Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

Babel Theatre Projects GROUNDWORK Reading Series 1/24-1/25


Babel Theatre Project (Geordie Broadwater, Artistic Director, Jeremy Blocker, Producing Director) is excited to present readings by six of New York's finest up-and-coming playwrights in their festival of readings entitled GROUNDWORK The readings will take place at the 78th Street Theatre Lab, Saturday, January 24th and Sunday, January 25th beginning at 1PM.

The featured plays include The Hairy Dutchman by Andy Bragen, Book of Days by Thomas Higgins, Fingers by Erica Lipez, Brack's Last Bachelor Party by Sam Marks, Babs the Dodo by Michael Mitnick, Clear Cold Place by Caroline Prugh.

Babel's Groundwork festival was established to give playwrights the opportunity to hear early drafts of their newest plays read aloud. This year's lineup features six up-and-coming playwrights who have been selected to further develop their plays with Babel Theatre Project in January. Unlike other development processes Babel's Groundwork festival throws open its doors and welcomes the exchange between playwright and audience member. Past Groundwork playwrights include IT Award-winner Bekah Brunstetter , Julia Brownell whose SMART COOKIE was read in last year's festival and went on to win the Kendada Award, Thomas Higgins, Corey Hinkle, Norman Lasca, and Emily Young.


78th Street Theatre Lab is located at 236 West 78th Street

Admission is Free and Open to the public

Schedule released in early January

For more info visit

For reservations please email

BABEL THEATRE PROJECT (Producer) In 2005, Babel produced the World Premiere of Jamie Carmichael' s Pilgrims The production played both New York and the Edinburgh Festival Fringe to warm acclaim. The Scotsman called Pilgrims, "a vivid confidently written play," and went on to say, "the young ensemble is first rate." said of Babel, "If there's such a condition as simultaneously seasoned and wet behind the ears, this crowd exemplifies it." In 2006, the company produced its second season of new work for the stage. The Insomnia Play by Jessica Brickman, of which OffOffOnline said, "Brickman and [Geordie] Broadwater keep the audience members on edge, reeling them in," and The Calamity of Kat Kat and Willie by Emily Young which called the "finest piece of choreographed mayhem [they had] ever seen." Babel opened its 2007-2008 season with Bekah Brunstetter's Innovative Theater Award-Nominated play, You May Go Now, of which New York said, "Babel has lovingly produced this play with skilled direction, a smartly detailed set, and fine lighting; and judging by this play, a writer with the skill and smarts of Bekhab Brunstetter well deserves such fine treatment. The season concluded with James Carmichael's Stomp and Shout (an' Work it All Out) of which said, "Babel has really hit the nail on the head with this hugely exciting piece. Be there or be square." Babel is dedicated to supporting playwrights at every stage of their process. The company has given more than a dozen readings to works in development. In the coming seasons, Babel will give writers the opportunity to showcase their works in full productions, workshop productions, and readings.


Andy Bragen, a graduate of Brown University's MFA Program in Literary Arts, is the winner of the 2008 Clubbed Thumb Biennial Commission. Other honors include a Tennessee Williams Fellowship from the University of the South, a Jerome Fellowship, a New Voices Fellowship from Ensemble Studio Theatre, a Dramatists Guild Fellowship, and residencies at Millay Colony and Blue Mountain Center. The Hairy Dutchman, commissioned by the University of Rochester, will be produced there in April 2009. Spuyten Duyvil, which Andy developed at the 2004 Seven Devils Playwrights Conference, was produced by Brown/Trinity Playwrights Rep. in July 2008. Greater Messapia was produced at Queens Theatre in the Park in March 2004. Also a translator, Andy works directly from French and Spanish, and with a co-translator from the Japanese. Vengeance Can Wait workshopped at the 2006 Playlabs Conferences in Minneapolis was produced at PS122 in April 2008. Other plays and translations have been seen and heard at numerous theatres in New York and elsewhere, including The Guthrie Theatre, Ars Nova, Rattlestick, LAByrinth, EST, Repertorio Español, Soho Think Tank, Page 73 Productions, NYU's hotINK Festival, The Illusion Theatre, The Aurora Theatre and the Lark Theatre. More information is available at

