Retta Blaney is the author of Working on the Inside: The Spiritual Life through the Eyes of Actors, which features interviews with Kristin Chenoweth, Dudu Fisher, Edward Herrmann, Liam Neeson, Phylicia Rashad, Vanessa Williams and others. Her freelance work has also appeared in The Washington Post, Newsday, Jewish Week, American Theatre, Back Stage and other publications. She is editor of the anthology Journalism Stories from the Real World, a book of essays, and has taught at Brooklyn College, New York University and Marymount Manhattan College. As a full-time reporter, she worked for newspapers in Maryland and New York.

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New play considers Joan of Arc from her mother's viewpoint

In her childhood, playwright Jane Anderson saw the French teenaged saint as her role model. As an adult, her perspective shifted and inspired her to write "Mother of the Maid," a play about Isabelle Arc, now starring Glenn Close.

'Pedro Pan' brings Cuban experience to musical stage

The musical tells the story of one fictional Cuban boy, Pedro, and how he becomes Peter in America, using the historical backdrop of Operación Pedro Pan, one of the world's largest political exoduses of children. 

Gordon Hirabayashi's battle is newly timely onstage in 'Hold These Truths'

Theater: Playwright Jeanne Sakata was "enthralled" by the Japanese-American college student who took his civil rights case all the way to the Supreme Court in World War II.

'The Peculiar Patriot' indicts a racist US prison system

Theater: On a prison tour, Liza Jessie Peterson found an appreciative audience for her play "The Peculiar Patriot." After 14 years, it's now premiering at Harlem's National Black Theatre.