Actor's Express Presents First Virtual Play Reading Festival

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Actor's Express presents the first Virtual Threshold New Play Festival, a festival of new play readings May 24, May 31, and June 7, 2020.

Director of Marketing and Sales Corey L. Smith said of the virtual readings, "When audiences can't come to us, the theater shall come to them." Virtual Readings will take place over Zoom. The readings are free. Registration is required.

The Threshold New Play Festival focuses on mostly Atlanta and Georgia-based writers who are also making a mark on the national scene. Scheduled readings are Subtext by Reagan Gwen Seiler, Pray On It by Luke Evans, Wet Nurse and In the Twilight by Margaret Baldwin, and This is About You by Edith Freni.

ABOUT THE PLAYS

Sunday, May 24 • 7:00 PM

Subtext by Reagan Gwen Seiler

Two friends tentatively explore whether their friendship might be a little bit more than they previously realized.

Sunday, May 24 • 8:00 PM

Pray On It by Luke Evans

A gifted young writer on the brink of success must reckon with family and religious tensions in his small Northwest Georgia hometown.

Sunday, May 31 • 7:00 PM

Wet Nurse and In the Twilight by Margaret Baldwin

A bill of short plays that echo with Chekhov's The Three Sisters, as well as many of the great playwright's short stories. Written by Suzi Bass Award-winning playwright Margaret Baldwin.

Sunday, June 7 • 7:00 PM

This is About You by Edith Freni

A marine biologist navigates the messy details of her life, including her pushy co-workers, her platonic male roommate, and a dolphin with whom she has an intense relationship.

ABOUT THE PLAYWRIGHTS

Edith Freni holds both her BFA and MFA from NYU's Department of Dramatic Writing. Her work has been produced and developed nationally at theaters including Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Profile Theatre Company in Portland, OR; EST, EST West, LAByrinth Theater Company, the Williamstown Theatre Festival, Actor's Express, and City Theatre. Edith was a member of Youngblood, and is a member of Partial Comfort Productions, Ensemble Studio Theater, and the Dramatists Guild. She is an alum of the Ingram New Works Lab at Nashville Repertory Theater; the recipient of a New Territories Playwriting Residency at Serenbe Playhouse, and a fellowship at the Sewanee Writers' Conference. Edith was the inaugural Emory University Playwriting Fellow from 2014-16 and served as the Tennessee Williams Playwright-in-Residence at The University of the South in Sewanee, TN from 2016-18. Most recently, she's taught playwriting at UCSD and for the Dramatists Guild Institute. Her play The Hystericals was a finalist for the 2019 O'Neill Playwrights Conference; This is About You was named a semi-finalist in 2020. Happiest Family on the Block was selected for the 2020/21 Great Plains Theater Conference. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two cats, one gray and one orange. For all else: www.edithfreni.com

Reagan Seiler is an actor and playwright based out of New York City (although back in Texas due to COVID-19) where her original short play "Subtext" was supposed to have its New York Premier at the New York 'WinterFest' Theatre Festival. She spent the summer after graduating as an apprentice at the Williamstown Theatre Festival where she was selected to be involved in a playwriting workshop with Kenneth Lonergan. She graduated from Baylor University where she earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre Performance with a concentration in musical theatre. She is so excited to share her work with the theatre community via Virtual Threshold during this unprecedented time!

Luke Evans is a Georgia-based playwright and dramaturg and recent graduate from Oglethorpe University, with a Bachelor's degree in Theatre and English. A major advocate for representation in theatre, Luke's creative works have focused primarily on the representation of LGBTQ+ and non-neurotypical characters. His YA novel, The Earth Bound, was published by Zharmae Publishing Press in 2016 and is set to be republished by Charlie's Port this year. Pray On It is his first dramatic work to be read or produced, though he is currently working on a full-length play about a family's struggle with conversion therapy, titled About Jonah. Luke is set to attend the University of Houston in the fall, where he will earn his M.A. in Theatre Studies. A native of Cartersville, Georgia, he hopes that this play allows those who are divorced from their homes, distant from their relatives, or lacking a sense of home to discover some form of reconnection.

Atlanta native Margaret Baldwin has had her plays and adapted works produced throughout the US and abroad. Her play Night Blooms received its world premiere at Horizon Theatre Company in Atlanta (2010) and its mid-Atlantic premiere at Virginia Repertory in Richmond (2012). Night Blooms earned Margaret the 2011 Gene Gabriel Moore Playwriting Award and was named one of the Best New Plays of 2010 by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Margaret and Horizon Theatre received a National AT&T Onstage Award for the world premiere of her play Her Little House (2004). Margaret writes and directs plays for the Department of Theatre and Performance Studies at Kennesaw State University, where she teaches as a Senior Lecturer. Adapted works include In the Twilight: Chekhov's Stories Retold (2013); The Followers: A Retelling of The Bacchae, commissioned and produced by 7 Stages Theatre (2018); and The Our Town Collision Project (2019). Her play Coyote Hour was a finalist for the 2015 National Playwrights Conference at the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center and part of Actor's Express Threshold series in 2016. Margaret received her MFA from the Iowa Playwrights Workshop. She is the winner of the 2016 UGA Board of Regents Award for Excellence in Teaching. She and KSU students work in the community partners Common Good Atlanta and The Alliance Theatre Education Program creating theatre with incarcerated scholars at Metro Reentry Facility and Metro Regional Youth Detention Center in Southeast Atlanta.

Tickets are free. Registration is available online at actors-express.com. Patrons will receive a streaming link on the day of each reading. For info, email tickets@actorsexpress.com.


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