Columbia New Plays Festival Runs April 4th-May 12th

Columbia New Plays Festival Runs April 4th-May 12th

 

Columbia University School of the Arts presents ten new plays written by the Columbia MFA Playwriting Students of 2018. The esteemed faculty who have nurtured these students, including Pulitzer Prize winner Lynn Nottage and Charles L. Mee, invite you to experience these innovative new playwrights.

From Head of Playwriting, David Henry Hwang, "The works of the MFA playwriting class of 2018 exhibit a wide range of cultural, international and aesthetic diversity. Theatre is vital enough to tell many different kind of stories, using a variety of formal techniques, to engage our hearts and minds. We're proud of these bold and energetic new works by the next generation of playwrights."

THE OUTPOSTERS by Santino DeAngelo

As a group of friends approaches adulthood, three love stories unfold in a small apartment in Washington Heights.

Tickets: FREE at Lenfest Center for the Arts 615 W. 129th St.

Ticketing Info: https://lenfest.arts.columbia.edu/events/outposters

River Rouge by Andy Boyd

One was a communist. The other was a capitalist. One was an artist. The other, an engineer. And yet, for the year between the spring of 1932 and the spring of 1933, Diego Rivera and Henry Ford were friends. Rivera came to Detroit on a commission from Ford's son Edsel to paint a mural on the theme of Detroit Industry. Rivera and his wife the painter Frida Kahlo arrived in a city on the brink of revolution or collapse: bank failures, violent labor clashes, rallies by Communists and Bible-quoting proto-fascists that drew audiences in the thousands. River Rouge tells the story of the year that followed in a dizzying collage-inspired style mixing vaudeville, docudrama, folk music, protest theatre, and magical realism. It asks a question as relevant today as it was in 1932: how can art help us remake the world?

Tickets: FREE at Lenfest Center for the Arts 615 W. 129th St.

Ticketing Info: https://lenfest.arts.columbia.edu/events/river-rouge

Between Fire and Smoke by Ed Wasserman

After leaving his home and family to join a militant occupation in faraway Carthage National Park, Edom Donovan has finally returned to Eastern Falls. As the late summer heat breaks one-hundred degrees, Edom tries to set the record straight about what happened out in the wilderness, while his family struggles to pick up the pieces of a shattered past. Set in a 21st century city on the edge of America's old West, Between Fire and Smoke is a play about possession, belonging, staying put, and moving along.

Tickets: FREE at Ford Studio - The Pershing Square Signature Center 480 W. 42nd St.

Ticketing Info: https://arts.columbia.edu/events/between-fire-and-smoke

The Nature Room by Nora Sørena Casey

High in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, in the middle of a majestic natural park, sits a small Natural History Museum and Gift Shop decorated to look like the forest outside. From within, Lee is trying to stop the development of the land. But when she enlists the help of an old friend, Lee invites more than memories into her refuge. The Nature Room is a comedy about love, survival, and the California Wolverine.

Tickets: FREE at Ford Studio - The Pershing Square Signature Center 480 W. 42nd St.

Ticketing Info: https://arts.columbia.edu/events/nature-room

House of Karen by Max Mondi

Karen, a 75-year-old retired college administrator (Brenda Wehle, NYTW's Mary Jane), is pushed out of the home in which she raised her son Blake and has lived for decades. When she learns that the house has been turned into a Airbnb, she sets out to take back her home by joining all the other wanderers and travelers and becoming a guest in the Airbnb.

Tickets: FREE at Ford Studio - The Pershing Square Signature Center 480 W. 42nd St.

Ticketing Info: https://arts.columbia.edu/events/house-karen

The Colony by Gina Stevensen

A young woman named Carrie Buck arrives at a mysterious medical facility. Where is her daughter? What is this place? Why is she here? Based on true events surrounding the 1927 Supreme Court case Buck vs. Bell, The Colony explores the xenophobia and reckless patriotism that swept through America nearly a hundred years ago, and the reverberations of this controversial legacy.

Tickets: FREE at Ford Studio - The Pershing Square Signature Center 480 W. 42nd St.

Ticketing Info: https://arts.columbia.edu/events/colony

Field, Awakening by Melis Aker

After ten years of self-imposed estrangement from her country, Rana is reunited with three old friends on a soccer field in Istanbul on July 15th 2016 (the eve of the attempted coup d'etat in Turkey), only to realize what it was that really drove them apart. Spanning across the surreal events of one evening, interweaving the world of the soccer field with a lost dog and a mysterious encounter on cyber space, Field, Awakening is a "stranger in a strange land" tale masked under a homecoming: a meditation on the brutal nature of nostalgia, sexual identity, redemption, and paranoia in the face of political turmoil, surveillance, and a fleeting landscape of familiarity.

