THE PIPER, HOPE AND GRAVITY and THE GOD GAME Win Capital Rep and Proctors' Next Act New Play Summit

After a call for new work that resulted in submissions of more than 120 plays, Capital Repertory Theatre and Proctors announce the winning selections for the inaugural NEXT ACT NEW PLAY SUMMIT.

The first joint artistic venture for both organizations, NEXT ACT takes place Nov 2, 3 and 4 and features readings of the top three winning works:

· a musical, THE PIPER, music and lyrics by Grammy-Award winning songwriter, Marcus Hummon, book by Michael Aman and Marcus Hummon

and two plays:

· Michael Hollinger’s HOPE AND GRAVITY and
· Suzanne Bradbeer’s THE GOD GAME.

In addition to the readings, the three-day summit includes special daytime events designed to shed light on new play development including discussions with the featured artists. Complimentary refreshments will be available at all events.

The winning plays were selected by two groups of readers drawn from theatre administrators, professors, writers and local professional actors from the Upstate Equity Actors Association, whose members will serve as co-hosts for all NEXT ACT events. All the plays were read “blind,” in that the author’s name was not provided to the readers. The first group read more than 100 plays and selected the top 20. Another round of reading resulted in the top six titles. From there, the winning works were selected.

The Capital Repertory Theatre and Proctors administrative partnership, formed in January 2011, has enabled both organizations to combine resources to give Capital Region patrons the first peek at these new works, each under consideration for possible full production in later seasons.

“We could not do this alone,” says Capital Rep’s Artistic Director, Maggie Mancinelli-Cahill. “One of the great benefits of our partnership with Proctors is having the luxury to develop new plays without the pressure of opening night looming in the near future. Creating new work takes time, as does building trust with a writer. We want to foster safe, productive – and fun – atmospheres where material can breathe and where audiences know they are part of a process. You can’t always do that when you’re rehearsing a play for production.”

“This is a great foray into creative work for us at Proctors,” explains CEO Philip Morris, who also serves as Capital Rep’s Chief Administrative Officer.

“Our mission,” said Morris, “is to be a catalyst for economic and cultural growth utilizing the arts. NEXT ACT allows us to bring resources to the table that pique curiosity and expand the interests of our patrons with work that’s created and produced in our own backyard.”

Grammy-Award winning songwriter, Marcus Hummon, brings his musical talent to the score and lyrics of the selected musical, THE PIPER, with a book by Marcus Hummon and Michael Aman. Set in Boston, 1892, THE PIPER takes place in the notorious neighborhood of Scollary Square where the strains of Irish music fill the air, while a murderer haunts the street and alleyways. Jordan’s boardinghouse is a refuge in the storm, especially for her 14-year old daughter, Wilder, whose remarkable gift with the penny whistle brings myth, romance and magic together in this story about creating family.

Suzanne Bradbeer’s play, THE GOD GAME takes place over a summer weekend when Tom, a rising conservative political star, is asked to be his party’s vice-presidential nominee. There’s one condition: the presidential campaign just needs Tom to “sound more Christian” on the campaign trail.

When an elevator crashes in a major city, ten lives intersect in surprising ways – through love and sex, poetry and dentistry, in offices, backyards and hotel rooms – in Michael Hollinger’s play, HOPE AND GRAVITY. By turns comic and profound, HOPE AND GRAVITY traces the barely perceivable threads that connect us all.

HOPE AND GRAVITY will open the summit on Friday, Nov. 2 at 7:30PM at Proctors GE Theater, 432 State St, Schenectady. The reading of THE GOD GAME takes place on Saturday, Nov. 3 at 7:30 PM also in the GE Theatre. THE PIPER will be read at Capital Rep, 111 N. Pearl St. Albany on Sunday, Nov. 4 at 4 PM.

THE FIRST 15, featuring readings and discussions of the first fifteen minutes of 6 semi-finalist plays will take place on Sat. Nov 3 from 1 – 2:30 PM in the GE Theatre at Proctors and a Critics Circle panel discussion will take place on Sun. Nov 4 at 1 – 2:30 PM at Capital Rep.

Complimentary refreshments will be provided at all events.

Tickets for each day’s events are $15. A NEXT ACT NEW PLAY SUMMIT pass for general admission to all events (three-day pass) is available for $30. Student tickets are $10/day or $21 for a three-day pass to NEXT ACT (with valid student ID). Capital Rep subscribers get a special window of opportunity to order tickets now through Oct 7. Tickets go on sale to the public on Oct. 8. For tickets and information call TICKETS BY PROCTORS at 445-SHOW.

For more Information on the inaugural NEXT ACT NEW PLAY SUMMIT, contact Margaret Hall, 518.462.4531 x410, or visit

Capital Repertory Theatre is the only resident professional theatre company in New York's Capital District. As members of the League of Resident Theatres (LORT), Capital Rep proudly operates within agreements with the Actors Equity Association, United Scenic Artists (USA) and the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers (SDC).

