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"Packed with young the risk-taking venture that is summer festival-going, encountering talent you want to see more of is a worthy payoff." - Laura Collins-Hughes,The New York Times

Tickets are now on sale to the second annual Corkscrew Theater Festival, running July 10 - August 5 at the Paradise Factory (64 East 4th Street, Manhattan). This summer theater festival provides early-career artists a high level of production support and features five world premieres and four readings performed in repertory over four weeks. Special attention has been given to theater makers who are developing work through innovative and robust collaborative models.

"This year's plays come from a place of real vulnerability," perArtistic Director Thomas Kapusta and Associate Artistic Director Alex Hare. "Our artists are pursuing deeply personal stories of upheaval and loss, but at the same time, they are discovering highly theatrical and enlivening ways to bring them to life on stage. At Corkscrew this year, you'll find intimate stories playing out across a wide swath of human experience: from the eve of the attempted 2016 coup in Turkey, through multiple generations in San Francisco and the Bronx, and among sisterhoods at a magical pie shop and a failing mermaid theme park. Little communities are forming around the birth of these projects. We look forward to celebrating these artists and plays together under one roof for four weeks this summer."

All performances as part of Corkscrew Theater Festival will take place at the Paradise Factory (64 East 4th Street, Manhattan). Individual tickets to the five mainstage productions are $24. Festival passes are available for those interested in seeing multiple shows (two, three, four, or five) at a discount of up to $10 off per show. In addition, each production offers one Pay What You Can performance, for which a limited number of tickets will be available online to reserve, with the bulk held back to be purchased (cash or credit) at the door on the day of the performance. All four readings are free. Visit to learn more or call 347.954.9125 for more information.

Corkscrew Theater Festival Productions

The End of Mermaids
By Anya Richkind, directed by Allison Benko, produced by Alexandra Cadena
July 12, 13, 18 at 7pm; July 15, 21 at 8pm; July 14, 22 at 4:30pm; July 15 at 1pm
Pay What You Can performance on Sunday, July 15 at 8pm

Welcome to Mermaidland, Florida, the only place on earth where mermaids are real! Join us for our afternoon special starring Mermaid Bee, Mermaid Vana, and our newest princess of the deep, Mermaid Marie. Reawaken your childhood fantasies. Revel in the death-defying underwater dances. Soak in the impossible beauty. And please disregard the alligators. There is nothing to worry about.

Anya Richkind is a graduate of Yale University and a former finalist in the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center's National Playwrights Conference. Richkind's work has been produced at Yale, in New York City and in the Bay Area, California. Richkind has studied with Donald Margulies, Deb Margolin and Sarah Ruhl. Richkind likes to write about women, wacky phenomena and where they overlap.

Allison Benko is a director of plays, musical theatre, and opera. Recent/upcoming projects include Another Mikado, Single Rider, What Happened That Night, A Doll's House: A New Opera, The Secret Death of Puppets, The Arthur Miller Centennial, Twelfth Night, and She Loves Me. Notable assistant direction includes Oslo at Lincoln Center Theater directed by Bartlett Sher, which received the Tony for Best Play. Benko has also studied ritualistic shadow puppetry at the Tholpavakoothu Puppet Centre in Kerala, India. She is a member of the Lincoln Center Directors Lab, and holds a B.A. in Drama from Tufts University.

Alexandra Cadena is a graduate of Yale University and is incredibly honored to be participating in this year's Corkscrew Festival as the producer of The End of Mermaids. She has worked extensively as a producer/stage manager in the theatre with the Yale School of Drama's student-run theatre the Yale Cabaret. Her work as a theatre director/producer also includes the New York International Fringe Festival. She has a vast experience in film and her Production Company, AC Pictures, has several award-winning shorts that have premiered at the Next International Film Festival, Worldfest-Houston, and SENE film festivals.