Tickets: FREE at Ford Studio - The Pershing Square Signature Center 480 W. 42nd St.

Ticketing Info: https://arts.columbia.edu/events/field-awakening

Kill Hamlet by Nako Adodoadji

In a twist of meta-theatrical fate, a mid-career playwright named Alexandra comes face to face with her creation, a young heroine named Ophelia, who has been tasked with killing her former lover, Hamlet, the Prince of Denmark. Unwittingly, Alexandra switches places with Ophelia and is forced into a world in which she has little to no control. At its core, Kill Hamlet probes the role of identity, loss and free will when you think you are in control of your own story and discover you're not.

Tickets: FREE at Ford Studio - The Pershing Square Signature Center 480 W. 42nd St.

Ticketing Info: https://arts.columbia.edu/events/kill-hamlet

The Feather Doesn't Fall Far from the Wing: A Play with Music by Ayvaunn Penn

Written, composed, and directed by Ayvaunn Penn, The Feather Doesn't Fall Far from the Wing: A Play with Music is the perfect elixir of poetry, song, and dance. It reimagines Lucifer's fall from heaven while bringing into fantasy a sister who takes over as heaven's new minister of music and a jealous brother who can't be trusted to keep her secrets.

Tickets: FREE at Ford Studio - The Pershing Square Signature Center 480 W. 42nd St.

Ticketing Info: https://arts.columbia.edu/events/feather-doesn%E2%80%99t-fall-far-wing-play-music

Into the Zone by Gordon Penn

The entire base in on lockdown. While the cause remains a mystery the Soldiers of Echo Company are confined to their barracks. As the day wears on, they slowly turn on each other while their leadership descends into madness and violence in this comedy about a tragedy.

Tickets: FREE at Ford Studio - The Pershing Square Signature Center 480 W. 42nd St.

Ticketing Info: https://arts.columbia.edu/events/zone

Santino DeAngelo is a New York-based playwright, composer and lyricist, and commercial producer of theater, musical theater, orchestra, ballet, and film. Described by the New York Times as having a "gift for engaging melodies," Santino's body of work includes Foolerie (winner of NYMF 2015 Next Link Project), Slow to Burn, and Narcissus: An Ancient Roman Pantomime Reconstruction (recorded for broadcast on PBS-WSKG). Santino is the recipient of numerous grants and awards, including the Rod Sterling Award for Best Screenwriting (2007), NMI's 2014 New Voices Project (Walt Disney Imagineering), and is a 2011 Harpur Fellow. Santino assisted John Weidman on the 2017 off-Broadway revival of Pacific Overtures and Lara Shapiro (The Americans, Berlin Station) on the development of A New Television project. Santino is the Executive Producer of The Foolish Company in New York, a teaching assistant in the television writing program at the School of the New York Times, and a 2018 MFA Playwriting candidate at Columbia University. www.santinodeangelo.com / @santinodeangelo

Andy Boyd is a playwright based in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. His previous plays include Os Confederados, She Shall be Praised, and The Trade Federation, or, Let's Explore Globalization Through the Star Wars Prequels. His plays have been produced or workshopped by Naked Theatre, Out Loud Theatre, Epic Theatre Company, and Contemporary Theatre of Rhode Island, and have been shown in the New York, Capital, and Providence Fringe Festivals. In addition to writing plays, Andy records music under the project name Andy the Giant and co-hosts Better than Shakespeare, a socialist theatre podcast, with Danny Erickson. He is the recipient of the Phillis Anderson Prize awarded by The American Repertory Theatre and a Rhode Island State Council for the Arts Grant in Playwriting and Screenwriting.

Ed Wasserman is a New York City-based playwright, currently pursuing his MFA at Columbia University. His plays include Dear Mr. Kappus, From Pilgrim Landing (Semi-Finalist, National Playwrights Conference 2016), Town Hall, Only Words, and Between Fire and Smoke.

