Meet The Artist Play Readings Come to Vivid Stage

Performances are on Wednesdays, May 1, 8, 15 and 22.

By: Apr. 24, 2024
Meet The Artist Play Readings Come to Vivid Stage
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Vivid Stage will present its annual Meet the Artist new play reading series on Wednesdays, May 1, 8, 15 and 22. All readings will take place at the Summit Community Center, 100 Morris Ave, at 7 pm. 

The new play reading series is a chance for the audience to participate in the development of new works, both to hear the plays read by professional actors and also to discuss the projects with the playwright, director and actors afterward. There will be an opportunity for the audience to provide feedback to the team after every performance. 

On May 1, Vivid will present Lisa Dellagiarino Feriend's Come Again. Miami hospice nurse, Marina Johnson, wakes one day to find a stranger in her apartment, telling her she has been tapped to be God's climate change prophet. A comedy for a species on the brink of self-destruction.

Virginia-born and Chicago-based (though temporarily living in Singapore), Lisa Dellagiarino Feriend is an award-winning playwright, a member of the Dramatists Guild, and President of the Board of Arts For All, a NYC-based nonprofit bringing accessible artistic opportunities to children who face barriers to exploring the arts. She has a BFA in Film & TV from NYU and two kids who are disappointed that she doesn't write plays about dinosaurs.

On May 8, Vivid will present Dr. Hydra and the Eye by Philip J. Kaplan. Marta has sacrificed her life to care for her ailing father, Herman. Enter Ken, an awkward comic book historian, searching for proof that Herman wrote Dr. Hydra and the Eye, a short-lived, but influential comic book. And now, there are boxes to explore and secrets to uncover.

Philip J. Kaplan is the author of Hollywood Musicals: Best, Worst, and Most Unusual. He has had plays produced around the country. He is currently working on an Alzheimer's play, Losing Sandi. Publications include The Best Day of Your Life (Off the Wall Plays), inclusion in three editions of Best Ten Minute Plays (Smith and Kraus), All Too Short, (a collection of short plays and monologues to honor lives cut short by unregulated gun violence, collected by the Code Red playwrights: #enough project),  Fading, (One Act Play Depot) and can be found on the New Play Exchange.

On May 15, Vivid will present Erik Gernand's The Totality of All Things. After the Supreme Court legalizes gay marriage across the country in 2015, a progressive journalism teacher nearing retirement in a small Indiana town bucks her conservative school board and hangs a bulletin board celebrating the historic milestone. When a vandal defaces it, though, all hell breaks loose in ways no one could have imagined.

Erik Gernand is a playwright and filmmaker whose award-winning short films have screened at more than 100 film festivals around the world including SXSW, Mix Milan (Italy), Cinequest, and Outfest LGBT Film Festival, as well as been broadcast on IFC, PBS, and the Logo Channel and distributed by First Run Features and Strand Releasing. His plays have been produced in New York, Chicago, Miami, and Washington DC. “The Beautiful Dark” was hailed by The New York Times as “Affecting, thought-provoking… Mr. Gernand has created complicated, recognizable characters who are, like most of us, victims of their own flaws.” As an educator, Erik is a recipient of a Galbut Outstanding Faculty Award and a Charles Deering McCormick Lectureship at Northwestern University.

On May 22, Vivid presents Crooked Lake by their very own Laura Ekstrand. It's getting close to midnight, and Bert's estranged wife, Tessa, pops up at the lakeside house they once shared. As they slip back into their once comfortable friendship, they consider whether it's finally time to get a divorce. But what they really need is a resolution to their story, which will necessitate both of them coming to terms with their own secrets, fears and history.

Laura Ekstrand is co-founder and artistic director of Vivid Stage, which began as Dreamcatcher Rep in 1994. She is an actor, director, playwright and teacher who has appeared on stages and screens for over 30 years. Laura is also a member of The Flip Side improv comedy team. Laura has worked as an actor in theatre, film and television, and is the host of Vivid Stage's podcast. Her short and full-length plays have been produced at theatres around the country and online. Laura is a private monologue coach and holds a BA from Yale University and an MFA from Sarah Lawrence College. Laura is the Chair of the New Jersey Theatre Alliance Board of Trustees and a member of AEA, SAG-AFTRA and the Dramatists Guild.

All readings will be held at the Summit Community Center, 100 Morris Ave, at 7:00 pm. Admission is $13. For touchless advance ticket purchases, go to our website. For more information, call 908-514-9654. The community center is wheelchair accessible. For information on any of Vivid Stage's programs, please call 908-514-9654,


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