Christopher Demos-Brown's CHILD'S PLAY to Receive Reading at Wold Performing Arts Center, 4/28
"It usually takes me 12-18 months to write a play," says this year's Carbonell Award-winning playwright Christopher Demos-Brown. "I put the first word of this new play on paper Christmas Day and was done by Passover-a little under 4 months. So in terms of process, it's as quickly as I've ever completed a first draft."
He's talking about 'CHILD'S PLAY,' his new drama that will be presented as a Staged Reading for one night only, at 7:30 PM on Monday, April 28th, 2014, in Lynn University's Wold Performing Arts Center, as part of 'Jan McArt's New Play Reading Series.'
Demos-Brown's last play, 'FEAR UP HARSH,' was produced in November by Miami's Zoetic Stage and named 'Best New Work' at the 2013 Carbonell Awards ceremony held March 31st, 2014, at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts in Fort Lauderdale. That makes him a two-time Carbonell andSilver Palm Award winner.
He has also been a finalist for the National New Play Network's Smith Prize and the Heideman Award for short playwriting.
And he's been nominated three times for the prestigious American Theatre Critics Association'sSteinberg Award, for which his play 'FEAR UP HARSH' just won a citation at the Humana Festival of New Plays at the Actors Theatre of Louisville earlier this month.
Drama critic Christine Dolen, of the MIAMI HERALD, says the win "propels Miami's Christopher Demos-Brown into the national spotlight."
'CHILD'S PLAY' tells the story of an immigrant mother who resorts to extreme measures when state protective services takes custody of her only child.
Demos-Brown and his wife, Stephanie, are both Miami trail attorneys by day, which greatly aided him in writing this play by night.
"The play's main character and her plight were inspired by an actual child dependency case in California," he says. "And over the years, my wife and I have handled many cases as pro bono lawyers in child dependency system, so the play draws heavily from that as well."
Directed by Nicole Stodard (producing artistic director of Fort Lauderdale's Thinking Cap Theatre), the cast includes this year's Carbonell Award winning actors Nick Duckart ('IN THE HEIGHTS,' Actors' Playhouse, Best Actor in a Musical), Karen Stephens ('FEAR UP HARSH,' Zoetic Stage, Best Actress in a Play), Michael McKeever ('THE TIMEKEEPERS,' Island City Stage, Best Actor in a Play), and Carbonell nominee Jessica Brooke Sanford ('FEAR UP HARSH', Zoetic Stage, Best Featured Actress in a Play), as well as actors Julie Rowe and ten-year-old Ava-Riley Miles.
"In my experience, theatre makers and audiences are closely aligned in their political views," he adds. "So most theatre tends to preach to the choir. We roll our eyes, for example, when forced to listen to the Tea Party's ongoing drone about 'small government.' But I think this play addresses an issue that pits government power against individual rights with gut-wrenchingly high stakes and no easy, pat answers. No matter what your political views."
Demos-Brown's other plays include 'WHEN THE SUN SHONE BRIGHTER,' 'CAPTIVA,' and 'OUR LADY OF ALLAPATTAH.'
Jan McArt is in charge of theatre development at Lynn University, where this fully staged reading will be the fourth and final play reading in a series of staged readings presented this winter/spring as part of 'Jan McArt's New Play Reading Series,' to develop new plays and musicals by Florida playwrights.
An ambitious, award-winning program, this play reading series gives playwrights the chance to work with a cast and a director for six days - rehearsing, re-writing, rehearsing, rewriting. Then, at the end of the six days, they present their new, polished, reworked piece to the public in performance, with actors up-on-their-feet, scripts in hand, employing minimal costumes, sets, lighting, etc., to aid them in the presentation of the new work.
Upcoming shows to be presented in this 2014-2015 play reading series at Lynn University include: 'EAST HAMPTON, LAST SUMMER' - a new comedy by Tony Finstrom, starring Jan McArt and directed by Wayne Rudisill, November 3rd; 'DANIEL'S HUSBAND' - a new dramedy by Michael McKeever, directed by Andy Rogow, January 12th; 'OUR TIME' - a new musical with book and lyrics by Dan Clancy and music by Lynn Portas, directed by Wayne Rudisill, March 9th; and 'MIRA' - a new play by Michael Leeds, director to be announced, April 20th.
Tickets for these Staged Readings are $10 each. For more information, call 561-237-9000 or go to www.lynn.edu/tickets.