Nora SØrena Casey's plays include Take the Car (Williamstown Theatre Festival, upcoming Brooklyn College), Resistance Training (Women-In-Theatre Festival), Waiting (Columbia Stages), Dreams of Malinche (Everyday Inferno), and Not Afraid (PowerOut). Her most recent play, False Stars, premiered at the Corkscrew Festival in a "fast-paced, heartfelt and precise" (Stagebuddy) production that was "packed with young talent" (New York Times). A frequent collaboration with The Motor Company, Nora's site-specific works include Derek and the Sheep, Intimate Bar Plays, and Absolutely Somewhere. She is the Playwright-In-Residence with Athena Theatre Company's Athena Writes and a member of Project Y's Playwright's Group. Her dramaturgy projects include the development of The Universe is a Small Hat by Cesar Alvarez (Joe's Pub, Prelude 2013, Babycastles); workshops of an untitled play by Jackie Sibblies Drury (Lark Studio Retreat); The In-Between by Kareem Fahmy (Noor Theatre's The Myth Project), and contributing to The Civilians cabaret Let Me Ascertain You: Holy Matrimony! (Joe's Pub). Nora recently assisted Robert O'Hara on the world premiere of Mankind (Playwrights Horizons) and David Henry Hwang on the Broadway revival of M. Butterfly, directed by Julie Taymor.

Max Mondi is a writer based in New York. His plays include Maybe Tomorrow (winner of Overall Excellence in a Play at FringeNYC), House of Karen, and Personhood. His work has been produced and developed at The PIT, SoHo Playhouse, Under St. Marks, Dixon Place, Abingdon Theatre Company, Project Y Theatre, among others. Max has been a resident writer for Project Y Theatre and the Abingdon Theatre Company. Recently, Max was a Visiting Artist at the Shanghai Theatre Academy, where the Chinese version of Maybe Tomorrow debuted. He is also a founding member of Interim Writers, a Boston-based playwrights collective, and Project: Project, a Boston-based devised theatre company. Max holds a BA in Theatre History/Criticism from the University of Vermont.

Gina Stevensen is a playwright who embraces magic and myth to tell stories about gender, power, and identity. The Playwrights' Center's Core Writers Program has said her writing, "beautifully captures the specificity of young womanhood." Her plays include The Colony (Finalist, Kennedy Center 2018 MFA Playwrights Workshop), Cruel Sister (Semi-Finalist, O'Neill National Playwrights Conference 2018), Kids (Williamstown Theatre Festival 2017), and Book of Esther (Top Ten Finalist: 2017 Jewish Playwriting Contest, Semi-Finalist: 2016 Princess Grace Award). Gina is a member of Joust Theatre Company's 2018 Writer's Round Table and was a finalist for New Perspectives Theatre Company's 2018 Women's Work Short Play Lab. She teaches playwriting through Tribeca Performing Arts Center's Writers in Performance Workshop and The Writer's Rock, and has worked as a TA in undergraduate drama at NYU and Barnard College. Most recently, she assisted playwright, performer, and activist Eve Ensler on the New York premiere of her solo show In the Body of the World at Manhattan Theatre Club. BFA Drama: NYU Tisch. MFA Playwriting Candidate: Columbia University. www.ginastevensen.com

Melis Aker is an actor, writer and musician from Turkey. Plays: Field, Awakening (2018 Sundance Theatre Lab final-round / 2018 Berkeley Rep Ground Floor Finalist / Lark's 2018 Van Lier New Voices Fellowship Finalist) will be receiving another round of performances as part of the Corkscrew Festival in New York later this summer. Manar (2017 Columbia@Roundabout Finalist / 2016 Theatre503 Playwriting Award Semi-Finalist) was accepted to Golden Thread Productions' 2017 ReOrient Festival, LPAC's 2017 Rough Draft Festival, and was recently a part of Silk Road Rising's featured emerging Middle Eastern playwrights on New Play Exchange. It is also in consideration for The New Group/No Limits reading series. 330 Pegasus: A Love Letter [Part I] (Lark's 2018 Jerome New York Fellowship Finalist) received a reading via Noor Theatre's Highlight series at NYTW. Azul, Otra Vez [Blue, Revisited] with music by Jacinta Clusellas, directed by Tatiana Pandiani as part of her NUTW 2050 Fellowship, and the BRICLab Residency. Melis is thrilled to be a part of the MEA Writers group hosted at the Lark with Mona Mansour. Acting: Love in Afghanistan (Arena Stage) for which she also did a reading at the Roundabout, Wishing Tree (Signature Theatre), House of Joy (Atlantic Theatre), Tare a Root from the Earth (Kennedy Center / New Ohio Ice Factory), We Live in Cairo (2016 NAMT Festival at New World Stages), Opium (New Dramatists), Tsunami (2014 PEN World Voices Festival), Soldier X (Ma-Yi), My Gay Roommate: the web-series (YouTube), The Blacklist: Redemption (NBC). Melis will be giving a TEDx Talk in Ankara and joining the cask of Daybreak (Pan Asian Rep) in the spring. She also works as Ayad Akhtar's assistant. BA in Drama/Philosophy (Tufts University), Acting certificate (Royal Academy of Dramatic Art), MFA candidate in Playwriting (Columbia University). www.melisaker.com

