Weston Playhouse Announces Lineup For First Ever New Works Festival
In keeping with a decades-long commitment to nurture the new, Weston Playhouse Theatre Company is proud to announce its first annual New Works Festival. An exciting two-week celebration of nationally recognized artists creating new work begins this May 18 on the Company's campus in historic Weston Village.
Coordinated by Artistic Associate/Director of Education Piper Goodeve, the event showcases three works in progress. Attendees will have an opportunity to talk with writers, directors, and actors about the creative process and individual works. "Our first annual New Works Festival has three brand new pieces, in three different stages of development, from three award-winning women," says Goodeve.
Actor/writer Molly Regan's The Accidental Curator takes on one of life's most challenging but underappreciated rites of passes with equal amounts of wry humor and warm wisdom. Regan's one-woman play will be directed by Mary B. Robinson (Weston's All My Sons, Copenhagen, and this season's A Doll's House Part 2) and presented in a fully staged workshop production following development at New York's Ensemble Studio Theatre and Chicago's Steppenwolf Theatre. The Accidental Curator will be seen in five performances from May 18 to 26. A Steppenwolf Ensemble Member, Regan has performed on Broadway in August: Osage County; Stepping Out; The Crucible and at Weston in Copenhagen and All My Sons.
Kleban winner Kait Kerrigan's Father/Daughter challenges us to consider how the relationships we inherit impact the relationships we choose. It will receive its first ever public reading, with Madeline Wise and Gabriel Levey, directed by Morgan Green. Green was Associate Director for Broadway's Amelie, A New Musical, and is co-founder (with Wise) of New Saloon Theater Company. Wise's acting credits include New York's LaMaMa, Sharon Playhouse, and Two River Theatre. Levey's acting credits include Far Away with Madeline Wise, and An Octoroon at Brooklyn's Theatre for a New Audience. Father/Daughter is scheduled for two performances; May 19 & 20.
Actor/writer Judith Sloan's Yo Miss!, developed in part at a Weston Artists Retreat, fuses the art of theatre, poetry, and music in a sometimes funny, sometimes sad, always-truth-telling show about immigrant/refugee teenagers and incarcerated youth grappling with the cataclysmic events that shaped them. Yo Miss! will take its next leap in a full onstage reading, directed by Matt Gould with music direction by Andrew Griffin in two performances; May 25 & 26. Gould is an ASCAP Dean Kay Award winner with commissions from Yale Rep and Playwrights Horizons, and co-writer of the Off-Broadway musical, Invisible Thread, seen in concert at Weston. Griffin holds the viola position on the Broadway National Tour of Les Misérables.
All readings and events will take place at the Company's stunning new Second Stage, Weston Playhouse at Walker Farm. In part, Walker's mission is to foster creative growth and community engagement and act as an incubator for the next generation of American Theatre. "Knowing that what we do here in Weston is a part of a larger conversation about new work in the American theatre is exhilarating." Goodeve asks, "What better time to produce theatre where we are asking audiences, actors, writers, and directors to step into someone else's shoes and see the world from their eyes?" She emphasizes that the Festival presents an incredible opportunity for empathy and discovery. "In the end, we're all human, and theatre helps us remember our humanity."
Tickets for Weston's New Works Festival events range from $10-$35 and can be purchased by phone or online at westonplayhouse.org. All three events may be bundled together in a first-year Festival Pass! Passholders will receive discounts, guaranteed seats for the readings, and an invitation to an evening of selections from Weston's Young Playwrights program (May 16) in which teaching artists mentor local high school students to find their voice in original short plays. New Works Festival Passes must be purchased by phone through the Box Office at (802) 824-5288.
Support for Weston New Works Programs has come from the Dramatists Play Service; the Frederick Loewe Foundation; Stacey Mindich Productions; Music Theatre International; the Rodgers and Hammerstein Foundation; and generous individual donors.