Skip to main content Skip to footer site map
Click Here for More Articles on MANHATTAN THEATRE CLUB

Works by Nicky Silver, Christopher Shinn & More Set for MTC's Ernst C. Stiefel Reading Series


Theatre Club has announced the lineup for this spring's Ernst C. Stiefel Reading Series.

The readings kick off Monday, March 16 and will be held on Mondays through April 13. The readings will take place at New York City Center - Stage I (131 West 55th Street). All readings are free and open to the public, but space is limited and RSVPs are required.

To RSVP, please visit or call (212) 399-3000 x 4163.

Now in its 17th year, this rehearsed reading series, formerly known as 7@7, is dedicated to the support and development of innovative new work. The Ernst C. Stiefel Foundation has supported Manhattan Theatre Club's reading series since 2006. This year, MTC will be giving each play a week-long rehearsal period to allow playwrights additional development time with directors and actors.

Several plays developed in this reading series have gone on to full productions at MTC, including David Auburn's Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize-winning Proof, Joe Hortua's Between Us, Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa's Based on a Totally True Story, and Molly Smith Metzler's Close Up Space (Susan Smith Blackburn finalist).

Plays from this reading series that have been produced elsewhere in New York and around the world include Halley Feiffer's I'm Gonna Pray for You So Hard, Joshua Harmon's Significant Other, Heidi Schreck's There Are No More Big Secrets, Stephen Adly Guirgis' The Little Flower of East Orange, Julia Cho's Durango, David Adjmi's Stunning, Naomi Iizuka's Strike-Slip, Adam Rapp's Red Light Winter, Theresa Rebeck's The Scene, Eric Simonson's Fake, Jonathan Caren's The Recommendation, The Civilians' The Great Immensity and Rona Munro's Donny's Brain.

Below is the 2015 Ernst C. Stiefel Reading Series schedule. Please note there will not be a reading on Monday, March 23.

March 16 at 4PM: THIS DAY FORWARD by Nicky Silver, directed by Lynne Meadow
Martin thinks he has just married the girl of his dreams, but when Irene makes a surprising confession in their honeymoon suite, all their well-made plans fall apart. Nearly 50 years later Irene's children grapple with their past and a mother whose secrets are quickly fading along with her memory. A gripping new comedy from the author of The Lyons about love and marriage and everything in between. This Day Forward is an MTC/Bank of America New Plays commission.

Nicky Silver's plays include Pterodactyls, Raised in Captivity, Too Much Sun, and The Lyons, among others. He is the recipient of The Kesselring Prize, The Oppenheimer Award as well as four nominations each for the Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle awards.

March 30 at 4PM: NOW OR LATER by Christopher Shinn, directed by Doug Hughes
On Election night, John Jr. sits and watches the results roll in as his father becomes the President-Elect of the United States. It soon becomes clear that his father's name won't be the only one in the news that night when incendiary photos of John Jr. go viral. As his father's advisors work against the clock on damage control, they come to realize that only father and son can stymie this crisis before the polls close. Christopher Shinn's searching play examines religion, freedom of expression and personal responsibility.

Christopher Shinn is the author of Dying City (Pulitzer Prize finalist), Where Do We Live (Obie Award), Now or Later (Evening Standard Theatre Award for Best Play shortlist) and Four, among other plays. His work has been produced internationally, with five world premieres at the Royal Court Theatre in London. He is the head of Playwriting at the New School for Drama.

April 6 at 4PM: IN BLOOM by Gabriel Jason Dean, directed by Lucie Tiberghien
Aaron Freeman, an award-winning American documentary filmmaker is chasing his newest story in Afghanistan when he suddenly encounters an ancient Afghan tradition that sunders his carefully studied notions of the region. But as he works to shed light on this complex practice, he risks hurting those he's sworn to help. A gripping new play that explores the privileges and consequences of telling someone else's story.

Gabriel Jason Dean's work has been seen at New York Theatre Workshop, Oregon Shakespeare, the Flea, McCarter Theatre, Araca Group, American Theatre Company, among others. He's the recipient of the Hodder Fellowship from Princeton, received the Kennedy Center's Paula Vogel Prize, was a finalist for the Laurents / Hatcher Award, and Runner-Up for the Princess Grace Award.

April 13 at 4PM: TALK SHOW by Alistair McDowall, directed by Trip Cullman
Sam runs his own ramshackle late-night talk show from his basement bedroom, broadcast optimistically over the internet. Finding it easier to interview the local oddballs than talk to his own fractured family, Sam is ultimately forced to come out from behind the camera when his troubled and chaotic uncle returns. A British black comedy about talking and not talking.

Alistair McDowall has previously worked with the Royal Court Theatre, National Theatre, Paines Plough and the Royal Exchange Theatre. He was a Bruntwood Prize winner in 2011 and his work has also been performed in Germany and France.

Manhattan Theatre Club, under the leadership of Artistic Director Lynne Meadow and Executive Producer Barry Grove, has become one of the country's most prominent and prestigious theatre companies. Over the past four and a half decades, MTC productions have earned numerous awards including six Pulitzer Prizes and 19 Tony Awards. MTC has a Broadway home at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre (261 West 47th Street) and two Off-Broadway theatres at New York City Center (131 West 55th Street). Renowned MTC productions include Constellations; Casa Valentina; Outside Mullingar; The Assembled Parties; Venus in Fur; Master Class; Good People; The Whipping Man; Time Stands Still; The Royal Family; Ruined; Come Back, Little Sheba; Blackbird; Shining City; Rabbit Hole; Doubt; Proof; The Tale of the Allergist's Wife; Love! Valour! Compassion!; A Small Family Business; Sylvia; Putting It Together; Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune; Crimes of the Heart; and Ain't Misbehavin.' For more information on MTC, please visit

Photo Credit: Walter McBride

Related Articles

Featured on Stage Door

Shoutouts, Classes & More

More Hot Stories For You