Maltz Jupiter Theatre To Host Premiere New Works Theatre Festival
This April, the Maltz Jupiter Theatre will launch an ambitious and innovative weeklong theatre festival focused on the world of new works.
Taking place April 16 through 22, the inaugural ARC New Works Theatre Festival will feature a variety of works in different stages of development, taking audiences through the process of creating new work. The festival will showcase new and established theatre writers from Florida and New York and feature a new play commission, readings, concerts and 10-minute musicals written by students.
A direct result of the fully-funded endowment created by the Maltz Family Foundation and other benefactors, the festival will give the Theatre the opportunity to workshop new theatrical pieces and experiment with content.
"Regional theaters have the responsibility to contribute to the national landscape of new works," said Andrew Kato, the Maltz Jupiter Theatre's producing artistic director and chief executive. "As an integral part of the Theatre's mission to educate, entertain and inspire, the ARC New Works Theatre Festival will encompass a wide variety of works in different stages of development. Some works will have just been staged, some will be completely finished and some will be workshopped with a different spin on what was already written."
The building will be buzzing throughout the festival, with actors in residence rehearsing in area of the Theatre while the orchestra rehearses in another. Creative teams will use all of the building's rehearsal spaces. In an effort to educate audiences about the process of creating new work, the Theatre will be hosting a talk back after each show.
"New works are vital to theatre if we want theatre to stay relevant as an art form," said Florida composer and writer John Mercurio. "Only new work by living artists can reflect the current culture and the pulse of our times. As with all art, people are craving to see themselves - their contemporary life journeys - represented in theatre. This offers a sense of comfort, conversation and inspiration."
The title for the festival is inspired by the literary concept of a play or musical's dramatic arc, which consists of the exposition, rising action, climax, falling action and denouement. The title also implies a forward moving action - not only in the plot development of a dramatic piece, but the furthering of progress in new works themselves.
The festival will include work from such notable playwrights as Mercurio, Christopher Demos-Brown and Ryan Scott Oliver.
The schedule includes:
1001 Nights - Monday, April 16, at 7:30 p.m.
A passionate story of survival, 1001 Nights is a traditional musical comedy with music and lyrics by John Mercurio, book by Kenneth Allan Vega and conceived and developed by Andrew Kato, with orchestration by Glen Rovinelli. A moving testament to the power of storytelling, 1001 Nights tells the tale of Sophie, a runaway slave searching for freedom in antebellum United States. Upon her escape North, she finds refuge in New England abolitionists masquerading as a traveling troupe of actors on their way to Ohio. A month into her journey, Sophie learns that a bounty hunter is on the pursuit and poses as an actress in the traveling show. With only one night separating her from the Ohio River and freedom, Sophie is forced to tell stories on stage to save her life. Two musical scores in one, 1001 Nights is filled with bright, colorful musical numbers that comprise the onstage portion of the show and powerful, emotional songs evoking the internal lives of the characters offstage. 1001 Nights will be presented as a concert on the Theatre's stage.
10-Minute Musical Showcase Performances - Wednesday, April 18, at 5 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
The culmination of a 10-week musical theatre playwriting course taught by John Mercurio and Andrew Kato, three teams of students will present their original 10-minute musicals on the Maltz Jupiter Theatre's stage, complete with a professional orchestra and more. Patrons will also be seated on the Theatre's stage in this immersive and unique experience. Performances include 10 Years Without You, by Skye Alyssa Friedman and Allegra Miles; The Letter, by Ashley Banker and Marty Mets; and Hex!, by Alexander Goodwin-Elam, Chloe Laine-Lobsinger and Ashley Smith. Come see work from the next generation of artists before they hit it big!
Three Points of Contact - Friday. April 20, at 7:30 p.m.
