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Active Theater Announces 2013-14 Play Development Series Selections


The Active Theater (Nathaniel Shaw, Artistic Director) announced today the final selections for its 2013/2014 year-long play development series, now in its second official season: LOVELY SEND ANYWHERE, by Douglas J. Cohen, and SAM I AM, by Joshua H. Cohen.

Submissions for the series more than doubled from the inaugural season of the program, which, through significant artistic partnerships both in New York City and beyond, provides an incubator for new works that define the 21st century American identity. The development process includes two (2) rounds of workshops through which the playwrights receive feedback from a panel of invited industry experts. The development process then culminates in a staged workshop of each respective piece that is open to the public. Past plays include Megan Sass's IN THE MIDDLE, Ben Bartolone's TIMEPIECE, and Matthew Keuter's RIVER DITTY, on which work continues.

David Goldberg, a 32-year-old New Englander living in New York, places administrative assistants while waiting for his big break as a screenwriter. He interviews Nicole Stark, an attractive, black single mom who is looking for better job opportunities and a schedule that allows her to properly care for her young daughter. David makes it his personal mission to place her, labeling her a "lovely send anywhere" - his company's gold standard for the ideal applicant. But, Nicole becomes disenchanted with her new position, and soon David finds himself being stalked by his "lovely send anywhere" and her potentially violent boyfriend who believes she and David are having an affair. It has far reaching consequences on David's marriage, his relationship with his former employer, his perceptions of race, altruism, and liberal thought, and his own sanity as he is forced to confront an unseen enemy and infiltrate a world he naively thought he understood.

Douglas J. Cohen received the 2010 Fred Ebb Award for Musical Theatre Songwriting and won two Richard Rodgers Awards for writing book, music, and lyrics for NO WAY TO TREAT A LADY (produced twice off-Broadway resulting in over 100 productions worldwide) and THE GIG (O'Neill National Music Theatre Conference, Manhattan Theatre Club Stage II, Goodspeed, York Theatre Company concert on CD and reading in conjunction with the Noël Coward Prize, and Sacramento Music Circus). A graduate of Amherst College, Doug recently joined the faculty of The Neighborhood Playhouse, where he teaches the second year students in song interpretation. He is a member of the Dramatists Guild, ASCAP, the BMI Musical Theatre Workshop, and the TONY Award Nominating Committee. LOVELY SEND ANYWHERE, a finalist for the Laurents-Hatcher Award, has been developed at the Lark Play Development Center and received a reading in October 2012 starring Santino Fontana and Condola Rashad.

SAM I AM by Joshua H. Cohen
What does it take to step into somebody else's life? Sam Kenner, a young woman adrift, wins her dream job, taking over Sam Krantz's electrical supply company. The catch is, she also has to take over his entire life - husband to his wife, father to his teenage kids - so he can run off on his new Harley. Just as Sam starts to think she's making headway integrating into the family, she is foiled by a sequence of events involving a dead dog, a missing child, a revealed family secret, and an electrical fire. She finally realizes that if she wants a real, solid life, she will have to reject the settled life that is not her own, in favor of an uncertainty which is at least hers.

Joshua H. Cohen's honors include an American Theatre Wing Jonathan Larson Grant, a MAC Award nomination, and the Anna Zornio Children's Theatre Playwriting Award for KEEP ON WALKIN' (lyrics), which will be produced in New York by Amas Music Theatre in January 2014, under a grant from the NEA. His play THE THIRTEENTH COMMANDMENT, following past readings at Judson Church and Jewish Ensemble Theatre, had its world premiere in New York with Libra Theater Company in spring 2013. His musical TAMAR OF THE RIVER (lyricist and co-bookwriter) had a workshop at Signature Theatre in July 2010, was presented in an oratorio version by Choral Chameleon and New York Theatre Barn in March, and will have its world premiere with Prospect Theatre Company this fall.

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