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Road Theatre Company Announces Live Streamed SUMMER PLAYWRIGHTS FESTIVAL

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ROAD THEATRE COMPANY and Taylor Gilbert, Founder/Artistic Director together with Sam Anderson, Artistic Director, remain committed to their meaningful mission to produce and develop New Work for the Stage. They have announced in this, their upcoming 29th season, the eleventh annual...


This year's festival features all new works by playwrights from across the U.S. Executive Director Tracey Silver says "The Road Theatre's Summer Playwright Festival will embark on its very first online festival! SPF 11 has selected 26 playwrights whose unique voices will be heard over 12 days. I am thrilled to celebrate these new works with our audience as we embrace these new and innovative online readings."

Taylor Gilbert, Founding Artistic Director, recalls the very moment the festival launched in 2010: "It's just an idea" said Scott Alan Smith, Associate Artistic Director emeritus, "Let's start a playwrights festival!" We said "Sure, why not?" Now, 11 years later we are reinventing it. From the up close and personal in our theatre, to now going online and intimately into your virtual devices, we are excited to bring you a festival like we have never presented before. So sit back, get comfortable and enjoy the ride at The Road's 11th Annual Summer Playwrights Festival!"

Artistic Director Sam Anderson reflects on this year's venture into the virtual: "Planning for the 11th annual Road Summer Playwrights Festival began seriously in January. The largest festival of its kind in the country took place in two theatrical venues over 8 magical days every summer over the past ten years, usually presenting 35-40 staged readings of new plays with live music every night, and talkbacks, food, drink and community. Then COVID-19 hit this year and the theatre was in shock like the rest of the world. Over some serious and thoughtful conversations, and with the newfound use of Zoom as a meeting place, the Road Artistic Board began to see past this challenging and frightening period and to do what artists are best at: reinvent, recreate, embrace change and do it in the safest way possible: online. So please join us beginning July 30 through August 16 as we celebrate the work of writers, directors, actors and technicians doing what theatre artists long to do the most: sharing stories. Join us on the Road."

Each play reading will be followed by a moderated talkback with the playwright, director and cast. Closed captioning will be provided for both the readings and talkbacks.



Thursday, July 30 9:00PM ET, 6:00PM PT


Directed by Amy Harmon

In a suburban kitchen somewhere in middle America five women gather to comfort a grieving mother.

Friday, July 31 9:00PM ET, 6:00PM PT

"REYKJAVÍK" by Steve Yockey

Directed by Ann Hearn Tobolowsky

Reykjavík is a collage of darkly comedic, intimate, and sometimes magical stories set against the backdrop of the Northern Lights.

Saturday August 1 5:00PM ET, 2:00PM PT

"BALLS" by Austin Cauldwell

Directed by Tim Van Patten

When 20 year old Paul is diagnosed with testicular cancer, he and his girlfriend are suddenly forced to look further into their future than any young couple should, and confront their own ideas about what it means to be to be in a relationship, to be a man, and even to be woman.

Saturday, August 1 9:00PM ET, 6:00PM PT


Directed by Judith Moreland

In 1981 Photographer Larry Sultan set out to create a portrait of his parents, Jean and Irv. A decade later... he was almost finished. Sharr White's adaptation of Sultan's extraordinary photo memoir depicts a volatile yet loving exploration of twentieth-century American optimism - deceptively banal, deeply personal, ultimately human.

Sunday, August 2 5:00PM ET, 2:00PM PT

"AGATHE" by Angela J. Davis

Directed by Saundra McClain

Inspired by the woman who served as Rwanda's president for just fourteen hours, on the first night of the Rwandan genocide, AGATHE is a true story of heroism, hope, and human connection during a time of unspeakable tragedy. A recipient of a 2020 New American Voices Award and 2020 Eugene O'Neill semi-finalist.

Sunday, August 2 9:00PM ET, 6:00PM PT


"AND ONE MORE THING..." by Lonnie McGuire

Directed by Cate Caplin

Outside a retirement community, two residents meet for a friendly chat. One thing leads to another, and another and "One More Thing...".

"CATCHING UP" by Emily Jerez

Directed by Nancy Fassett

Set in present time, two siblings in LA catch up via Zoom with their mother in New York revealing a complex dynamic of passive aggression that runs as rampant as COVID-19.

"THE BORDER TROLL" by Steven San Luis

Directed by Jacob Smith

After a dragon destroys their village, Theo sails across a sea, treks through a jungle, climbs over mountains, and crosses a desert, but there's one more obstacle to face before they can reach safety: Three riddles from the Border Troll.


Directed by Carlyle King

Maizie and Willow, a promise, a pillow, one very bleak day.

"IT'S HOT IN THE KITCHEN" by Patti Veconi

Directed by Susan Diol

A short play about how we confront and handle change and choice in both ourselves and those we love.