Field, Awakening
By Melis Aker, directed by Tatiana Pandiani, produced by Mei Li Heman and Bethany Sharp
July 16, 17, 19 at 7pm; July 15, 21 at 4:30pm; July 14, 22 at 1pm; July 14 at 8pm
Pay What You Can performance on Sunday, July 15 at 4:30pm

After ten years of self-imposed estrangement from her country, Rana reunites with three old friends on a soccer field in Istanbul on July 15th, 2016 -- the eve of the attempted coup d'etat in Turkey. As the night progresses, the foursome realizes how brutal nostalgia can feel when the distance between them widens, when life in the present implicates them in political turmoil and places them under surveillance. Spanning across the surreal events of one evening, Field, Awakening is not a homecoming: it's the tale of a stranger in a strange land, searching in vain for home amidst a landscape of fleeting familiarity.

Melis Aker is an actor, writer and musician from Turkey, and will be a NYTW 2050 Fellow in the fall. Plays: Field, Awakening (2018 Sundance Theatre Lab finalist, 2018 Berkeley Rep Ground Floor finalist, Lark's 2018 Van Lier New Voices Fellowship finalist) will perform at Signature Center this May; Manar (2017 Columbia@Roundabout finalist, 2016 Theatre503 Playwriting Award semi-finalist) was at Golden Thread Productions' 2017 ReOrient Festival, LPAC's 2017 Rough Draft Festival, and was featured by Silk Road Rising on New Play Exchange; 330 Pegasus: A Love Letter [Part I] (Lark's 2018 Jerome New York Fellowship Finalist) received a Noor Highlight series reading at NYTW; Azul, Otra Vez [Blue, Revisited] was workshopped at NYTW and BRICLab Residency. Melis recently gave a TEDx Talk in Ankara and works as Ayad Akhtar's assistant. BA Drama/Philosophy (Tufts), Acting (RADA), MFA Playwriting (Columbia). Meg Pantera The Agency (acting) |

Tatiana Pandiani is an Argentine, NYC based director and choreographer. Selected: Azul, Otra Vez (BRIC), Eurydice & The Last Days of Judas Iscariot (Atlantic 2), Le Negrophilie (Kampala Theater Festival, Uganda), Appropriate & Assassins (Princeton), NANAS (IATI), La Lupe (SEA), NORA (Lanesboro Arts), 1989 (Connelly). Upcoming: Ubumuntu Arts Festival in Rwanda and the Frank Collymore Hall in Barbados. Tatiana is a Teaching Artist at the Atlantic, a NYTW Directing Fellow, and the Artistic Associate at Miami New Drama. MFA: Columbia.

Mei Li Heman is a New York-based Senior Manager & Producer. Born in the US and raised in Brazil, she is a bilingual storyteller and has worked in the entertainment industry for 6+ years. Credits include festival nominated documentary feature films, unscripted television series, digital content, and theatre productions. She is currently studying, freelance producing, and interning at 101 Productions. Past internships include 321 Theatrical Management, NAMCO, Ars Nova, AKA NYC, and 101 Productions.

Bethany Sharp is a New York-based Creative Producer and freelance Director, currently studying as a Theatre Management and Producing MFA candidate at Columbia University. She is a Kansas native but considers herself just as Minnesotan after working for seven years in Minneapolis as an actor, freelance director, and producer. She co-founded Box Wine Theatre and acts as Producing Artistic Director. NYC internships have included TDF and Primary Stages. Bethany currently serves as the Assistant Marketing Fellow and Playwrights Festival Fellow at Columbia University.

Pie Shop Play
By Alice Pencavel, directed by Sivan Battat, produced by Madelyn Paquette and Brenna Ross
July 20, 23, 24, 26 at 7pm; July 22, 28 at 8pm; July 21, 29 at 1pm
Pay What You Can performance on Sunday, July 22 at 8pm

A lattice come crumble, stone fruit in the eye, a berry and a hatchet baked into a pie... Agnes and Kitty -- the pie shop sisters - have big dreams. But when a pipe bursts, leaking toxic unknowns that flood the shop and rob them of coherent speech, they are forced to contend with a past that still haunts and divides them (lest they drown). Culminating in a dramatic stand-off played out through an original language of gibberish and jumbled English, Pie Shop Play reveals the havoc that trauma brings down upon all who work in the name of pie.

