Tennessee Rep's Ingram New Works Festival Kicks Off Today

Tennessee Rep's Ingram New Works Festival Kicks Off Today

Tennessee Repertory Theatre has announced its schedule for the Martha R. Ingram New Works Festival. The festival will be held today, May 7 - 17 and will feature staged readings of new plays from four emerging playwrights as well as Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Doug Wright. Wright is this year's recipient of the Ingram New Works Fellowship.

The Martha R. Ingram New Works Fellowship was created by Tennessee Rep co-founder Martha R. Ingram to provide an opportunity for theatre artists to develop new theatre works while in residency with Tennessee Rep. Past recipients include David Alford (Clara's Hands), Victoria Stewart (Rich Girl), Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize-winner David Auburn (The Columnist, which made its Broadway premiere in April 2012 and was produced by Tennessee Rep), Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize-winner John Patrick Shanley (Storefront Church, which made its New York Premiere in May 2012), Steven Dietz (Rancho Mirage), and Theresa Rebeck (Fever in May 2013).

Currently in its seventh year, the project has evolved to include a New Works Lab for four regional playwrights who have been mentored by Wright. The Lab offers these playwrights the opportunity to not only receive feedback but also hear their works read by professional actors during the writing process.

The four emerging playwrights-in-residence include Nate Eppler, Andrew Kramer, Dean Poyner, and Jeremy Sony

Tickets: Free for Tennessee Rep 2013-14 season subscribers. $10 per reading for non-subscribers ($5 for students with valid student ID.). VIP seating available for $20. Tickets available at the door. Reservations available at tennesseerep.org or by calling 615/244-4878.

About the Plays

Good Monsters
By Nate Eppler
Wednesday, May 7 and Wednesday, May 14, 7pm
Tennessee Rep Rehearsal Hall (NPT Studio A, 161 Rains Ave.)
Frank, a Gulf War veteran and recently suspended police officer, lives north of Nashville but south of Kentucky with his stripper-wife Darlene. While moonlighting as a Wal-Mart security guard, Frank mistakenly shoots a shoplifter in the parking lot--a shoplifter who turned out to be unarmed teenage girl. As the trial looms, those closest to him want to help. His wife even hires a Crisis Manager to navigate the media firestorm leading up to the trial. But they don't know that Frank is already on trial; the ghost of the dead girl haunts him every night. Frank tries to get rid of the ghost, but she refuses to leave his backyard. When she begins to make terrifying demands of him, the fireworks really begin.

By Jeremy Sony
Thursday, May 8 and Sunday, May 11, 7pm
Tennessee Rep Rehearsal Hall (NPT Studio A, 161 Rains Ave.)
A global pandemic, a dangerous cure, and a father/daughter relationship set to explode at the end of the world. A new infectious pathogen is discovered in a remote village in Belgium--a super-virus that means nothing less than the beginning of the end. One of the world's leading scientific minds has figured out a way to stop the outbreak, but his theory is untested, unthinkable, and unsupported by the Center for Disease Control. While it could save most of the planet, it would cost millions of lives. Regardless of that risk, he's convinced it's the only way to save us all. What's more frightening is, he might be right. He can't execute his plan alone, and the one person he is trying to convince to help him--a brilliant young scientist and insider at the CDC---is the one person who could stop him: his daughter. The question is, will she?

Cut It Out
By Andrew Kramer
Friday, May 9 and Monday, May 12, 7pm
Tennessee Rep Rehearsal Hall (NPT Studio A, 161 Rains Ave.)
What can we do to escape such deep unhappiness? Rebecca and Rusty Helmer got married too soon and had children too young, but somehow found success through a joint career opportunity. Now, they find themselves locked into a life that looks quite perfect on the outside: financial stability, a castle of a house, an artistically talented son, and a wise, worldly daughter. But when Rebecca embarks on a journey of self-discovering through reconstructing herself-literally--with plastic surgery, the Helmer family begins to break, crack, and crumble from the inside out. A play about a recognizable American family (think: Norman Rockwell in distorted, theatrical Technicolor) fighting for identity and connection in an increasingly fragile and fracturing world.

Together We Are Making a Poem in Honor of Life
By Dean Poyner
Saturday, May 10 and Tuesday, May 13, 7pm
Tennessee Rep Rehearsal Hall (NPT Studio A, 161 Rains Ave.)
Marked by a senseless tragedy, a couple tries to navigate the storm of grief that follows in the wake of their child's death. Through a series of support group meetings for grieving parents, they struggle to comprehend and remember in an attempt to reconcile what they've lost. But as they confront their harsh new reality, they find it difficult to connect with each other in this new discordant world. A powerful and poetic exploration of what it means to live through unimaginable loss.

By Doug Wright
Thursday, May 15 - Saturday, May 17, May 14, 7pm
Tennessee Rep Rehearsal Hall (NPT Studio A, 161 Rains Ave.)
Before the first sitting with Gustav Vigeland, Henrik Ibsen suffered, unknown to the sculptor, from a serious stroke and found himself facing the terrible spectre of his own mortality struggling to maintain dignity and a façade of normality throughout subsequent sessions. Vigeland approached the commission warily because of Ibsen's cantankerous reputation, though mitigated by the prestige of creating a permanent bust of Ibsen for the City of Oslo, knowing that the success of the Ibsen bust would immortalize both the author and the creator of the bust. During the sessions both men were jockeying for their place in the cannon, and both men hoped to achieve posterity via the other. Tony and Pulitzer-winning playwright Doug Wright's Posterity is an exploration of the last days of Henrik Ibsen's life and the complicated relationship between Ibsen and Vigeland--Vigeland at the peak of his career, Ibsen at the end of his.

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