Jose Rivera and More to Bring New Works to Brooklyn College, 6/25-29

Jose Rivera and More to Bring New Works to Brooklyn College, 6/25-29Jose Rivera and More to Bring New Works to Brooklyn College, 6/25-29

The Brooklyn College Department of Theater will present its inaugural New Works Brooklyn festival on June 25-29. The series will feature staged readings of one-act plays written by Kia Corthron, Erin Courtney, José Rivera, Anne Washburn, and Mac Wellman, all of whom will take part in audience talkbacks during the week. In addition, Rivera will direct his own piece, and Corthron, Courtney, Washburn, and Wellman will take part in a panel discussion on the development of new plays on the closing day of the festival.

Five groundbreaking one-acts will be presented: Megastasis by Kia Corthron, directed by Elena Araoz; The Last Book of Homer, written and directed by José Rivera; I Will Be Gone by Erin Courtney, directed by Mary Beth Easley; The Small by Anne Washburn, directed by Benjamin Kamine; and The Offending Gesture by Mac Wellman, directed by Meghan Finn. Each of the readings will be curated by current and former students of the Department of Theater.

Kia Corthron's explosive works for the theater include Breath, Boom; Force Continuum; Light Raise the Roof; Urban Zulu Mambo; and A Cool Dip in the Barren Saharan Crick. They have premiered at the Atlantic Theater, Manhattan Theatre Club, New York Theatre Workshop, Playwrights Horizons, Signature Theatre, the Goodman Theatre, the Mark Taper Forum, and London's Royal Court, among others. She has also written for such television series as "The Wire."

Obie winner, New Dramatists member, and Guggenheim Fellow Erin Courtney is a former graduate and now co-coordinator of the M.F.A. Playwriting Program at Brooklyn College. Her productions include 13P's A Map of Virtue; Kaspar Hauser: A Foundling's Opera, which she created in collaboration with Elizabeth Swados; The Service Road at Adhesive Theater Project; Black Cat Lost at Soho Rep; and Demon Baby for Clubbed Thumb. She has also been a contributor for The Flea Theater's celebrated productions of The Great Recession and The Mysteries.

José Rivera's screenplays include The Motorcycle Diaries, for which he was nominated for an Academy Award in 2005; On the Road;and Letters to Juliet. Rivera won Obies for his Public Theater premieres of Marisol and References to Salvador Dali Make Me Hot. His other critically acclaimed works include Cloud Tectonics at Playwrights Horizons, Sueño at MCC Theater, and School of the Americas at The Public. He was also a contributing playwright to Standing on Ceremony at the Minetta Lane and The Mysteries at The Flea.

New Dramatists and 13P fellow Anne Washburn is the author of such pioneering works as The Internationalist; Apparition; Mr. Burns, a post-electric play; The Ladies; A Devil at Noon; and The Communist Dracula Pageant. She has been an associated artist with The Civilians and New Georges, a Susan Smith Blackburn finalist, and, most recently, a professor in the Brooklyn College M.F.A. Playwriting Program.

Since 1998, Brooklyn College's Playwriting Program has been directed by multiple-Obie-winning playwright Mac Wellman, whose students have included this year's Pulitzer Prize laureate, Annie Baker. Wellman's own works include Harm's Way, Crowbar, Bad Penny, Terminal Hip, Sincerity Forever, 7 Blowjobs, A Murder of Crows, The Hyacinth Macaw, and Second-Hand Smoke. He is a co-founder of The Flea Theater as well as a published poet and novelist. His 1984 essay, "The Theatre of Good Intentions," is one of the most influential theater manifestos of the last 30 years.

Brooklyn College's Department of Theater -- Kip Marsh, chair; Mary Beth Easley, artistic director -- is one of New York City's leading institutions in the training of actors, directors, designers, dramaturgs, performing arts managers, and theater technicians. The Department offers undergraduate degree programs leading to the Bachelor of Arts in Theater, the Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting, the Bachelor of Fine Arts in Design & Technical Theater, the Master of Arts in Theater History & Criticism, and the Master of Fine Arts with concentrations in Acting, Directing, Design & Technical Theater, and Performing Arts Management.

The New Works Brooklyn festival will be held in Roosevelt Hall on the campus of Brooklyn College. No reservations required; suggested donation is $5.

The performance schedule is as follows:

Megastasis by Kia Corthron, directed by Elena Araoz, curated by Shane Breaux

Wednesday, June 25, 7:00 PM, 312 Roosevelt Hall

The Last Book of Homer written and directed by José Rivera, curated by Andy Buck

Thursday, June 26, 7:00 PM, 316 Roosevelt Hall

I Will Be Gone by Erin Courtney, directed by Mary Beth Easley, curated by Joshua Bastian Cole Friday, June 27, 7:00 PM, 312 Roosevelt Hall

The Small by Anne Washburn, directed by Benjamin Kamine, curated by Molly Marinik

Saturday, June 28, 3:00 PM, 312 Roosevelt Hall

Panel Discussion on the development of new plays with Corthron, Courtney, Washburn, Wellman moderated by Andy Buck, Sunday, June 29, 1:00 PM, 312 Roosevelt Hall

The Offending Gesture by Mac Wellman, directed by Meghan Finn, curated by Christine Snyder Sunday, June 29, 3:00 PM, 312 Roosevelt Hall

Roosevelt Hall is at 2950 Bedford Avenue, Brooklyn, New York. Flatbush Avenue stop on the 2 train; Avenue H stop on the Q train. For further information, visit the Department of Theater Web page at

Brooklyn College is an innovative liberal arts institution with a history of more than 80 years of academic excellence. With approximately 17,000 students enrolled in 120 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in the humanities, social, behavioral and natural sciences, education, business and the arts, the college is renowned for its rigorous academics, diverse student body, award winning faculty, and highly affordable tuition. Located on a beautifully landscaped 35-acre campus, Brooklyn College offers a rich student life within an urban environment.

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Photo Credit: Walter McBride / WM Photos

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