The Araca Group Announces The Return Of AracaWorks


The Araca Group has announced the return of AracaWorks, a week-long series of play readings celebrating new work for the theatre.

AracaWorks premiered in December 2010, showcasing both established playwrights and emerging voices; past slates have featured the New York premieres of Suicide, Incorporated by Andrew Hinderaker (Roundabout Underground, Fall 2011), How the World Began by Catherine Trieschmann (South Coast Repertory, Winter 2012), and Disgraced by Ayad Akhtar (American Theater Company, Fall 2011). In addition, each AracaWorks series presents a play by the winner of our graduate playwriting award.

Beginning December 5th, audiences will be treated each night to a reading of a new play at an early stage of development. Araca’s goal with this project is to present plays that have not yet received a fully realized production in New York City and to create a platform for the development of new plays and new voices. AracaWorks will pair each playwright with a director and a group of New York actors. The series will provide an outlet for playwrights to explore their material in a forum open to the public, yet safe from critical reviews.

WHEN: December 5-9, 2011 @ 7:30PM

WHERE: The Ars Nova Building
511 West 54th Street
New York, NY 10036 (between 10th and 11th avenues)

Admission is free and open to the public.
Seating is limited. Reservations are suggested and may be made online at

Schedule of Readings

Monday: Edgar and Annabel – written by Sam Holcroft/directed by Raz Shaw
About Edgar and Annabel: A young married couple prepares dinner in a smartly furnished kitchen. Annabel is composed, intelligent, in love. Edgar is professional, successful, assured. She’s chopping vegetables, he’s brought the wine. But something isn’t right. In a city not so different from our own capital, a group of freedom fighters attempt to stand up to an Orwellian establishment in increasingly perilous circumstances. Sam Holcroft’s ingenious new play paints a picture of a police state in crisis. The story that unfolds brings into question relationships, identities and the very nature of reality itself…
Featuring Matthew Dellapina, Betty Gilpin, Ryan King, Seán Martin Hingston, Celia Keenan-Bolger, and Brad Koed.

Tuesday: Acapulco - written by Jacquelyn Reingold/directed by John Rando
About Acapulco: It’s 1966, it’s Brooklyn, it’s Acapulco. Meet almost divorced Doris, her lying husband, her scheming laundress mother-in-law, her chest-hair-dying boyfriend, a mysterious woman who’s really a man, and the Whore of Brooklyn. A swinging 60's kind of comedy with a 2012 point of view.
Featuring Tony Shalhoub, Linda Lavin, Colman Domingo, Leslie Kritzer, Richard Kind, and Mia Barron.

Wednesday: Warrior Class – written by Kenneth Lin /directed by John Doyle
About Warrior Class: Julius Lee is a fast-rising Asian politician in the New York state assembly. But will an incident from his past be his undoing as he seeks the US Congress?
Featuring Reed Birney and Joel de la Fuente.

Thursday: Recall – written by Eli Clark/directed by Adrienne Campbell-Holt
About Recall: Lucy makes people uncomfortable. There’s something about her eyes. There’s something about the way her mother’s boyfriends keep disappearing. And there’s something about the government agents on her trail. Boundaries of love and trust are pushed in this fierce and funny play.
Featuring Sami Gayle, Timothée Chalamet, and Colleen Werthmann.

Friday: The Vaults – written by Caroline McGraw/directed by Sarah Benson
About The Vaults: In the twisting tunnels below Edinburgh, four American friends take a tour of the city's famous vaults. When one of them vanishes without a trace, those left behind must unravel his disappearance, grappling with unfriendly ghosts, suspicious police, fringe festival actors--and their own dark natures.
Winner of the AracaWorks Graduate Playwriting Award

Creative Bios:

The Araca Group is a theatrical production and live event merchandising company. As producers, Araca’s credits include: Urinetown: The Musical, Wicked, Frankie and Johnny in the Claire de Lune, Boeing, Boeing, The Laramie Project, Debbie Does Dallas, The Vagina Monologues, The Scene, Fault Lines, The Wedding Singer, Match, A View From the Bridge, Lend Me a Tenor, Catch Me If You Can; The House of Blue Leaves, and The Merchant of Venice. As merchandisers, Araca’s operations include productions on Broadway and throughout the world.