Thursday, August 6 9:00PM ET, 6:00PM PT

"DINNER" by Lisa B. Thompson

Directed by Jayongela Wilder

Dinner is a dramatic comedy about the first meeting between the black American parents of Joanna, and her fiancé Jonathan's Nigerian parents at the couple's Oakland home. As Joanna struggles to prepare an elaborate Nigerian meal to impress her future in-laws, and educate her parents, she learns about more than intricate West African recipes. The cultural clash between the contemporary Nigerian upper class and the African American middle class threatens the new couple's bond. This play asks not "Guess Who's Coming to dinner," but what's on the cultural and political menu when the African diaspora gathers to dine.

Friday, August 7 9:00PM ET, 6:00PM PT


Directed by Cameron Watson

In Williston, North Dakota, a pastor opens his church to the many unemployed men who have come north looking for work during the fracking oil boom. But when he invites a convicted felon to live in his guest bedroom it threatens to destroy his family. A play about faith and how hard it is to know if you are doing the right thing.

Saturday, August 8 5:00PM ET, 2:00PM PT


Directed by Emily Chase

When a dinner party amongst old friends suddenly self-destructs and seems to signal the end of those friendships, one woman sets out to discover why--and finds herself plunged into an alternate universe where household objects go missing and experts--who may not know anything at all--lead her on a journey that could either be a wild goose chase or the point of existential truth.

Saturday, August 8 9:00PM ET, 6:00PM PT


Directed by Michael John Garcés

An exploration of one's place in society, purpose, and love from the perspective of the incarcerated and their families.

Sunday, August 9 5:00PM ET, 2:00PM PT

"MARIANAS TRENCH" by Scott C. Sickles

Directed by Gregg T. Daniel

After the "red states" and "blue states" become separate nations, two lonely 11-year-old boys seek connection through a government-monitored pen pal correspondence across the new border. Part coming of age drama, part political thriller, Marianas Trench is a love story.

Sunday, August 9 9:00PM ET, 6:00PM PT

"TURBULENCE" a collection of short plays by William Mastrosimone

Directed by Christina Carlisi, Kari Hayter, Mary Lou Belli

Imagine sitting on a park bench watching the passers-by. Each character stops to speak with you. They unfold their hearts to you and move on. It's not so much a play as it is an encounter with characters reeling from the turbulence in their lives.


Thursday, August 13 9:00PM ET, 6:00PM PT

"CAM BABY" by Jessica Moss

Directed by Michelle Bossy

Touching on issues of privacy, consent, identity, lookism, and the value of women, Cam Baby is a fast-paced ensemble comedy about the selves we create and the stories we watch.

Friday, August 14 9:00PM ET, 6:00PM PT

"THE MACHINE" by Matthew Libby

Directed by Michael Michetti

An acclaimed-poet-turned-professor with a severe case of writer's block has a crisis of conscience when she's approached by a charismatic tech CEO with a strange offer.

Saturday, August 15 5:00PM ET, 2:00PM PT

"VISITING HOURS" by Jami Brandli

Directed by Ann Hearn Tobolowsky

A reclaiming of the Persephone myth, now set in a psychiatric hospital, Visiting Hours follows the arduous journey of Stephie Green, a middle-aged music teacher who must break free from her complicated past in order to be reunited with her family.

Saturday, August 15 9:00PM ET, 6:00PM PT

"RINGXIETY" by Scooter Pietsch

Directed by Andre Barron

Now that technology allows us to communicate 24/7 with voice, text and video, could over-communication be just as bad as no communication?

Sunday, August 16 5:00PM ET, 2:00PM PT

"ATTACHMENT" by Jason Martin Karasev

Directed by Asaad Kelada

When a Father and Son trip into the woods reveals itself to be much more than a Birthday retreat, it soon becomes evident that things are not what they appear to be. Attachment is a provocative exploration of the ties that bind us, and what it means to be family.

Sunday, August 16 9:00PM ET, 6:00PM PT



Directed by Kate Huffman

Warren believes the Polar Bear at the Central Park Zoo is not happy and takes it upon himself to return it back to Alaska.

"WICKED CHILD" by Jonathan W. Stokes

Directed by Chuck McCollum

The fateful meeting of two hitmen, each assigned to kill the other. When they meet, sparks fly.

"DUSK AT NINE JOY STREET" by Ellen Davis Sullivan

Directed by Suzanne Hunt

Mattie and Herm blame their daughter Jenny's drug death on her friend Curt, but when he shows up at their home each evening at dusk, the couple struggles to open themselves to a new way of dealing with their grief.

"INEVITABLE" by Bethany Dickens

Directed by Ruman Kazi

Inevitable maps out the twists and turns in a relationship as a statistician tries to figure out if a new relationship has even the slightest, statistically-significant chance of working out.

"GO!" by Brooks Berry-Armstrong

Transcribed and Directed by Stephen Tobolowsky

A short play about five actors and their stage manager at half hour preparing for a performance of a play titled "GO!" The fact that no one knows what "GO!" is about is only a minor problem.


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