New Short Plays by Arthur Kopit and More Slated for Abingdon's FETE 24 This Weekend

By: Mar. 05, 2016
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32 Actors, 8 Writers, and 8 Directors will gather at Abingdon Theatre Company for an entire weekend of pure creativity to produce FETE 24. Teams are selected at random, prompts are given, and eight brand new plays are born. Abingdon's inaugural FETE 24 will be presented tonight, March 5 at 8pm, with an encore performance tomorrow, March 6 at 2pm, in the June Havoc Theatre (312 West 36th Street).

Playwrights set to participate in FETE 24 include Dennis A. Allen II, Matthew Capodicasa, Elizabeth Irwin, Daniel John Kelley, Arthur Kopit, Bricken Sparacino, Mfoniso Udofia, and Amy E. Witting.

Cast and directors are to be announced.

Now in its 23rd Season, Abingdon Theatre Company is dedicated to developing and producing new American plays by emerging and established playwrights. Under the artistic direction of Tony Speciale, who joined Abingdon in October 2015, the company provides a safe home where playwrights, directors and actors can collaborate within a supportive and nurturing environment. Abingdon searches for stories about the human experience that reflect our social, political, historical and cultural diversity. To date, the company has collaborated with more than 200 playwrights, produced 85 New York and world-premiere plays, presented more than 700 readings, staged 175 ten-minute plays, and commissioned 6 one-act plays. Notable artists who have worked with Abingdon Theatre Company include Carl Andress, Bryan Batt, Robert Brustein, Maxwell Caulfield, Dick Cavett, John Epperson, Jane Greenwood, Roberta Maxwell, Iddo Netanyahu, Nancy Opel, Austin Pendleton, Sam Pinkleton, Marcia Rodd and Mark Waldrop. Abingdon's 2014 production of Brian Richard Mori'sHellman v. McCarthy, directed by founding artistic director Jan Buttram, was filmed and presented by WNET as part of its inaugural Theatre Close-Up series. Abingdon's current Off-Broadway production, Charles Messina's A Room of My Own, runs through March 13, featuring Mario Cantone and Ralph Macchio.

FETE 24 runs Saturday, March 5 at 8pm and Sunday, March 6 at 2pm in the June Havoc Theatre (312 West 36th Street, 1st floor, between 8th and 9th Avenues. Tickets are $24 and are available at www.abingdontheatre.org or call 212-352-3101.

ABOUT THE WRITERS:

Dennis A. Allen II was born and raised in Hempstead, New York. His play The Mud Is Thicker in Mississippiwas a winner at the 35th annual Off Off Broadway Samuel French Festival in 2010 directed by Dennis' frequent collaborator Christopher Burris. He is a recipient of Atlantic Theater Company's inaugural 2014-15 Launch Commission and National Black Theatre's 2016-17 "I Am Soul Playwright Residency." He's received the 2016 Playwrights Initiative at the Djerassi Resident Artists Program and the Himan Brown Creative Writing Award two years running. Dennis has developed and produced plays with The New Black Fest, The Lark Play Development Center, the Classical Theatre of Harlem, The Fire This Time Festival, Working Theater, New York Madness, JACK, The Naked Expedition Project, 48 Hours in Harlem and the National Black Theatre. Dennis received his MFA in playwriting from Mac Wellman and Erin Courtney's Brooklyn College program. His play,When We Wake Up Dead, is receiving its world premiere at Brooklyn College March 18, 2016.

Matthew Capodicasa's plays include You Remind Me of You, Vessels, Frelmetsch the Maneater, All the People You've Been, Chaos and Caesar Salad, Of Our Own, Two and One and Animal Cruelty. His work has been presented or developed at the Kennedy Center, Primary Stages, the Flea Theater, Theater Masters, Fordham University and NYU's Experimental Theatre Wing, and he is the recipient of the 2015-2016 Woodward/Newman Drama Award. His fiction has appeared in West 10th. You can also hear him nerd out on the Glass Cannon Podcast. BFA, NYU/Tisch. MFA, Fordham/Primary Stages. Upcoming: You Remind Me of You at the Bloomington Playwrights Project in May 2016.

Elizabeth Irwin was born in Worcester, raised by Brooklyn, and finished by el D.F. (aka Mexico City). Before becoming a playwright, she was a high school English teacher followed by a very long stint as a wanderer. She was selected as a member of the 2012-13 Soho Rep Writer/Director Lab while living shoe-free on a Mexican beach so she came back to New York. She then became a Playwrights Realm Writing Fellow in 2013, followed by Playwrights Realm's Page One Resident Playwright in 2014-15 and a member of the Public Theater's 2015 Emerging Writers Group. Her play My Mañana Comes (Lucille Lortel Outstanding Play nominee, Drama Desk Outstanding Play Nominee, Outer Critics Circle John Gassner Award Nominee), received its critically acclaimed Off-Broadway debut at the Peter Jay Sharp Theater in 2014 going on to be produced in 2015-16 at San Diego REPertory Theatre, Marin Theatre Company, ArtsWest Seattle, and Teatro Vista in Chicago. Her work has been developed at the La Jolla DNA New Works Festival, Space on Ryder Farm, and the Omega Institute.