Sam Holcroft – Edgar and Annabel
Sam’s plays include Edgar & Annabel, part of Double Feature 1 for the Royal National Theatre, Dancing Bears, part of the Charged season for Clean Break at Soho Theatre and Latitude Festival; While You Lie at the Traverse, Edinburgh; Pink, part of the Women, Power and Politics Season at the Tricycle; Vanya, adapted from Chekhov, at The Gate; Cockroach, co-produced by The National Theatre of Scotland and Traverse (nominated for Best New Play 2008, by the Critics’ Awards for Theatre in Scotland and shortlisted for the John Whiting Award, 2009); Ned and Sharon at the High Tide Festival; and Vogue, part of the Royal Court’s Angry Now event, which transferred to Latitude. She received the Tom Erhardt Award for up and coming writers in 2009, and was the Pearson Writer in Residence at the Traverse Theatre, 2009-10.
Jacquelyn Reingold – Acapulco
Jacquelyn’s plays include: String Fever (Ensemble Studio Theatre), A Story About a Girl (JAW Festival, Portland Center Stage), I Know (EST), Cedar City Falls (a serialized play created by Liz Tuccillo), Armed Up (Theatre for One, Times Square), Girl Gone (MCC), 2B (Or Not 2B) (Actors Theatre of Louisville), Dear Kenneth Blake (EST), Tunnel of Love (EST/Naked Angels) have been produced in New York, Los Angeles, across the country, in London, Belgrade, Berlin, and Hong Kong. For television: currently writing for the new NBC show Smash, created by Theresa Rebeck; she wrote the Mia episodes for Emmy nominated Gabriel Byrne and Hope Davis in HBO’s In Treatment; and Law & Order: CI. Awards include: New York Foundation for the Arts, EST/Sloan Foundation Commissions, Kennedy Center’s Fund for New American Plays, MacDowell Colony and Hermitage Artists Fellowships. Published in: two Women Playwrights: The Best Plays, several Best American Short Plays, various Best Monologues, by Samuel French and Smith & Kraus. A collection of her one-acts Things Between Us is published by DPS. New Dramatists alum, member of EST, Ohio University Playwriting MFA.
Kenneth Lin – Warrior Class
Kenneth Lin's plays Fallow, Intelligence-Slave, Po Boy Tango, said Saïd, Warrior Class, Life On Paper, Agency* and Genius in Love have been seen at theaters throughout the country, including the ALLIANCE THEATRE, Northlight Theatre Company, Alley Theatre, People's Light and Theatre Company, South Coast Rep, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Marin Theater Company and East West Players. Commissions: Ensemble Studio Theatre, Manhattan Theatre Club, South Coast Rep, Wilma Theater and Arena Stage. Awards: Pew Center for Arts and Heritage PTI Grant, TCG Edgerton New Play Prize, Princess Grace Award, Kendeda Graduate Playwriting Competition Winner, Williamstown Theatre Festival's L. Arnold Weissberger Award, Cole Porter Prize. Residencies: Ojai Playwrights Conference, Ucross Foundation, Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Lark Playwrights Workshop, Interstate 73, New York Stage and Film, McCarter Playwrights Retreat. Education: Cornell University, Fulbright Scholarship, Yale School of Drama.
Eli Clark – Recall
Eliza Clark’s plays have been developed at Manhattan Theatre Club, the Studio at Cherry Lane Theatre, Page 73 Productions, Ensemble Studio Theatre, The Provincetown Playhouse, The New York International Fringe Festival, and Yale University. She received a commission from the Yale O’Neill Studio in 2006 and is currently working on a commission from South Coast Repertory. Eli was a member of Ensemble Studio Theatre’s emerging writers group, Youngblood. She was the 2010 Page 73 Playwriting Fellow. Her play Edgewise was co-produced by Page 73 and The Play Company in November-December of 2010. Eli graduated from Yale University in 2007 and is currently living in Los Angeles where she wrote for Season One of AMC’s Rubicon, developed a pilot for Teen Nick, and is currently writing for Season Two of AMC’S The Killing.
Caroline McGraw – The Vaults *AracaWorks Graduate Playwriting Award