Thomas Higgins is the author of many short plays, including The Blasphemy Tree (Naked Angels Lab), The Family Dungeon (Columbia Arts Initiative), The Home Front (Columbia University Arts Initiative), The Wild Life (Source Theatre in DC), and The Dying Breed (Sam French Festival 2008 Winner). His first full-length play, This Modern House, was nominated for the 2007 Cherry Lane Mentor Project and the 2007 L. Arnold Weissberger Award @ Williamstown. His second full-length play, The Elephant Party, was nominated for the 2008 Cherry Lane Mentor Project. His third, The Home Maker, was read at The Atlantic Theatre Company (Studio A) as part of the Nuea Nu Works Reading Series and as a part of GROUNDWORK last year. He graduated cum laude from Northwestern University, where he was named a Walton Theatre Scholar and received the T. Stephen May Scriptwriting Award twice. He just completed his MFA in Playwriting at Columbia University on the Dean's Fellowship; has recently assisted David Grimm, Richard Greenberg, and John Guare on various productions; and will wrapped production on his short film, The Fun House, in January.

Erica Lipez is currently pursuing her MFA at the Tisch School of the Arts Department of Dramatic Writing at NYU (expected 2009). Born and raised in Maine, Erica graduated from Harvard University in 2005 with a degree in English. For the last three years, she has lived in New York working as a writer, actor, producer and director. In 2005, her musical version of Dickens' A Christmas Carol was performed at Foothills Theatre in Worcester, Massachusetts. She has spent three summers at the Williamstown Theatre Festival, where her plays Recess and First Reunion were workshopped. In August 2008, Recess was produced at the Yale Summer Cabaret in association with the Yale School of Drama. Her new play The Tutors was recently workshopped in New York City, directed by Amanda Charlton (Artistic Associate of WTF). She is currently working on a number of new projects, including a feature film, Coast to Coast, and a new full-length play, Public People

Sam Marks received his NYC Off-Broadway Debut last fall when his play The Joke was produced at Studio Dante directed by Sam Gold. Other NYC productions include: Nelson (Theater Row) directed by Kip Fagan, Craft (The Flea Theater) directed by Robert O' Hara and The Bigger Man (Center Stage) directed by Lou Moreno. A recent graduate of Brown's Graduate Playwriting program Sam was named "50 to Watch" by The Dramatist Magazine in 2007. Sam's work has also been produced and seen at Los Angeles' Circle X theater company, Perishable Theater in Providence, Manhattan Theater Club, Playwrights Horizons, New York Theater Workshop, Rattlestick Theater, The Public Theater, Arena Stage, Portland Center Stage and many others. Sam has had his TV and film scripts optioned and developed by HBO, Greenstreet Films, MTV, Epoch Films, and Fugitive Films. Sam has taught playwriting and screenwriting at Harvard, Brown, and Providence College. The Joke and Nelson are published by Samuel French Inc.

Michael Mitnick is currently studying Playwriting the Yale School of Drama with Paula Vogel. Recent New York & Regional shows include: Learning Russian @ The Flea, The Hangar (Published by Broadway Play Publishing in March 2008), The Football Players @ West End There for Prospect Theater, Snapshots at 45th Street Theater, As The Word Turns at The Skirball Center for The Hasty Pudding Theatricals, & the upcoming musical The Current War. Original songs have been premiered venues such as Joe's Pub, The Zipper, & The Abingdon. Michael's short films include: Winning Caroline (Winner of Best Comedy at the 2004 Ivy Film Festival), Shadow Of A Lie, and Automacar!

Caroline Prugh's plays Terminal (dir. Jonathan Carr), Western Blue (dir. Tina Bishko), and Wonder Full (dir. Scott C. Embler) were produced by Vital Theater in three consecutive Vital Signs festivals. Terminal was translated into Dutch and performed at Koninklijke Schouwburg in the Haag. Her one act Motel Blue shared the bill with Michael Bird's Quartet in a production at Dumbo Theatre Exchange (dir. Tina Bishko). Her play At Daybreak was presented by Rattlestick Theatre as part of their Dirty Works Festival. She has been a finalist for the Summer Play Festival and the Sewanee's Writers Conference. During the day, Caroline is an associate at Stuart Thompson Productions where she has assisted in the management of over twenty five Broadway and Off-Broadway plays and musicals.

Related Articles View More Off-Off-Broadway Stories

Featured on Stage Door

Shoutouts, Classes & More

More Hot Stories For You