PlayPenn Announces Lineup for 2014 New Play Conference

PlayPenn Announces Lineup for 2014 New Play Conference

PlayPenn, Philadelphia's nationally recognized professional new play development organization, announces the directors, dramaturgs, actors and designers that will participate in its 10th annual New Play Development Conference. Held from July 6 - July 27 at the Adrienne Theater (2030 Sansom Street) in Philadelphia, the Conference includes three weeks of intensive work along with staged readings open to the public of these six new plays:

"For our tenth year, we have yet again found an extraordinary group of artists to support the work of these talented playwrights and worthy plays," says Paul Meshejian, founder and Artistic Director of PlayPenn. "This year's group includes many folks returning to us, further increasing the trust and support network that makes PlayPenn so unique, while infusing the process with first-time participants both from Philadelphia and around the country."

By Stephen Belber
Directed by Benjamin Kamine

Dramaturgy by Michelle Volansky
Featuring: Taysha Canales, Brian Cowden

Robert Montano, Genevieve Perrier, Kathryn Petersen and Bill Zielinski
Public Readings: Wednesday, July 16 at 8pm and Saturday, July 26 at 8pm

The story of Russell DiFinaldi and his brother Jerry, who over the first 16 years of the 21st century attempt to live with conviction and integrity in a world where conviction and integrity can be a danger to the world, each other, their family, their friends and a million different strangers.

By Anne Marie Cammarato
Directed by Matt Morrow
Dramaturgy by Maura Krause
Featuring: David Bardeen, Leonard Haas, Annie Henk, Emily R. Johnson, Hayden Saunier, and Adriana Lopez Villarreal
Public Readings: Thursday, July 17 at 5pm and Sunday, July 27 at 2pm

Abby and Sara are thrown together by a high-school homework assignment and discover a bond between them that is not easily explained or broken. What happens when an entire generation of a community is affected by an event, yet doesn't have a memory of it? Or the language for it? Inspired by the largest crime of its kind in the United States, A Scar is a coming-of-age story for those whose innocence was lost before they realized it.

By Emily Schwend
Directed by Lucie Tiberghien
Dramaturgy by Sarah Mantell
Featuring: David Bardeen, Michael Doherty, Deassath Kouakou, Joniece Abbott Pratt, Curtisha Starks, and Bill Zielinski
Public Readings: Tuesday, July 15 at 5pm and Thursday, July 24 at 8pm

Behind the Motel is a story about renewing our faith in humanity, and in the ones we love. Mary runs a tight ship at the motel she owns in southern Arkansas, a place she has spent years turning into a home for her son, Christopher, and her boyfriend, Burney. But when Mary's trust is betrayed, some old wounds are opened, and she doesn't know whom to blame. Mary soon discovers that mending her present might involve tying up some loose ends of her past.

By Jen Silverman
Directed by Meredith McDonough
Dramaturgy by Kittson O'Neill
Featuring: Jake Blouch, Brian Cowden, Clare O'Malley, Sabrina Profitt, Catherine Slusar and Mary Tuomanen
Public Readings: Wednesday, July 16 at 5pm and Saturday, July 26 at 4pm

A castle on the hill, a young wife with a locked door, a drifter with a strange plan. Everybody has a secret. Everything is dangerous.

By Davey Strattan White
Directed by Casey Stangl
Dramaturgy by Jeremy Stoller
Featuring: Jake Blouch, Alex Keiper, Dan Kern, Tom McGovern, and Bradley K. Wrenn
Public Readings: Tuesday, July 15 at 8pm and Friday, July 25 at 8pm

Foster is new to showing calves. There's something he wants to change, and coming to stay with his grandpa is his chance to unstick himself from the unacceptable facts of his life. Roads Cathcart is the region's goddamned expert on fittin' show calves, and she's coiled for the chance to sculpt both his Chianina steer, and Foster himself, into something a little more badass.

By Rob Zellers
Directed by Shelley Butler
Dramaturgy by Carrie Chapter
Featuring: David Blatt, Anthony Martinez-Briggs, Lawrence Glover, Arlen Hancock, Dan Hodge, Jaylene Clark Owens and Sarah Van Auken
Public Readings: Thursday, July 17 at 8pm and Sunday, July 27 at 5pm

Life is a challenge when you work at a moribund fast food restaurant in a decaying inner city. But don't underestimate the resilience of the scruffy band of young people who work the breakfast shift at Mr. Wheeler's. When Ed, the self-appointed assistant manager with big dreams, finds a mysterious bag of cash and the dangers of the local drug trade threaten the safety of the group, the characters must confront their relationships with each other and the city they call home.

Conference Designers: John Hoey (Scenic Designer), Janus Stefanowicz (Costume Designer), Jessica Wallace (Lighting Designer), and Rob Kaplowitz (Sound Designer)

Additional Conference Events:
Tuesday, July 22 at 8pm: Reading of a new play in process by a member of The Foundry
Thursday, July 24 at 6pm: Symposium: Ten Years of New Play Development in Philadelphia moderated by Conference Associate Artist, Michele Volansky
Saturday, July 26 at 2pm: Intern Playwright readings

Free registration for these events will be available to the public on July 1 at

PlayPenn is an artist-driven organization dedicated to improving the way in which new plays are developed. Employing an ever-evolving process, PlayPenn creates a relaxed tension within which playwrights can engage in risk-taking, boundary-pushing work free from the pressures of commercial consideration. As a non-profit organization PlayPenn is made possible through the generous support of individuals as well as by substantial support from, among others, the Wyncote Foundation, the William Penn Foundation, the Independence Foundation, the Dramatists Guild Fund, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, the Philadelphia Cultural Fund, and the Shubert Foundation.

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