Rising Phoenix Repertory & Weathervane Productions Commission New Works

Rising Phoenix Repertory & Weathervane Productions Commission New Works

Rising Phoenix Repertory and Weathervane Productions have announced that they have commissioned new plays from three female playwrights--Charlotte Miller, Jessica Dickey, and Sarah Shaefer--and that the plays will each be produced over the next two seasons.

In championing new work by women writers, Rising Phoenix and Weathervane are establishing extremely rare long form collaborations--from commission to production--with a firm commitment to mount the plays before having seen a word. Another unique feature of the commissions is that they are company-based--each play will feature actors from Rising Phoenix Repertory's company, and its artistic director, Daniel Talbott, will direct all three plays.

The first of the commissions to receive a production, Thieves by Charlotte Miller, will have its world premiere at the Monroe Forum Theatre in North Hollywood, California, March 18, 2015 through April 4, 2015, co-produced by Rising Phoenix Repertory, Weathervane Productions and Rattlestick Playwrights Theater.

In Thieves, a dysfunctional family gathers at the decaying East Texas estate of its matriarch to celebrate the wedding of her daughter and soon-to-be wife. Other family arrives trailing their own varied disarray, and the estranged father circles the proceedings, looking for a way in or a clean escape. Along with a hired hand, they each try to piece together the event itself, as well as some semblance of family, from their tattered emotional history.

The cast of Thieves includes MacLeod Andrews, Chris Bellant, Addie Johnson, Sarah Shaefer, Samantha Soule, and Wendy vanden Heuvel.

Charlotte Miller is a Brooklyn-based playwright and performer. Her plays include Barn (Rising Phoenix Rep), Worst Year Ever (NY Fringe Festival), Joan's Boutique (The Spectrum), Favorites (Rising Phoenix Rep), Rocks (Tank Theater), and Raising Jo (PLAYPENN 2010) among others. Her plays have been read/workshopped with Rattlestick, Labyrinth, the Flea, PLAYPENN, and the Peoples Light Theater. She is a proud member of Rising Phoenix Rep and the Actors Studio Playwrights/Directors Unit.

Jessica Dickey is an actor and playwright most known for her one woman show The Amish Project, which premiered at the New York Fringe before transferring to the Cherry Lane and then opening at the Rattlestick Playwrights Theater to great acclaim from audience and critics alike. The Amish Project has gone on to be produced around the country and the world, including the American Theater Company in Chicago and the City Theatre in Pittsburgh, Walnut Street in Philadelphia, Mo'Olelo in San Diego, and Milwaukee Rep. The Amish Project was awarded the CAPPIE Award for Best Play and is published by Samuel French for both a solo performer and an ensemble. Jessica's play Charles Ives Take Me Home completed a successful run at Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, for which Jessica was hailed as "a talent to watch" by Charles Isherwood. Charles Ives Take Me Home went on to be produced at City Theatre in Pittsburgh, Strawdog in Chicago, and Curious Theatre Company in Denver. Jessica's play about Civil War re-enactors, Row After Row, was curated by Rising Phoenix Rep, had a workshop production in Tucson with Winding Road, received its world premiere with the Women's Project in January 2014 at New York's City Center, and was produced at People's Light and Theatre this fall. Both Charles Ives Take Me Home and Row After Row are scheduled for publication with Samuel French and Dramatists Play Service. Jessica has had readings with Manhattan Theatre Club, Playwrights Horizons, Echo Theatre Company, People's Light and Theatre, and many others. Other awards and recognitions include Writer in Residence at the New Harmony Project, the Sewanee Writers Conference, Walter Dakin Fellowship, a PONY (Playwrights of New York Fellowship) Nomination, a semi-finalist and publication for the Emily Dickinson Poetry Contest, a finalist for the Kahn Award Career Scholarship, and a winner of the Bell Atlantic Leadership Award. Jessica is currently commissioned by Rising Phoenix, Ford's Theatre in DC, and Ensemble Studio Theatre. As an actor some of Jessica's most recent appearances include the Broadway production of Wit and the Barrow Street Theatre's production of Hit The Wall, Proof at the McCarter, and upcoming Pocatello at Playwrights Horizons, as well as The Big C and several episodes of Law & Order and the Lifetime movie Amish Grace. www.jessicadickey.com.

Sarah Shaefer is a playwright, actor and producer. Writing credits include The Gin Baby (Mermaid Sand Productions/Kid Brooklyn Productions, NYIT nom for best play), I Can't Explain It Better Than That (Rising Phoenix Rep), Mermaid (Rising Phoenix Repertory), The Blow Job Injury (Barrow Group Core Ensemble/Fresh Produced), The Queen and the Pawn's Ballsack (Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival/Abingdon Theatre Company), Shitfuck Rip-Ups (Sarah/Leah Productions), Pornologues (Mermaid Sand Productions/Breezy Productions), Deliver Us Some Email (Primary Stages ESPA), K-Hole (Primary Stages ESPA), Totally Preggers (Primary Stages ESPA), Five Tiny Little Minutes (Primary Stages ESPA/Fresh Produced). Her play Sunk Like A Ship On Fire was a 2012 ESPA*Drills finalist. Upcoming work: Untitled Site-Specific Play will be produced by Rising Phoenix Rep in January '15, All's Well That Ends Happy will be produced at IRT by Mermaid Sand Productions and Breezy Productions in August '15. Selected acting credits include A Fable (Rattlestick Playwrights Theater), Bus Stop (William Inge Theatre Festival), Bring A Weasel and a Pint of Your Own Blood (Brooklyn College MFA Playwrights) as well as workshops at New York Theatre Workshop, LAByrinth Theater Company, Page 73, Primary Stages, New Dramatists, Young Playwrights, and Classic Stage Company. Selected film credits include Yelling to the Sky (Berlin International Film Festival), A Quintet (Chelsea Film Festival), Tiger Lily Road (Manhattan Film Festival). She is the artistic director of the NYIT award winning company Mermaid Sand Productions. She is a proud member of Rising Phoenix Repertory, Actors' Equity, and the Dramatists Guild of America.

Daniel Talbott is an actor, director, writer, literary manager of Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, and the artistic director of the Lucille Lortel and NYIT Award-winning Rising Phoenix Rep. His plays include Slipping (The Side Project, Rattlestick), Yosemite (Rattlestick), Afghanistan Zimbabwe America Kuwait (Encore/Rattlestick upcoming), What Happened When (Rising Phoenix Rep/HERE), Someone Brought Me (Quince Productions), Mike and Seth (Quince, Encore, The Side Project), Extraordinary Things (Rising Phoenix Rep), and Gray. Recent directing work includes A Fable (piece by piece/RPR/Rattlestick), Gin Baby (IRT), Scarcity (Rattlestick/Hill Town Plays), Mike and Seth (Encore), Slipping (Rattlestick), Afghanistan Zimbabwe America Kuwait (Rattlestick/Encore), Lake Water (Neighborhood Productions), Eightythree Down (Hard Sparks), Much Ado About Nothing (Boomerang), Squealer (Lesser America), and The Umbrella Plays (the teacup company/FringeNYC - Overall Excellence Award: Outstanding Play). He is a graduate of Juilliard and of Solano College Theatre's ATP, teaches at Primary Stages/ESPA, and is a proud member of {YOUR NAME HERE} and Lesser America.


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