Irish Rep hosts Free Reading of A WAKE ON CHAPPAQUIDDICK 12/4

The Irish Repertory Theatre (132 West 22nd Street) is hosting a NEW WORKS READING SERIES to support new plays and emerging playwrights. As part of its mission statement, The Irish Repertory Theatre "encourages the development of new works focusing on the Irish and Irish American experience, as well as a range of other cultures."

The next of the free staged readings is Jessica Provenz' A Wake on Chappaquiddick. The reading is on Friday, December 4 at 3pm, tickets are free, and the event is open to the public. An RSVP to 212-727-2737 is suggested.

A Wake on Chappaquiddick will read by Rebecca Harris (String of Pearls, Lifegame), Austin Lysy (The American Plan, A Midsummer's Night Dream) and Kellie Overbey (The Savannah Disputation, The Coast of Utopia).

In A Wake on Chappaquiddick, in 1969 a young Senator Ted Kennedy drove off a bridge on the island of Chappaquiddick leaving one woman dead and a country to wonder - did this accident derail his run for the presidency and thereby change the course of history? A Wake on Chappaquiddick is a play in three acts with Kennedy's infamous crash as a backdrop. Each act is set on the ill-fated island and features a love triangle that spans from 1969 to today, from the heat of summer to the dead of winter, from a run-down cottage to a luxury estate. The question throughout is whether a single choice - or accident - can alter a lifetime.

Jessica Provenz (playwright): Jessica's plays have been developed or performed at New Georges, E.S.T., Manhattan Theatre Source, The Actor's Studio, The Gene Frankel Theatre, HERE, Bowery Poetry Club, Circle Rep, Lynx Theatre, Juilliard, 2Ladies Productions, Penobscot Theatre in Main, Theater Theatre and the Powerhouse in Los Angelse, and the Palm Springs Festival, and have been finalists for The Cherry Lane mentorship and The Actor's Theatre of Louisville's 10-minute play festival.

A Wake on Chappaquiddick was previously workshopped at the Cape Cod Theatre Project directed by Kyle Donnelly, with Amy Ryan, Jason Butler Harner, and Mia Barron. Jessica's play Truth or Consequences was read at the DR2 under the direction of Ethan McSweeny with T.R. Knight and Carson Elrod. Better than Chocolate was workshopped at Juilliard with director Hal Brooks. Her newest play, Andromeda, was read at The Barrow Group in October under the direction Gaye Taylor Upchurch. Other plays include More Deceived developed at The Directors Company, Bubbly developed at Juilliard, and Menu - a play commissioned by and for comedian Louie Anderson.

Jessica wrote and co-produced the film Nothing Happened (director Julia Kots), which wrapped in September. She is writing a feature One Night in Bergdorf's for Alicia Keys' Big Pita Lil' Pita and is developing films with De Line, Jon Shestack Productions, and handsomecharlie films among others. She developed TV series "Married in a Year" and "Affairs of State," both with Killer Films, and sold her pitch, "Lone Man on Campus," to Touchstone Pictures.

Jessica Provenz received a B.S. from Northwestern University and was Artist-in-Residence at The Juilliard School for 2 years under the mentorship of Christopher Durang and Marsha Norman. Jessica is a 2-time recipient of the Lecomte du Nouy Award, a mentor with the 52nd Street Project, and a member of The Dramatists Guild.

Kara Manning, Literary Manager, hopes that the reading series will "give playwrights, both emerging and more established, the invaluable opportunity to develop their new work in a supportive, safe environment and will also introduce some Irish playwrights, especially those who might not yet have the New York recognition they merit, to an American audience." The Irish Repertory Theatre's 2007 production of Stuart Carolan's Defender of the Faith was an alumnus of the 2006 New Works Reading Series. Charlotte Moore, Artistic Director, Ciarán O'Reilly, Producing Director.

The New Works Reading Series will resume in 2010 with a reading on January 30th. All readings are subject to schedule change. Readings are at 3 PM unless otherwise noted and are located at The Irish Repertory Theatre (132 West 22nd Street).

Tickets are free and the reading is open to the public. Seating is limited. RSVP by calling The Irish Repertory Theatre Box Office at (212) 727-2737. For more information visit

About The Irish Repertory Theatre
Founded by Ciarán O'Reilly and Charlotte Moore, The Irish Repertory Theatre opened its doors in September 1988 with Sean O'Casey's The Plough and the Stars and is celebrating its 21st Season. The Irish Rep is currently the only year-round theatre company in New York City devoted to bringing Irish and Irish American works to the stage. Recognized with the Jujamcyn Theatres Award, a special Drama Desk Award for "Excellence in Presenting Distinguished Irish Drama," and the Lucille Lortel Award for "Outstanding Body of Work," The Irish Rep has celebrated the very best in Irish theatre for over twenty years, from the masters to the new generation of Irish and Irish American writers who are transforming the stage. Nearly 38,000 audience members annually attend productions at our theatre located in the heart of New York's Off Broadway community. Once here, they witness The Irish Rep's engaging perspective on the Irish and their unique contributions to the world of drama.

Photo credit: Walter McBride

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