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Tangent Theatre Kicks Off 2014 NEWvember Festival Today

Tangent Theatre Company, in co-production with AboutFACE Ireland, announce the selected plays to be featured in their 4th NEWvember New Plays Festival (today, Nov. 6-9) -- a showcase of original plays by promising playwrights to be read at the Carpenter Shop Theater, their 50-seat space in the center of Tivoli village.

NEWvember will showcase these works over a four-day weekend, via rehearsed readings, featuring veteran actors and directors. Nearly 500 plays were received this year (via blind submission) from across the U.S. and around the world, including the United Kingdom, Germany, Ireland and Israel.

A reading-panel of 17 industry colleagues helped with the narrowing-down process; the final selections by the festival's producers is complete and the six final invited plays (selected based on originality, range, storytelling quality and emotional resonance) are as follows:

Thurs., Nov. 6 @ 8pm - The Soldier's Daughter by Ryan Sprague from Astoria, NY: In the wake of her Army father's death, Carly befriends Jasper. Secrets slowly rise to the surface, showing that her father may not be the war hero he was once thought to be.

Fri., Nov. 7 @ 8pm - Next to Him by Jessica Moss from Toronto, Canada: Ash is struggling to fit in at his new school, until he makes a new friend, Peter. And then things get really interesting, in this drama about what it means to be different.

Sat., Nov. 8 @ 2pm - Futurama by Samantha Charlip from Brooklyn, NY: A self-improvement workshop at a second rate amusement park forces two park employees to overcome debilitating emotional paralysis and attempt to change their lives.

Sat., Nov. 8 @ 8pm - Strong Force by Shawna Casey from Los Angeles, CA: A fantastical rom-com that takes a look at love from the standpoint of life, death and romantically-skewed physics in a surreal metropolitan hospital.

Sun., Nov. 9 @ 2pm - Do Not Leave Unattended by Jan Rosenberg, Ardsley, NY: Eddie has a dangerous new playmate who brings some wild company with him. A darkly funny look at what constitutes "family" and the lengths we'll go to preserve it.

Sun., Nov. 9 @ 6pm - Two Men Missing in the Hudson River by Caitlin Saylor Stephens, Brooklyn, NY: After an epic night of partying, Mike and Greg find themselves at the bottom of the Hudson River. A search party is thrown on behalf of the living. Are the two men forever gone or are they just missing?

Five of the writers will be attending, with the farthest coming from Los Angeles. This year, five out of the six writers are women and four of the writers are, coincidentally, from the New York metropolitan area. The spirit of NEWvember is to provide a dynamic, interactive and comfortable place where writers can hear their plays read by seasoned actors and discuss their work and creative process. With the intimacy of the Carpenter Shop Theater, audiences will get a first look at fresh, original plays presented by these exciting new voices.

For the second year in a row, NEWvember was awarded a NYSCA-funded Project Grant from Arts Mid-Hudson to further spotlight this artists-driven event. The festivals have boosted visitors and business to Tivoli's historic village and have seen writers whose works have gone on to further development and acclaim. Of note, John Cariani's Love/Sick (NEWvember 2012) has been widely produced since, and Seamus Scanlon's The Long Wet Grass (NEWvember 2013) was recently part of his award-winning The McGowan Trilogy appearing at the Cell Theatre in New York, during the seventh annual 1st Irish Festival.

Founded in New York City in 2000 by Dutchess County natives Andrea and Michael Rhodes and Keith Teller, the company re-located to Tivoli in 2009. Highlights include The Vandal by Hamish Linklater, Sight Unseen by Donald Margulies, the American premiere of The Good Father by Christian O'Reilly, Doubt by John Patrick Shanley and The Zoo Story by Edward Albee - along with their popular pub readings. New York City-based Tangent ensemble members and AboutFACE Ireland co-founders Anna and Paul Nugent are also co- creators and co-producers of the festival. AboutFACE, founded in 2002 in Dublin, aims to tell approachable, compassionate and powerful stories, with a focus on new American plays. Its acclaimed productions include the Irish premieres of The Laramie Project, Tape and Collected Stories and their recent World Premiere of Orson Welles' Christmas Carol.

The NEWvember New Plays Festival @ The Carpenter Shop Theater (60 Broadway, Tivoli), November 6-9, 2014; tickets $15; festival pass (all six) $60. For more info, visit newvemberfestival.com or tangent-arts.org.

Pictured: Paul Nugent, Michael Rhodes, Amie Tedesco, Brendan Burke and Ben Fundis; courtesy A. Rhodes @ Tangent.


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