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Lilli Cooper, Kathleen Chalfant and More Announced for Red Bull Theater's SHORT NEW PLAY FESTIVAL

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Lilli Cooper, Kathleen Chalfant and More Announced for Red Bull Theater's SHORT NEW PLAY FESTIVAL

Red Bull Theater today announced the cast for their tenth annual festival of 10-minute plays of heightened language and classic themes, featuring two brand new commissions from Jeremy O. Harris and Theresa Rebeck, alongside six brand new plays that have been selected from hundreds of open submissions from playwrights across the country. This year's winning playwrights are Ben Beckley, Avery Deutsch, Leah Maddrie, Jessica Moss, Matthew Park, and Mallory Jane Weiss. The theme for this year's festival is PRIVATE LIVES, inspired by Noël Coward's classic comedy. The evening will also include short interviews with the playwrights and host Craig Baldwin.

Mêlisa Annis, Vivienne Benesch and Em Weinstein will direct a cast that features Ali Ahn (Lauren Yee's The Great Leap), Frankie J. Alvarez ("Looking"), Tony Award Nominee Kathleen Chalfant (Angels in America, Obie Award for Lifetime Achievement), Tony Award Nominee Lilli Cooper (Tootsie, SpongeBob SquarePants, Spring Awakening), Drama Desk Nominee Edmund Donovan (Greater Clements, Lewiston/Clarkston), William Jackson Harper (NBC's "The Good Place," All the Way), Louisa Jacobson (Julian Fellowes' HBO series "The Gilded Age"), Drama Desk Award Winner Peter Francis James (Stuff Happens, Edward Albee's The Lady from Dubuque opposite Dame Maggie Smith in London and Jane Alexander off-Broadway), and Tony Award Nominee Charlayne Woodard (Ain't Misbehavin', Red Bull's Witch of Edmonton).

The 2020 Short New Play Festival will be presented online on Monday, July 20th (7:30pm) by livestream through RedBullTheater.com, Facebook, and Youtube. This FREE benefit event is the latest installment of Red Bull's renowned annual new play festival, an initiative that has inspired the composition of more than 2,500 new plays.

The 10th Annual Short New Play Festival is made possible by the leadership support of The Noël Coward Foundation.

"This year's Festival will be unique, and I think it will be uniquely exciting. With a record number of playwrights (over 500!) responding to our call for open submissions, our judges had an embarrassment of riches to choose from. The response to this year's "Private Lives" theme was delightful, and overflowing with wit and creativity. The six selected plays together with our two master playwright commissions offer a wonderful smorgasbord of romance, drama, tragedy, satire and farce. While we can't share them live in person, we are very much looking forward to sharing them live online," said Mr. Berger.

This year's premieres will include:
Commissioned:

Jeremy O. Harris

FEAR AND MISERY OF THE MASTER RACE (of the Brecht)

Jeremy O. Harris's full-length plays include: Slave Play (Broadway, New York Theatre Workshop, New York Times Critic's Pick, winner of the 2018 Kennedy Center Rosa Parks Playwriting Award, the Lorraine Hansberry Playwriting Award, and The Lotos Foundation Prize in the Arts and Sciences), "DADDY" (Vineyard Theatre/The New Group, Almeida Theatre), Black Exhibition (Bushwick Starr), Xander Xyst, Dragon: 1, and WATER SPORTS; or insignificant white boys (published by 53rd State Press). His work has been presented or developed by Pieterspace, JACK, Ars Nova, The New Group, NYTW, Performance Space New York and Playwrights Horizons. In 2018, Jeremy co-wrote A24's upcoming film Zola with director Janicza Bravo. He is the 11th recipient of the Vineyard Theatre's Paula Vogel Playwriting Award, a 2016 MacDowell Colony Fellow, an Orchard Project Greenhouse artist, a resident playwright with Colt Coeur, and is under commission from Lincoln Center Theater and Playwrights Horizons. Jeremy is a graduate of the Yale MFA Playwriting Program. Jeremy is currently developing a pilot with A24 for HBO.

Theresa Rebeck

The Panel

At a theater panel on "Private Lives" things go very quickly off the rails.

Theresa Rebeck is a prolific and widely produced playwright, whose work can be seen and read throughout the United States and abroad. Last season, her fourth Broadway play premiered on Broadway, making Rebeck the most Broadway-produced female playwright of our time. Broadway works include Bernhardt/Hamlet, Dead Accounts, Seminar and Mauritius. Other notable NY and regional plays include: Seared (MCC), Downstairs (Primary Stages), The Scene, The Water's Edge, Loose Knit, The Family of Mann and Spike Heels (Second Stage), Bad Dates, The Butterfly Collection and Our House (Playwrights Horizons), The Understudy (Roundabout), View of the Dome (NYTW), What We're Up Against (Women's Project), Omnium Gatherum (Pulitzer Prize finalist). As a director, her work has been seen at The Alley Theatre (Houston), the REP Company (Delaware); Dorset Theatre Festival, the Orchard Project and the Folger Theatre. Major film and television projects include Trouble starring Anjelica Huston, Bill Pullman and David Morse (writer and director), "NYPD Blue," the NBC series "Smash" (creator), and the upcoming female spy thriller 355 (for Jessica Chastain's production company). As a novelist, Rebeck's books include Three Girls and Their Brother and I'm Glad About You. Rebeck is the recipient of the William Inge New Voices Playwriting Award, the PEN/Laura Pels Foundation Award, a Lilly Award and more.

Winning plays:

Ben Beckley

Outside Time, Without Extension

Over the course of ten minutes-a couple's entire private lifetimes of joy, anxiety, pain, hope, love, and literature.

