Casting Announced for 2017 newTACTics New Play Festival

By: Jun. 07, 2017
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TACT concludes its 2016 - '17 season with its 7th annual newTACTics New Play Festival, a fresh collection of four unpredictable and engaging new works. The original plays at newTACTics always invite you to expect the unexpected, and this year's offerings are no exception.

"Now in its seventh season, the newTACTics New Play Festival is an important part of the TACT landscape, developing new works, nurturing new voices, and encouraging language-driven, thought-provoking plays for the stage. We have been so heartened by the reaction to this important program, by both our audiences and the theatrical community. Of the 26 plays we've helped along, 12 have gone on to further production in theatres across the U.S., Canada, and Europe. This season TACT proudly presented Jeff Talbott's The Gravedigger's Lullaby on our Mainstage - a play developed through newTACTics," said Mr. Evans.

This year's plays will be:

RUTH by Enid Graham and directed by Owen Thompson, will be running June 7th & 8th and will feature Nora Chester*, Mairin Lee, Hallie Samuels, Matt Stadelmann & Ben Horner.

Ruth, a young woman from a mysterious and sheltered background, attempts to create a new life in New York. Buffeted by the strange bewildering environment, she struggles to make her way in the city, and to answer the question that drove her out into the world in the first place: Is it possible to be alive and not be alone? This comic drama looks through the innocent eyes of Enid Graham's young heroine at what makes life worth living.

Enid Graham (Playwright) is a writer and actress living in New York City. Her work includes - Plays: Ruth and What Martha Did (finalist 2015 Eugene O'Neill Playwrights' Conference); Screenplay: Texas; Short Stories: "Galveston," "Blind Spot," "Go Fish." Ruth was seen at the Sacred Monsters Summer Reading Series in Los Angeles, California. She is a founding member of the 72nd Street Gang, a playwrights' collective in New York City. As an actress, Ms. Graham has numerous Broadway and off-Broadway credits including The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime (original Broadway company); Bull in a China Shop (LCT3); King Lear (Public Theatre); Honour (Tony Award nomination). Her television and film credits include Boardwalk Empire; Grey's Anatomy; Margaret and Margot at the Wedding, among others.

THREE WISE GUYS by Scott Alan Evans* & Jeffrey Couchman, based on the stories "Dancing Dan's Christmas" and "The Three Wise Guys" by Damon Runyon, directed by Mr. Evans, will be performed June 14 & 15th and will feature Jeremy Beck*, Helen Cespedes, Joel Hurt Jones, Karl Kenzler*, Richard Thieriot*, Ron McClary* and Dana Smith-Croll*.

Christmas Eve, 1932. Three New York wise guys on the run from a hotheaded racketeer journey from a Manhattan speakeasy to a swanky Long Island mansion to a ramshackle barn in Pennsylvania, inadvertently spreading holiday cheer everywhere they go. Based on two short stories by Damon Runyon (Guys and Dolls), this effervescent comedy fizzes with laughter and heart.

Scott Alan Evans (Playwright/Director) is the Executive Artistic Director of TACT/The Actors Company Theatre, the award-winning Off-Broadway company in New York City dedicated to discovering lost or underappreciated plays of literary merit. He is the author of the play The Triangle Factory Fire Project (Dramatist Play Service); the musicals Goose! Beyond the Nursery (3 Outer Critic Circle Award nominations); Charlotte and Shaw (Eugene O'Neil semi-finalist), and numerous classical adaptations. His Off-Broadway directing credits include: Home, Incident at Vichy, The Cocktail Party, Three Men on a Horse, Beyond Therapy, She Stoops to Conquer, among others.

Jeffrey Couchman (Playwright) has worked in Hollywood, collaborating on screenplays for various studios, and has written the book and lyrics for two musicals: Blood and Fire and Battleship Potemkin (most recently performed in Berlin at Gallisas Theaterverlag). His fiction has been published in many literary journals. He is the author of the well-received book "The Night of the Hunter": A Biography of a Film and editor of an annotated edition of two film scripts by James Agee, "The African Queen" and "The Night of the Hunter": First and Final Screenplays, part of The Works of James Agee, a series published by University of Tennessee Press. He is currently translating a new German musical, Zeppelin, into English.

Damon Runyon was an American newspaperman and short story writer, best known for his stories celebrating the world of Broadway in New York City. To readers of his generation, a "Damon Runyon character" evoked a distinctive social type from the Prohibition era demi-monde. The adjective "Runyonesque" references these characters as well as a distinctive vernacular style mixing formal speech and colorful slang, almost always in present tense and devoid of contractions. Runyon's fictional world is known to the general public through the musical Guys and Dolls based on two of his stories, "The Idyll of Miss Sarah Brown" and "Blood Pressure," and the film Little Miss Marker (and its two remakes: Sorrowful Jones and the 1980 Little Miss Marker), among others.

