Corkscrew Theater Festival to Present 5 Free Readings of New Plays

By: Aug. 04, 2017

Free tickets can now be reserved for the reading series presented by Corkscrew Theater Festival, running August 7 - September 3 at the Paradise Factory (64 East 4th Street, Manhattan). A joint effort from The Brewing Dept. and Fortress Productions, this new summer theater festival provides early-career artists a high level of production support and features five world premieres and five readings performed in repertory over four weeks. Special attention has been given to theater makers who are developing work through innovative and unusual collaborative models. A majority of the participating artists identify as women.

The reading series includes: A Day in the Life by Uzunma Udeh, Mad Cool by Ayo Edebiri and Nick Parker, Hot Cross Buns by Julia Izumi and Grace Oberhofer, Gonzo by Laura Winters, and The New Order by Ryan Bernsten.

Corkscrew Theater Festival is a partnership between The Brewing Dept., a nonprofit theater collective that seeks to improve and remake the traditional model of theatrical production according to the principles of artistic collaboration, and producer Alexander Donnelly's Fortress Productions, whose work on Broadway includes Sunday in the Park with George, Waitress (co-producer) and Oh Hello. Donnelly's other credits include Dream Ticket (Fringe Festival, winner for best director) and Plath (Fringe Festival, sold out run and nationally reviewed), both of which made the Producer's Perspective list of "10 shows that stand out at Fringe." Most recently, Fortress co-produced Providence, RI in The Tank's Flint and Tinder series.

All performances as part of the Corkscrew Theater Festival will take place at the Paradise Factory (64 East 4th Street, Manhattan). Individual tickets to the five mainstage productions are $24 with discount passes available to those seeing more than one show. All five readings are free. Visit to purchase tickets and to learn more or call 347.954.9125 for more information.

Corkscrew Theater Festival Readings

A Day in the Life: A Performance Piece of Performance Pieces
by Uzunma Udeh, directed by Uzunma Udeh & Ann-Kathryne Mills
Monday, August 7 at 8pm; 40 min

A Day in the Life explores a "typical" day for this black woman. From waking up, to enduring catcalls, to dreading a salad lunch, to sleeping joyfully, the play celebrates the normal, emphasizing that in today's climate, victory dwells in the mundane. Sharing these moments through satirical takes on various performance art styles provides an opportunity to poke fun at the banalities of day-to-day life, while still embracing the accomplishment of getting through it.

Performed by Uzunma Udeh and Ann-Kathryne Mills

Uzunma Udeh is a writer, play and sketch, performer, and online content creator based in NYC. Her work has been presented at the Riant Theatre, Manhattan Repertory Theater and the Boston Playwrights' Theatre. Her voice has been described as strong and unique, and she's not afraid to let you hear it.

Ann-Kathryne Mills is excited to help bring this relevant, wacky new work to the stage. She is grateful for continuous immersive opportunities in the world of theater.

Mad Cool
by Ayo Edebiri & Nick Parker, directed by Diane Chen
produced by Charles Hayes IV
Friday, August 11 at 4:30pm; 60 min

Mad Cool is a two-character one-act about Tina and Daniel, an interracial couple moving into a gentrifying neighborhood in Brooklyn on the hottest day of the year. With no A/C. As they set up in their new apartment, tensions (both romantic and racial) bubble up, culminating in a grisly accident. This tense dark comedy lays bare the harsh difficulties of interracial relationships - between lovers, between roommates, and between New York neighbors.

Performed by Jacob Samuels, Ashley Jones, Beethovan Oden, and Aaron Morton

Ayo Edebiri is an actor, writer, and improviser in New York City. She's performed in readings, musicals, and improv shows at UCB, the PIT, and Dixon Place. When not performing, you can find her writing plays, pilots, and the occasional twitter rant. She currently attends New York University where she is about to receive her BFA in Dramatic Writing.

Nick Parker is a playwright, lyricist, and librettist based in NYC. Credits include Natalie (Midtown International Theatre Festival) and Lydia & Tom (New York International Fringe Festival). He is a graduate of Columbia University and a member of the BMI Lehmen Engel Musical Theatre Writing Workshop.

Diane Chen is a NYC based multidisciplinary filmmaker and theater artist, and co-founder of Multihyphenate Productions (MHP). As director and/or performer: Dixon Place, The Habitat, Exquisite Corpse Company, Scrap Mettle Arts, JACK, Columbia, Off With Her Head Productions. As screenwriter and actor, her short films have screened at Sundance and Toronto International Film Festival. Film directing work includes MHP's first comedy short film Waking Up. Her award-winning series Here We Wait has been making its international festival circuit this year. Education: Dartmouth College, LAMDA, BLCU.,

Hot Cross Buns
book and lyrics by Julia Izumi, music and lyrics by Grace Oberhofer, directed by Logan Reed
produced by Hannah Greene
Monday, August 14 at 8pm; 90 min

Welcome to Bunny Isle, home to the happiest bunnies! And when they're at their happiest moment in life, they do the only logical thing: they end it. Speaking of life, pop superstar bunny, Mayda, loves hers. So when her fiancé Duane proposes to be crushed by the weight of two tons of carrots together at their wedding, she has very, very last minute regrets, hops out of the way, and causes a Rabbit Revolution. In Hot Cross Buns, a twisted new musical, Mayda is forced to confront the meaning of life and what's worth fighting for. Nothing fluffy about it.

