Signature Theatre Announces Five New Plays for SigWorks Series

Signature Theatre Announces Five New Plays for SigWorks Series

The Tony Award-winning Signature Theatre announces the five new plays by DC area playwrights chosen out of 139 submissions to have readings as part of the SigWorks: Monday Night New Play Reading's at Ali's Bar series - Alabaster by Audrey Cefaly, Dogwood Cross by Michael Trottier, The Homecoming by Dani Stoller, The Reapers on Woodbrook Avenue by Mardee Bennett and Swimming with Whales by Bob Bartlett.

"The success of last year's SigWorks Monday Night reading series led to a surge in submissions this season which made the selection process even more difficult," said Director of New Works Joe Calarco. "I'm thrilled we can welcome back two playwrights who we were introduced last year as well as three more very exciting new voices."

Now in its second year, SigWorks: Monday Night New Play Readings at Ali's Bar is an initiative which highlights and supports the work of DMV playwrights. Each play will receive a one-day mini-developmental workshop with professional actors the day of the reading. This series is an opportunity for playwrights, actors, directors, designers, and patrons to explore new plays in a fun and informal environment. Each reading will be followed by a dialogue with the audience and the artists.

The inaugural series last season featured The Gulf by Audrey Cefaly, which is now receiving its world premiere production at Signature Theatre through November 6, 2016.

The Monday Night New Play Reading Series will be hosted at Ali's Bar in Signature Theatre's Mead Lobby Monday of every other month beginning October 2016 and going through June 2017 (see full schedule of featured plays below). Ali's Bar will be open before and after each reading and audience members are invited to come early for food and drink specials.

The readings are free and open to the public, no reservations are required. To learn more, visit


by Audrey Cefaly

October 3 at 7PM

When Alice (a noted photographer) arrives at the home of June (an undiscovered folk artist) to take photographs of her for an upcoming series called "Scars," the chemistry between them is electric and immediate. What follows is a three-day spiritual convergence on June's family farm near Alabaster, Alabama. This intimate portrait explores the meaning and purpose of art and the struggle of the lost and tortured souls that seek to create it.

Dogwood Cross

by Michael Trottier

November 14 at 7PM

2002. It is the height of the priest molestation scandals and everyone is getting a little too concerned about their kids. Cole, a staunch teenage atheist, befriends Christian, a young naïve teacher with a secret of his own. Cole quickly develops a crush on Christian and begins to ruthlessly pursue him. The results force both characters to completely rebuild their identities.

The Homecoming

by Dani Stoller

February 6 at 7PM

Marian Goldfarb assumed that retirement would be a quiet life with her new husband Richard in their Southern Florida gated community. However, a surprise visit from her grown daughter Lee, who has been kicked out of her own home by her husband, a guest room being used by Richard's pregnant teenage niece, Kitty, and some extra attention needed by Bobby, the boy next door with the absentee father, suicidal sister, and mental hospital bound mother, leaves Marian with an empty nest a little fuller than she'd imagined.?

The Reapers on Woodbrook Avenue

by Mardee Bennett

April 27 at 7PM

Spanning three decades, The Reapers on Woodbrook Avenue ushers us into the world of the Reapers, a West Baltimore family beginning in July 1976. From the stoop of her row home matriarch Loretta Reaper prepares for the arrival of famed preacher Al Strickland. But this Sunday has brought along with it a rash of violent break-ins and Loretta is forced to consider how far she'll go to protect her property. In 2008 we find Loretta's great grandson living in Charleston, South Carolina where he must reclaim the land that was promised to and stolen from his ancestors.

Swimming with Whales

by Bob Bartlett

June 5 at 7PM

While visiting his family's secluded cottage on the lower Outer Banks of North Carolina, Owen, a typically urban fifteen-year-old boy, and his fisherman father clash until an unlikely and healing communion with an injured whale awakens in Owen a forgotten boyhood and connection with the sea.

Readings are free and open to the public with no reservations required. Ali's Bar will be open with a full food and beverage menu. The series is free and open to the public. No tickets are required. For more information about the series visit

New Work at Signature Theatre is sponsored by The Reva & David Logan Foundation.

Recipient of the 2009 Regional Theatre Tony Award, Signature Theatre is a non-profit professional theater company in Arlington, Virginia dedicated to producing contemporary musicals and plays, reinventing classic musicals, and developing new work.? Under the leadership of co-founder and Artistic Director Eric Schaeffer and Managing Director Maggie Boland, Signature has presented 44 world premiere productions and is renowned for combining Broadway-quality productions with intimate playing spaces.

In addition to hosting the finest talent from the DC metropolitan area and New York, Signature has been home to such luminaries as Chita Rivera, Sheryl Crow, Barry Levinson, George Hearn, Hunter Foster, Emily Skinner, Kathleen Marshall, Ann Reinking, Marc Kudisch, Judy Kuhn, John Kander and Fred Ebb, Cameron Mackintosh, Terrence McNally, and the company's signature composer, Stephen Sondheim.? Since its founding in 1989, Signature has won 97 Helen Hayes Awards for excellence in the Washington, DC region's professional theater and has been honored with 386 nominations.

Signature Theatre is located at 4200 Campbell Avenue (22206) off I-395 at the Shirlington exit (#6). After the exit, blue Signature signs mark the way to the Theatre. Free parking is available in two adjacent public garages. For directions, visit

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