Theatre Nova to Continue Michigan Playwrights Festival This May

After the success of Theatre Nova's inaugural Michigan Playwright's festival in December 2015, they are pleased to announce the dates of the added second week.

This added second week will run from May 3rd to May 8th. It will feature four full-length plays by Michigan-based playwrights, and an evening of six ten minute plays written by students from Oakland University and the University of Michigan.

Theatre Nova's mission is to become an epicenter for new plays in Michigan, and the Michigan Playwright festival is a unique opportunity to help local playwrights see their work staged to receive feedback and to develop these new scripts.

Theatre Nova's 2016 season includes three original scripts from Michigan Playwright's 2 of which were staged at the last festival; Katherine by Kim Carney; and SPIN by Emilio Rodriguez.

Week Two (May 3rd-8th):

Tuesday and Wednesday, May 3rd and 4th at 8PM: An evening of student written one-acts

Audience Participation Required (director TBA)

Caught in the Middle (director Tricia Turek)

Charming Prince Charming (director TBA)

Fixer Pick Her Upper (director Dennis Vernor)

IBlind Date (director TBA)

Modern Methods of Revenge (director Kez Settle)

Saturday, May 7th at 1pm: Clutter by Brian Cox (director Paige Vanzo)

Saturday, May 7th at 4pm: Draw Me Out by Laura Uzarski (director TBA)

Sunday, May 8th at 6pm: Last of Ken by Anne Eskridge (directed by Lynch Travis)
Sunday, May 8th at 8pm : TBA

Performances play The Yellow Barn, 410 W. Huron, Ann Arbor, MI 48104. Box office: 734-635-8450 or online at All readings PWYC, suggested donation $10.

More information on the MPF plays:

CLUTTER, by Brian Cox
A cluttered desk sits center stage under spotlight. Wrestling with a tremendous decision, a man begins clearing the desk off and in the process recalls, relives, and reinterprets aspects of his life and marriage with the help of two characters he draws from the audience. The man's marriage is frayed and failing. After he and his wife take their son to college, she asks for a divorce, but when she learns soon after that she is dying of cancer, they choose to stay together through her sickness. And in the end, the man must decide a course of action that challenges his flawed understanding of love and commitment.

DRAW ME OUT, by Laura Uzarski
Drew is a fifteen-year-old boy living with Bipolar disorder, whose daily encounters include his frustrated and distant mother, his bratty older sister, his eccentric therapist, and the self-obsessed kids at school. Although Drew is extremely creative and smart, he finds many challenges in communicating and relating to the people around him. It's not until he meets Suze, a brash and outspoken teen, that he starts to find his own voice. Suze introduces him to a world unlike any he has experienced, and teaches him how make his own rules and to take control of his life. But will Suze ultimately lead him to complete isolation and rejection of those he loves, or be the catalyst to a more integrated life?

LAST OF KEN, by Ann Eskridge
What happens when your dead relatives have an intervention because they think your life sucks? That's what happens to Ken Jones, a man who takes few risks and is described as the visual equivalent of constipation. He's repressed with issues of inadequacies. Afraid to tell his wife about his fears, he confronts each day as a lonely survivor in a dead-end middle management position for a gas and oil company. But when Ken's dead aunt comes back and brings with her a bunch of dead relatives who hold an intervention because they think he's not living up to his potential, Ken has to face his fears and those ancestors he's disappointed.

The ten minute one acts are student written featuring work from Oakland University students and University of Michigan. Students will have the opportunity to work with directors to stage these new plays for the first time in a venue, and to receive feedback from the audience.

More info on the Playwrights:

Brian Cox is a newspaper editor in Detroit. He's received a variety of journalism awards and has published a handful of short stories. He is the artistic director of From Around Here Productions through Two Twelve Arts Center in Saline, Michigan. His one-act play STUCK was produced by Oakland Community College in April 2015. NYC Playwrights selected his monologue SABOTAGE as its "Play of the Month" for June 2013. His one-act play THE VOICES IN MARTY'S HEAD MEET THE VOICES IN MARY'S AND FALL IN LOVE was produced by TLC Productions in January 2014. He conceptualized, directed and wrote monologues for SUSPICIONS: AN INVESTIGATION OF MONOLOGUES, which was produced by From Around Here Productions in May 2014. He conceptualized, co-directed and co-wrote 7 DEADLY SCENES, which was produced by From Around Here Productions in April 2015. His one-act THE ROAD SIGN UP AHEAD and the monologue UNDERSTANDING were selected to be read as part of Ann Arbor Civic Theatre's "The Play's the Thing" festival in April 2015.

Anna Prushinskaya's writing can be found in the Sonora Review and on The Atlantic's website, among other places. She also manages digital media programs at UMS (University Musical Society) and edits the Midwest section of Joyland Magazine. She earned an MFA in Fiction from Brooklyn College-CUNY in 2011 and formerly served as an online editor with Electric Literature.

Laura Uzarski is a graduate of Aquinas College, with a bachelor's degree in theatre performance with a minor in writing. Laura has had the privilege of working with the underdogs of the Grand Rapids theatre community, both on stage and behind the scenes. She has also been fortunate enough to act as Assistant Director for Theatre 616's productions of BERNARDA ALBA and THE PILLOWMAN. Laura also performs as part of Late Night Grand Rapids, a local sketch comedy group that writes and performs original sketches. She most recently performed with LNGR in conjunction with the Grand Rapids Improv Festival, featuring other standup comedians and local improv troupes. Laura also works as a local playwright, and has had several short plays produced through playwright competitions and festivals, including the Lake Effect Fringe Festival, Theatre 616's 24-hour play festivals, and the Lowell Arts festival Playbites by Playwrights.

All readings will be at the Yellow Barn (410 W. Huron, Ann Arbor), which Theatre Nova converts to an 80-seat "thrust stage" theatre six times a year. The location offers free parking, as well as quick walking access to downtown; nearby reference points are the Ann Arbor YMCA, the Big City Small World Bakery, Tasty Bakery, The Last Word, and the Sun Moon Yoga Studio. The entrance for parking is near the intersection of Huron St. and Chapin St/3rd St.

Theatre Nova has marked all performances as pay-what-you-can, with a suggested donation of $10 per reading. The company also offers annual memberships that include tickets to all six season productions, every show in the Michigan Playwrights' Festival in November, and each of its 3 children's shows.

Theatre Nova is Michigan's only professional theater exclusively producing new plays. Its mission is to raise awareness of the value and excitement of new plays and rising artists, and provide resources for playwrights to develop their craft by importing, exporting, and developing new work. It seeks to create a sustainable theater for generations to come, built on the cornerstones of accessibility, transparency, artist-leadership, and equality. It is a nonprofit 501c(3) organization. Visit for more information.

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