OLD BONES, RIVER CITY & More Set for Performance Network Theatre in December
Performance Network Theatre's Fireside New Play Festival (FNPF) returns with its latest installment of four of the hottest new plays in the country, performed for the first time on a Michigan stage on Sunday, December 15 through Wednesday, December 18 at 7pm. Audiences can sample works by UM grad and Chicago playwright Steven Simoncic, Louisville playwright Diana Grisanti, Chicago playwright Reina Hardy, and Michigan playwright Linda Ramsay-Detherage (author of the March FNPF hit "Sugarhill.") Admission is Pay-What-You-Can and reservations can be made at performancenetwork.org or over the phone at 734-663-0681. Performances are immediately followed by a facilitated talk back to share feedback on the brand new plays!
In its 13-year history, the Fireside New Play Festival has launched over 20 plays to full productions across the country. The Festival consists of a series of staged readings, where actors, having rehearsed for just 10 hours, read from the scripts to present a playwright's new work. There is a talk-back held after each performance to gather feedback for the playwright. Staged readings of scripts in development give audiences the first look at promising new American plays, and with post-show feedback sessions after each reading, the comments may even help to shape their future!
PNT Associate Artistic Director and Literary Manager Carla Milarch said "I'm beyond thrilled with the four plays we've selected for the December Festival. We received a record number of submissions this time, and Fireside audiences are in for a real treat. From a searing drama about race and memory, to a play where a star literally steps out of the sky to ask a character to a party, these are some of the most unique and moving new plays in America today."
"Broken Fences" by Steven Simoncic
Sunday, December 15, at 7 pm
As a West Side Chicago neighborhood gentrifies, property taxes rise and Hoody and D struggle to keep the only home they have ever known. But when April and Czar buy the house next door, the very definition of home is called into question.
Steven Simoncic's plays have received productions, readings and workshops at The Goodman Theatre, Victory Gardens Theatre, The Second City, Pegasus Players, The Baruch Center for the Performing Arts, Stageplays Theatre New York, and The Soho Theatre in London. Steven is currently a resident playwright at Chicago Dramatists Theatre and the Writer in Residence at 16th Street Theatre. He has written several short films, been nominated for a Pushcart prize, and has recently won an Emmy. Steven holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan, an MFA in fiction from Warren Wilson College and an MLA from the University of Chicago. Steven's play "Broken Fences" was selected as a finalist for both The Road Theatre's Summer Playwrights Festival in Los Angeles, and Stage Left Theatre's 2013 LeapFest in Chicago.
"River City" by Diana Grisanti
Monday, December 16, at 7 pm
Shaken by her father's death, Mary sets off to uncover three generations' worth of secrets buried in the West End of Louisville, Kentucky. River City charts Mary's discoveries, which span four decades, and investigate race, memory, and the ghosts that haunt one American family.
Diana Grisanti is a Louisville, Kentucky native. She was a nominee for the Wasserstein Prize and a runner- up for the Kennedy Center's Paula Vogel Award for her play Semantics and is the inaugural recipient of the Marsha Norman Spirit of Achievement Lilly Award. Her short play "Post Wave Spectacular" was produced in the 2010 Humana Festival, and her musical "Richie Farmer Will Have His Revenge on Durham" (written with the fabulous composer/lyricist Matt Schatz) was Best of Fest in Austin's Frontera Fest. Diana received her BA from the University of Iowa and is currently pursuing her MFA in playwriting and fiction at UT Austin's Michener Center for Writers. Before relocating to Texas, she lived in Cuernavaca, Mexico, where she worked as a teacher and translator
"Old Bones" by Linda Ramsay-Detherage
Tuesday, December 17, at 7 pm
When famed anthropologist Richard Rutherford dies, his daughters Millie, the glamorous host of a National Geographic television show, and Marie, a sensible Physics professor, come home to make peace with his memory, and with each other. The secrets they uncover may put his discoveries to shame.