2015 Arkansas New Play Festival Sets Lineup

TheatreSquared (T2) Artistic Director Robert Ford and Executive Director Martin Miller today revealed the lineup for the 2015 Arkansas New Play Festival, Arkansas's premier celebration of new works for the American stage. Five plays will be developed over three intensive weeks with playwrights in residence at TheatreSquared, and performed for the public June 18-28, 2015. Works selected for development include Uncle, the newest play by Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award nominee Lee Blessing; The Quest for Don Quixote, a new adaptation by Mark Brown (Around the World in 80 Days); Dust, by Sundance Fellow and Arkansas native Qui Nguyen; Fault, by T2 Artistic Director Robert Ford; and The Dingdong: Or, How the French Kiss, Mark Shanahan's new adaptation of the classic Feydeau farce, slated for its off-Broadway premiere in 2016. New Play Passes, granting early access to all performances and events, are on sale now for $40 via Tickets Northwest Arkansas at (479) 443-5600 or online at theatre2.org. Single tickets for all events range from $7-$15 and go on sale soon.

"It'll be a rich and exciting festival," said Ford. "Every kind of comedy from low-brow to high-, plus some sharp social commentary. Scripts that are still in their infancy. Another that's already slated for off-Broadway. And an amazing group of actors, directors and playwrights."

"Every performance is followed by a talkback with the playwright and the team of artists staging the work," said Miller. "This is our audience's-and our region's-chance to help directly shape each of these high-profile plays before they take the world's stage."


Friday, 6/19

6:30pm: Opening Reception

7:30pm: Fault

Saturday, 6/20

2pm: Dust

7:30pm: The Dingdong: Or, How the French Kiss

Sunday, 6/21

2pm: Uncle

6pm: The 24 Hour Play-Off

Thursday, 6/25

8pm: The Quest for Don Quixote

Friday, 6/26

5:30pm: The Dingdong: Or, How the French Kiss

8pm: The Quest for Don Quixote

Saturday, 6/27

2pm: The Quest for Don Quixote

5:30pm: Young Playwrights Showcase

8pm: The Quest for Don Quixote

Sunday, 6/28

2pm: Uncle

7pm: Dust



adapted by Mark Brown from Miguel de Cervantes; directed by Mark Shanahan

Playwright Ben Eisenberg sits in a Starbucks, just one day before his epic adaptation of Don Quixote begins rehearsal. There's just one problem - he hasn't written it. His agent is apoplectic, the advance is long since spent, and adapting a 1000-page Renaissance adventure is beginning to feel a bit like, well, tilting at windmills. But then-whether from a stroke of genius or a near-lethal dosage of caffeine and Xanax-Starbucks itself begins to transform, and the errant knight arises in this delightfully theatrical, hilarious retelling of Cervantes's classic tale. Playwright Mark Brown's adaptation of Around the World in 80 Days (T2, 2014) was one of the nation's top-produced titles in 2014.

Workshop Production:

June 25 & 26 at 8:00pm, June 27 at 2:00pm and 8:00pm


by Qui Nguyen

Spanning Ho Chi Minh City to El Dorado, Arkansas, Dust is the story of Thuy, a girl who sets out to find her ex-G.I. father-who has kept her existence a secret from his wife for 16 years. Blending live hip-hop, raw emotion and wry wit, Dust recasts the American dream through the eyes of an Amer-Asian teenager in this redemptive, cross-cultural coming-of-age story. The newest work by Arkansas native Qui Nguyen (2014 Sundance Institute Fellow).

Staged Readings:

June 20 at 2pm and June 28 at 7:30pm


by Georges Feydeau, adapted by Mark Shanahan;
directed by Morgan Hicks

Vatelin is a faithful husband - mostly. Lucy is a faithful wife - kind of. But their "fidelity" is about to be put to the test when a series of importunate suitors and femmes fatales invade their cozy little world. Dive headfirst into the misadventures of one madcap night in a Parisian hotel in this new adaptation of Feydeau's classic farce, and discover how opening the wrong door in the dark of night can lead to mayhem, laughter, and a few unlikely revelations about the secret to a happy marriage.

Staged Readings:

June 20 at 7:30pm and June 26 at 5:00pm


by Robert Ford; directed by Amy Herzberg

In the aftermath of a severe quake along the New Madrid Fault, Gabriel Baptiste, star safety for the Pittsburgh Steelers, defies a government quarantine and returns alone to his family farm in the Arkansas River Valley. Discovered by a scientist with secrets of her own, he's drawn into a dangerous game of mutual recrimination. This new work by T2 Artistic Director Robert Ford will receive its world premiere production in TheatreSquared's 2015/16 season.

Staged Reading: June 19 at 7:30pm


by Lee Blessing; directed by Shana Gold

From Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award nominee Lee Blessing (A Walk in the Woods), comes a comedy about an academic sabbatical gone terribly awry. Dr. Paul Waymiller is facing a "publish or perish" deadline on his book about Chekov's masterpiece, Uncle Vanya. With his career in the balance, he refuses to be distracted by anything-be it his imminent divorce, Vanya himself, or the interdimensional wormhole that's opened up in his backyard.

Staged Readings:

June 21 at 2:00pm and June 28 at 2:00pm

Special performances at the 2015 festival will include the Arkansas Young Playwrights Showcase, featuring ten-minute plays by Arkansas high school students (Saturday, 6/27, 5pm); and the ninth annual 24 Hour Play-Off, pitting teams of artists against each other to come up with the best original ten-minute play with just 24 hours to write and rehearse (Sunday, 6/21, 6pm). Applications for Play-Off teams are being accepted at theatre2.org.

Additional performances will also be staged in Little Rock, hosted by the Arkansas Repertory Theatre, on June 27, including Dust by Qui Nguyen (2pm) and Uncle by Lee Blessing (7pm) will be announced in early May, with tickets on sale at that time via the Arkansas Repertory Theatre at (501) 378-0405 or therep.org.

New Play Passes for TheatreSquared's 2015 Arkansas New Play Festival performances in Fayetteville are on sale now for $40 through the Walton Arts Center Box Office. Passes grant access to all performances, including special events and an opening reception catered by Table on the Hill. To reserve passes, patrons should call (479) 443-5600 or visit theatre2.org. A limited number of "30 under 30" passes for patrons under the age of 30 are available as well ($15). Single tickets for individual performances will go on sale soon.

TheatreSquared's is Northwest Arkansas's professional regional theatre, offering an intimate live theatre experience for 30,000 patrons each year in its 175-space space and in 70 high schools throughout the state. In 2011, TheatreSquared was recognized by the American Theatre Wing, founder of the Tony Awards, as one of the nation's ten most promising emerging theatres. A resident company with Walton Arts Center, TheatreSquared has experienced remarkable growth in recent seasons, expanding its audience tenfold in the past five years. The theatre recently released its Vision 2017 report with its priorities supported by a three-year, $1.03 million grant. For further information or press tickets, contact TheatreSquared at (479) 443-5600 or visit theatre2.org.


Five Brand New Plays Premiere at T2's ANPF

 TheatreSquared Artistic Director Robert Ford, Executive Director Martin Miller, and Director of New Play Development Dexter J. Singleton announced the lineup of new plays for the 15th annual Arkansas New Play Festival (ANPF).

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