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Meet the Artist: New Play Readings 2021 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.

Click below to purchase tickets for each reading and you'll receive your links!

 
Occupied by Aly Kantor

Occupied

by Aly Kantor

Wednesday, May 5 @7pm, $10

From 9/11 to the pandemic, Amelia and Jac have been best friends who share everything with each other. As the play hopscotches from one American tragedy to the next, the two girls turn into women. They try to understand how their own lives fit into the history of our time from the perspective of a series of bathroom stalls over the years. Comedic, heartfelt and true, Occupied traces the path of this generation through a personal lens.

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 About the Playwright
Aly Kantor is an emerging New York based playwright, performer, and educator with a passion for telling off-beat tales, with an explicit focus on writing complex and genuine roles for women and girls. A lover of the artform of theatre in particular, Aly prides herself on having done just about every job there is to do on, around, or in the general vicinity of a stage. In the year 2021, Aly has seen her work developed and produced by EastLine Theatre (Adventurers Anonymous), Full Circle Theatre Collaborative (After Aulis), Theatre Off-Kilter (Occupied), and Slightly Askew Theatre Ensemble (Two of Every Animal). She's thrilled to be working with Laura and Dreamcatcher Rep to develop this piece further and see her vision realized.
Cast

Jennica Carmona

Emily Williams

Director
Laura Ekstrand
 
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Twirl

by Joe Sutton

Wednesday, May 12 @7pm, $10

Do you recall the famous phone call Ginni Thomas, wife of Justice Clarence Thomas, made to Anita Hill years after her original testimony?  If you do, you may also recall that Ginni Thomas left a message on Anita Hill’s answering machine asking her to apologize.  Why?  That is the question explored in the new play TWIRL, a play very much inspired by that original phone call.  The Justice involved is nothing like Clarence Thomas, but the issues surrounding that call are very similar indeed.  And they all raise the question -- what did she hope for?

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 About the Playwright

Joe Sutton’s plays include Voir Dire (nominated for the Pulitzer Prize and the Best Play Award of the American Theatre Critics Association), As It Is In Heaven, The Third Army, and Restoring the Sun. Theatres producing Joe’s plays include New York Theater Workshop, Long Wharf, Arena Stage, BAM, the Cleveland Play House, and the Old Globe. Some time ago, Joe’s play Complicit (winner of the Beverly Hills Theater Guild award) opened at London’s Old Vic and is now playing around the world, most recently at Heidelberg’s Zimmertheater. More recently, Joe’s play Orwell In America premiered at Northern Stage before continuing on to a successful run at 59E59. Last year, Joe’s play Robey was workshopped by Premiere Stages where it will have its premiere in the 2021-22 season. In addition to his theatre work, Joe has developed a pilot for television

called Scales of Justice (USA Network). A recipient of numerous awards and honors, among them fellowships from NYFA, the NEA, and NJ Arts, Joe taught playwriting for many years at Dartmouth College. Joe lives with his wife Anne at their home in West Orange, New Jersey.

Cast

Clark Carmichael

Uma Paranjpe

Harriett Trangucci

Lori Vega

Director
Laura Ekstrand
 
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Hitch

by James McLindon

Wednesday, May 19 @7pm, $10

Lane, a white man in his 30's picks up a teenage hitchhiker, Dee, and quickly discovers that all of his preconceived notions about this bi-racial young woman are wrong ... about as wrong as all of her preconceived notions about him. Together, they each have to discover where the other has been, and decide where they themselves are going, and in the process form, to their surprise, a temporary family.

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 About the Playwright

James McLindon is a member of the Nylon Fusion Theater Co. in New York. When We Get Good Again won the Playhouse on the Square’s New Works @ The Works competition and premiered there in Memphis this past January, winning an Ostrander Theatre Award for Best Original Script. His play, Salvation, was developed at PlayPenn and premiered in New York, Giovanna Sardelli directing, to critical acclaim in the New York Times and elsewhere. Comes a Faery was developed at the O’Neill National Playwrights Conference, Sean Daniels directing, was a finalist for the Humana Festival, and was premiered at the New Ohio Theatre by Nylon Fusion. Mr. McLindon’s plays have been developed and/or produced at theaters such as the O’Neill (selection and six-time semifinalist), PlayPenn, Victory Gardens, Lark, Abingdon, hotINK Festival, Irish Repertory, Samuel French Festival, Edinburgh Fringe Festival, New Rep, Lyric Stage, Boston Playwrights, Local Theatre, Telluride Playwrights Festival, Great Plains Theatre Conference, and Seven Devils. His plays have been published by Dramatic Publishing, Smith & Kraus, Brooklyn Publishing, and Applause Books and produced all over the world including London, Edinburgh, Ireland, Australia, the Philippines, Thailand, Luxembourg, India, Dubai and Estonia.

Cast

Daria M. Sullivan

Jason Szamreta

Director
Laura Ekstrand
 
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Water In My Hands

by Emma Gibson

Wednesday, May 26 @7pm, $10

Sorrel is busy preparing for her wedding even though her fiancé has just died, and Maria’s eyebrows are still not growing back. Gerry wants to know if the weather will improve so that he can lie on his back in the grass, and Eric’s wife has someone else’s heart beating inside her. Through a series of interweaving accounts, Water in My Hands, lays bare the power of grief, and asks, ‘how do we move on when we are haunted by the life that we have not yet lived?’

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 About the Playwright

Emma Gibson is a British theatre-maker, now living in Philadelphia. She has an MA in Creative and Critical Writing from the University of Southampton. In the UK she worked as an actress and a freelance journalist for The Guardian Newspaper. She moved to Philadelphia in 2006 and has worked with many local companies, most recently performing in the Barrymore-nominated production of Perfect Blue. She teaches theatre at The Shipley School in Bryn Mawr, PA and was the founding producing artistic director of Tiny Dynamite (www.tinydynamite.org). Her plays have been selected for the 2020 PlayPenn Conference, Philadelphia Women’s Theatre Festival, Spooky Action New Works in Development, The Liz Smith Reading Series with Miranda Theatre Company and Digital Theatre shorts. She was recently announced as the winner of The Pittsburgh Public Theater’s inaugural new play competition. She has been a finalist for Premiere Stages at Kean 2020, a finalist for Kitchen Dog’s New Works Festival 2020 and a semi-finalist for the O‘Neill New Play Conference 2020. She was also in the top 100 for the Verity Bargate Award at The Soho Theatre, UK, and on the long list for The International Playwriting Award with Theatre 503, UK. Her Poetry has been published by Willowdown Books (Poems from the Lockdown) and Indolent Books (What Rough Beast). More at www.britishemma.com

Cast

Neimah Djourabchi

Becca McLarty

Scott McGowan

Kevin Sebastian

Joelle Zazz

Director
Laura Ekstrand

Sponsors

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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.

At readings actors typically hold scripts as they sit or stand in front of the audience. There are no sets, costumes or props.

Clark Carmichael & Harriett Trangucci read “Backfire” from “Random Horrible Thoughts About Love” on May 11, 2011.

With feedback from you, the show had its world premiere as “The God Game” on May 6, 2014 at Capital Rep in Albany, NY.

At readings actors typically hold scripts as they sit or stand in front of the audience. There are no sets, costumes or props.

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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.