Alice Pencavel's plays have been performed in New York, California, Maine, Ukraine, and Romania. She has worked with Lincoln Center Theater, Naked Angels, IRT, Theater in Asylum, MCC Theater, Manhattan Repertory, Superhero Clubhouse, the Arctic Group, and The Kitchen Theater, among others. She is Bay Area Playwrights Festival finalist, and Eugene O'Neill Conference semi-finalist. BFA Acting, Ithaca College; MFA Playwriting New School for Drama.

Sivan Battat is a theatre director and teaching artist focused on new play and new musical development. Select credits: East o, West o! (Ars Nova), Unstoppable (Haven Kids Rock), School Girls (asst: Rebecca Taichman, MCC), On the Shore of the Wide World (asst: Neil Pepe, Atlantic), Animal (asst: GT Upchurch, Atlantic), King Charles III (associate: David Muse, ACT, Seattle Rep, STC). She teaches acting and storytelling within a variety of communities, and organizes with Mizrahi Jews in NYC. BA: Wesleyan University.

Madelyn Paquetteis a New York-based creative producer, general manager, and arts administrator. She is the Director of Business Operations at THML Theatre Company where she helps promote the advancement of women in the arts. She has also worked with the New York Musical Festival, the Center at West Park, the Castillo Theatre, and Aaron Grant Theatrical. She holds a BFA in Acting from the University of Miami.

Brenna Rosshas worked with various institutions focused on the developments of new works including: IBEX Puppetry, The 24 Hour Plays, The Eugene O'Neill Theater Center, and SPACE on Ryder Farm. Recent projects include: Ajijaak on Turtle Island, Harmonious Migrations, Crane: on earth, in sky (IBEX Puppetry), The 24 Hour Musicals: Los Angeles, The 24 Hour Plays on Broadway (The 24 Hour Plays), What a Young Girl Ought to Know (Climate Nexus, Art Rising) Journey to the Center of a Black Hole, Insomniac's Almanac (independent).

By Juliany Taveras, directed by Manny Rivera, choreography by Ian Fields Stewart
July 27, 31 and August 2 at 7pm; July 28 and August 5 at 1pm; July 29 and August 3, 4 at 4:30pm
Pay What You Can performance on Friday, August 3 at 4:30pm

As kids growing up in New York City, Nelly, Alaida, and Sol spent hot summer days daring, dancing, and documenting their way across boroughs, rivers, and storefronts. Ten years later, time has seemed to warp everything, from their once-indestructible friendship to the landscape of the streets they used to call home. Desarrollo is an unraveling-a discovery-of what happens to the people and the places we love when put under pressure; like film developing in the dark, their stories are ones of transformation, of capturing the moments that change us.

Juliany Taveras is a Latinx writer, photographer, and theatre-maker from the boroughs of NYC. Their playwriting has been nationally recognized (The Kilroys List 2016, 50 Playwrights Project List 2018) and their images/poetry have been published online and in print. Juliany's plays have been developed and/or staged with Manhattan Rep, The Bechdel Group, Greenhouse Theater Center, and Unbound Theatre Company, among others. See more at

Manny Rivera is a trans, Latinx theatre artist. They are a member of the performance art collective, A Beautiful Desperation, a participant in the 2017 Upstart Program at BAX; the recipient of The Seymour Peck Award for Excellence in Directing at their alma mater, The City College of New York. Notable credits include Blu (Asst. Director/Sound Designer) with CCCA, Marisol (CCNY) and sound design for Your Healing Is Killing Me (JACK).

Ian Fields Stewart (they/them/their) is a queer, black, trans femme storyteller working at the intersection of theatre and activism. Their work utilizes multiple forms to examine the stories and create new narratives that center and uplift marginalized people.

delicacy of a puffin heart
By Stefani Kuo, directed by Theo Maltz, produced by Catherine Woodard and Coral Smith
July 25, 30 and August 1 at 7pm; July 29 and August 3 at 8pm; July 28 and August 5 at 4:30pm; August 4 at 1pm
Pay What You Can performance on Sunday, July 29 at 8pm

In a small San Francisco apartment in the 1990s, Meryl and Ana Sofia, a lesbian couple, attempt to conceive a child through in-vitro fertilization while managing Meryl's bipolar disorder II. Two decades later, in the same apartment, their daughter Robyn and her roommate Hadley are forced to navigate their friendship through Robyn's cancer treatment. As they struggle to take control of their lives, all four come to experience the unique weight and loss of female friendship.A wrenching, tender portrait of characters who are complicated the way real women are, delicacy of a puffin heart considers what it means to love someone honestly even when they are incapable of telling the truth.

