Red Bull Theater Announces Selections For The 8th Annual Short New Play Festival Featuring World Premieres From Tina Howe And Doug Wright

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Red Bull Theater (Jesse Berger, Artistic Director | Jim Bredeson, Managing Director) today announced that their eighth annual festival of 10-minute plays of heightened language and classic themes will feature two brand new commissions from Tina Howe and Doug Wright, alongside 6 brand new plays chosen from hundreds of submissions from playwrights across the country.

The 2018 Short New Play Festival will be presented on Monday July 16th (7:30pm) at Lucille Lortel Theatre, directed by Pamela Berlin and Evan Yionoulis. Casting is to be announced.

Each year, the company selects new works of heightened language and classical themes from today's top established and emerging playwrights. Six brand-new short plays have been selected from a competitive open submission process and will now be presented in staged readings performed by great actors alongside new short plays by two commissioned writers, Tina Howe (The Art of Dining, Painting Churches, Coastal Disturbances, Pride's Crossing) and Doug Wright (Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award - I Am My Own Wife; Quills; Grey Gardens -Tony nomination; The Little Mermaid). This year's chosen writers are Fred Dennehy, Anya Martin, Amanda Quaid, Aubrey Saverino, Samara Weiss, and Daniel Wilson.

Using the theme "The Language of Love," with all its madness and joy,? writers were asked to submit a short play of no more than 10 minutes in length that makes use of any, or all, of the following: heightened language or verse; a classical theme or style; a classical story.

The 2018 Short New Play Festival is made possible by the generous support of The Noël Coward Foundation.

This year's selections are:

Heart in Her Mouth by Tina Howe

As her premonitions get more and more dire, Cassandra's repeated visits to Dr. Orfeo's dental office reveal a burning, unrequited love for more than just his dentistry.

Tina Howe's best known plays include Birth and After Birth, Museum, The Art of Dining, Painting Churches, Coastal Disturbances and Pride's Crossing -- all published by TCG. In 2010, she launched the Rita and Burton Goldberg MFA in Playwriting at Hunter College, after teaching there for twenty years. She has proudly served on the Council of the Dramatists Guild for just as long, garnering the usual awards and humiliations along the way.

Me Too, We Three by Doug Wright

At Evelyn Nesbit's tea party, an unlikely bond is formed across the centuries as two surprise guests share their #metoo stories in rhyming verse.

Doug Wright earned the Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award for his play I Am My Own Wife. Other stage works include Grey Gardens (Tony nomination), The Little Mermaid, Hands on a Hardbody, and War Paint. Film: Quills, based on his Obie-winning play, nominated for three Academy Awards. Television: "Tony Bennett: An American Classic," directed by Rob Marshall. Honors: Benjamin Dank Prize, the American Academy of Arts and Letters; Tolerance Prize, Kulturforum Europa; Paul Selvin Award, Writers Guild of America. Professional affiliations: President of the Dramatists Guild; member, Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers, board of the New York Theatre Workshop. Wright is married to singer/songwriter David Clement.

Homecoming by Fred Dennehy

Odysseus returns from 7 years of infidelity with the seductive goddess Calypso, but his wife Penelope is ready to welcome him with a deadly surprise.

Fred Dennehy is an attorney in New Jersey. He has appeared frequently as an actor in New Jersey Community Theater and off-off Broadway, and in more than 15 Shakespeare roles. He has written and co-written six plays produced in New Jersey and New York.

Helen at the Gym by Anya Martin

It is 2009 and Helen of Troy runs on a treadmill at an LA Fitness in Pittsburgh, where centuries of violent obsession and lust are about to explode in a horrific tragedy.

Anya Martin is a writer, director and Founding Artistic Director of Hiawatha Project. She received her BFA in directing from Carnegie Mellon School of Drama where she teaches as an Adjunct Professor, and her MFA from Sarah Lawrence College with a focus on devised and experimental work. She is a 2011 Flight School Fellow with Creative Capital/Pittsburgh Filmmakers, a Pittsburgh Magazine "40 Under 40" honoree for 2013, and a Carol R. Brown Creative Achievement Award nominee for 2016. She has proudly worked at numerous theaters in NYC, DC, and Pittsburgh, which she calls her home.

Echo and Narcissus by Amanda Quaid

A girl condemned to repeat the words spoken to her falls in love with a narcissist. Of course, he is all too happy to hear himself echoed.

