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ACT Announces New Play Winner & Launch of New Series for Developing Work


ACT –A Contemporary Theatre rings in 2012 with new and continuing efforts that recognize achievements in outstanding playwriting and create the atmosphere for the development of new work. Playwright Angus MacLachlan (author of the highly acclaimed film Junebug) is named the 2012 ACT New Play Award winner for Abundant Acreage Available.  Two FREE staged readings will be presented in ACT's Bullitt Cabaret February 25-26, 2012. Immediately following each reading are post-play discussions with the playwright and the director, Anita Montgomery.

Montgomery is also the co-creator of a new play development series called The Construction Zone, a Central Heating Lab series that workshops new plays and performs staged readings on select Mondays throughout the year in the new Eulalie Scandiuzzi Space. Plays by Lisa Dillman and Michael Louis Wells are slated for the first quarter.

Tickets for all events are available at  and 206.292.7676. ACT Theatre is located at 700 Union Street, Seattle, WA 98101.



MacLachlan's Abundant Acreage Available takes a quirkily humorous, poetic, and unflinching look at the big existential questions of loss, impermanence, and the notion of home. On a fifty-acre North Carolina farm worked, loved and haunted by generations, the aging siblings of two intimately connected families come to terms with the death of their parents and the shortened strand dividing them from the end of their lives.  


Now in its seventh year, the ACT New Play Award is sponsored by Gian-Carlo and Eulalie Scandiuzzi. Their generous support provides for a national call for submissions and a highly competitive review process. The winner receives $2,500 and the opportunity to workshop their play at ACT. Abundant Acreage Available will feature actors Burton Curtis, Todd Jefferson Moore,Marianne Owen, Wesley Rice and Rick Tutor.

Past ACT New Play Award recipients include

  • ·         Emily Schwend's South of Settling, 2011
  • ·         David Weiner's Extraordinary Chambers, 2010
  • ·         Zakiyyah Alexander's Sweet Maladies, 2009
  • ·         Yussef El Guindi's Language Rooms, 2008
  • ·         Laura Schellhardt's The K of D, 2006
  • ·         Elizabeth Heffron's Mitzi's Abortion, 2005

Staged Readings: 

Abundant Acreage Available by Angus MacLachlan

Directed by Anita Montgomery

In the Bullitt Cabaret

February 25, 2012 at 7:30 p.m.

February 26, 2012 at 2:00 p.m.

Post-play discussions follow both readings

Tickets: FREE and included with the ACTPass
Reservations required.



Co-curated by Anita Montgomery and Christine Sumption, The Construction Zone offers playwrights opportunities to develop and share new work, while providing audiences with an intimate and meaningful exposure to the process. Plays chosen for the series will be of the moment, of particular interest to ACT, and feature gifted playwrights from around the country. Performed by professional artists and followed by discussions, The Construction Zone will occur on the last Monday of select months in ACT's intimate new Eulalie Scandiuzzi Space (The Lalie).The series promises to serve as a valuable incubator of new plays for ACT and our producing partners, while inviting Seattle audiences who crave new work to witness and participate in its evolution.

Upcoming Construction Zone Readings:

American Wee Pie by Lisa Dillman 
Directed by Anita Montgomery

Featuring Chris Ensweiler, Sarah Harlett, Peter Dylan O'Connor, MJ Sieber and Annette Toutonghi

January 30, 2012 at 7:00 p.m.

American Wee-Pie by Lisa Dillman, directed by Anita Montgomery, is "a comedy about grief, success, second chances, and our national pastime, overconsumption." 


My Before and After by Michael Louis Wells

Directed by Christine Sumption

March 26, 2012 at 7:00 p.m. 


In My Before and After by Michael Louis Wells, directed by Christine Sumption, the discovery of the abandoned workshop of an elusive artist brings together Wes, his sister Olive, and old friend EJ, to catalog the artist's work and rebuild their own fractured lives. Before and After reveals the beauty, melancholy, and wry humor of relationships rebuilt in the wake of great loss.

