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Eleven Original Plays By Local Playwrights Announced for Moonbox 1st Annual Boston New Works Festival

Moonbox will host New Works Festival June 24-26, 2022 at the BCA.

Moonbox Productions has announce that it has selected eleven original plays by local playwrights for its 1st Annual Boston New Works Festival. Moonbox will host the New Works Festival June 24-26, 2022 at the Boston Center for the Arts.

For the past year, Moonbox Productions has pivoted from normal operations to launch this new initiative dedicated to cultivating new works by local artists. In response to its request for proposals in fall of 2020, Moonbox received sixty-five submissions from local playwrights. From these sixty-five proposals, a diverse panel of judges chose eleven original theatrical pieces. In the coming year, the selected submissions will be part of an extensive workshop process that will culminate in staged productions at the festival in June of 2022.

"New works have been on Moonbox's short list forever, but it wasn't until COVID - with all of its undeniably disastrous ramifications - that we suddenly found ourselves with the time and space to finally dive in," said Producer Sharman Altshuler. "We have always sought to staff and cast our shows exclusively from the local Boston community, and to be able to extend that commitment now to the support and showcasing of local playwrights and theater-creators is deeply exciting and gratifying! The Boston area is teeming with creative talent, and an annual Festival will create a fun, accessible, welcoming, and exciting event that all communities in the greater Boston area and beyond can participate in and enjoy together," said Altshuler.

Selected playwrights and plays for the 1st Annual Boston New Works Festival include:

David Beardsley - Cursetown

It is 1975 in Boston, and school busing is stoking racial tensions. William, a community-minded black law student, and Fitzy, a bigoted white man from South Boston, confront each other in a bar during the dramatic sixth game of the Boston-Cincinnati World Series. After this initial meeting, William has little reason to be gracious - but when their paths cross again just before the '78 Sox-Yankees playoff game, William's unexpected kindness sparks an unlikely friendship. William and Fitzy's friendship - and their love of baseball - evolve across thirty years of heartbreaking Red Sox near-misses... but will it be a match for the systemic racism that defines the city they call home?

Kathleen Cahill & Michael Wartofsky - Late, A New Musical

First day back. School was closed, but now it's open again. Billie is hiding in the supply closet - her refuge - preparing the speech she's going to make at the school assembly. Her friends are outside the door, telling her she needs to hurry up, it's starting. But what is "it"? The assembly? Or the memory of that day? ... A day in the life of Billie, Charlotte, Makala, Jake, Katie, Vernell, Ryan, Autumn and Cole. An ordinary American day for nine ordinary American kids. Only some survived. Late was written as a way to express the writer's heartbreak about the murder of American school children through gun violence.

Kevin Cirone - The Good Deli

Julia is working as a comedian in Boston when she receives a frantic summons from her stepmom - her estranged father is on his deathbed. She rushes to his side, only to find him seemingly the same wise-ass curmudgeon he always was - only now he's obsessed with the Italian deli the family visited when Julia was a child. When her father's health takes another turn for the worse, Julia and her brother Max set out on a quest to find the deli and give their father the sandwich of his dreams. Fighting the desire to flee her family with the help of a former priest, Julia embarks on a road trip with her family, trying to reconnect with her father while they search for the memory of a mysterious deli that may not even exist.

Kai Clifton - Queens

Queens is a story about four queer black men living in New York City. Through storytelling that combines poetry, rhythm, and song, we follow Sky, Bobbi, Alex, and Adrienne as they discover all the juiciness adulthood has to offer: from careers to friendship, love, and sex. Amid it all, they fight for their masculinity, confronting societal pressures without apology.

David Coleman - Sister School

"I hate this school!" echoes through the halls of the Victoria School for Girls, one of the oldest single-gender institutions in America. Can a new student, a returning alum, and the head of school change the narrative to show us that single-gender schools are relevant? And will they be open to recognizing other genders? Sister School explores the world of an all-girls high school whose time may just be up and the girls who will sing their way into the hearts of all who have ever asked the question, "is this the place for me?"

Catherine Giorgetti - Rocky Relationships

As tides shift and waves crash, they push and shove the rocks on the beach into new and unexpected places. As we descend to see life through the rocks' ever-shifting perspective, we gain a new insight into the ways in which we, too, drift in and out of each other's' lives.

Surrey Houlker - For the Fish

It's 1974, and we're somewhere deep in rural America. Thirteen-year-old Susanna goes fishing with her uncle every Sunday, and it's an almost-religious respite for the two of them. But Susanna's fierce attachment to animals, absolute disdain for her first name, and estrangement from the men in her life keep her precariously perched between normality and disaster. As the year draws to a close, Susanna and her uncle draw closer, bonded by an understanding very few in their town will ever share. This play is an invitation to take a step back from urban "liberal utopias" and a step towards queerness in the footnotes of America.

Nick Malakhow - Affinity Lunch Minutes

Ben and Jasmine are the only two Black teachers at Penn Valley, a private Ouaker school. Passionate Jasmine is always pushing boundaries, while "agreeable" Ben, the Diversity Dean, has worked his way up the school's ranks by never making waves. When a racially-charged disciplinary decision ignites divisions at the school, Jasmine and Ben's collegial relationship - and friendship - will be tested.

Mary Elizabeth Peters - Jonathan

Jonathan is a young man with autism working at a big-box store the week before Christmas - but as the holiday season heats up, his personal aspirations are at odds with the reality of how he is treated. Will Jonathan push to keep his job, or give up? Will his employer help him succeed, or get rid of him? Jonathan confronts what we really believe in America: about adults with disabilities, about employment, and about the creature comforts of a retail economy.

Gabby Simone - Silt

Silt is an impossible conversation about unconscious racial violence and how it changes relationships. In an imagined world without accountability, both author and audience confront reality together. Will they - and will the characters - choose acknowledgement or ignorance? Silt offers a challenging and cathartic experience of racial conflict that is at once poetic and disturbing.

Rebecca Wright & Kelvyn Koning - The Prince and the Painter

In this new fantasy musical, the Hero's Journey meets the brilliance and queerness of the Jazz Age. After its magic disappears, the country of Fidan is crumbling. Ylber Sassoun, a rebellious young artist, unwittingly holds the key to its survival - but he's busy trying to outrun his own terrible secret. As he struggles, he befriends a movie starlet, her fiancée, and a strange, serious boy. Will Ylber and his friends be able to untangle the mystery of the vanished magic before their country - and perhaps reality itself - collapse around them?

For more information about the Boston New Works Festival, go to www.moonboxproductions.org.


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