Amanda Quaid is an actor and writer from New York. Acting credits include Broadway: Equus. Off-Broadway: The Witch of Edmonton (Red Bull), The (curious case of the) Watson Intelligence (Playwrights Horizons), Cock (Duke), Luck of the Irish (LCT3, Lortel Award nomination), Pericles (Public, Bayfield Award), A Public Reading...Walt Disney (Soho Rep), They Promised Her the Moon (Miranda), Galileo (CSC), The Illusion (Signature), The Weir (Irish Rep). Regional: La Jolla, Old Globe, Shakespeare Theatre, Barrington, Folger. TV/Film: "I'm Dying Up Here," "Masters of Sex," English (actor/director), Toys (animator/director).

The Fields of Asphodel by Aubrey Saverino

When Hades kidnaps Persephone from the world of the living and whisks her away to the Land of the Dead, Persephone must teach him a thing or two about wooing women.

Aubrey Saverino is a writer and actor with an MFA from The Old Globe/USD. Her writing credits include Dido & Aeneas (selected for the Red Bull Short Play Festival in 2015, published in 2016), the television pilot "Monogamish" (selected for IFP's 2015 Film Week at Lincoln Center), and episodes of the award-winning web series "The Digressions." As an actor, Aubrey has performed on screen (recently in Adam Sandler's The Week of) and in professional Off-Broadway and regional theater productions. She is a member of Epic Theatre Ensemble and Artistic Director of Daughters of Troy.

In Ireland They Speak Irish; In Cornwall They Speak Cornish by Samara Weiss

Tristan, a knight of Cornwall, doesn't speak Irish, and Iseult, an Irish princess, knows no Cornish, but it hasn't stopped them from understanding each other, until now.

Samara Weiss's plays include AK-47 Sing-Along (HERE Arts Center), Lines in Code (3LD), and Dirt (Part 1) (HERE). She is the screenwriter for the animated short films "Still" and "Feast in a Fallen City," as well as the Princess Grace Award-winning "The Red Witch." Outside of New York, her work has been produced in Los Angeles, Chicago, St. Louis, and Hyderabad, India. She is a frequent collaborator with the Lucrece Project, an NYU Humanities Initiative Working Group which fuses scholarship and the arts, and with ERA, the premiere experimental theater company of St. Louis, MO. MFA Columbia; New Georges Affiliated Artist.

The Gertrude Variations by Daniel Wilson

When Claudius proposes an elopement, the young Gertrude gives her infatuated lover a test of his passion, with a series of wild linguistic themes and variations.

Daniel Wilson is the Associate Artistic Director of Thalia's Umbrella Theater Company in Seattle. For Thalia, Daniel has directed David Wright's verse play When Love Speaks, Athol Fugard's A Lesson From Aloes, Peter Nichols's A Day in the Death of Joe Egg, Richard Nelson's Sorry and the world premiere of Y York's The Impossibility of Now. Daniel has directed opera, plays and musicals for theaters throughout the Pacific Northwest. He is writing a stage adaptation of his uncle, Michael Wilson's classic blacklisted film Salt of the Earth. Daniel graduated with an MFA in Directing from the Drama Department of Carnegie-Mellon University.

This year's directors are:

Pamela Berlin's New York credits include Steel Magnolias, To Gillian on Her 37th Birthday, Crossing Delancey, Endpapers, Joined At The Head, The Family of Mann, The Red Address, Three in the Back, Two in the Head at MTC, Playwrights Horizons, Second Stage, MCC and Ensemble Studio Theatre. Regional theaters include Kennedy Center, Huntington, Long Wharf, Seattle Rep, Pittsburgh Public, L.A.T.C., Pasadena Playhouse, Theatreworks Silicon Valley, Pioneer. Operas directed at New York City Opera, Vancouver, Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Utah, Opera Omaha. Pam served two terms as president of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society.

Evan Yionoulis has directed new plays and classics in New York, across the country, and internationally, including Adrienne Kennedy's He Brought Her Heart Back in a Box for Theatre for a New Audience, where she also directed Kennedy's Ohio State Murders (Lortel Award, Best Revival), and Guillermo Calderon's Kiss at Yale Repertory Theatre, where she has been a resident director for the past 20 years. Other credits include Richard Greenberg's The Violet Hour (Broadway), Three Days of Rain (OBIE Award for direction, Manhattan Theatre Club), and Everett Beekin (Lincoln Center Theater). She is the newly appointed Richard Rodgers Director of the Drama Division at Juilliard.

