Primary Stages (Casey Childs, Founder & Executive Producer; Andrew Leynse, Artistic Director; Elliot Fox, Managing Director), in keeping with its mission of inspiring, supporting and sharing the art of playwriting, has announced the line-up for the annual Fresh Ink Reading Series, with staged readings of new plays by members of the Dorothy Strelsin New American Writers Group: Bekah Brunstetter, David Caudle, Cheri Magid, Rogelio Martinez, Janine Nabers, Tommy Smith, and Adam Szymkowicz.

All readings are free and open to the public and are set for May 23 - June 1, 2011 at Primary Stages Rehearsal Studios (307 West 38th Street, Suite 1510, between 8th & 9th Avenues). Reservations are required and can be made via email at or by calling (212) 840-9705. For additional information, please visit the website at

The Writers Group is a small collective of early career playwrights chosen by the Primary Stages artistic staff from among New York City's brightest and most fascinating voices. The playwrights meet weekly in the fall and winter to share a work-in-progress with the goal of drafting a full-length play under the guidance of Primary Stages Associate Artistic Director, Michelle Bossy. Their work is celebrated in the Fresh Ink Reading Series at the end of each season.
Since 1996, Primary Stages has provided a secure creative home to a consortium of writers allowing them to inspire each other, encouraging lasting artistic relationships, and nurturing the community of artists living and working in New York City. David Lindsay-Abaire, Tanya Barfield, Courtney Baron, Jessica Goldberg, Rinne Groff, Stephen Adly Guirgis, Dan O'Brien and Lucy Thurber are just a few of the Writers Group alums whose work has moved on to greater recognition. The Writers Group's work has been seen on the stages of Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Manhattan Theatre Club, The Public Theater, South Coast Repertory, LABryinth Theater Company, on Broadway and the West End, and at Primary Stages, among other venues.
Primary Stages works closely with The Writers Group serving as an artistic home and continually seeks out production, commissioning, and networking opportunities. Primary Stages has produced a number of works by Writers Group alums, includ­ing Edwin Sanchez's Barefoot Boy with Shoes On (1999), Julia Jordan's Boy (2004), Brooke Berman's Hunting and Gathering (2008), Cusi Cram's A Lifetime Burning (2009), and this year, continued their ongoing relationship with Brandeis University to workshop and co-produce Alex Beech's Little Monsters at Brandeis in Waltham, MA.
The Writers Group is generously supported by funding from the Dorothy Strelsin Foundation and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.

The Fresh Ink Reading Series schedule is:

Where You Can't Follow by Adam Szymkowicz May 23 at 3:00 p.m.
Matt's doctor tells him he doesn't have long to live. He realizes he's never been in love before. So he leaves home, flies to Paris and tries to find love before he runs out of time.

Show People by David Caudle May 24 at 3:00 p.m.
In 1882, a 17-year-old NYU student is driven to help the disrespected and downtrodden actors in New York City. Recruiting megastars Edwin Booth, James O'Neill, Sarah Bernhardt and Buffalo Bill, the teen hopes to realize his dream by establishing a fund for actors. But to overcome society's prejudices, he must first overcome his own doubts and fears.

The Virtues of Raw Oysters by Cheri Magid May 25 at 5:00 p.m.
Bushwick 1894. An eighteen-year-old entrepreneur and scamp boosts his father's phonograph business by producing and selling aural smut. When he gets caught, questions of indecency and censorship arise.

Zero by Tommy Smith May 26 at 5:00 p.m.
When an aspiring young architect receives a grant to work on his studies in a swanky condo for a year, the pressure of producing work overwhelms his psyche and forces him to externalize his inner turmoil, causing an increasingly aggressive relationship with his clueless doorman.

A Swell in the Ground by Janine Nabers May 27 at 5:00 p.m.
28-year-old Olivia is grieving over the loss of her mother while her seemingly happy relationship with her fiancé Nate is starting to deteriorate. A SWELL IN THE GROUND examines the 10 years that Olivia and Nate have loved each other and the friends they kept at a distance in order to grow up. A play about the process of mourning... the loss of yourself.

Bicycle Girl by Rogelio Martinez May 31 at 5:00 p.m.
In 1939 two girls from very different backgrounds travelled across America on bicycle. Their destination was New York and the World's Fair with its promise of revealing to every single American The World of Tomorrow. A play about one world giving way to a new one, and two girls changing along with it.

Little Man by Bekah Brunstetter June 1 at 5:00 p.m.
Howie, or Little Man, attends his high school reunion with his best friend Andy. He's suppressed his tragic high school experience. After all, now he's a millionaire. Little does Little Man know the truth and whiskey to be had at the convention hall as the evening and his memories unfold in this dark, funny play with nametags and karaoke.

Upcoming projects for Tommy Smith and David Caudle, two outgoing members of the Writers Group include: Radio Play by Tommy Smith in collaboration with Reggie Watts at PS 122 (150 First Avenue), May 6 - 22; Girlfriend by Tommy Smith will be developed at Playwrights Horizons, June 2011; The Short Fall by David Caudle, presented by the Toy Box Theatre Company at the Choicirciati Cultural Center (64 East 4th Street), June 3-18, 2011; One Hot Kitchen, an opera with libretto by David Caudle, composed by Kristin Hevner Wyatt and Daniel Wyatt, sneak preview at The Medicine Show Theatre (549 West 52nd Street), June 12, 2011.

Primary Stages is an Off Broadway theater company dedicated to inspiring, supporting and sharing the art of playwriting. Under the leadership of Founder and Executive Producer Casey Childs, Artistic Director Andrew Leynse and Managing Director Elliot Fox, we operate on the strongly held belief that the future of American theater relies on nurturing individual playwrights and giving them the artistic support needed to create new work.

Primary Stages produces new plays at 59E59 Theaters, where we have been the Resident Theater Company since its inauguration in 2004. Since our founding in 1984, we have produced more than 100 new plays, including A.R. Gurney's Black Tie, Horton Foote's Dividing the Estate (Two 2009 Tony Award nominations); Brooke Berman's Hunting and Gathering (one of New York Magazine's Top Ten Plays of 2008); Terrence McNally's Dedication or the Stuff of Dreams (starring Nathan Lane and Marian Seldes) and The Stendhal Syndrome (featuring Isabella Rossellini and Richard Thomas); Danai Gurira and Nikkole Salter's In the Continuum (which went on to tour the U.S., Africa and Scotland); David Ives' All in the Timing (the most produced play in the US in the 2005/2006 Season); and Conor McPherson's St. Nicholas (which marked the playwright's U.S. debut).

In 2008, Primary Stages was honored with the Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Body of Work, which encompasses much more than the plays we produce for the stage. Primary Stages supports playwrights and develops new works through commissions, workshops, readings and our two flagship programs - The Dorothy Strelsin New American Writers Group and the Marvin and Anne Einhorn School of Performing Arts (ESPA). Through these programs, Primary Stages advocates for our artists, helping them make important-and often transformative-connections within the theater community.

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