Works by Arthur Kopit & Dael Orlandersmith Set for Red Bull's 2017 Short New Play Festival

Works by Arthur Kopit & Dael Orlandersmith Set for Red Bull's 2017 Short New Play Festival

Red Bull Theater today announced that their seventh annual festival of 10-minute plays of heightened language and classic themes will feature two brand new commissions from Dael Orlandersmith and Arthur Kopit, alongside six brand new plays chosen from hundreds of submissions from playwrights across the country.

The 2017 Short New Play Festival will be presented on Monday July 24th (7:30pm) at Lucille Lortel Theatre, directed by Craig Baldwin and Evan Yionoulis. Casts will include Tina Benko, Michael Braun, Bill Buell, Robert Clohessy, Sheria Irving, Joan MacIntosh, Kathryn Meisle, Howard W. Overshown, Linda Powell, and more to be announced.

Six brand-new short plays have been selected from an open submission process and will now be presented in staged readings performed by great actors alongside new short plays by two commissioned writers, Arthur Kopit (Oh Dad, Poor Dad, Mamma's Hung You in the Closet and I'm Feelin' So Sad, Wings, Nine) and Dael Orlandersmith (Beauty's Daughter, Yellowman).

Each year, the company selects new works of heightened language and classical themes from today's top established and emerging playwrights. Plays were selected based on: relevance to Red Bull's mission; incorporation of this year's theme, "Delusions of Grandeur;" and excellence.

This year's chosen writers are Charlotte Ahlin, Uriah Celaya, Justin Halle, Rachel Leopold, Jason Gray Platt, and Christian Simonsen.

Using the theme "Delusions of Grandeur" writers were asked to submit a short play of no more than 10 minutes in length that makes use of any, or all, of the following: heightened language or verse; a classical theme or style; a classical story.

The 2017 Short New Play Festival is made possible by the generous support of The Noël Coward Foundation.

Red Bull Theater's annual Short New Play Festival has generated over 1,000 new short plays of classic themes and heightened language, presenting nearly 50 of them in a one-night only Festival performance with some of New York's finest actors and directors. In its first six years, the commissioned playwrights have been: Lee Blessing, Constance Congdon, Lisa D'Amour, Elizabeth Egloff, Amy Freed, David Grimm, John Guare, David Ives, Ellen McLaughlin, Peter Oswald, ReGina Taylor and Anne Washburn. Winners of the open submission competition have included: Kate Abbruzzese, Liz Duffy Adams, Mike Anderson, Heidi Armbruster, Matt Barbot, Dave Carley, Dipika Guha, Arthur Holden, Will Kenton, Anchuli Felicia King, Sam Lahne, Tabia Lau, Patricia Ione Lloyd, Wendy MacLeod, Stephen Massicotte, Dakin Matthews, ElizaBeth Miller, Winter Miller, Mark O'Donnell, Eric Pfeffinger, Jason Gray Platt, Bridgette Dutta Portman, Lynn Rosen, Tom Rowan, Aubrey Saverino, Natalia Savvides, Jen Silverman, Tommy Smith, James Still, Emily Taplin Boyd, Matthew Wells, and Tim West.

Arthur Kopit is the author of the plays Oh Dad, Poor Dad, Mamma's Hung You in the Closet and I'm Feelin' So Sad; Indians (Tony Nominee, Finalist for Pulitzer Prize); Wings (Tony Nominee, Finalist for Pulitzer Prize); End of the World, with Symposium to Follow; a new translation of Ibsen's Ghosts; the book for the musicals Nine and Phantom (both with scores by Maury Yeston); the book for the musical High Society; Road to Nirvana; BecauseHeCan (originally entitled Y2K); A Dram of Drummhicit (written with Anton Dudley); and numerous one act plays. Current projects include Discovery of America, a play based on the journals of the Spanish conquistador, Cabeza de Vaca; and two new plays, Secrets of the Rich and The Incurables. Mr. Kopit is a member of the Dramatists Guild and the Lark Play Development Center, where he heads the Lark Playwrights' Workshop.

Dael Orlandersmith was a Pulitzer Prize finalist and Drama Desk Award nominee for Outstanding Play and Outstanding Actress in a Play for Yellowman. Her play, The Gimmick, was awarded the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize. Other plays include Forever, Bones, The Blue Album (with David Cale), Horsedreams, Black N' Blue Boys/Broken Men, Stoop Stories, and Monster. Her works have been published by Vintage Books and Dramatists Play Service. She is the recipient of a New York Foundation for the Arts Grant, The Helen Merrill Award for Emerging Playwrights, a Guggenheim and the 2005 PEN/Laura Pels Foundation Award for a playwright in mid-career. She received a Lucille Lortel Foundation Playwrights Fellowship and an Obie Award for Beauty's Daughter. Recently, Until the Flood, about the Michael Brown shooting, opened at the St Louis Repertory Theatre. In 2017 her play Lady in DenMark Will premiere at the Goodman Theatre in Chicago. Her play, Until the Flood will open at Rattlestick Theatre and Milwaukee Rep in 2018.

Charlotte Ahlin is a writer, actor, artist, and native New Yorker, with a degree in creative writing from Oberlin College. Currently, she writes for the books section of, and one of her short comics appears in the new science fiction anthology, All the King's Men. Her one act play, The Summoning, is part of the 2017 SheNYC Summer Theater Festival at the Connelly Theater, and her very short play, Grim, will premiere this July at Dixon Place. Her work has been staged in New York, Ohio, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, and Hyderabad, India. Charlotte is also a founder and Associate Artistic Director of Fat Knight Theatre, a nonprofit theatre company with a lot of character.

