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Meet Terry Guest, the Playwright of “The Magnolia Ballet, Part 1”

Terry Guest is a Chicago-based playwright, actor, director, and teaching artist. Originally from Georgia, he has acted with several regional theaters nationwide, including Steppenwolf, The Goodman Theatre, The Alliance Theatre, Atlanta’s Actor’s Express, and many others.

His play, “The Magnolia Ballet, Part 1,” has won critical acclaim and awards. For its Chicago premiere, the play received two Joseph Jefferson Awards for Excellence – Best Production (Short Run Production-Equity) and Best Performer – (Short Run Production-Equity).

For the 2022-23 season, the play was awarded a grant from the National New Play Network’s David Goldman Fund for Best New American Play. It was also chosen for NPN’s flagship initiative, the Rolling World Premiere. The Partner theaters were Alleyway Theatre (New York), Phoenix Theatre Cultural Centre (Indiana), and Williamston Theatre (Michigan).

Guest’s other plays include “A Ghost in Satin” (Williamstown Theater Festival), “Marie Antionette and the Magical Negroes,” recipient of four Jeff Awards nominations, “The Madness of Mary Todd,” and “Andy Warhol Presents the Cocaine Play.” His play, “At the Wake of a Dead Drag Queen,” received the 2018 Out Front Theatre Spectrum Series Grant and had its world premiere in Chicago at The Story Theatre.

When asked about his dreams, Guest said, “I would like to continue to work with people I like and trust… and continue to push forward in this industry. I would like to have a play on Broadway, of course. I would also like a regional career where regional markets do my plays, expand their audiences through my work, and build in their communities.”

“The Magnolia Ballet, Part 1” is a co-production of Plowshares and Williamston Theatres. It made its Michigan premiere at that theater in October of 2022. This production will be the Detroit premiere.

Leave a comment

  1. Will we see this play produced on the West Coast soon?

    1. Dino,

      I don’t know. Terry Guest, the playwright, would love to see his play produced by companies in California. However, none are planned for the upcoming season. D you have any suggestions?

      Gary

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