A new American musical by Ryan Scott Oliver, Three Points of Contact is a story about what one couple will do to hold their marriage together. Newlyweds "Pooch" and Amy Harvey - he, a once-great but now conflicted composer, and she, a combat photographer fighting in Iraq - are proud of their progressive views on sex and marriage and anxious for their forthcoming child. When they miscarry and struggle to conceive again, their marriage (and sex life) strains to the brink; so much so that when Amy re-deploys for her second tour of Iraq and Pooch takes on an attractive pupil, they seek relief and find personal growth in new partners. With an electronic pop-rock score, Three Points of Contact checks in on contemporary American marriage in 2017 the way Company did in 1970. Anyone who has ever committed themselves to another person will discover themselves in this daring new musical, and with plenty to discuss on the drive home. Three Points of Contact will be presented as a concert on the Theatre's stage. Contains strong language and adult themes.
Application Pending - Friday, April 21, at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.
Written by Greg Edwards and Andy Sandberg and directed by Andy Sandberg, Application Pending is a new comedy about the hilariously cutthroat world of kindergarten admissions at a New York private school. One actor portrays rookie admissions officer Chris and over forty other wild personalities he encounters during his first day on the job. Application Pending premiered off-Broadway with one woman playing all of the roles. The show opened to rave reviews, earning a Drama Desk nomination for Outstanding Solo Show and a BroadwayWorld.com Award for Best New Off-Broadway Play. Taking place in the Green Room Club Level Lounge, the Maltz Jupiter Theatre is proud to present the reimagined play with Jeremy Morse portraying the role of Chris. "For some, it's kindergarten. For these parents, it's WAR."
Captiva - Sunday, April 22, at 2 p.m.
Miami-based playwright Christopher Demos-Brown will present a reading of his award-winning play Captiva. When a woman invites her fiancé to her family's traditional island getaway, she hopes to renew old ties and find the imagined comfort of her youth. Instead, pent-up secrets and frustrations are set loose when everyone finds themselves trapped in by a late season hurricane. Captiva is a dark comedy that explores self-delusion and the fragility of family in contemporary suburban America. The reading will take place in the Green Room Club Level Lounge.
Coral Gables - Sunday, April 22, at 7:30 p.m.
Christopher Demos-Brown will present a reading of his brand-new play Coral Gables. Commissioned by the Maltz Jupiter Theatre, the play is a dark comic story of a contemporary suburban family dealing with the changing landscape of U.S. culture over a period of four decades. The play follows the family from Nixon's resignation to modern times as they confront the perils of life, love, politics and death during a pivotal half-century of American history. Coral Gables expands on Demos-Brown's earlier play Captiva to form an epic portrait of the contemporary American family. Taking place in the Theatre's Green Room Club Level Lounge, the reading of the new play will feature a cast of acclaimed South Florida actors and follow a reading of Captiva earlier that day.
Major support for the Arc New Works Theatre Festival provided by John Osher and the Clark Family Private Foundation, Inc. Additional support by The Derbes Foundation, Ed Ricci, Richard Sussman and Insight Through Education. The festival is also made possible through the Maltz Jupiter Theatre Endowment, with special thanks to Milton and Tamar Maltz and countless generous donors.
All festival events are free to attend, though seating is limited. Please call the box office for additional information about specific performances at (561) 575-2223.
About the Maltz Jupiter Theatre
The not-for-profit Maltz Jupiter Theatre has become one of Florida's preeminent professional theatres, committed to production and education through its collaborations with local and national artists. Currently the state's largest award-winning regional theatre, the Theatre draws 100,000 people annually, serves a subscription base of more than 8,000 and has world-class classroom facilities in support of its Goldner Conservatory of Performing Arts, which serves hundreds of youth and adults. The Theatre is a member of the prestigious League of Resident Theatres and has earned numerous Carbonell Awards, South Florida's highest honor for artistic excellence, including the prestigious Bill Von Maurer Award for Theatrical Excellence. For more information about the Theatre's upcoming shows and Conservatory, visit www.jupitertheatre.org or call the box office at (561) 575-2223.
Photo courtesy of Maltz Jupiter Theatre