Stefani Kuo is a native of Hong Kong and received her B.A. from Yale. She is a playwright, poet, translator, and performer based in New York. Her play, Architecture of Rain, premiered at the Iseman Theatre at Yale and received a reading in the DVRF Roundtable series and Checkmark Theatre Company reading series. She was a 2017 artist-in-residence at the Centre of Substructured Loss, Berlin. She was a finalist for the Van Lier New Voices, DVRF, BRIClab, and Ground Floor at Berkeley Rep. For more, see

Theo Maltzis a Brooklyn based director and performer. He has developed new works at Williamstown Theatre Festival, Dixon Place, HERE, and Access Theater. He is also a teaching artist for Big Green Theater at The Bushwick Starr, a program that teaches 5th graders about environmentalism and playwriting. When not working you can find him dancing in his room to old disco records or wandering around the city daydreaming.

Catherine Woodard is a native New Yorker (by way of LONG ISLAND) and has fully embraced the backslash career life. As a Producer/Theater Artist, Catherine has produced for Story Pirates, The Flea Theater, and The Peoples Improv Theater. This summer she will be the Production Coordinator at Williamstown Theatre Festival. Catherine received her BFA in Theatre Arts from Boston University. She likes naps and the Hudson River.

Corkscrew Theater Festival Readings

Heart & Soul Yoga Studio Beirut
By Olivia Clement, directed by Emilyn Kowaleski
July 10 at 8:00pm

In a dusty studio in Beirut, five women gather to do yoga: a local hairdresser, an American combat solider, a veteran, a Syrian refugee, and an Australian Air Force officer. Between downward dogs and mountain poses, their lives-all vastly different, all on the brink of change-will clash and converge, as the hot sun continues to set over Lebanon.

Olivia Clement is a playwright and filmmaker originally from France, who grew up in Australia, and now lives in Brooklyn. Her play Where's the Exit? was the winner of the Sydney Theatre Young Playwrights Award and received a professional production. Her play A Thank You Left Unsaid was staged at the Sydney Fringe Festival. Her documentary film Peace of Quev recently screened at Brooklyn's Nitehawk Short Film Festival.

Emilyn Kowaleski is a Brooklyn-based writer and new play director. Recent directing credits include: Animal Wisdom by Heather Christian (Co-Director) at The Bushwick Starr, Delicious Filth by Brett Evan Solomon at The Brick, Everyday Afroplay (Co-Director) at JACK and The Witch of St Elmora Street by Joey Merlo at The Access Theater. She is a former associate director of Young Jean Lee's Theater Company, a member of the 2017 Habitat Director's Playground and a 2018 HB studio resident.

Our House is Haunted
By Ankita Raturi, directed by Charlotte Murray
July 16 at 3:30pm

Our House is Haunted weaves together ghost stories, paranormal theories, and pop culture in order to offer audiences a tour through the eerie and unknown. A devised collage inspired by Cubism, the play investigates the nature of fear and the power of belief. By turns comical and spooky, skeptical and earnest, Our House is Haunted seeks to conjure spirits beyond our grasp, so that we can reflect on the roles they play among the living.

Ankita Raturi is a NYC-based playwright, poet, deviser, and teaching artist. She grew up in India, America, and Indonesia. Her plays include Another Passage to India and Games We Played As Children. She is a proud member of the New York Shakespeare Exchange's Diversity Cohort, the company's inaugural writer's group. 2016/17 Literary/Dramaturgy Fellow at Berkeley Repertory Theatre. BFA NYU Tisch School of the Arts/ Playwrights Horizons Theater School.