Nako Adodoadji is a writer, actor and multi-disciplinary artist. She has performed at The Wilma Theater, The Arden Theatre Company, The Prince Music Theater, InterAct Theatre Company, Writing is Live Festival at Brown University, and The Philadelphia Fringe Festival. She has also been featured in commercials and industrials, and has worked with such notable artists as Carl Hancock Rux, Ifa Bayeza, Blanka Zizka, Kym Moore, Mercedes Ellington, and Brian Sanders. Her play, A Lonely Light, was presented in the 2015 Women Playwrights International Conference in Cape Town, South Africa, and in the 2009 Philadelphia Fringe Festival. She was a finalist for the 2017 Downtown Urban Arts Festival in New York for her play, Protest, which was performed in the festival at Cherry Lane Theatre and placed second in the Best Short Play Category. Additionally, she was a finalist for the Kate Neal Kinley Memorial Fellowship, and most recently worked as a script consultant and acting coach for the award-winning short film, The Cage, which received the GOLD SCREEN Young Directors Award at the 2017 Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity and is an Oscar qualifier for Best Narrative Short. She has been nominated for the inaugural Mabou Mines Suite Space artist residency program, and she is currently developing a new play titled Kill Hamlet, which will receive a production this spring at Signature Theatre, and she is developing a one-woman show titled, The Celibate Life, which will receive a staged reading this summer at Columbia University. Ms. Adodoadji is a University of the Arts Alum with a BFA in Acting, and she is a member of Actors' Equity Association. She is currently in the MFA in Playwriting Program at Columbia University (expected graduation, 2018).

Ayvaunn Penn is in the final year of her Master of Fine Arts in Playwriting at Columbia University where she has the honor of being the School of the Arts Dean's Fellowship recipient for the playwriting class of 2018. She is also a lyricist, composer, and director. She most recently served as assistant director to two-time Tony Award winner Ruben Santiago-Hudson at the Billie Holiday Theatre and Golden Globe winner Regina Taylor at the Tony Award winning Goodman Theatre. Prior to attending Columbia University, she earned a Master of Arts in Theatre with a double concentration in acting and playwriting at Louisiana Tech University. She was honored with: the 2015 Lula Mae Sciro Award for Theatre excellence, the 2015 Arthur W. Stone Playwright Award, and also won first place in the graduate level research symposium, for her presentation on Shakespeare's use of metre to define relationships between characters as well as portray a character's nature. Her undergraduate degree was completed at Austin College with a BA in English and Philosophy. Penn is the founder of Black and Making it - a press outlet featuring black artists on and off Broadway. A few interviewees include the two-time Pulitzer Prize winner Lynn Nottage, two-time Tony Award winner Ruben Santiago, and Motown music legend turned playwright Berry Gordy. She is also the founder of the Bible & Penn Productions which uses theatre to help audiences, students, and actors engage scripture in new and exciting ways. Ayvaunn is: a member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Foundation 2017-2018 Observership Class; an inductee of Alpha Psi Omega National Theatre Honor Society; and a member of the Dramatist Guild of America.

Gordon Penn, Columbia University School of the Arts 2018. Credits include Into The Zone (directed by Ann Cooley) and Disarm at the Schapiro Theatre, Columbia University; Thank You For Your Service at The City College of New York; Into The Zone (Mandarin translation directed by Ann Cooley) at The Shanghai Theatre Academy, China. Producing credits include: I Came To New York To Write by Robert Patrick (directed by Ann Filmer) at the Organic Theatre (Chicago) ; Actors Are People Who Lie To You by Andy Cobb at the Bailiwick Theatre.

The Oscar Hammerstein II Center for Theatre Studies at Columbia University School of the Arts presents a season of thesis actor and director productions as well as a festival of new plays by emerging playwrights each year. The Theatre Program at the School of the Arts offers MFA degrees in: Acting, Directing, Playwriting, Dramaturgy, Stage Management, and Theatre Management & Producing. For more information about the Theatre Program, visit http://arts.columbia.edu/theatre.

 

 

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