Primary Stages Announces Play Selections For ESPA Drills 2019

Primary Stages Announces Play Selections For ESPA Drills 2019

Primary Stages announced today the selections for ESPA Drills 2019, a developmental play program that provides staged readings to four playwrights selected by blind submission, for scripts developed at Primary Stages ESPA. Presented by Primary Stages Einhorn School of Performing Arts (ESPA), the plays are workshopped under the guidance of the Primary Stages ESPA staff. All readings are free and open to the public and will be held at The Lucille Lortel Theatre (121 Christopher Street) on Monday, April 1 and Monday, April 8, 2019.

ESPA Drills is an annual new play development program providing extensive workshopping, a public presentation, and advocacy with the theater community for four new plays written at least in part at Primary Stages ESPA. Each July, these plays are selected from dozens of blind submissions for their ambition, voice, and energy. Over the course of multiple months, ESPA actors and outside guests lend their talent to these workshops and reading, which are then presented before an audience of industry peers on an Off-Broadway stage. ESPA Drills provides an exclusive opportunity for ESPA writers to receive professional attention through the resources and support of Primary Stages.


By Joshua Young

Directed by Shira-Lee Shalit

Featuring Margaret Ivey, Jesse Markowitz, David Mason, Kathy McCafferty and Naomi Lindh

Monday, April 1 at 3:00pm

Kevin and Dezba need to escape before the toxic, post-industrial Southside literally poisons them. With nowhere to turn but the darknet, they try to profit from a nightmare inspired by their own lives. But as their creation becomes a reality, can they save themselves before the monster keeps them in the Southside for good?



By Veronica Cooper

Directed by Sarah Krohn

Featuring Isabella Dawis, Brian Keane, Al-nisa Petty and Anna Savant

Monday, April 1 at 7:00pm

Four years after illness shattered their family, Richard Kemper has dragged his two daughters on a camping trip to Moab, Utah. Surrounded by nothing but desert, they can choose to stay isolated or step forward. When confronted with uncertainty, can you go it alone?



By Margot Connolly

Directed by Jackson Gay

Featuring Heidi Armbruster, Grace Fojtik, Holly Grum, EmJ Nelson, Nick Ong and Gil Polk

Monday, April 8 at 3:00pm

It's junior year and Harper's moved back to her aunt's house. Her aunt thinks she should pick everything up where she left off - high school, youth ministry, her best friend Hannah. But her relationship with Hannah has changed, and Hannah seems to feel it too. As they join their church Bible Quiz team and spend more and more time together, they learn more about themselves and the Bible than they ever thought they would.



By Aaron Coleman

Directed by Billy Mitchell

Featuring Issa Best, Ashley Taylor Greaves, Marcus Johnson, Rob Karma, Matthew S. Morgan, Adam Huel Potter, Justin "Squigs" Robertson and Clint Zugel

Monday, April 8 at 7:00pm

Uncle Remus's Brer Rabbit folktales have enchanted Americans for over a century-no one more so than Aaron Coleman, a black writer trying to tell his story in today's world. Needing inspiration, Aaron finds himself in a plantation cabin in the late 1800s, face-to-face with the legend himself. As Remus starts spinning his beloved stories, conjuring up his fantastical world of animal critters, he also exposes the realities of growing up a slave that inspired his tales of family, courage, and survival.

Uncle Remus, His Life and Times, As Told to Aaron Coleman is a new play about visiting the past to understand the present.


The 2018/19 Primary Stages season began with Final Follies by A.R. Gurney and directed by David Saint, and was followed by Downstairs by Theresa Rebeck, directed by Adrienne Campbell-Holt and starring Tyne and Tim Daly. The season continued with God Said This by Leah Nanako Winkler and directed by Morgan Gould. The season will conclude in May with Little Women, written by Kate Hamill, based on the novel by Louisa May Alcott, and directed by Sarna Lapine.

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