Red Bull Theater's annual Short New Play Festival has generated over 1,000 new short plays of classic themes and heightened language, presenting nearly 50 of them in a one-night only Festival performance with some of New York's finest actors and directors. In its first seven years, the commissioned playwrights have been: Lee Blessing, Uriah Celaya, Constance Congdon, Lisa D'Amour, Elizabeth Egloff, Amy Freed, David Grimm, John Guare, Justin Halle, David Ives, Arthur Kopit, Ellen McLaughlin, Dael Orlandersmith, Peter Oswald, Regina Taylor and Anne Washburn. Winners of the open submission competition have included: Kate Abbruzzese, Liz Duffy Adams, Charlotte Ahlin, Mike Anderson, Heidi Armbruster, Matt Barbot, Dave Carley, Dipika Guha, Arthur Holden, Will Kenton, Anchuli Felicia King, Sam Lahne, Tabia Lau, Rachel Leopold, Patricia Ione Lloyd, Wendy MacLeod, Stephen Massicotte, Dakin Matthews, Elizabeth Miller, Winter Miller, Mark O'Donnell, Eric Pfeffinger, Jason Gray Platt, Bridgette Dutta Portman, Lynn Rosen, Tom Rowan, Aubrey Saverino, Natalia Savvides, Jen Silverman, Christian Simonsen, Tommy Smith, James Still, Emily Taplin Boyd, Matthew Wells, and Tim West.

Stage Rights has published a 3-volume collection of the plays from Red Bull Theater's annual Short New Play Festival as RED BULL SHORTS. This ongoing series features 10-minute plays of heightened language and classical themes by today's hottest writers, including commissions by established playwrights such as John Guare, David Ives, Regina Taylor, and Anne Washburn, and winning entries by writers such as Mike Anderson, Sam Lahne, Lynn Rosen, and Jen Silverman--all chosen from a competition that receives nearly 300 submissions each year. In the hands of great playwrights, the 10-minute play is a highly entertaining dramatic form. This collection offers the most delectable of these delightfully compact works - some downright silly, and others powerfully moving.

Red Bull Theater, hailed as "the city's gutsiest classical theater" by Time Out New York, is the not-for-profit Off-Broadway theater dedicated to shining a light on the classics, bringing rarely seen plays to dynamic new life for contemporary audiences. With the Jacobean plays of Shakespeare and his contemporaries as our cornerstone, Red Bull Theater is New York City's home for dynamic performances of great plays that stand the test of time. The company also produces new works that are in conversation with the classics.

Acclaimed as "a dynamic producer of classic plays" by The New York Times, Red Bull Theater has previously staged productions of Pericles, The Revenger's Tragedy, Edward the Second, Women Beware Women, The Duchess of Malfi, The Witch of Edmonton, The Maids, The Dance of Death, Loot, The Mystery of Irma Vep, Volpone, 'Tis Pity She's A Whore, The Changeling, The School For Scandal, Coriolanus, David Ives's The Metromaniacs, and last season's runaway comedy hit, Gogol's The Government Inspector for an extended run at the Duke on 42nd Street and New World Stages. The company's work has been hailed as "the most exciting classical theater in New York" (Time Out New York), "Dynamite!" (The New York Times), "Triumphant" (Associated Press), and "Proof that classical theater can still be surprising after hundreds of years" (Variety).

Red Bull Theater's work has been recognized with multiple Drama Desk, Drama League, Lucille Lortel, Callaway and OBIE Award nominations and awards, including the Off-Broadway Alliance Award for Best Revivals in the 2015-'16 season (School for Scandal) and 2017-'18 season (The Government Inspector). The company has staged over 150 Revelation Readings, named by the Village Voice "Best Play Reading Series," also developing new plays of heightened language and classical adaptations through workshops.

Red Bull Theater offers Master Classes throughout the year. Taught by top working professionals including Kathleen Chalfant, Sam Gold, John Douglas Thompson, Olympia Dukakis, Heidi Griffiths, Charlayne Woodard and Patrick Page, Red Bull Theater's intensives and workshops cover a variety of disciplines, including auditioning, text, voice, movement, clowning, stage combat, and acting Shakespeare. Classes are open to adults at all levels of training or experience. They range from one to four days with limited class sizes to allow one-on-one attention. You can enroll in any combination of classes, or take the whole series for a year-long training experience. Red Bull Theater also offers Shakespeare in Schools education outreach programs for Middle and High Schools residencies with teaching artists and opportunities for student matinee performances. Post-play Bull Session discussions with scholars and experts following select Sunday matinees and Readings are free and open to the public.

For more information about the Short New Play Festival, or any of Red Bull Theater's programs, visit

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