Jeanne Lauren Smith and Karen Eleanor Wight Cast For Reading of Michael Wells-Oakes' Newest Play, LEAVE PHILADELPHIA, NEVER

Jeanne Lauren Smith and Karen Eleanor Wight Cast For Reading of Michael Wells-Oakes' Newest Play, LEAVE PHILADELPHIA, NEVERJeanne Lauren Smith and Karen Eleanor Wight are set for a reading of LEAVE PHILADELPHIA, NEVER, written by Michael Wells-Oakes. The family drama will be directed by Cynthia Granville and presented by the 29th Street Playwrights Collective New Work Series on Monday October 1, at the Bernie Wohl Center, 647 Columbus Ave, at 7:30pm.

An industry-oriented reading will follow on Thursday, October 18, at Dramatist Guild Foundation Music Hall, 356 West 40th Street at 1:30pm.

LEAVE PHILADELPHIA, NEVER is a snapshot in light and shadow, of an Irish, Catholic, Philadelphia - American family. It's 1949, the war is over. The world trembles with change and Mary Claire Ryan, 33 years old, feels the tremors big time. She's determined to escape her family's patriarchal grip. She breaks every rule in the Ryan family Bible to do it! But can she sever the cord? Can she ever leave Philadelphia?

Jeanne Lauren Smith, recently featured in Off Broadway's IN THE BLEAK MIDWINTER by Dorothy Lyman and in the acclaimed revival of Charles Bush's WHEN QUEENS COLLIDE (NYTimes featured), has been cast in the lead role of Mary Claire Ryan, the youngest Ryan sibling.

Karen Eleanor Wight, recently co-starred in the Off-West End and Off-Broadway production of THE SCREWTAPE LETTERS for which she originated the role of Toadpipe, a demon-creature who physically transforms into nine human characters. Karen will read the older sister, Jean Ryan - the Ryan siblings call her "the General."

Joining the cast are Richard Grunn (Urbano's Circus), awarded a 2016 BRIO fellowship for the film "cliff" from the Bronx Council on the Arts; Adam Bradley, writer/producer of two feature films, "Bank$tas" (2014 LA Comedy Festival Best of Fest,) and "Yesterday Last Year" (Best Feature 2017 GeekFest Film Festival) and Jared Mason Murray, Artistic Associate with The Seeing Place Theater, and was featured as Mikey in Shear Madness at The Kennedy Center.

Cynthia Granville, a frequent collaborator with the 29th Street Playwrights Collective as director and actor, directed YOU CAN'T PLAY BARBIES WHEN SOMEONE HAS STOLEN THEIR HEADS, performing currently at HB Studio.

Michael Wells-Oakes' LEAVE PHILADELPHIA NEVER is the second play of a tetralogy about his home town. His plays have been seen at The Luna Stage (NJ), The Triangle (SC), the Harold Clurman, the Ko Festival (MA), and Manhattan Class Company. He is a National Playwrights Conference Finalist, a MacDowell Colony Fellow, a member of the Dramatist Guild and the 29th Street Playwrights Collective.

The 29th Street Playwrights Collective is dedicated to developing the voices of emerging, mature playwrights, and to fostering new works for the stage through weekly craft workshops, public readings and workshop performances, and is committed to gender parity (50% women) in theater.

Both the October 1st and October 18th readings are free. Please RSVP at Eventbrite.

For further information contact 29thstplaywrightscollective@gmail.com

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