Uriah Celaya is a 16-year-old Angeleno. He began writing when he was eight-small picture books of the adventures his dog must've had while he was at school. Since then, Uriah has had an ever-growing love for literature. His Freshman year, he was enrolled in both a creative writing and an acting class. In collaboration with his teachers, he connected the material he learned, writing a two-person scene for his fellow actors to perform. This project, and his roles in his school's student written play festival, have inspired Uriah to hone in on the art of writing for a stage. Rule of Threes is his first completed play. In addition to acting in his school's play festival for two years, Uriah also appeared in a production of Almost, Maine and understudied in a local exposition on the AIDS crisis. He frequents local poetry nights as well.

Justin Halle is a New York City based theater artist obsessed with the grand and the strange. A recent graduate of NYU's Tisch School of the Arts with a BFA in Drama, Justin studied at the Experimental Theatre Wing in addition to Tisch's Playwriting in London program. As an actor and musician, Justin has appeared at venues including La MaMa ETC, the Bowery Electric, and Joe's Pub. Most recently, Justin was featured in the show Shenandoah at the Prague Fringe Festival. Justin's playwriting has been produced in New York (Triskelion Arts, ABC Sanctuary, NYU Tisch) as well as in London (Jermyn St. Theater). Coming up, he'll be drumming in the band of a new science fiction musical at the SheNYC Summer Theater Festival. Justin is excited and grateful to be a part of Red Bull Theater's Short New Play Festival.

Rachel Leopold writes and works in education technology in Brooklyn. Her full-length plays include Dog People and Shiva, which was selected for the 2014 Great Plains Theatre Conference PlayLabs series. Rachel has worked as an instructional designer, curriculum developer and product manager in ed tech for the past five years. She's passionate about her current work at Flocabulary, a company that uses hip-hop to engage and teach content and skills to K-12 students. She has a BA in literature from Columbia University.

Jason Gray Platt - previously with Red Bull Theater: Skull (Less Three and Twenty), Touched, Sleep Now. His work has been developed and produced by Actors Theatre of Louisville, Denver Center Theatre Company, The Flea, Round House Theater, TheatreWorks, The Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston, The Playwrights Realm, Prelude NYC, Page 73, and through residencies at MacDowell and Yaddo. He received a Helen Hayes Nomination for The Charles MacArthur Award for Outstanding New Play in 2013 and was the 2007 runner-up for Princess Grace Award in playwriting. Originally from Arizona, Jason now lives in New York. He is a core writer of The Playwrights' Center. BA: Vassar; MFA: Columbia.

Christian Simonsen is honored to have one of his scripts in Red Bull Theater's 7th Annual New Short Play Festival. He lives in San Francisco, where several of his plays received staged readings in the San Francisco Olympians Festival, including Cassiopeia, Chronus and Scylla, or Death by the Half-Dozen. In 2016 his play Eve of the Vertebrates won 1st Place in the Stony Brook University Science Playwriting Competition. A full production of his play Io Restored recently had its world premiere in London as part of the Off The Cliff Theatre production. Metamorphoses, a collection of short plays inspired by the writings of Ovid. Christian is currently a writer for the San Francisco sketch comedy troupe Killing My Lobster.

Steele Spring Stage Rights has recently published three collections featuring the best of Red Bull Theater's annual Short New Play Festival as "Red Bull Shorts." With forewords by Patrick Page, Michael Urie, and Jan Maxwell, these delightful books (available on Amazon) contain nearly 50 great (and greatly varied) new short plays for reading and performance pleasures.

Now playing Off-Broadway, Red Bull Theater's acclaimed production of The Government Inspector, directed by Jesse Berger, at New World Stages, through August 20th only. This New York Premiere, chosen as a "Critic's Pick" by both The New York Times and Time Out NY, offers a hilarious reminder of the timelessness of bureaucracy and buffoonery. Tickets are available from

Red Bull Theater is the not-profit Off-Broadway theater company specializing in plays of heightened language. With the Jacobean plays of Shakespeare and his contemporaries as its cornerstone, Red Bull Theater embraces the imagination of theatergoers through intimate, imaginative productions of great classic stories from all eras and cultures.

Red Bull Theater has previously staged productions of Pericles, The Revenger's Tragedy, Edward the Second, Women Beware Women, The Duchess of Malfi, The Witch of Edmonton, The Maids, The Dance of Death, Loot, The Mystery of Irma Vep, Volpone, 'Tis Pity She's A Whore, The Changeling, The School For Scandal, as well as this past fall's hit production of Shakespeare's Coriolanus at the Barrow Street Theatre and the current runaway comedy hit of the summer, Gogol's The Government Inspector at NewWorld Stages.

Red Bull Theater's work has been recognized with multiple Drama Desk, Drama League, Lucille Lortel, Callaway and OBIE Award nominations and awards, including the Off-Broadway Alliance Award for Best Revival in the 2015-'16 season (School for Scandal). The company has staged nearly 150 Revelation Readings, named by the Village Voice "Best Play Reading Series," also developing new plays of heightened language and classical adaptations through workshops and offering educational programs for students of all ages. Post-play Bull Session discussions with scholars following select Sunday matinees and Readings are free and open to the public.

Red Bull Theater offers Master Classes throughout the year. Taught by top working professionals including Kathleen Chalfant, John Douglas Thompson, Olympia Dukakis, Heidi Griffiths, and Patrick Page, Red Bull Theater's intensives and workshops cover a variety of disciplines, including auditioning, text, voice, movement, clowning, stage combat, and acting Shakespeare. Classes are open to adults at all levels of training or experience. They range from one to four days with limited class sizes to allow one-on-one attention. You can enroll in any combination of classes, or take the whole series for a year-long training experience.

For more information about the Short New Play Festival. The Government Inspector, or any of Red Bull Theater's programs, visit

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