Meet the Artist: New Play Readings 2020 on Zoom

 

Dreamcatcher’s “Meet the Artist” series is a forum that showcases new theatrical works. The series provides audiences an opportunity to experience new shows and participate in discussions with playwrights, directors and actors. The series’s goal is to expose the adult public to the evolution of a theatrical presentation.

 

The “Meet the Artist” series has been received with enthusiasm and animated discussion, indicating that there is a large audience for new plays and interactive programs, and we are excited that we can continue offering new works each season.

This year's readings will be held online, using the Zoom app. After you purchase your ticket, a link for the reading will be sent the evening of the show, at least 30 minutes prior to "curtain."

BLACK/OUT STORIES

by Steve Harper

a collaboration with The Theater Project

Wednesday, May 6 @7pm, $10

Tickets must be purchased by 6pm.

 

Black/Out Stories by Steve Harper is the narrator's search for a pattern in black people's coming out experiences that will somehow illuminate his own, and help him to understand his place in the larger community. Highly personal, sometimes painful and sometimes funny, interviews with a variety of people willing to share their coming out stories are laced with his own quest for peace and clarity.

About the playwright:
STEVE HARPER is a writer and actor. He served as producer on the CBS show God Friended Me. He was co-producer on the upcoming HBO Max series Tell Me Your Secrets and wrote for ABC’s American Crime (created by John Ridley) and two seasons on the USA network’s Covert Affairs. His original web series SEND ME - about time traveling black people - premiered on BET.com to 1.66 million views and garnered a 2016 Emmy nomination for series lead Tracie Thoms. His plays have been workshopped and produced in New York, L.A. and in between. As an actor, he’s worked in theater, film TV and commercials. Steve coaches writers and artists through his company Your Creative Life.

TRACY JONES

by Stephen Kaplan

Wednesday, May 13 @7pm, $10

Tickets must be purchased by 6pm.

 

Tracy Jones has rented out the back "party room" of Jones Street Bar and Grill: the Place for Wings and Things, a typical chain restaurant. Tracy Jones is throwing a party to which she's invited every woman in the world who is also named Tracy Jones. Tracy Jones has been sitting for over an hour alone, nursing her Diet Coke, waiting for any other Tracy Joneses to show up. Tracy Jones' epic loneliness is about to be tested beyond anything she ever imagined.

About the playwright:
Stephen Kaplan’s plays include: Tracy Jones (upcoming: Williamston Theatre); Death Defying (NJ Rep/Theatre Brut); Branwell (and the other Brontës) (upcoming: Loft Ensemble, Blue Room; semi-finalist: O’Neill); Community (finalist: Seven Devils; semi-finalist: Premiere Stages); Exquisite Potential (finalist: Woodward/Newman); A Real Boy (59E59 Theatre; semi-finalist: PlayPenn, Ashland, FutureFest and MTWorks’ Newborn Festival); una casa/a home (finalist: Landing Theatre’s New American Voices, Route 66 New Play Development); For Unto Us (published by DPS); In Mrs. Baker’s Room (Commission: Abingdon); The Seventh Son (semi-finalist: Ronald M Ruble New Play Festival). He is a Dramatists Guild member and serves as the Northeastern Regional Representative for the DG National Council. Visit www.bystephenkaplan.com for more info.

THE BUZZER

by chandra thomas

Wednesday, May 20 @7pm, $10

Tickets must be purchased by 6pm.

 

Set in Newark, The Buzzer is the story of a couple of young professionals moving into, and perhaps changing forever, a new neighborhood. As they struggle with personal questions about the future of their relationship and their desire - or not - to have children of their own, a young boy and his social worker change the direction of their future. With humor and warmth, the play explores the interconnectedness of its characters, and the responsibility we all have to each other and to our communities.

About the playwright:
chandra thomas is an actor, writer and producer who is active on both coasts. As a writer, her work includes new media projects like Complete Sentences? and plays like a rhyme for the UNDERground, Standing At… (Heideman Award Finalist—National Ten-Minute Play Contest of Actors Theatre of Louisville / Source Festival Semi-Finalist; named a top play in the Downtown Urban Theatre Festival) and Forgive to Forget. chandra also writes screenplays and performance poetry.

The new play reading series is a chance for the audience to participate in the development of new works, both to hear the play read by professional actors and also to discuss the project with the playwright, director and actors afterward.  Feedback from these evenings helps the playwrights to further refine their scripts and also gives them a first-hand experience of how the audience will respond to the finished work. These evenings provide a fun and lively way to interact with the creative process, and to receive a preview of plays that may be performed on Dreamcatcher's mainstage in the future.

What is a “Reading”?

A reading is a performance of a play that focuses on the words of the script and the interaction of the actors without sets, props and costumes. Readings are a way to present plays in front of live audiences without the expense of a fully staged production. While readings can be of new or existing works, Dreamcatcher chooses to read new plays only. Readings of new shows can help a show’s creative team see what works and what might need a rewrite. When a reading goes particularly well, Dreamcatcher will consider the play for a fully-staged production in an upcoming season.

 

What to Expect

Just like in a staged performance, Dreamcatcher company members and guest actors will perform all the roles in the play. Typically, the cast will be seated in chairs onstage, and they will read their lines from the script. They might occasionally stand up and move about. There may also be a narrator, who reads aloud stage directions and describes scenery or movement as written in the script. There will be no costumes or sets.

 

Are readings appropriate for kids?

The themes of most chosen plays are probably “of interest” to those approximately 12 and up.

Overall, play readings are similar to reading non-picture books to your children at home. If your child can focus, listen, pay close attention, and imagine the setting for the play, she or he will probably enjoy the reading. Remember: there are no costumes or sets, and there is no action.

 

Why would I attend a reading if I can wait for a fully staged production?

Play readings at Dreamcatcher are about discovering new artists and their works, and including yourself in the development cycle of the plays. You will get to witness a work in progress, and afterwards you’ll have the opportunity to ask questions and provide feedback to the creative team. Playwrights often use readings to test new characters and lines in front of live audiences. And if you do come back for a fully staged production, you might notice some of your suggestions incorporated into the final performance.

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© 2014-2018 by Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre.

 

Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre

Oakes Center • 120 Morris Avenue • Summit, NJ 07901

Info: 908-514-9654 • Box Office: 800-838-3006info@dreamcatcherrep.org