Ben Beckley made his Broadway debut last summer in What The Constitution Means To Me. Other acting credits include premieres with Itamar Moses, Christopher Durang, and Adam Rapp, first national tours of Peter and the Starcatcher and Small Mouth Sounds, and performances with Atlantic, Denver Center, Clubbed Thumb, and Northern Stage. As co-artistic director for The Assembly, he's co-created and co-written seven original projects, including In Corpo, a Kafka-inspired musical premiering 2021 at Theatre Row. Other writing credits include Latter Days at Ars Nova, and KlaxAlterian Sequester, an immersive solo quarantine experience created with Asa Wember.

Avery Deutsch

Old Beggar Women

Amanda and Sibyl from "Private Lives" reunite years later on another pair of balconies and bond over an unlikely talent they both share.

Avery Deutsch is a Brooklyn based actor and playwright. She received a BA from Muhlenberg College, where she studied Theater and English. Most recently, she was a member of the 18/19 Professional Training Company at Actors Theatre of Louisville, where she was an acting apprentice. It was there she started writing more seriously. Upon her return to NYC, she did a reading of The Winterguard Play at New York Theatre Workshop's Next Door Space. She was brought back to Louisville to act in The Wolves this past season, and she is currently a member of Project Y Writers Group.

Leah Maddrie

Love-Adjacent, or Balcony Plays

Middle-aged African-American former high-school sweethearts reunite unexpectedly on adjoining hotel balconies-in rhyming couplets!

Leah Maddrie's plays have received recognition: Margaret (finalist 2019 Red Bull Theater Short New Play Festival); Just About Love, adapted from All's Well That Ends Well (semi-finalist, American Shakespeare Center 2019 Shakespeare's New Contemporaries; Harlem Shakespeare Festival's concert reading series); Dark Energy Stuns Universe (Sloan Foundation award/EST First Light Festival); MiddleMuddle (finalist, DC Source Festival; read at La MaMa E.T.C.); Chasing Heaven (O'Neill semi-finalist, produced at Metropolitan Playhouse and the NY International Fringe Festival). Leah received a BRIO Award for her poetry collection "BronxAerie" from Bronx Council on the Arts. As an actor, Leah has appeared in many U.S. theaters coast-to-coast.

Jessica Moss

In the Attic

Edmond has been keeping a terrible secret from his wife. In the attic.

Jessica Moss is a performer, writer, and producer. She is the creator/performer of solo shows Modern Love, and Polly Polly. Her full-length plays include Next to Him, I Will Miss You When You're Gone, Cam Baby, A Girl Lives Alone and others. Her work has been developed or presented at Great Plains Theatre Conference, Roundabout Theatre, Premiere Stages, Kitchen Dog Theatre, the Toronto International Film Festival, and the Canadian Stage Festival of New Ideas and Creation, among others. As an actor, she has appeared in shows with Necessary Angel/Luminato, Tarragon Theatre, SummerWorks, Sudbury Theatre Centre, the NAC, and many times at the Toronto Fringe. She went to Juilliard.

Matthew Park

Plague Year

It's Medieval England and the bubonic plague rages as young Mabel quarantines inside her London home with her newborn daughter and her boorish husband Thomas.

Matthew Park is a Korean-American playwright. Born in New York and raised in Seoul, South Korea, he received a BFA in Dramatic Writing from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts in 2016, where he studied under Branden Jacobs-Jenkins and Eduardo Machado. His thesis play Hurricane Regan was advised by Lucas Hnath and performed in NYU's Black Box Theatre. He worked as an assistant to Scott Rudin during the Broadway productions of Three Tall Women and To Kill A Mockingbird.

Mallory Jane Weiss

Evermore Unrest

On her honeymoon and confined to her hotel room, Penny writes to her ex-boyfriend, William, with questions about love, choice, health, and safety during times of unrest.

Mallory Jane Weiss is a Manhattan-based playwright whose work primarily spirals around female stories. Productions include Pony Up (Princess Grace Finalist, 2019; The New School, 2019), A&Z's Escapades in Moonstruck City (Cutting Ball Theatre Variety Pack Finalist, 2019; The New School, 2018), and Underwater (published in "The Dionysian Issue 004"; The New School, 2017). Her play Losing You, Which is Enough has had workshop readings at The Lark and Cherry Lane Theatre. Her play, Howl From Up High, is currently in development with Gingold Theatrical Group. Additionally, Mallory works as a teacher/teaching artist, a writing tutor, a copywriter, and a cycling instructor. BA: Harvard University, MFA: The New School.

The six winning plays were chosen by a panel of judges and readers that included Wendy Anderson, Craig Baldwin, Casey Beidel, Vinny Capluzzi, Christian Conn, Kelley Curran, Kareem Fahmy, Kate Hamill, Eleanor Holdridge, Alyssa Jaffe, Mia Katigbak, Anchuli Felicia King, Andrus Nichols, Matthew Rauch, Kate Walat, and Jose Zayas. Each play was read (all blind) and scored no less than three times by three different readers. The 20 finalists selected were then read and scored an additional four times (all blind) by the producing and directing panel of Craig Baldwin, Vivienne Benesch, Jesse Berger, and Em Weinstein.

Red Bull Theater's annual Short New Play Festival has generated over 2,500 new short plays of classic themes and heightened language, presenting over 72 of them in a one-night only Festival performance with some of New York's finest actors and directors. In its first eight years, the commissioned playwrights have Marcus Gardley, John Guare, David Ives, Ellen McLaughlin, Dael Orlandersmith, Anne Washburn, Doug Wright and winning entries by writers such as Anchuli Felicia King, Patricia Ione Lloyd, Lynn Rosen, and Jen Silverman. Stage Rights has published a 4-volume collection of the plays from the first 8 years of Red Bull Theater's annual Short New Play Festival as RED BULL SHORTS.


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