Playwright Audrey Cefaly asks two things of all of her characters: “How did you get so stuck?” and, “What is the full cost of leaving?”
“I believe that stories of healing are important,” said Cefaly. “I gravitate toward characters who are lost, stuck, and emotionally fatigued. I want to tell every love story worth telling.”
Cefaly’s plays are almost always “two-handers,” or plays that feature only two characters. Maytag Virgin is no exception.
Cefaly describes the intent behind her plays as having a spiritual quality — something that offers to transcend the moment at hand and move the characters and the audience collectively into a moment of uplifting revelation.
“I achieve this with a strict ear for naturalistic dialogue, and a ruthless distillation process,” said the playwright.
Cefaly was nominated for a Pulizer Prize in 2020 for her play, Alabaster, which also made the 2019 Kilroy’s List. Her plays have been produced across the U.S. by Cincinnati Playhouse, Florida Rep, City Theatre, Penobscot Theatre, Gulfshore Playhouse, Merrimack Rep, Signature Theatre, Barter Theatre, Vermont Stage, Oregon Contemporary Theatre, 16th Street Theater, Capital Stage, About Face Theatre, Kitchen Dog Theatre, Circle Theatre, Theatre Three, Aurora Theatre, Quotidian Theatre Company, University of Alabama at Birmingham, and now, Florida Studio Theatre.
“Cefaly gives a voice to those you don’t always hear,” wrote Washington Blade reporter Patrick Folliard. “Her work is at once unexpected and familiar.” Folliard went on to describe the playwright as “compassionate and unfailingly thoughtful in tackling big ideas in wholly relatable ways.”
FST’s Maytag Virgin’s Director, Kate Alexander, agrees.
“Like Eudora Welty, Zora Neale Hurston, Flannery O’Connor and playwright Beth Henley, Audrey Cefaly’s characters are full-bodied — dynamic, witty, intelligent, and complex,” said Alexander.
Many of these characters, though intelligent and complex, are ones that find themselves lost in the world, worrying that they’ve run out of chances.
“I believe that that is not true. That that’s a big myth,” said Cefaly. “I believe that we’re all worthy of love and redemption. And the rejection of that fallacy is at the root of every love story ever told.”
ABOUT MAYTAG VIRGIN
A classic Southern love story. When the unflappable Jack Key moves in next door to the endearingly neurotic Lizzy Nash, sparks fly. Over time, neighborly nagging softens and a deeper connection emerges between the two high school teachers. As the leaves turn yellow and the months march on, kept secrets shake loose and the pair finds themselves facing the same question: how do you know when you’re ready to live, and love, again?