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AracaWorks Hosts New Reading Series, 5/10-13


A Reading Series of New Plays
By David Brian Colbert, Lucy Kirkwood,
Emily Chadick Weiss, and Anna Ziegler

Admission is free and open to the public.

Limited seating, reservations suggested:

WHAT: The Araca Group announces the return of AracaWorks, a week-long series of play readings celebrating new work for the theatre.

AracaWorks premiered in December 2010, showcasing both established playwrights and emerging voices; the 2010 lineup featured work from Tony Award winner Greg Kotis, as well as newcomer Robert Zander Norman, winner of AracaWorks' Playwriting contest. The readings played to packed houses and enthusiastic feedback. Participating playwright Andrew Hinderaker (Suicide, Incorporated) spoke with the New York Times about the benefit of the AracaWorks experience: "Part of what you're looking for is the audience response. What's great about a reading is that it's an opportunity to really hear your work again and focus on any changes." Several plays from AracaWorks' inaugural season are slated for fully-staged regional productions.

Beginning May 10th, audiences will be treated each night to a reading of a new play at an early stage of development. Araca's goal with this project is to present plays that have not yet received a fully realized production in New York City and to create a platform for the development of new plays and new voices. AracaWorks will pair each playwright with a director and a group of New York actors. The series will provide an outlet for playwrights to explore their material in a forum open to the public, yet safe from critical reviews.

WHEN: May 10-13, 2011 @ 7:30PM

WHERE: Ars Nova, 511 West 54th Street, New York, NY 10036 (between 10th and 11th avenues)

Admission is free and open to the public.
Seating is limited. Reservations are suggested and may be made online at
Follow Twitter: @aracaworks (

Schedule of Readings

Tuesday: C.O.A.L. (Confessions of a Liar) - written by David Brian Colbert/directed by Jeremy Dobrish
(Note: Winning Entry in the AracaWorks Play Reading Prize for tri-state post graduates)
About C.O.A.L. (Confessions of a Liar): Coal, a self-confessed sociopath, comes to terms with the effects of his lies on a small Southern town. Fractured into four personalities, Coal is at once a charming Southern gentleman, an aging debutante, a rebellious teenage girl and a wounded little boy. Through these perspectives, Coal is confronted with the question, is there any reason to stop lying when lying becomes your truth?

Wednesday: The Spectacular Spinsters of Shoreditch - written by Lucy Kirkwood/directed by Evan Cabnet
About The Spectacular Spinsters of Shoreditch: Have you met the Spinsters? A funny, provocative look at two unconventional older women living on their own terms in suburban London. Trouble brews when their relationship with their neighbors deepens.

Thursday: The Extraordinary New Bible - written by Emily Chadick Weiss/directed by Dylan McCullough
About The Extraordinary New Bible: In present day Arizona, Father is turning sixty and demands extraordinary gifts from his grown daughters. Since he raised them on the dramatic stories, not the Jewish traditions of The Old Testament, Alison and Marissa both decide to write the best new bible for their father - one that is about the epic tale of their family. But when they learn they are competing for not only their father's love, but the love of the rabbinic student Father found wandering in the desert, Alison and Marissa must decide if they will remain within the confines of their primitive upbringing, or venture out into secular America.

Friday: The Minotaur - written by Anna Ziegler/directed by Sarna Lapine
About The Minotaur: A present-day version of a classic Greek myth, Anna Ziegler's The Minotaur is a contemporary take on love, honor, and human connection. With refreshing originality and wit, The Minotaur explores how we break out of history in order to shape new stories for ourselves.

Creative Bios:

The Araca Group is a theatrical production and live event merchandising company. As producers, Araca's credits include: Urinetown: The Musical, Wicked, Frankie and Johnny in the Claire de Lune, Boeing, Boeing, The Laramie Project, Debbie Does Dallas, The Vagina Monologues, The Scene, Fault Lines, The Wedding Singer, Match, A View From the Bridge, Lend Me a Tenor, Catch Me If You Can; The House of Blue Leaves, and The Merchant of Venice. As merchandisers, Araca's operations include productions on Broadway and throughout the world.