Caroline V. McGraw’s plays include Tall Skinny Cruel Cruel Boys, Debut Track One Chord One Verse One (or, The Shed), Thriftcrawl, Lovely Assistant, The King is Dead, and Trade. Her plays have been produced and developed all around the country, including at the Cherry Lane Theatre by Young Playwrights Inc., the Abingdon by Highwire Theatre, the Yale Cabaret, New York Theatre Experiment, American University’s New Works Series, The Cleveland Playhouse Next Stage Festival, Interborough Rep’s 3B Series, F*It Club, Washington Ensemble Theatre and the One Coast Collaboration, WordBRIDGE Playwrights Laboratory, and the Yale School of Drama. She is in her final year of the Playwriting MFA program at the Yale School of Drama.


Raz Shaw - Edgar and Annabel

Raz’s directing credits include The God of Soho (Shakespeare’s Globe), Terra Nova (Old Laundry Theatre), Gambling (Soho Theatre), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Shakespeare’s Globe, 2009 and 2010 - P.E.N Award 2009), Romeo and Juliet (Shakespeare’s Globe on Tour), Torn (The Arcola), Things Of Dry Hours (The Gate and The Royal Exchange), Othello (Salisbury Playhouse), The Glass Menagerie Project (Jerwood & Young Vic), Factory Girls (The Arcola), Woman In Mind (Salisbury Playhouse), A State of Innocence/Photos Of Religion (Theatre 503), Be My Baby (Salisbury Playhouse) ,The Trestle at Pope Lick Creek (Southwark Playhouse and The Royal Exchange), We’re Gonna B***er You (BAC and the Pleasance Edinburgh), The Beauty Queen Of Leenane (Brentwood Theatre), Belly (Old Red Lion), 5:01 (Unity Theatre). In 2006 he won the Jerwood Award at The Young Vic.

John Rando – Acapulco

John Rando is the Tony Award and Outer Critic’s Circle Award winning director of Urinetown, the Musical. Other Broadway credits include: The Wedding Singer, A Thousand Clowns, and Neil Simon's The Dinner Party. With City Center Encores!, he directed On the Town, Damn Yankees, Face the Music, Of Thee I Sing, Pajama Game, Do Re Mi, and Strike Up the Band and the upcoming Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. His many Off-Broadway credits include shows like the 2009 Outer Critic’s Circle Award Best Musical: The Toxic Avenger; Pig Farm at The Roundabout Theatre; Bright Ideas at Manhattan Class Company, Polish Joke at Manhattan Theatre Club and Mere Mortals at Primary Stages. He has extensive regional theater credits including productions at The Old Globe Theatre, American Conservatory Theatre, Alley Theater, and Signature Theater among many others. His current musical production of A Christmas Story is enjoying a five city American tour. Among his upcoming projects is a new musical by Maury Yeston in Beijing, China: The Peony Pavilion. He is a Drama League Director’s Project alum. He was also the recipient of UCLA’s Department of Theater, Film and Television 2010 Distinguished Alumni Award.