Charlotte Murray is a New York director and theater maker. Credits include: Mary V (Theater for the New City), Political Subversities (The PIT), Out of my Skin (The PIT), and Eurydice (PHTS). She has worked with creators like Ellie Heyman, Andrew Neisler, Sam Pinkleton, Annie Tippe, Kristine Haruna Lee, Jennifer Morris, Andrew Scoville, Erin Ortman, and Tea Alagi?. NYU Tisch School of the Arts, Playwrights Horizons Theater School.

Milk and Gall
By Mathilde Dratwa, directed by Jen Wineman, featuring Carrie Heitman
July 20 at 3:30pm

Raising a magnifying glass to the experience of being a new mother under Trump,Milk and Gall opens as Vera gives birth to a baby boy on election night 2016. Over the course of one seemingly unending year, tensions mount between Vera and the people in her life, including her husband, her second-wave feminist mother, and her Syrian-American best friend Amira. A surreal and fragmented play mimicking the experience of sleep-deprived new parents (featuring a shape-shifting baby played by a series of incongruous objects), Milk and Gall reveals what happens when the political and the personal push someone to the point of exhaustion.

Mathilde Dratwa is a member of Dorset Theater Festival's Women Artists Write and of New York Foundation for the Arts' Immigrant Artist Program. She co-founded Moms-in-Film, has been a Sundance Channel Shorts Finalist and a two-time Pulitzer Center grant recipient. Her nonfiction work has been featured in the LA Times, Le Monde, and screened at the UN. Mathilde teaches for Roundabout, the New Victory, The Shakespeare Society and the School of The New York Times.

Jen Wineman is a Brooklyn-based director/choreographer. New York: Surfer Girl (Animus Theatre); My Heart is in the East (La Mama); Fable (NYMF), The King's Whore (Walkerspace); F#%king Up Everything (Elektra Theater). Regionally, she has directed at Pittsburgh CLO, Asolo Rep, Playmakers Rep, Virginia Rep, Dorset Theatre Festival, and Tantrum Theater. Up next: Gianmarco Soresi's new play Less Than 50% at 59E59. Jen recently completed her first film, You Look Amazing, by The Daily Show's Colleen Werthmann. B.A. Vassar, M.F.A. Yale.

Carrie Heitman is co-artistic director of Hook & Eye Theater. She has appeared Off-Broadway, regionally, in the UK, Poland, Russia and Malaysia. NYC favorites: The Cherry Lane, The Pearl, The Women's Project, DTW, The New Ohio, The Abingdon, Mark Morris. TV/Film: Lipstick Jungle, A Piece of Cake, The Patriot, Everything's Gonna Be Pink (Roni Ezra, Oscar Nom), What About Us? (w/Jasmine Guy). MFA: UNC Chapel Hill; AEA; Master teaching artist for the Roundabout Theatre.

Craters, or the making of the making of the moon landing
By Elise Wien, directed by Deby Xiadani
July 27 at 3:30pm

Meet the film team responsible for staging the Apollo 11 moon landing. Or at least, partially responsible-until their lead actor Neil was whisked away at the last minute when NASA decided to go in a different direction. Now, director Sylvia and her crew are being held prisoner in a classified warehouse in the middle of nowhere America, with nothing to do but make a documentary about their thwarted attempt at creating the footage that would inspire the world. Craters is an exercise in fact-finding, (re)enactment, and the power of simulation.

Elise Wien is a playwright living in Cambridge, MA, whose plays have been staged at the Hopkins Center for the Arts in Hanover, NH. She graduated from Dartmouth College in 2017 with a BA in Comparative Literature, and is currently working on a play cycle comprising 3 plays set 300 years and 3,000 miles apart. She primarily writes funny, surreal, historical(ish) works that push the bounds of form and inspire introspection.

Deby Xiadani is a director, writer, and fresh air enthusiast. She specializes in new work, dark comedy, and live performance, which is why she loves working with Elise Wien - in fact, this is their third directing-playwright collab together! Directing credits: The Pillowman, Blue Stockings, Craters (Elise Wien), Third Night (Elise Wien), Everything Falls Apart, Living Room Sketch Show! Before directing, Deby graduated from Dartmouth College studying Neuroscience and Theater.

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