Silva Semerciyan

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Plays by Silva Semerciyan

I and The Village

Bloomsbury Publishing
Type: Text

Summer in small-town America. Aimee Stright wants to be Banksy in a town that hates vandals. As outsiders investigate what happened on the day she walked into a church with a gun, it seems Aimee is one against the world and the world wants to know why.

Shortlisted for the Bruntwood Playwriting Prize, I And The Village is a coming-of-age story that asks pointed questions about conformity, dissent and America’s devotion to guns.

The play received its world premiere at Theatre503, London, on 9 June 2015.

The Light Burns Blue

Nick Hern Books
Type: Text

Silva Semerciyan's The Light Burns Blue is a play inspired by the true story of the Cottingley Fairies: the case of two young cousins, Elsie Wright and Frances Griffiths, who in 1917, having purportedly taken photographs of real fairies near their home in Cottingley, Yorkshire, were invited by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (the creator of Sherlock Holmes) to speak at a conference in London about their supernatural encounters.

The play was commissioned by Tonic Theatre in partnership with Nick Hern Books as part of Platform, an initiative comprising a series of big-cast plays with predominantly or all-female casts, written specifically for performance by school, college and youth-theatre groups, with the aim of addressing gender imbalance and inequality in theatre.

The Light Burns Blue was published on 11 June 2015, along with two other plays inaugurating the Platform series: by This Changes Everything by Joel Horwood and Second Person Narrative by Jemma Kennedy.

The play's action takes place over the summer of 1917 in the village of Cottingley and in London. The scenes flash back and forth between Cottingley around the time when the photographs were taken, and the London hotel where excited supporters have gathered to hear for themselves about the supposed evidence for another world. Winifred, a sceptical reporter from a local newspaper, has disguised herself as an adolescent girl in order to infiltrate the Cottingley coterie, and is now about to expose Elsie and Frances as frauds. But as she looks at the facts, she begins to think there's more to Elsie's story than a simple hoax.

The play was first performed at the Bristol Old Vic on 15 April 2015 in a production directed by Lisa Gregan and designed by Max Johns.

Silva Semerciyan is an American playwright permanently settled in the UK. She won the William Saroyan Prize for Playwriting for her first full-length play, Another Man’s Son, which was subsequently developed under commission to the National Theatre. Her other plays include The Light Burns Blue (Tonic Theatre, 2015), I and the Village (Theatre503, 2015), The Window (Bristol Old Vic, 2014), The Tinderbox (Bristol Old Vic, 2014), Gather Ye Rosebuds (Theatre503, 2013) and Flashes (Young Vic, 2012). Her work has also been presented in readings and short-run productions by the National Theatre Studio, Birmingham Repertory Theatre, Nightingale Theatre, Adrienne Theatre, LA Theatre Company and Golden Thread Productions.
I and the Village was shortlisted for the Bruntwood Prize in 2011, and Gather Ye Rosebuds won Best New Play at the Brighton Fringe Festival in 2013. Her radio play Varanasi was shortlisted for a BBC Audio Drama Award. She has been a BBC Fellow at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre, a member of the Royal Court’s Studio Writers’ Group, and a writer on attachment at the National Theatre Studio. She holds an MPhil (B) in Playwriting from the University of Birmingham.