Grace Oberhofer is a Tacoma, WA native and a Tufts graduate who works as a composer, performer, sound designer, and music director in Brooklyn. She's worked with the Adirondack Theater Festival, New Ohio, and the Tank, among others. Current compositions include choral play trilogy ICONS/IDOLS (Opera America Discovery Grant recipient), musical After I Was Free, and A Doll's House: A New Opera. Grace is also a current member of the BMI Musical Theater Workshop.

Julia Izumi is a playwright, performer, and penguin. Her plays have been developed with the Great Plains Theatre Conference, WOW Cafe Theatre, New Ohio Theater, Dixon Place, Martin E. Segal Center, NY Society Library, Williamstown Theatre Festival, the Brewing Dept., and Habitat Theatre Company, among others. She received an HB Studio First Floor Residency and was selected for the Theater Masters' National MFA Playwrights Festival. MFA in Writing for Performance at Brown University ('19).

Logan Reed is a New York based theatre director with select credits including Terrence McNally's It's Only a Play (Hawaii Theatre), Callie Kimball's Hyena (FRIGID Festival), Gabriel Vega Weissman's and Brian Reno's Loose Canon (Scranton Shakespeare Festival/FringeNYC/SoHo Playhouse), Blake Bishton's No Baby and Sarah DeLappe's But I Digress (The Habitat), and Maria Irene Fornes's Springtime (Williamstown). He has also collaborated with the playwrights Jeremy O. Harris, MJ Kaufman, Jessica Penzias, Josh Drimmer, Charles Gershman, Helen Banner, Julia Izumi, and Jacob Perkins. He is the assistant of playwright Terrence McNally and Creative Associate at Tom Kirdahy Productions. B.A. Tufts University. Upcoming M.FA. Columbia University.

by Laura Winters, directed by Noam Shapiro

Friday, August 18 at 4:00pm; 2 hours

On the eve of Mary-Beth's eighteenth birthday (and first professional porn shoot), her role model Chantal returns to Miami to reclaim her throne as queen of amateur porn. With former-star Gen now a 23-year-old has-been, the path appears clear...until new girl Thelma turns out to be more talented than she looks. Gonzo isn't your mother's living-room dramedy - it's a clash over who's really in charge of what gets filmed and who gets screwed.

Performed by Sarah Chapin, Tiffany Iris, Roland Lane, Amanda Moreau, ALex Parrish, JJ Warshaw,?and Laura Winters

Laura Winters is an actress, improviser, and playwright. She recently stared in "Nannies: The Web Series," and performed in The Hearth's For Annie. Laura has studied improv at iO Chicago, UCB, and The Pit. She holds a BA in theatre and a music theatre certificate from Northwestern University.

Noam Shapiro is a NYC-based director, new play dramaturg, and Founder/Co-Artistic Director of Lyra Theater. He is a 2017 Manhattan Theatre Club Directing Fellow, a member of the 2017 Lincoln Center Directors Lab, a 2017-2018 SDCF Directing Observer, and an alumnus of 24 Hour Plays: Nationals. Noam has developed work with The Barrow Group, New Dramatists, The Brick, The Gallery Players, and the Kraine Theater.

The New Order
by Ryan Bernsten, directed by Kristin Skye Hoffmann
produced by Margaret Gandolfo

August 25 at 3pm; 90 min

After a worldwide nuclear holocaust, a widow and her daughter open their farmhouse to two survivors as an act of grace and begin to rebuild their lives. Soon, however, an other-worldly order of Sisters arrives and attempts to seize control of their farm. The family comes to learn that the Sisters' dogma is deadlier than they ever expected, in this horror-thriller that asks what rules we choose to follow when given a chance to rebuild society, and what memories of the old world must become casualties to create a new order.

Performed by Melissa Boatright, Erik Gullberg, Olivia Jampol, Leslie Marseglia, Toni Martin, Amy Lee Pearsall, and Aurea Tomeski

Ryan Bernsten's recent work includes DREAM TICKET (Fortress Productions, 2016 Fringe NY Excellence Award), VOTE! (featured reading, Theatre Wit), and CAMPAIGN/NO GAIN (Brentwood College). Ryan's new musical ATLANTIC will be staged this summer at the Edinburgh Fringe Fetival Assembly mainstage in collaboration with the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. Ryan will begin the master's writing program at the University of Oxford in the fall. @ryanbernsten

Kristin Skye Hoffmann is the Founding Artistic Director of Wide Eyed Productions. Kristin is a theatre and film director/producer residing in Queens. As a director, her work focuses on the support and development of original works as well as the reimagining of new classics. She holds an MFA in Directing from New School for Drama and a BA from The University of Northern Colorado where she studied performing arts. She is a two time Overall Excellence in Directing Award from FringeNYC - 2012/16.) Recent New York City credits; Dream Ticket (Fortress Productions, Fringe NYC award), Dead Special Crabs (Wide Eyed Productions), The Subject Was Roses (EST), At The Finish (Sam French OOB fest), The Old Forever New Things, Red Light Winter, Venus in Fur, (The New School for Drama), Leah in Vegas (NYFringeFest), Animals (Fringe NYC award), theMumblings (Wide Eyed West). Film credits include the short film Isolation and the web series Bar Crossed Lovers, now streaming.