1980 (OR WHY I'M VOTING FOR John Anderson) by Patricia Cotter, directed by Michael Selditch, will play June 21st & 22nd and will feature Avery Banks, Ella Dershowitz, BranDon Jones* and Kate Middleton*.

It's 1980 and an unknown congressman named John Anderson just might have a shot to be a contender for President of the United States. In the candidate's Boston campaign office, four idealistic young campaign workers struggle to spread the hope that their long-shot candidate might bring to the country and their lives, while staving off that era's Unthinkable Presidency. 1980 (Or Why I'm Voting For John Anderson) is a comedy about class, race and the politics of change.

Patricia Cotter (Playwright) Awards include American Academy of Arts and Letters, Richard Rodgers Award, Heideman Award Finalist, Emmy Award. Plays include Rules Of Comedy (39th Humana Festival of New American Plays, 2015); The Anthropology Section (The Actors Theatre of Louisville, 2015); The Surrogate (Eugene O'Neill Theater Center's 2016 National Playwrights Conference finalist, production at Centenary Stage Company, NJ, 2017.?

NOTHING LEFT TO BURN by Ahid Hanash & Patrick Vassel, directed by Wes Grantom, will play June 28th & 29th and will feature Damon Owila, George Abud, Fahim Hamid, Al Nazemain, Truna Mete, Nikki Massoud and more.

The political is personal. Even the Arab Spring began (as so many springs before it) with a love story. How that story ignited a wave of revolution in the Middle East is the center of this black comedy about an indefatigable fruit seller named Mohamed and apple of his eye, Fadia. And how rolling with punches, keeping the faith, and never letting them get you down only works until you realize there's nothing left to burn.

Adi Hanash (Playwright) is an actor and playwright from Las Vegas, Nevada. Recent credits include: The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity (Woolly Mammoth, Helen Hayes Nomination for Supporting Actor); Comedy of Sorrows (Hybrid Theatre Works); AK-47 Sing Along (ERA); Cymbeline (New York Classical Theatre); Zoya's Apartment, Kate Crackernuts (ART/MXAT). Film/TV: Law and Order: SVU; Madame Secretary; White Collar; Rubicon; Our Idiot Brother; Non-Stop; Person of Interest; and The Bourne Legacy. As a co-writer/actor: Nothing Left to Burn (Ars Nova ANTFest, The Public Theater New Work Now!, O'Neill Semi-Finalist, The Lark Playwrights Week 2015). Adi has an MFA in Acting from ART/MXAT at Harvard and an unnatural obsession with the Fast and the Furious movie franchise.

Patrick Vassel (Playwright) is a director and playwright from Akron, Ohio. He is currently the Associate and Supervising Director of Hamilton on Broadway, Chicago, and the 1st National Tour. Broadway: Magic/Bird (Assistant Director). New York: Two Rooms (79 Clifton Place), Rum for Sale (Columbia University), The Gravediggers (Theatre East Reading), Connect (Workshop - Ten Bones), The Adventures of Boy and Girl (FringeNYC '13), We the People: America Rocks! (TheatreWorks USA nat'l tour), Font of Knowledge (Shelby Company), The Little Dog Laughed (The Gallery Players, 1st NYC Revival). Regional/University: The Cripple of Inishmaan, The Homecoming (Stella Adler), Lombardi (Palace Theatre, Wisconsin), Six Characters in Search of an Author (University of Notre Dame, Original Adaptation). As a co-writer/director: Nothing Left toBurn (Ars Nova ANT Fest, The Public Theater New Work Now!, O'Neill Semi-Finalist, The Lark Playwrights Week 2015).

TACT is a company of theatre artists that reveals, reclaims, and re-imagines great plays of literary merit, creating an intimate theatre experience for its audience by focusing on the text and the actor's ability to bring it to life. From the beginning, TACT made its reputation with its Concert Performance productions: fully rehearsed presentations stripped down to their essence. TACT's style and aesthetic grew out of the belief that the true magic of theatre lies in the special connection between the artist, the work of art, and the fully engaged audience. TACT is a resident company of NYC's famed Theatre Row and produces their Mainstage, Off-Broadway productions there in the Beckett Theatre. In addition, TACT presents the Salon Series in their studio space at 900 Broadway. Both spaces allow audiences to enjoy an up-close and personal experience with both the play and the artists.

All performances of the newTACTics New Play Festival are at 7pm and take place at the TACT Studio at 900 Broadway, Suite 905. Each reading will be preceded by a complimentary wine reception beginning at 6:30PM, and followed by a moderated talkback with the cast, director, and playwright.

Admission is free of charge and open to the public, and reservations are required. For reservations please visit

For more information about newTACTics or any of TACT's programs, visit TACT on the web at

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