Actors Studio Drama School Hosts Full Length Staged Readings, All Open To Public
The death of a father, medical ethics, a drag queen, family secrets, mental illness, love, an honest detective and a family caught up in a hurricane (both internal conflicts AND the weather) are the themes resonating in the MFA playwrights' staged reading series presented by the acclaimed Actors Studio Drama School at Pace University during the weekends of February 27 and 28 and March 6 and 7.
The eight works-in-progress - one musical and seven contemporary dramas - were written and developed by the school's third-year master's degree students. The aspiring playwrights will be joined in their Off-Off Broadway debuts by their fellow acting and directing classmates, along with recent MFA alumni and current BFA students.
Performances of The Actors Studio Drama School's MFA Playwriting Showcase will take place weekend afternoons at 1 pm and 4 pm at Studio W509, a black box theater in the main building of Pace's downtown Manhattan campus just east of City Hall at Park Row and Spruce Street. Tickets are free but space is limited so reservations are strongly advised.
For reservations and more information, visit www.Pace.edu/ASDSEvents or call (212) 714-4643.
Storytellers of Tomorrow
"The staged readings are a wonderful opportunity for the audience to discover the great American ‘professional storytellers' of tomorrow," said Associate Professor Edward Allan Baker, a published and frequently produced New York City playwright with 32 plays to his credit - most notably, DOLORES (which starred Joan Allen and is included in The Best Short Plays of 1989), NORTH OF PROVIDENCE, PRAIRIE AVENUE (which starred Ed Harris), ROSEMARY WITH GINGER and FACE DIVIDED (which starred Sam Rockwell).
Questionnaires given to audience members after each staged reading will allow playwrights to gain perspective of their scripts "performance power" and further assist them as they continue to develop their works.
This year's eight, original full-length staged readings are:
TOPPING FROM BELOW
A new full-length musical with book by Christina Cigala
Saturday, February 27 at 1 pm
Chloe's a drag queen. She's got somebody tied up on her sofa. Also, that boy and that girl keep breakin' up and yellin' about it. Cue the music.
Music & Lyrics: Amanda Palmer
Director: Bridget Leak
Setting: Present day, New York City
Cast: Brad Harris, Jeanne Joe Perrone, Trey Tatum, Dario Torres, Christina Cigala
A new full-length play by Trey Tatum
Saturday, February 27 at 4 pm
Refusing to evacuate during an impending hurricane, a family reunion turns into a fight for survival. Waters and tempers rise as three siblings are trapped between long-suppressed memories and the raging storm outside.
Director: Bridget Leak
Setting: July 4th weekend. The present.
Cast: Shaz Khan, Dario Torres, Ashley Love, Melissa Rosenberger, Hannah Timmons, Abigail Treut
A new full-length play by Nicholas Priore
Sunday, February 28 at 1 pm
A weary mother attempts to provide her mentally-ill son with a better life by having him cared for by one of his siblings, whose resistance unleashes revelations long kept under the proverbial rug.
Director: Norma Medina
Setting: The east side of a small city in Central New York, 1995, once an Italian American community.
Cast: Chris Ferretti, Norma Medina, Marco Agnolucci, L.B. Roberts, Lawrence Sharp, Sarah Anfora, Steve Nicholas
A new full-length play by Chris Pierce
Sunday, February 28 at 4 pm
A tawdry, insane, phantasmagoric love story reminiscent of a Eugene Ionesco play, which asks the question, "Who's what and what is who, and do they even know?"
Director: Jamie Sellers
Setting: An office reminiscent of 50's Noir, a strange dungeon like room
Cast: Beau Burglund, Shereen Macklin, Shaz Khan
Stage Directions: Brandon Stock
FREEDOM AT BLACKBIRD
A new full-length play by L.B. Roberts
Saturday, March 6 at 1 pm
A down-on-his-luck private eye is searching for his next case. Too honest to do dirty cases and too nice to turn down a beautiful woman, he becomes embroiled in a case with more faces than a Picasso painting.