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Appearance of Life



Written and Performed by Jennifer S. Jones

Directed by Jessica Lefkow

October 2012



APPEARANCE OF LIFE tells the story of an Argentine woman, Margarita, whose daughter becomes one of the many desparecidos of the Dirty War. The story is based on the author’s years of research and dozens of in-depth, in-person interviews.


The piece begins in Buenos Aires, Argentina on March 24, 1976. A military coup has overthrown the democratic government, putting in place a reign of terror to crush all perceived “subversives”. One afternoon Margarita, an ordinary housewife in a country ruled by the culture of machismo, waits at home for her 20-year-old daughter to return – but she never does. Margarita pursues every avenue she can think of — the police, the church, the politicians — in the failed hope of finding her daughter, till at last Margarita discovers group of woman called Las Madres, the Mothers. Joining them, wearing a white kerchief on her head and carrying a photo of her missing daughter in her hands, she becomes an implacable presence in the Plaza de Mayo, relentlessly asking “¿Ha visto a mi hija? Have you seen my daughter?”


Ultimately, the actions of these women bring the end of the Dirty War. Empowered by the ending of the military coup and spurred on by the dreams of her daughter, Margarita remains with Las Madres as they achieve international recognition, helping women as far away as Afghanistan and the former Yugoslavia. It is a story of brutality and loss – but also a story of survival, new life and triumph.


Formerly titled – Letters to Clio – Part 2: Margarita




Editor’s Pick of the 2010 Capital Fringe Festival

Washington Post


“Impassioned and intelligent”

DC Theatre Scene


“Ms. Jones presents a captivating picture of a woman’s struggle and growth”



“An affecting and well-orchestrated one-person show”


“Jones has embarked on a project that matches her talents as writer and actor”

Philadelphia Inquirer

JENNIFER S. JONES (Performer/Playwright) is a writer and actor with a diverse background in education, community development, and intercultural training. She holds an MFA (Playwriting) from the Department of Dramatic Writing at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, where she received the Chair Graduate Award for Distinguished Achievement. Her plays include Sunday’s Child, winner of Panndora’s Box Festival, 2009, Reston Players Festival, 2010; The Well, a finalist for the Barter Theatre’s Appalachian Festival in 2007; and her one-woman show Letters to Clio, most recently seen at the Women Playwrights International Festival in Mumbai, India and at the Capital Fringe and the New York International Fringe Festivals, 2010. Letters to Clio also received the Kennedy Center’s KCACTF Regional Award for Best One Act as well as the Alberto Vilar Fellowship nomination. Jennifer has been commissioned by Hildebrandt International, resulting in the play Inside-Out and the screenplay Reputation at Risk; Beazley, resulting in the screenplay A&E Risk Management; and the Stanford Symphony, resulting in Transfigured Night.


In addition to her work onstage, Jennifer worked for eight years as the International Coordinator for Stage Entertainment BV (seeking new properties to produce in Stage Entertainment’s eight other countries) and as the Events Manager for New World Stages. Jennifer has been a teacher of English as a Second Language to corporations that are managing multi-national companies. Expanding on her work as an ESL teacher, Jennifer has also organized individual and group seminars on Intercultural Training for a Cross-Cultural World. For more info about Jennifer’s work, please visit


JESSICA LEFKOW (Director) lives outside her native Washington DC, after many years abroad with her journalist husband and three sons. A performer and director collaborating extensively on new works, Jessica directed the world premiere of the Helen Hayes Award-winning Honey Brown Eyes by Stefanie Zadravec (Best New Play 2009). Other Washington-area directing credits; Hercules In Russia, TETHER (Doorway Arts Ensemble); Frida Vice Versa, Margarita, Tales of Doomed Love, Not Your Granny’s Revolution, Letters to Clio, Part Two (Capital Fringe Festivals); Red Herring, Mousetrap (1st Stage), The F Word

(Workshop Production with The Inkwell); Dear Sara Jane, (The Hub Theater); House of Blue Leaves (Montgomery College, Rockville); BENCHED (independently produced with Allyon Currin, Beth Hylton & Liz Mamana). Jessica’s directing work has also appeared in the Source Ten-Minute Play Festivals. Readings and workshops include projects with Theater J, Washington Shakespeare Company, Theatre of the First Amendment, Spooky Action Theatre Company, WWIT. She is a co-conspirator with dog&ponydc, appearing in their productions of Courage and Beertown, and serving as a creative conspirator on Separated At Birth. Other American Performance Credits include Gulfshore Playhouse: A Streetcar Named Desire (Eunice Hubbell); Taffety Punk Theatre Company: Much Ado About Nothing (Leanato), Julius Caesar (Cassius), King John Bootleg (Queen Eleanor); Brave Spirits Theatre Company: Richard III (Queen margaret, King Edward, Richmond). Jessica holds a BFA Acting degree from The Catholic University of America. She is a Teaching Artist with Young Playwright’s Theater, a working mom and a proud member of SAG-AFTRA.

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