MTC Announces Lineup For 2019 Ted Snowdon Reading Series; Works by Jaclyn Backhaus, Lauren Yee and More

MTC Announces Lineup For 2019 Ted Snowdon Reading Series; Works by Jaclyn Backhaus, Lauren Yee and More

Manhattan Theatre Club announces the lineup for the 2019 Ted Snowdon Reading Series.

The readings kick off Monday, March 4 and will be held on Mondays through April 1 (except March 11). The readings will take place atNew York City Center - Stage I (131 West 55th Street). All readings are free and open to the public, but space is limited and RSVPs are required.

To RSVP, please visit or call (212) 399-3000 x 4163.

Now in its 21st year, this rehearsed reading series is dedicated to the support and development of innovative new work, offering each playwright a week-long rehearsal period with directors and actors. This year, the series will feature four new plays, including one MTC commission, by an exceptional group of writers. MTC is grateful to Ted Snowdon for his generous support of the reading series.

Several plays developed in this reading series have gone on to full productions at MTC, including David Auburn's Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize-winning Proof, Joe Hortua's Between Us, Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa's Based on a Totally True Story, Molly Smith Metzler's Close Up Space (Susan Smith Blackburn finalist), Abe Koogler's Fulfillment Center, Jaclyn Backhaus' India Pale Ale andEleanor Burgess' The Niceties.

Plays from this reading series that have been produced elsewhere in New York and around the world include Jen Silverman'sDangerous House, Nick Gandiello's The Blameless, Nicky Silver's This Day Forward, Michael West's The Chinese Room, Halley Feiffer's I'm Gonna Pray for You So Hard, Joshua Harmon's Significant Other, Ethan Lipton's Tumacho, Rachel Bonds' Five Mile Lake, Ayad Akhtar's The Who and the What, Penelope Skinner's The Village Bike, Rona Munro's Donny's Brain, Jonathan Caren'sThe Recommendation, The Civilians' The Great Immensity, Heidi Schreck's There Are No More Big Secrets, Eric Simonson's Fake,David Adjmi's Stunning, Naomi Iizuka's Strike-Slip, Stephen Adly Guirgis' The Little Flower of East Orange, Julia Cho's Durango,Adam Rapp's Red Light Winter and Theresa Rebeck's The Scene.

Below is the 2019 Ted Snowdon Reading Series schedule. Please note there will not be a reading on Monday, March 11.

March 4 at 4pm: The Botanists
by Jaclyn Backhaus, directed by Annie Tippe

In the 1970s, Jeff and JJ meet in a botany class at UC Davis and begin dating. As the years progress, their relationship is tested by familial disapproval, competing careers, and birth and death. Can their symbiosis be saved? For two botanists in love, there's only one way to find out: duel it out in the Arizona desert with help from the Agave americana and the Carnegiea gigantea. Commissioned by MTC through the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, The Botanists is a love story about partnership, failure, and talking plants.

Jaclyn Backhaus (Playwright) is a playwright, cofounder of Fresh Ground Pepper, and new member of The Kilroys. Her plays include Men on Boats (New York Times Critics' Pick, Clubbed Thumb, Playwrights Horizons, published by Dramatists Play Service), India Pale Ale (Manhattan Theatre Club, recipient of the 2018 Horton Foote Prize for Promising New American Play), You Across From Me (co-written with 3 other writers for the Humana Festival), Folk Wandering (book writer and co-lyricist with 11 composers, Pipeline Theatre Company), and You on the Moors Now (Theater Reconstruction Ensemble), among others. She was the 2016 Tow Foundation Playwright-in-Residence at Clubbed Thumb and she is currently in residence at Lincoln Center. Backhaus holds a BFA in Drama from NYU Tisch, where she now teaches. She hails from Phoenix, Arizona, and currently resides in Ridgewood, Queens with her husband, director Andrew Scoville and their son Ernie.

March 18 at 4pm: Hockey Messiah
by Kristin Slaney, directed by Tyne Rafaeli

Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia, 2001. Shawn is a thirteen-year-old hockey prodigy, on a track leading him to the NHL. Viola is the weird girl who lives up the street. When Shawn and Viola collide as teens, they begin an unlikely friendship that follows them throughout their lives, constantly complicating both their understandings of what it means to be an adult. A tender comedy about friendship, love, success, and hockey.

KRISTIN SLANEY (Playwright) is a New York-based writer originally from Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia. Her plays have been produced and developed by Ensemble Studio Theatre, The Tank, Ugly Rhino, Spicy Witch Productions, Ship's Company Theatre, Eastern Front Theatre, Halifax Theatre for Young People, Doppler Effect Productions, the Queer Acts Festival, the Atlantic Fringe Festival, the University of Alberta, and the Fountain School for the Arts. She has been in residency at the Banff Centre for the Arts, the Catwalk Institute, the PARC Playwrights Colony, and the Writers Federation of Nova Scotia. Kristin's play Hockey Messiah received a 2018 Canada Council Creation Grant and was also the winner of Roundabout's 2018 Columbia@Roundabout Reading Series. Kristin is an alum of Ensemble Studio Theatre's Youngblood playwriting group and the Tank's TV Writing group. She is a current member of Pipeline Theatre's PlayLab, where she is developing a show about Trump-era witches called Let's Hex the President. TV: Associate Producer of the upcoming Netflix series "The I-Land." MFA: Columbia University.

