McCarter Announces 2019 LAB Spotlight New Play Festival

McCarter Announces 2019 LAB Spotlight New Play Festival

McCarter Theatre Center has announced three new works as part of its 2019 Spotlight New Play Festival. These intimate play readings showcase the core of the McCarter LAB's mission to support new voices with creative insight from dramaturgs, directors, and actors to help guide and shape their plays. Additionally, real-time reactions of audience members play an active role in the creative development process, assisting playwrights in the elevation of their artistic endeavors.

In each of their respective careers, playwrights Alexis Scheer, Serina Fillinger, and Jiehae Park have quickly made a name for themselves in the industry as writers with unique insights and a fresh eye for storytelling. McCarter audiences will now be able to experience their works live, with two of the plays being presented publically for the first time anywhere.

Readings will take place in the intimate rehearsal-room-turned-performance-studio within the Roger S. Berlind Theatre, 91 University Place, Princeton, NJ. Tickets are $15 and available online at, by phone 609-258-2787, or in person at the Ticket Office. Limited availability. Festival Passes are available for $30, and give you access to all three readings.


January 25 at 7 p.m.

Our Dear Dead Drug Lord
Written and directed by Alexis Scheer

Four high school girls. An elite club. A treehouse. Pablo Escobar. This wild thriller tests the limits of imagination and what happens when teenagers' harmless fun turns into something much more threatening.

January 28 at 7 p.m.

Untitled Aging Play
By Jiehae Park
Directed by Knud Adams

In this delicate, moving McCarter commission, a couple contemplates and explores the effects of aging on their bodies, their minds, and their relationships.

February 4 at 7 p.m.
POTUS, Or Behind Every Great Dumbass are Seven Women Trying to Keep Him Alive
By Selina Fillinger
Directed by Jennifer Chambers

When the President unwittingly spins a PR nightmare into a global crisis, the women he most relies upon risk their careers, families, and freedom to save the day. Fillinger's female-centered farce is a rowdy and irreverent look at sex and politics.

About the Playwrights

Alexis Scheer was named Rising Theater Star by the Improper Bostonian in the 2018 Boston's Best Issue. Her play Our Dear Dead Drug Lord was featured in the LTC Carnaval of New Latinx Work and was a Bay Area Playwrights' Festival Finalist. Alexis is earning her MFA in Playwriting at Boston University, holds a BFA in Musical Theatre from The Boston Conservatory, and is a proud Miami native and graduate of New World School of the Arts. This season she joins the Huntington Theatre Company as the Producing/Casting Apprentice. Alexis also moonlights as the Producing Artistic Director of the award-winning fringe company, Off the Grid Theatre.

Selina Fillinger's plays include faceless (Northlight Theatre premiere, Joseph Jeff Award-nominated, Zeitgeist Theatre, St. Louis Repertory Theatre, and Park Theatre in London) and The Armor Plays: Cinched/Strapped (Available Light's Next Stage Initiative, Alley All New Festival, Theatre Three). Her plays have been developed at the Roundabout Theatre, Alley Theatre, St. Louis Repertory, and Northlight Theatre and she's currently commissioned at South Coast Repertory Theatre and Manhattan Theatre Club. She was a Hawthornden Fellow and a resident at the Sallie B. Goodman Artist's Retreat at McCarter Theatre. Her play Something Clean was commissioned for Sideshow Theatre's Freshness Initiative where it will be produced in 2019 following its world premiere production at the Roundabout Underground in Spring 2019. Selina is a Northwestern graduate ('16) where she studied playwriting under Laura Schellhardt.

Jiehae Park's plays include peerless (Yale Rep premiere, Cherry Lane MP, Marin Theatre Co, Barrington Stage, First Floor, Company One, Moxie), Hannah and the Dread Gazebo (Oregon Shakespeare Festival), Here We Are Here (Sundance Theater-Makers residency, Berkeley Rep's Ground Floor, Princess Grace Works-in-Progress @ Baryshnikov Arts Center), and contributions to Wondrous Strange (Humana/Actor's Theatre of Louisville). Her work has been developed through the Soho Rep Writer-Director Lab, the Public's Emerging Writers Group, p73's i73, Playwrights Horizons, NYTW, Atlantic, Old Globe, Dramatists Guild Fellowship, Ojai Conference, BAPF, and the amazing Ma-Yi Writers Lab. Awards: Leah Ryan, Princess Grace, Weissberger, ANPF Women's Invitational; two years on the Kilroys' List. Commissions: Playwrights Horizons, McCarter, Yale Rep, Geffen, OSF, Williamstown, MTC/Sloan. Residencies: MacDowell, Yaddo, Hedgebrook, McCarter/Sallie B. Goodman. As a performer, she most recently appeared in Ripe Time/Naomi Iizuka's adaption of Murakami's Sleep at BAM Next Wave 2017. She is a NYTW Usual Suspect, LCT New Writer in Residence, former Hodder Fellow, and current member of New Dramatists. TV: staff writer, season one of Marvel's Runaways. BA, Amherst; MFA, UCSD.

About Spotlight
From a small-scale workshop production to a festival of new play readings, the LAB Spotlight is an annual developmental event that affords playwrights and directors the opportunity to explore new work over a flexible rehearsal and presentation period. More than a reading, yet not a full production, Spotlight projects can incorporate basic design elements or can be minimalistic in presentation. The Spotlight platform gives a project's creative team and McCarter's artistic staff the opportunity to see the work in front of an audience and patrons are given a first-look at the evolution of a new play or musical-in-progress. Artists benefit from immediate, live feedback -without the pressure of critics or a main stage premiere.

About the McCarter LAB
The McCarter LAB is a year-round creative incubator that provides key support to writers at all stages of their careers-cultivating meaningful artistic relationships and original works for McCarter's main stages and future co-productions. Fostering the development of new plays, adaptations, musicals and investigations into the classics, the LAB consists of: readings, workshops, the Sallie B. Goodman Artists' Retreat, commissions, and the annual Spotlight presentation. It also provides McCarter's audiences with an exclusive window into the creative process. The LAB allows McCarter to take artistic risks, whether giving a first production to a new script, or allowing an experienced playwright to return to his/her creative roots. Each LAB project receives financial and artistic support, tailored to the specific needs of the collaborating writers, composers, directors, designers, and performers. Most LAB programs take place in the intimate and flexible 70-90 seat performance studio/rehearsal room located within the Roger S. Berlind Theatre.
The McCarter LAB is supported by a generous grant from The Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust. McCarter Theatre Center thanks the following funders for their meaningful support of McCarter's New Play Development Program: The Thomas and Agnes Carvel Foundation, The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, Dramatists Guild Fund, The Blanche and Irving Laurie Foundation, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, The Shubert Foundation, and The Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation.

This LAB Spotlight Production is made possible in part by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts, and by funds from the National Endowment for the Arts. McCarter is supported by Princeton University, the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, and over 2,000 individuals, corporations, and foundations. McCarter Theatre Center is located at 91 University Place in Princeton, NJ. For more information, visit

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