Meet the Artist:
Free New Play Readings
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.
Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre, professional Theatre in Residence at the Oakes Center in Summit, will present its annual Meet the Artist free new play reading series on Wednesday May 17 and Wednesday May 24 at 7 pm at the Oakes Center.
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.
The readings are at the Oakes Center, located at 120 Morris Avenue in Summit. Admission is free and no reservations are necessary.
The Net Will Appear
by Erin Mallon
Wednesday, May 17 @ 7 pm
Bernard is a man who has been beaten down by loss in his seventy years of life. Rory is nine, and searching for a friend. They discover, across the gap between their rooftops, that they are exactly what the other needs. This fresh and surprising story of connection across the generations is funny and heartbreaking with dialogue that snaps and a pulse that beats with compassion and warmth.
Erin Mallon is a writer, actor and voice artist in NYC. Her plays have been presented with Urban Stages, New Georges, Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival, The Collective, Cherry Picking, Project Y Theater, Mile Square Theatre and more. Erin’s play Branched (dir. Robert Ross Parker) premiered with InViolet Theater at HERE Arts Center in NYC and is in print with Original Works Publishing. Her new play, The Net Will Appear is an Honorable Mention on the 2016 Kilroys List and will have its World Premiere this fall at Mile Square Theatre in Hoboken, NJ. Other full-length plays include: Stunning Displays of Prowess, Hand Me Down (commissioned by Ethical Culture Fieldston School), Good Riddance and The Other White Meat. Erin is the narrator of 175 audiobooks, a member of InViolet Theater and The Collective and is founder and co-curator of The Brooklyn Generator, a playwriting engine that creates “plays in less-than-30-days.” www.erinmallon.net
by Phoebe Farber
Wednesday, May 24 @ 7 pm
Anat is a transplant from her native Israel, where she has fled her family and a terrible accident for which she feels responsible. Her nursery school is in disrepair; moreover, her manner seems harsh and uncaring to the families she serves. Trish, a teacher whose soft heart hides a deep loneliness, is trying to help her save the school from ruin. One day, an unusual man appears who may hold the key to their redemption.
Phoebe Farber’s plays have been seen around New York and New Jersey. Her play Scrimmage was seen at The Players Theatre (best play, NYC), The Short Play Lab (best play, NYC) and Strangedog short play festival (NJ). Home Care was seen in the Strawberry One-Act Festival (Finalist, NYC), The Aery Theatre’s One-Act Play Festival (NY),Variations Theatre Group (NYC) and at Lab at Luna through Luna Stage (NJ). Jump It was a finalist at The Depot Theater 20/20 festival in Garrison, New York, and appeared at The Everyday Inferno Theater Festival (NYC) and at Lab at Luna (NJ). Class Reunion was seen at The Cell Theater (NYC) and Strangedog short play festival (NJ). Readings have included Jump It and Nina at Fresh Produced Reading Series (NYC) and Dancing in Captivity at Horsetrade Theatre Group (NYC). Her plays have been published in Applause Theatre & Cinema Books and The Best Plays from the Strawberry One-Act Festival. Phoebe lives in Montclair, New Jersey, has a private psychotherapy practice and is a professor at Montclair State University.
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.