, racial prejudice, and excessive nostalgia for “the way things used to be.”

Moderator Patrick DeMarco (at right) leads the examination of the wartime scenarios created by the playwright.

Following a delicious potluck luncheon, Joel Fyvolent joined Patrick DeMarco to moderate the two breakout sessions considering Nottage’s “Ruined,” a powerful work dealing with very different theme – war-time strife in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and the sexual abuse of women during wartime.  Participants generally agreed that the play transcended its immediate context, exhibiting brilliantly-insightful dialogues of human interaction and complex motivations.

Thanks to Patrick DeMarco for the event summary and Sara Cohen for pictures of the event!

Moderator Barbara Brown joins with Arlene Zimney, Brenda Tipps, and Stanley Ashe in a discussion of Lynn Nottage’s powerful characterizations.
Rarely has one dramatist led our conferees on as diverse a journey in just two plays, as Nick Graves, Barbara Brown, and Arlene Zimney discovered.
During a discussion of particularly weight and somber issues, Moderator Joel Fyvolent found something to smile about – perhaps the table stocked with delicious “potluck” offerings from nearly two dozen attendees.