David Brian Colbert - C.O.A.L. (Confessions of a Liar)
David Brian Colbert is a native of North Carolina and proud Kentucky Colonel (like the Fried Chicken). He majored in Voice at Peabody Conservatory at Johns Hopkins University and immediately went to writing lyrics to techno/disco songs for the Italian record label, Dance Works Attacks, a division of MCA, while singing with the Corale Pisano, a professional chorus in Pisa, Italy. His musical, ELTINGE, received its first public reading at the Woodstock Fringe Festival in 2009. As an actor, he has traveled the country for several years in the title role of Hedwig and the Angry Inch. This show has won him numerous awards, including the Barrymore Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Musical. Colbert recently received his third MAC Nomination as one of the Technical Directors at the Laurie Beechman Theatre in Manhattan. As a vocalist, he has performed with Peter Nero and the Philadelphia Pops and received the MAC Award and the New York City Nightlife Award. Colbert is on the Town Hall Concert Series Recordings of Broadway Unplugged Vol. 6 and Broadway By the Year 1928 as well as the City Theater Cast Recording of Hedwig and the Angry Inch.

Lucy Kirkwood - The Spectacular Spinsters of Shoreditch
Lucy Kirkwood hails from East London where she is a writer in residence at Clean Break Theatre Company. Her plays have been developed or performed throughout England at the Bedlam, Union, Bush, and Gate Theatres. Kirkwood's play It Felt Empty When The Heart Went At First But It Is Alright Now was presented at the Arcola theatre and nominated for the Evening Standard - Newcomer Award 2010. Her adaptation Beauty and the Beast was performed at The National Theatre this winter and her collaboration with fellow Skins writer Ed Hime, Small Hours, premiered at The Hampstead Theatre in January. She is also under commission at the Manhattan Theatre Club and writes for the Company Pictures TV series Skins.

Emily Chadick Weiss - The Extraordinary New Bible
Emily Chadick Weiss is a three-time EST/Sloan Grant recipient, and has had her work developed or performed at The Atlantic, The Cherry Lane Theatre, The Ensemble Studio Theatre, and The 52nd Street Project. Emily was a finalist for the Heideman Award through The Actors Theatre of Louisville, a finalist for the Samuel French Off-Off Broadway Original Short Play Festival, a finalist for the Austin Film Festival, the Slamdance Screenwriting Competition, a three-time winner of the Agnes Nixon Playwriting Contest at Northwestern University, and a winner of Young Playwrights Inc. National Playwriting Contest. Emily is a member of the playwriting group, Youngblood, at The Ensemble Studio Theatre and has been a member of the Dramatists Guild since 2003.

Anna Ziegler - The Minotaur
Anna Ziegler's plays include: An Incident (2011 O'Neill Playwrights Conference; 2010 New Play Workshop at Chautauqua Theater Company); Photograph 51 (Theater J; Ensemble Studio Theatre; Fountain Theatre; EST's First Light Festival, directed by Lynne Meadow; winner of the 2009 STAGE Competition judged by David Auburn, John Guare and David Lindsay-Abaire); Variations on a Theme (2010 TheatreWorks New Works Festival; 2008 New Play Workshop at Chautauqua Theater Company; finalist for the O'Neill Playwrights Conference), The Minotaur (2010 McCarter Theatre's Lab Festival); BFF (W.E.T., 2007; Sundance Theatre Lab 2005; finalist for the O'Neill Playwrights Conference and the L. Arnold Weissberger Award); Dov and Ali (Playwrights Realm @ The Cherry Lane; Chester Theater; Theatre503, London); Life Science (Brown/Trinity Playwrights Rep); Novel (SPF, 2007); and Evening All Afternoon (New Georges' Germ Project, 2011).
Ziegler's plays have been developed by: The Manhattan Theatre Club, Rattlestick Theatre, The New Group, The Old Vic New Voices program, Primary Stages, The Cape Cod Theatre Project, The Geva Theatre Center, The Soho Rep Writer/Director Lab, The Playwright's Center PlayLabs Festival, Ars Nova, New Georges, Epic Theatre Ensemble, and many more.
She is the recipient of a 2011 Tribeca Film Institute/Sloan grant to adapt her play Photograph 51 for film; Ari Handel, Darren Aronofsky, Audrey Rosenberg and Rachel Weisz are producers. Ziegler holds commissions from the Sloan Foundation, New Georges and the Virginia Stage Company. She is the winner of the 2010 Douglas T. Ward Playwriting Prize, awarded by Tisch, which is given to an alum of the dramatic writing program in celebration of her/his work.
Ziegler's work has been published in New Playwrights: The Best Plays of 2007, Best Ten-Minute Plays 2010, Ten-Minute Plays for 2 Actors: The Best of 2004 (Smith and Kraus) and New American Short Plays 2005 (Backstage Books, ed. Craig Lucas). BFF, Life Science and Photograph 51 are published by Dramatists Play Service. More can be found at:

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