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The Public Announces '09 Emerging Writers Evening of Excerpts and Spotlight Series


The Public Theater (Artistic Director Oskar Eustis, Executive Director Andrew D. Hamingson) will present free staged readings of new plays by the 2009 Emerging Writers Group, beginning Thursday, February 25 with an "Evening of Excerpts" by the nine emerging playwrights. Beginning Monday, March 1, the Spotlight Series will present weekly readings of a full-length play by each writer. Tickets are free but must be reserved in advance by calling 212-967-7555.

The Emerging Writers Group is an annual program that targets playwrights at the earliest stages of their careers and nurtures their artistic growth by providing necessary resources and support. The Spotlight Series combines first-rate theatrical talent with new works written and developed by members of the Emerging Writers Group during their time at The Public. In addition, the Spotlight Series allows the writers to hear their work in front of an audience. Time Warner is the Founding Sponsor of The Public Writers Initiative.

The Spotlight Series will kick off on Thursday, February 25 at 7 p.m. with an "Evening of Excerpts," featuring scenes from plays written by all nine of the 2009 Emerging Writers. The 2009 Emerging Writers are J. Julian Christopher, Deen, Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, Bridget Kelso, Mona Mansour, Vickie Ramirez, Jordan Seavey, ALena Smith, and Kevin Christopher Snipes.

Beginning on March 1 and continuing through April 26, the Spotlight Series will continue with weekly readings of a full-length play from each Emerging Writer, directed and performed by experienced artists from the theatrical community. The free weekly readings will take place on Mondays at 7 p.m. and tickets can be reserved by calling 212-967-7555. The full schedule for March is below; information on the April readings will be available at the end of March. Complete information on all readings will be available close to the date of each reading at


Monday, March 1
7 p.m.
Written by ALena Smith
Directed by Sam Gold

Ever since Alexis moved in with her boyfriend, her pet parrot has developed a problem. What's worse, Lee, the girl she's been flirting with, just showed up uninvited to the couple's first dinner party. And Lee might have bedbugs. And a secret past. Plucker is an old-school farce about a new generation dealing with the anxieties of commitment and co-habitation.

Monday, March 8
7 p.m.
Written by J. Julian Christopher

Two men begin to share a night of passion until issues of obesity and self-esteem overpower their sexual and emotional connection.

Monday, March 15
7 p.m.
Written by Bridget Kelso

Fifteen years ago, Cassie's son was sold away. Now that the Civil War is over and freedom has come, Cassie sets out with her husband to find him, picking up friends and strangers along the way. But everyone soon discovers that freedom means different things to different people.

Monday, March 22
7 p.m.
Written by Kevin Christopher Snipes
Directed by Peter Dubois

When Jeremy informs his wife that her best friend's husband might have made a pass at him, he sets off a sexually charged chain of events that threatens to tear both marriages apart. A biting dark comedy, Ashes, Ashes, gives new meaning to the phrase "with friends like these, who needs enemies?"
About The Emerging Writers Group

The Emerging Writers Group strengthens The Public's commitment to creating an artistic home for diverse and exceptionally talented up-and-coming playwrights. Developed in collaboration with Time Warner's Office of Corporate Responsibility, the Emerging Writers Group is one element of The Public Writers Initiative, a long-term program that provides key support and resources for writers at every stage of their careers. Time Warner is the Founding Sponsor of The Public Writers Initiative.

Each emerging writer receives a one-year fellowship at The Public which includes a $3,000 stipend; participation in a biweekly writers' group led by Associate Artistic Director Mandy Hackett and The Public's Literary Department; master classes with established playwrights; career development advice and artistic support from acclaimed writers and Public artistic staff; complimentary tickets to Public shows and supplemental stipends for productions at other theaters; and presentation of their work in at least one reading at The Public.

Bios for the 2009 Emerging Writers group, as well as the 2008 and 2010 groups, can be found at


Following the "Evening of Excerpts" on February 25, the Spotlight Series will begin on March 1 and run through April 26, with a reading each Monday at 7 p.m. (There will be no reading the week of March 29, and one Wednesday reading on April 21.) Check for up-to-date schedule information.

The Public Theater is located at 425 Lafayette Street. Tickets are free and can be reserved by calling 212-967-7555.

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