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Description: THE STORY: A collaboration of seven award-winning women playwrights, SEVEN is based on personal interviews with seven women leaders of the Vital Voices Global Partnership network who have triumphed over huge obstacles to create major changes in human rights in their home countries. In the seven interwoven stories we see the commonality of challenge and of bravery, and in the individual monologues that follow, we experience each fascinating whole true story. SEVEN WOMEN / SEVEN PLAYWRIGHTS: Hafsat Abiola, Nigeria Hafsat Abiola, an advocate for human rights and democracy following the murder of her activist parents, founded the Kudirat Initiative for Democracy, which provides skills-training and leadership opportunities for young women across Nigeria. She now helps build bridges between African and Chinese women, as China increases its engagement in the African continent. Anna Deavere Smith, Playwright Anna Deavere Smith is an actor, teacher, playwright and creator of unique one-woman plays based on interviews. Anna Deavere Smith has won two Obie Awards, two Tony nominations for TWILIGHT: LOS ANGELES, and a MacArthur Fellowship. A Pulitzer Prize finalist for her play FIRES IN THE MIRROR, Ms. Smith is founder and director of the Institute on the Arts and Civic Dialogue at New York University. As an actress she has appeared in many films and on the television series West Wing. Her new book, Letters to the Artist, has recently been published by Anchor Books. Farida Azizi, Afghanistan Farida Azizi became an activist fighting the marginalization of women under Taliban rule in her native country. Because of threats on her life, she has gained asylum and now lives in the United States with her two children and works on women's rights and peace-building in Afghanistan. Ruth Margraff, Playwright Ruth Margraff's play HARLEQUIN, commissioned by a Playwrights' Center McKnight award, was read at Victory Gardens (Chicago) and the New Group (NYC). Her martial arts opera, DRAGON VS. EAGLE, marks her 6th collaboration with composer Fred Ho for the Apollo and Brooklyn Academy of Music, commissioned by her fourth Rockefeller award. She has toured all over the world with her Cafeacute; Antarsia Ensemble to festivals and venues throughout the UK, Canada, Russia, Romania, Serbia, Hungary, Czech Republic, Greece, Turkey, Slovenia, Croatia and Egypt. Ruth was delegated to represent the U.S. State Department on a Peaceworks Cultural envoy to Calcutta, India and received a Fulbright All Disciplines Award: New Opera to Greece. She is an alumna of New Dramatists, an active member of LPTW and Theater Without Borders/Brandeis Coexistence International, Associate Professor of Playwriting at the Art Institute of Chicago and represented by Susan Schulman. Annabella De Leon, Guatemala Annabella raised herself and her family out poverty by getting an education. She has been a congresswoman since 1995 and has received death threats because of her fight against corruption and for the rights of the poor, particularly women and indigenous peoples. Gail Kriegel, Playwright Gail Kriegel was the Artist-in-Residence at the Tribeca Performing Arts Center, 20052006. She is presently developing her musical, SWEETIE, and a children's operetta, RAINBOW JUNCTION. Gail has been widely produced. Her film Fragments won top awards at five film festivals. For her prize-winning play ON THE HOME FRONT she received a Rockefeller Foundation Fellowship, One World Arts Grant, NYFA grant, the Ruby Lloyd Apsey Award and was a finalist for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize. Gail was Visiting Artist at The American Academy in Rome, 2005. A member of the BMI Musical Theater Workshop, her work has been published by Smith & Kraus, Heinemann Press and is included in the Archives at Lincoln Center. Marina Pisklakova-Parker, Russia Again