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Elizabeth Heffron Debuts "Bo-Nita," Her Latest One-Woman Show At Seattle Rep

caption: Playwright Elizabeth Heffron
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Playwright Elizabeth Heffron
Courtesy of Seattle Reperator Theatre/Nate Watters

It's been a busy year for Elizabeth Heffron. The Seattle playwright's new one-woman show "Bo-Nita" had its world premier at Seattle Repertory Theatre in late October.

Heffron is working on two other scripts she hopes will get full productions. "Portugal" is about a pair of tank farm workers at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation. The second play, "The Weatherman Project" is a collaboration with Kit Bakke, a former member of the Weather Underground.

Heffron worked on both projects as a participant in Seattle Reperatory's Writers Group. Heffron laughed when she describes the two-year program. "It gave me something I always give my students at Cornish: a deadline!"

Heffron came to playwrighting relatively late. She studied sciences in college, but joked that when it came to the lab work, she hated it. After her move to Seattle, she began to work with small local theaters. But it wasn't until her kids grew up that Heffron said she actually had the time and energy to devote to her art.

In 2006, her play "Mitzi's Abortion" won ACT Theatre's New Play Award, and went on to receive a full production at ACT, to much acclaim. Having one of Seattle's major theaters produce her work gave Heffron more exposure beyond the city's lively theater scene. But she has no plans to move from the community she says has been so supportive.

These days Heffron is involved with the Sandbox Collective, a group of theater artists who produce original live radio theater at Fremont's West of Lenin. She continues to teach at Cornish College of the Arts, and she's polishing "The Weatherman Project" and "Portugal."

Heffron said she already has an idea for her next play. In the meantime, the world premier production of "Bo-Nita", a one-actress tour de force about a 13-year-old St. Louis girl coping with the lousy hand life dealt her, continues at Seattle Repertory Theater through mid-November.

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