Dominique Cieri

Dominique Cieri is a playwright, teaching artist, and member of the Dramatists Guild. She is the recipient of the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation and New Jersey State Council on the Arts Individual Playwriting Fellowship 2003, and 2009.  A graduate of Rose Bruford College in Kent, England, and the recipient of the State University of New York Chancellor’s Medal of Excellence for Scholarship and Creative Activities, Ms. Cieri holds an MFA in Creative Writing at Goddard College, Vermont. Ms. Cieri’s plays: Pitz & Joe, For Dear Life, Last Kiss, Medication, Count Down, and, Safe. Her Essays on Arts and Education have been published in the New York Times, and Teaching Artist Journal. Dominique teaches the adaptation of nonfiction based on the Holocaust for the stage at Yavneh Academy in New Jersey where she also developed teaching curriculum (From the Attic to the Classroom to the Stage) published by the New Jersey State Council of the Arts.  Additionally she has taught at the Craig School where she has developed curriculum in playwriting with learning disabled students in the 4th, 5th and 6th grades.  The scope of Dominique’s work has touched on a wide variety of populations which range from abused and neglected girls, boys at risk in juvenile justice programs as well as 17 years of workshops for artists and educators aTi (Artist Teacher Institute). She has been designing and teaching playwriting and theatre workshops for numerous arts organizations, including, Playwrights Theatre of New Jersey, The Juvenile Justice Commission, The New Jersey State Council on the Arts, and Artist Teacher Institute with Arts Horizons.  Dominique received the New Jersey Theatre Alliance Applause Award, 2010, for her artistry and dedication.  Current projects include the implementation of her work for addressing bullying through the art of playwriting; a year-long commitment to the development of new work from grant monies received by Playwrights Theatre of New Jersey through the New Jersey Arts Council for the program ‘Women’s Playwrights Project.’

Productions and Publications

Safe: 2011. Playwrights Theatre of New Jersey, Forum Reading Series December 13, 2011. (full-length)

Count Down: Workshop productions with Off World Theatre at the Puffin Cultural Forum, New Jersey, and New York, with Jane Dubin and Off World, at the Bank Street Theatre. Awarded Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation Individual Playwriting Fellowship, 2009.

Last Kiss: Developed at Ensemble Studio Theatre in New York, Centenary Stage’s Women Playwrights Series, and workshopped in North Carolina’s Festival of New Works, in 2004. Awarded Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation Individual Playwriting Fellowship, 2003. (full-length)

Medication: a Forty-minute comedy.

For Dear Life:  Finalist for Charlotte New Plays Festival. (full-length)

Pitz & Joe: Geva Theatre, N. Y., winning Davie Award, subsequent productions in Los Angeles and Chicago (full-length). Pitz & Joe is under contract with Warner Brothers and Josh Brolin.

Publications

Teaching Artist Journal A Fiasco of Things. Full Text Available By: Cieri, Dominique and Cobb, Caitlin; Teaching Artist Journal, 2004, Vol. 2 Issue 2, p99-103, 5p, 2 bw; (AN 12843606)(excerpted from 30 page journal)

From the Attic, To the Classroom, To the Stage: The Holocaust, for Yavneh Academy in Paramus, N.J. Co-authored with Gabriella Weiss, Holocaust Historian. The New Jersey State Council on the Arts and The Bernard Stone Trust Fund.  Contact: Yavneh Academy, 155 Fairview Avenue, Paramus, New Jersey, 07652, 201-262-8494.

Arts Advocacy, New Jersey Theatre Alliance, April 2005.  An article written to address massive arts-in-education funding cuts in 2005.

Desperate to Be Heard Voices from a Brooklyn Classroom: 6 Autobiographical lessons In Struggles, and Variety, of Growing Up in the Inner City, New York Times, City Section. George Wingate High School, Crown Heights, Brooklyn. 1995.

ESSAYS:

Milk, Cookies & Guns, a journal of a 15 day residency at New Utrecht High School with Special Needs students.

Lost in Philadelphia, a journal documenting a residency and writings of 8th grade students at Shaw Middle School.

Writing Past Violence, a journal of Sheepshead Bay High School residency.

Project Description

M’s Story (Working Title)

The story of a 17-year-old girl serves as the spine of the play. Woven in and out of M’s story are the stories of other women who cannot, or choose not to bear their children, whether by giving up a child, aborting a pregnancy, or by some other means, relinquishing motherhood, or, unable to conceive, undergo high tech medical procedures in order to have a child.  By positioning M’s story, as she was at 17, and as she is now, (in prison), as central to the action of the play, and weaving other narratives through M’s, I am asking an audience to understand M’s and the often impossible choices women have to make, the very fine lines between them, and the lengths that women will go to fulfill the need to become a mother, or violently walk away from it.

Background Work and Research Thus Far: I am in the messy process of reading and amassing information.

I have read all newspaper articles about M, created a timeline, watched and transcribed the video of M’s sentencing, visited and documented the site of the drowning, read academic articles on the history of  Infanticide and Filicide, (contrasting views from 1800’s- 1930’s, and the newest methods of fertility treatments, multiple unwanted births). I will be interviewing women who have undergone fertility treatments and hopefully, M. at Trenton State Prison.

I plan to complete a full-length ensemble piece by June, 2012.