In The Eulalie Scandiuzzi Space

Post-play discussions follow both readings. Lisa Dillman and Michael Louis Wells will both be in attendance for their respective readings.

Tickets: Adults: $10, Students/Seniors/Under 25: $5. Included with the ACTPass.

Additional Construction Zone readings dates in 2012: April 30, June 25, July 30, Aug 27, Nov. 26. 


About the Playwrights

Angus MacLachlan graduated from the North Carolina School of the Arts Drama School. Angus has written several prize-winning plays including The Dead Eye BodyBridge and The Radiant Abyss. He wrote the screenplay for the feature Junebug, which was selected for the Dramatic Competition for the 2005 Sundance Film Festival. The film was listed on over 50 Top Ten lists for 2005 including Roger Ebert, NY Times, LA Times and NPR. His original screenplay, Stone, starring Robert De Niro, was filmed and released in October 2010. He has performed in various stage productions including Children of a Lesser GodThe Tempest, and Angels in America. He has also appeared in the films Reuben Reuben and Goodbye Solo. Angus has been a contributing writer for the Lives column of the New York Times Magazine and lives in Winston-Salem with his wife and daughter. 


Lisa Dillman's plays include Detail of a Larger Work (Steppenwolf Theatre; Hypothetical Theatre Company); Half of Plenty (Rogue Machine Theatre Company, Summer Play Festival, American Theatre Company); Flung (American Theatre Company; published by Dramatic Publishing); Six Postcards (Goodman New Stages Festival); Rock Shore (O'Neill Playwrights Conference; published by Dramatic Publishing); and Ground: A Play About Borders (commissioned by Northlight Theatre). Dillman has won the Sprenger-Lang New History Play Prize, the Sarett Award, and the Julie HarrisBeverly Hills Theatre Guild Award. She has received two commissions from Steppenwolf Theatre, two fellowships from the Illinois Arts Council, and residencies at Blue Mountain Center, Ragdale, Millay Colony, and the William Inge Center for the Arts. Recent commissions include plays for the Chicago Humanities Festival and Rivendell Theatre Ensemble. She is a member of Route 66 Theatre Company, a facilitator for the Victory Gardens Access Project/Artist Development Workshop, and a two-time mentor for Chicago's Young Playwrights Festival. Her work is published by Dramatic Publishing, Smith & Kraus, Heinemann, and New Issues Press.

Michael Louis Wells' play Two From the Line won the London New Play Festival Award. Additional accomplishments include: New Voices West honoree; finalist Verity Bargate Award- London's Soho Theatre & Writers Centre; 2 time finalist Heideman Award – Actors Theatre of Louisville; First Light commission- Albert P. Sloan Foundation; Best Short Film, Best Screenplay – San Francisco SC Independent Film Festival. Michael's work has been produced, published, workshopped and read in London, New York, Boston, San Francisco, Seattle, Los Angeles and Washington, DC under the direction and artistic leadership of Wilson Milam, Darko Tresnjak, Neil McPherson (Finborough Theatre – London), Chris Smith (Magic Theatre – San Francisco), Braden Abraham and Christine Sumption (Seattle Repertory Theatre).

About ACT: A Theatre of New Ideas - Raising Consciousness Through Theatre

Located in the heart of downtown Seattle and serving a population of curious, open-minded, and brave audiences, ACT - A Contemporary Theatre is the only theatre in Seattle dedicated to producing contemporary work with promising playwrights and local performing artists since 1965. A theatre of new ideas, ACT serves as a cultural engine that makes plays, dance, music, and film that touch us. Because contemporary life demands examination, ACT is driven to inspire and strengthen our diverse community through works that advance our understanding of human life. With more than 100,000 people who attend shows annually, ACT is an interactive community where artists and the public witness, contemplate, and engage in dialogue on today's thought-provoking issues, ideas and art, presented with intelligence, insight, and humor.

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