Proctors in Downtown Schenectady, NY, offers more than 1,700 events a year to nearly 600,000 visitors and residents of New York State’s Capital Region. As a charitable, cultural and educational non-profit organization, Proctors depends on membership, donations and grants to bring exciting shows and excellent educational and community events to the Capital Region. Income from ticket sales pays for only 67 percent of the cost of running Proctors.


Marcus Hummon (THE PIPER, music/lyrics) has been called Nashville’s Renaissance Man. He has enjoyed a successful career as a songwriter, recording artist, producer, studio musician, playwright and author. His songs have been recorded in many genres – Pop, R&B, gospel – and most notably in country music. His country discography reads like a “who’s who” list of country notables, including Rascal Flatts, Garth Brooks, The Dixie Chicks, Brooks and Dunn, and Tim name a few. Six of his songs have charted #1 on ‘Billboard’, ‘Radio and Records’ or ‘Cashbox’. Several of his songs have been nominated for Grammys, ACMs and CMAs. In 2005, BLESS THE BROKEN ROAD won the Grammy for Best Country Song. Turning to theatre, Hummon has written 5 musicals and 2 operas. Three of his musicals, Warrior, The Piper, and the opera-dance-hybrid Tut (a collaboration with Abdel Salaam and the Force Of Nature Dance Company) were featured Off-Broadway as part of the New York New Musical Festival. Warrior and American Duet received invitations to the prestigious Eugene O’Neill Summer Conference. Marcus lives in Nashville, TN, with his wife Becca and their 3 sons...Levi, Caney and Moses.

Michael Aman (THE PIPER, book) wrote the book and lyrics for Becoming Tennessee (Richard Rodgers Award finalist 2009). His comedy Step Three was a semi-finalist for the 2011 O’Neill National Playwrights Conference. His play The Unbleached American won best play 2012 for the African American Playwrights’ Exchange (AAPEX). He co-wrote the book and lyrics for The Ballad of Bonnie and Clyde (2005 NYMF). He also co-wrote the book for Let Me Sing! A Musical Evolution (George Street Playhouse; Charlotte Repertory Theatre). Michael has a Ph.D. in Theatre History and teaches at The College of Westchester.

The plays of Michael Hollinger (HOPE AND GRAVITY) include Ghost-Writer, Opus, Tooth and Claw, Red Herring, Incorruptible, Tiny Island, and An Empty Plate in the Café du Grand Boeuf, all of which premiered at Philadelphia’s Arden Theatre Company. These plays have enjoyed numerous productions around the country, in NYC, London, Paris, Athens, and elsewhere in Europe. His new translation of Rostand’s Cyrano de Bergerac (co-adapted with Aaron Posner) premiered in 2011 at the Folger Theatre in Washington, D.C. A new musical, A Wonderful Noise (co-authored with Vance Lehmkuhl), premiered at Creede Repertory Theatre in 2009. Michael’s awards include a Steinberg New Play Citation from the American Theatre Critics Association, a Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award, a Mid-Atlantic Emmy, an Edgerton Foundation New American Plays Award, four Barrymore Awards (including the F. Otto Haas Award for an Emerging Theatre Artist), nominations for Lucille Lortel and John Gassner Awards, and fellowships from the Independence Foundation, Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation, and Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. He is an Associate Professor of Theatre at Villanova University, and a proud alumnus of New Dramatists.

SUZANNE BRADBEER’S (THE GOD GAME) current work includes: God in the Goat, produced by Barrington Stage, February 2012; Full Bloom, which will be published by Playscripts, fall 2012; Naked Influence, workshopped at the Dorset Theatre Festival, directed by Daniella Topol; and Shakespeare In Vegas, workshopped at both the Drilling Company, directed by Giovanna Sardelli, and at ASU, directed by Zac Yurkovic and will be co-produced by Playwrights Theatre of New Jersey and Dreamcatcher Rep, Winter 2013. Suzanne’s prizes and awards include: New York Foundation for the Arts, the Berrilla Kerr Foundation, the Anna Sosenko Trust, the Ashland New Plays Festival, the Dayton Playhouse FutureFest, and the 2012 BMI Foundation Harrington Award. Monologues from many of Suzanne’s plays have been published by Smith & Kraus, who have also published her plays Bethlehem, PA; Sometimes Romeo is Sad; Full Bloom; and Okoboji. Residencies: The New Harmony Project, New River Dramatists, the Alabama Shakespeare Festival. Nominated by Theresa Rebeck, Suzanne was also a fellow of The Lark’s Playwrights’ Workshop. Suzanne is a member of the Ensemble Studio Theatre, Dramatists Guild, Actors Studio P/D Workshop, and the BMI workshop. A professional highlight, working with Arthur Miller and Jim Houghton as the dramaturg on Miller’s The American Clock, at the Signature Theater.

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