Friday, October 14, 2011

Brand: NEW Plays Get Seen at Hartford Stage

Hartford Stage continues its commitment to developing the next generation of great plays and playwrights by presenting the 13th annual Brand:NEW Fall Festival of New Work November 3 - 6.

Building on the success of previous years' events, the festival will feature readings of distinctive new works by Bekah Brunstetter, Marcus Gardley, Steven Levenson, Matthew Schneck, and Sinan Unel. Gardley is this year's Aetna New Voices Fellow at Hartford Stage. The festival also includes a lively playwrights' panel discussion led by Jerry Patch, Director of Artistic Development at Manhattan Theatre Club.
Hartford Stage Artistic Director Darko Tresnjak comments, "The five plays that we have chosen for this year's Brand:NEW festival look at history, family, and desire in exciting and unexpected ways. It is a pleasure to bring these distinctive and provocative writers to Hartford Stage."
Principal Sponsor for Brand:NEW is The John and Kelly Hartman Foundation. New play development is supported by the Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust. Hartford Stage is supported by the Greater Hartford Arts Council and the Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism.

Schedule of Events for Brand:NEW 2011
Thursday, November 3 * 7:30 p.m.
pathetique
By Sinan Unel
Directed by Darko Tresnjak
Fall 1893. Composer Pyotr Illich Tchaikovsky is in St. Petersburg to premiere his sixth symphony - his darkest and most mysterious, imbued with a "subjective and secret program." Five days later, he is dead. After a decade, his brother and nephew still struggle with unrelenting gossip surrounding the composer's death and the symphony's secret. Pathétique explores the all-consuming passions of a great man and those who live in his shadow.
Friday, November 4 * 7:30 p.m.
hey brother
By Bekah Brunstetter
Directed by Maxwell Williams
Big brother Ben is a financial planner with an alpha-male attitude. Little brother Isaac is a graduate student in history, used to finishing in second place. When a mysterious young woman hunting for her own history comes into their lives, the love/ hate relationship between them is put to the test in this darkly funny adult drama.
Saturday, November 5 * 2:00 p.m.
the ping and the pang
By Matthew Schneck
Directed by Jenn Thompson
                                        
When a man reluctantly visits a psychiatrist for the first time, he is subjected to a bizarre and aggressive new talk therapy technique. Is his doctor helping him to face his real issues? Or merely pushing him past the brink of sanity? The human psyche, the collective unconscious, and funny-tasting kool-aid combine in this outlandish and hilarious existentialist comedy.
Saturday, November 5 * 7:30 p.m.
the house that will not stand
By Marcus Gardley
Directed by Hana S. Sharif
Set in 1836, against the backdrop of Faubourg Tremé in New Orleans, Marcus Gardley weaves a poetic tale of three sisters trapped beneath the oppressive thumb of their unyielding mother in a mandated six month period of mourning. As the summer heat intensifies, passion, jealousy, and fear collide in this explosive reimagining of Federico Garcia Lorca's The House of Bernarda Alba.
Sunday, November 6 * 11:00 a.m.
Playwrights' Panel
Meet the playwrights and engage with the creative process, discuss their inspiration, and learn about each individual journey to developing new work. Led by Jerry Patch, Director of Artistic Development at Manhattan Theatre Club.
Sunday, November 6 * 2:00 p.m.
days of rage
by Steven Levenson
Directed by Darko Tresnjak
1969. As the summer of love darkens into a long and bitter winter, a group of young activists makes plans for the Revolution from a dilapidated farmhouse in upstate New York. Jenny, a college dropout and a daughter of privilege, begins to have second thoughts about her role in the movement. As paranoia and political divisions threatening to tear the collective apart, Jenny must choose between following the dictates of her heart and a Revolution that may never come.
Key Dates and Information
Brand:NEW takes place November 3 - 6.
Readings will be held at Hartford Stage's Rehearsal Studio 2, 942 Main Street, downtown Hartford (Residence Inn building).
Passes good for admission to all Brand:NEW events are $15. Admission to individual readings is $5; admission to the Playwrights' Panel is free. All readings offer general seating.
For reservations, directions, or more information, call the Hartford Stage box office at 860-527-5151 or visit www.brandnewplayfestival.com.

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Lauren Yarger with playwright Alfred Uhry at the Mark Twain House. Photo: Jacques Lamarre)

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