12th Annual Festival of New American Plays Finalists Announced

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12th Annual Festival of New American Plays Finalists Announced

Firehouse Theatre is pleased to announce the finalists of the 12th Annual Festival of New American Plays. The finalists are:

A Blessed Unrest
by Lynne Elson of Cranbury, NJ

Chair
by Michelle Kholos Brooks of Venice, CA

Each finalist will receive a staged reading at Firehouse Theatre. Members of the audience who have seen staged readings of both finalists' work will cast their vote for their favorite play, and the winner of the Festival will be chosen by the public. Admission to the readings is free, but donations are encouraged. Michelle Kholos Brooks' Chair is scheduled for Thursday, August 21 at 8pm; Lynne Elson's A Blessed Unrest is scheduled for Saturday, August 23 at 8pm.

"This year's festival received so many incredible entries which made the judging process both challenging and exciting" said Artistic Director Jase Smith. "I love both of the final selections and I can see either winning - it is really a toss-up! Firehouse is producing our first world premiere winner from last year's festival this season and we hope to continue this each season going forward. Finalists like A Blessed Unrest and Chairs would both be a spectacular addition to our season."

Lynne Elson is an award-winning playwright and much sought after teacher. Her plays have been produced across the United States. Her play, A Blessed Unrest, was a finalist for the 2013 O'Neill Playwrights Conference. A Blessed Unrest has also had staged readings with the NOW Theatre Company and the West Windsor Arts Center, Dec. 2012, as well as a weekend workshop in the Passage Theatre Playwrights Lab 2012.

Her play, Crazy, Crazy on You, had a successful run in the 2011 Philly Fringe Festival and is the first play published in The Kelsey Review, 2012.

The NOW Theatre Company and the East Brunswick Performing Arts Center co-produced Lynne's adaptation of the Charles Dickens classic, Cricket on the Hearth in 2010.

Her one-act play Stolen Glorie was the winner of the Great Platte River Playwrights Festival of 2001.

Michelle Kholos Brooks is the author of Family Planning (World Premiere, Colony Theatre, 2014; Finalist, Riva Shiner Comedy Award, Bloomington Playwrights Project, 2014). Her play, Kalamazoo, co-written with Kelly Younger, was the Winner of the Bloomington Playwrights Project Riva Shiner Comedy Award and will be produced Fall 2014 at Bloomington Playwrights Project and Pacific Resident Theatre, Los Angeles.

Other select works for the stage include: Two Parents, Two Weddings, Two Years, (Wings Theatre, New York City; Laurelgrove Theatre Company, Los Angeles); See How We Are (Laurelgrove Theatre Company); Love and Other Allergies (Vox Humana Theatre Ensemble); and Famous in Luxembourg (Rogue Machine, Around-the-Clock Short Play Festival), among others. Additional staged readings of various works have been produced at Snapshots, a benefit to raise funds for the Susan G. Komen Foundation; Venue 9 Theatre, San Francisco; The Barrow Group, New York; and the Bay Street Theatre, Sag Harbor, New York.

Brooks earned a B.A. from Emerson College and an M.F.A. in Fiction from Otis College of Art and Design. She is a member of The Dramatists Guild of America and Pacific Resident Theatre in Venice, CA.

Brooks currently lives in her hometown of Los Angeles with her husband and son.

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