March 25 at 4pm: White History
by Dave Harris

Bonnie and Todd, a cage-free kale-bred white couple, have just moved into a new home after accidentally burning down their last one. Soon after, an exiled KKK member kicks in their front door with a rope and a revolver, mistaking them for the Black couple that moved in across the street. Naturally, there is a dinner party. White History contends with the violence of America's foundation and the comedy of American progress.

Dave Harris (Playwright) is a poet and playwright from West Philly. His play Everybody Black is upcoming at the 2019 Humana Festival. His plays have been featured and developed at Victory Gardens Ignition Festival, Theater503 in London, Great Plains Theater Conference, The Kennedy Center, Lesser America, OSF BLACK SWAN Lab, and Fault Line Theatre Company. He is a member of The Working Farm at SPACE, a two-time finalist for the O'Neill Theater Conference, and a semi-finalist for The Relentless Award. He has received commissions and fellowships from Ensemble Studio Theatre, Cave Canem, Callaloo, and The Kennedy Center. Dave is a second year MFA student in Playwriting at UC San Diego.

April 1 at 4pm: Young Americans
by Lauren Yee, directed by Margot Bordelon

Joe and Jenny, a young immigrant couple, share a drive across America to their new home, forging a relationship through national sites, motels, and unexpectedly eventful IHOP stops. Twenty years later, Joe takes the same drive with their 19-year-old daughter, but Jenny isn't there. As twin road trips unfold two decades apart, a picture of a family comes into gradual focus.

Lauren Yee (Playwright) is a playwright born and raised in San Francisco. She currently lives in New York City. Her play Cambodian Rock Band, with music by Dengue Fever, premiered at South Coast Rep and is at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival this season, followed by La Jolla Playhouse and Victory Gardens. Her play The Great Leap has been produced at the Denver Center, Seattle Repertory, Atlantic Theater, and the Guthrie. She has an upcoming world premiere production of The Song of Summer at Trinity Rep. She was a Dramatists Guild fellow, a MacDowell fellow, a MAP Fund grantee, a member of The Public Theater's Emerging Writers Group, a Time Warner Fellow at the Women's Project Playwrights Lab, the Shank playwright-in-residence at Second Stage Theatre, a Playwrights' Center Core Writer, and the Page One resident playwright at Playwrights Realm. She is the winner of the Horton Foote Prize, the Kesselring Prize, and the Francesca Primus Prize. She has been a finalist for the Edward M. Kennedy Prize, the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, the ATCA/Steinberg Award, the Jerome Fellowship, the PONY Fellowship, the Princess Grace Award, the Sundance Theatre Lab, the Wasserstein Prize. Her work is published by Samuel French. Her plays were the #1 and #2 plays on the 2017 Kilroys List.

Ted Snowdon has supported new plays and playwrights his entire career, working in both the commercial and non-profit sides of theater. His producing credits reach back to 1979's Tony Award-winning The Elephant Man and include more recent plays and musicals like Buyer & Cellar, The Visit, A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder, The Mountaintop, Reasons To Be Pretty, The Little Dog Laughed, Spring Awakening, and Souvenir. With MTC he co-produced Master Class, Time Stands Still, and LoveMusik. He has long championed the arts and LGBT causes. He is on the boards of Primary Stages and the Glimmerglass Festival. This past fall he produced Allan Leicht's comedy about Wagner, My Parsifal Conductor, and also Michael McKeever's play Daniel's Husband at The Westside Theatre.

Manhattan Theatre Club, under the leadership of Artistic Director Lynne Meadow and Executive Producer Barry Grove, has become one of the country's most prominent and prestigious theatre companies. Over the past four and a half decades, MTC productions have earned numerous awards including 7 Pulitzer Prizes and 23 Tony Awards. MTC has a Broadway home at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre (261 West 47th Street) and two Off-Broadway theatres at New York City Center (131 West 55th Street). Renowned MTC productions include the 2018 Pulitzer Prize winner Cost of Living by Martyna Majok; Lillian Hellman's The Little Foxes; August Wilson'sJitney and The Piano Lesson; Heisenberg by Simon Stephens; The Father by Florian Zeller with translation by Christopher Hampton;Fool For Love by Sam Shepard; Airline Highway by Lisa D'Amour; Casa Valentina by Harvey Fierstein; Outside Mullingar and Doubt by John Patrick Shanley; The Commons of Pensacola by Amanda Peet; Murder Ballad by Julia Jordan and Juliana Nash; The Assembled Parties by Richard Greenberg; Wit by Margaret Edson; Venus in Fur by David Ives; Good People and Rabbit Hole by David Lindsay-Abaire; The Whipping Man by Matthew Lopez; Time Stands Still by Donald Margulies; Ruined by Lynn Nottage; Proof by David Auburn;The Tale of the Allergist's Wife by Charles Busch; Love! Valour! Compassion! by Terrence McNally; Crimes of the Heart by Beth Henley; and Ain't Misbehavin', the Fats Waller musical. For more information on MTC, please visit

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