Daniel John Kelley is a playwright, opera nerd and Brooklyn native. His plays and musicals have been produced and developed in FringeNYC, and by MCC, Resonance Ensemble, Open Gate Theatre, Northwoods Ramah Theatre, the Gallery Players, the Irondale Center, the Brooklyn Lyceum, and others. His work has also been seen in far away places such as Ireland, Australia and Nepal. He received his BA from Sarah Lawrence College, and his MFA in playwriting from Hunter College in May 2013, where he studied with Tina Howe and Mark Bly.

Arthur Kopit is the author of Oh Dad, Poor Dad, Mamma's Hung You in the Closet and I'm Feelin' So Sad;Indians (Finalist for Pulitzer Prize); Wings (Finalist for Pulitzer Prize); the book for the musical Nine (score by Maury Yeston; Tony Award for Best Musical, 1982; Tony Award for Best Musical revival, 2003); End of the World, with Symposium to Follow; the book for the musical Phantom (score by Maury Yeston); the book for the musical High Society (score by Cole Porter, additional lyrics by Susan Birkenhead); Road to Nirvana; BecauseHeCan, and numerous one-act plays. Current projects include Discovery of America, a play based on the journal of the Spanish conquistador, Cabeza de Vaca, which will be produced in 2016/2017; an original screenplay, Norman in Wonderland, based on Mr. Kopit's first venture in Hollywood working for Otto Preminger on a film about the LA drug scene, for which Mr. Kopit was paid by the week (and paid handsomely) to, basically, take cocaine; and two other new plays, Secrets of the Rich and The Incurables. He is a member of the Dramatists Guild and The Lark Play Development Center, where he heads The Playwrights' Workshop.

Bricken Sparacino is an award-winning performer, writer and director. She was one of nytheatre.com's People of the Year '08. Her plays, Are We Freaks and Sister's Grimm Fables of the Stage, are published by Indy TheaterNow.com. Her solo shows include: I'm Not Sure I Like the Way You Licked Me and Vacation-All I Ever Wanted (Award winner for the PCTF). Bricken can be seen on the Internet as part of the Key of Awesome and AMCTV.com's Sci-fi department. She just completed producing Conservation Theater for STEM Fest 2016. This project included a new solo show written by Bricken and a variety show written by various NYC indie theater professionals.

Mfoniso Udofia, a 1st Generation Nigerian-American storyteller, actress and educator, attended Wellesley College for Political Science and obtained her MFA in Acting from the American Conservatory Theater. During her stay in the Bay, she co-pioneered a youth initiative, The Nia Project, which provided artistic outlets for youth residing in Bayview/Huntspoint. This Winter, Playwrights Realm, produced the World Premiere of Sojourners, directed by Ed Iskandar. Spring 2016 The Magic Theater in San Francisco will produce Sojourners and the third play in the Ufot Family Cycle, runboyun. Mfoniso is currently working on a commission from the Oregon Shakespeare Festival translating Shakespeare's Othello. Mfoniso's plays have been developed at and/or presented/produced by Playwrights Realm, The Magic Theatre, Dr. Barbara Ann Teer's National Black Theatre, Hedgebrook, Sundance Theatre Lab, NNPN, Space on Ryder Farm, Makehouse, Soul Productions, terraNOVA, I73, The New Black Fest, Rising Circle's INKTank, At Hand Theatre Company, The Standard Collective, American Slavery Project, Liberation Theatre Company and JJCEO Youth Programs in Birmingham, Alabama. Mfoniso was a finalist for the 2015 PoNY Prize, the Eugene O'Neill NPC, Bay Area Playwrights Festival, Many Voices Fellowship, Page 73 Development Programs, Jerome Fellowship, NYTW's 20/50 Fellowship, The Source Festival & Lark Playwrights' Week. Follow her at @mfudofia or visit www.mfonisoudofia.com for the latest news.

Amy E. Witting finally admits she is from New Jersey although now resides in Sunnyside, New York. She received an inaugural 2015 LAUNCH Commission from Atlantic Theater Company where she had a recent reading of her commission play The House on Top of the Hill. Additional plays include There's Never A Gavin: The True Story of a Disco Roller Skater (Atlantic Theater Amplified Reading Series, nominated 2016 Weissberger Award), The Midnight Ride of Sean & Lucy (Roundabout Underground Reading Series, Finalist SOURCE Festival), Day 392 (Kennedy Center ACTF/NNPN MFA Playwrights Workshop, Honorable Mention Kilroy's List), Victor (Cabrini Rep, winner 2013 Thespis Festival), 36 Hours (Frigid Festival), FALLING (NY International Fringe Festival), G.I. Joe Jared (Edinburg Festival Fringe and 59E59) and Create Me Pegasus(finalist, The Sam French Festival). She received a 2015 Jerome Foundation Emerging Artist Fellowship for A Bad Night, and was a 2015 finalist for the Leah Ryan FEWW award and nominated for the 2014-2015 Susan Smith Blackburn prize. Her plays have been developed at Tofte Lake Center, The Lark Play Development Center, The Kennedy Center, NNPN and Space on Ryder Farm. She received her MFA at Hunter College.



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