John Doyle - Warrior Class

BROADWAY: Sweeney Todd (Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards for ‘Best Director of a Musical’); Company (Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle and Drama League Awards for ‘Best Revival’ and Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Nominations for ‘Best Director of a Musical’); A Catered Affair (Drama Desk nomination for ‘Outstanding Director’). OFF-BROADWAY: Road Show (The Public), Wings (Second Stage); Where’s Charley (New York City Center’s Encores! Season). REGIONAL: The Exorcist (Geffen Playhouse, LA), Merrily We Roll Along, Three Sisters (Cincinnati Playhouse), Ten Cents A Dance (Williamstown Theatre Festival / McCarter Theatre), The Caucasian Chalk Circle (A.C.T.), Kiss Me, Kate (Stratford, Ontario), LONDON: Road Show, Gondoliers, Sweeney Todd and Mack and Mabel. UK: Amadeus (Wilton's Music Hall); Merrily We Roll Along (Watermill Theatre); Oklahoma! (Chichester Festival Theatre). OPERA: Peter Grimes, (Metropolitan Opera); Lucia di Lammermoor, (Houston Grand Opera/ Marinsky Theatre/ Scottish Opera); The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny (LA Opera); Madama Butterfly (Grange Park Opera). FILM: Main Street starring Ellen Burstyn, Colin Firth, and Patricia Clarkson.

Adrienne Campbell-Holt – Recall

Adrienne is the Artistic Director of Colt Coeur, a NY-based theater company. Upcoming: Will Eno’s The Flu Season at ACT. Recent credits include: Fish Eye (HERE), Mormons, Mothers and Monsters (Barrington Stage), The Last Days of Judas Iscariot (Yale), Dead Man's Cell Phone (NYU), Seven Minutes in Heaven (Emerging America Festival, Huntington Theater Company & HERE), Heart Torture Station (New Georges), Missed Connections (Ars Nova), One Child Born: The Music of Laura Nyro (Joe’s Pub), The Long Tail (Abrons Arts Center), and Autobahn (NYU). Regional work includes Three Days of Rain (Amphibian Stage, Fort Worth, Texas). Adrienne spent three summers at Williamstown Theater Festival where she directed the non-Equity company in plays including Daniel MacIvor’s Never Swim Alone and Steven Levenson’s Girls Day. She is a recent recipient of a Jerome Foundation/Tofte Lake Fellowship and the EST/Sloan grant, and is a New Georges Affiliated Artist, and a member of the Lincoln Center Directors Lab. BA Barnard College, Columbia University.

Sarah Benson – The Vaults

Sarah Benson has been the Artistic Director of Soho Rep since 2007. New York credits include: Gregory Moss’ Orange, Hat & Grace (Soho Rep; world premiere); Polly Stenham’s That Face (Manhattan Theatre Club; American Premiere); Sarah Kane’s Blasted (Soho Rep; NY Premiere) for which Benson received a Drama Desk nomination and OBIE award. Other credits include: Gregory Moss’ House of Gold (Woolly Mammoth Theatre in Washington, DC) and Sophocles’ Ajax (A.R.T. in Boston). She has also worked on new plays at the O’Neill Playwrights Conference, New York Stage & Film, and New Dramatists. Upcoming: David Adjmi’s Elective Affinities (site specific), Futurity (a new musical with The Lisps at A.R.T. and Walker Center) and the world premiere of Richard Maxwell’s Samara (Soho Rep).

At Soho Rep, Benson has commissioned and produced work by artists including Annie Baker, Dan LeFranc, Thomas Bradshaw, Cynthia Hopkins, Jomama Jones, Young Jean Lee, John Jesurun, Nature Theatre of Oklahoma and Anne Washburn. This work has been recognized with six OBIE awards, three Drama Desk nominations, and The New York Times Outstanding Playwriting Award.

Benson moved to New York from London on a Fulbright for Theatre Direction and co-curated the PRELUDE Festival at the Martin E. Segal Theatre Center for two seasons in 2005-2006. She has contributed to Performing Art Journal, been featured in American Theater magazine as one of twenty-five “forward-thinking artists” and has served as a mentor in the directing programs at Yale University and NYU. She is editing the upcoming anthology: The Methuen Drama Book of New American Plays (summer 2012).

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