Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Yale's Festival of New Plays

Yale School of Drama presents the sixth annual Carlotta Festival of New Plays, May 6 to 14 at the Iseman Theater (1156 Chapel Street, New Haven). The Festival is comprised of three fully-produced plays by graduating playwrights performed in repertory with twelve performances over 10 days. 
The plays featured in the sixth annual Carlotta Festival of New Plays are Blacktop Sky by Christina Anderson, Passing by Dipika Guha, and The Tall Girls by Meg Miroshnik.

The Festival includes a Professionals Weekend on May 13-14 specifically tailored to theatre industry professionals. The Professionals Weekend package will include tickets to all three Carlotta Festival shows, a Friday afternoon happy hour, a Friday evening post-show cocktail party, and Saturday morning breakfast and panel discussion. 

The panel discussion on Saturday, May 14 is also open to the public.

The Festival is named for Carlotta Monterey, the widow of Eugene O’Neill, who chose Yale University Press as the publisher of her late husband’s masterpiece Long Day’s Journey into Night. The proceeds from this publication support playwriting at Yale University.   


Blacktop Sky
By Christina Anderson
Directed by Devin Brain

Set design by Tim Brown
Costume design by Rebecca L. Welles
Lighting design by Hyun Seung Lee
Sound design by Elizabeth Atkinson
Dramaturgy by Anne Erbe

Cast: Will Cobbs, Winston Duke, Sheria Irving

Klass, a homeless young Black man, sets up residence in the courtyard of a housing project where Ida Peters lives. Triggered by a fatal confrontation between a local street vendor and the police, Klass and Ida quickly develop a precarious bond against the backdrop of a restless neighborhood. Inspired by the Greek myth "Leda and the Swan," Blacktop Sky examines the intersection of love, violence, and seduction.

Christina Anderson’s plays include DRIP, Inked Baby, Sweet Brown Ginger and The W8 Play. Her work has been produced or developed at American Conservatory Theater, Penumbra Theatre Company, About Face Theatre, Playwrights Horizons, Crowded Fire, Ars Nova, and other theatres across the country. Yale School of Drama productions include Man in Love and Good Goods; at Yale Cabaret: Hollow Roots. Awards and honors include Schwarzman Legacy Scholarship awarded by Paula Vogel, Susan Smith Blackburn nomination, Lorraine Hansberry Award (American College Theater Festival), Van Lier Playwriting Fellowship (New Dramatists), Wasserstein Prize nomination (Dramatists Guild), and Lucille Lortel Fellowship (Brown  University). Ms. Anderson has a BA from Brown University with honors in creative writing. For more information, visit

By Dipika Guha
Directed by Charlotte Brathwaite

Set design by Julia C. Lee
Costume design by Mark Nagle
Lighting design by Yi Zhao
Sound design by Michael Vincent Skinner
Projections Designer Sarah Lasley
Dramaturgy by Kate Atwell

Cast: Lucas Dixon, Laura Gragtmans, Hannah Sorenson, Max Roll

On an unnamed island, an ill-matched English couple tries to make a home. Just when their existence is rocked by the loss of a baby, a girl indigenous to the island alters the course of their lives. Passing is a war over memory and narrative. It is an examination of how we encounter the most traumatic events of our histories through museums, art, and theatre.

Dipika Guha’s plays include The State of Affairs (Yale School of Drama), The Betrothed (Yale School of Drama, Wellfleet Harbour Actors Theater), and Passing (Yale Cabaret). Shorter plays include Habeas Corpus (workshopped at City College London) and In the Red, White and Blue (Theatre 4, New Haven). She is an ensemble member of GoodBelly Collective,a company of theatre makers at Yale whose work includes Bones in a Basket and Erebus and Terror. She has been a recipient of the Eugene O’Neill Scholarship, the Adele Kellenberg Fellowship and the Frank Knox Memorial Fellowship at Harvard University. She taught Playwriting both at Fairfield University and at Cooperative Performing Arts High School in New Haven through the Yale O’Neill Playwriting Program. She studied English at University College London and is a graduate of the Young Writers Programme at the Royal Court Theatre. This summer she is a writer on the  Old Vic New Voices T.S. Eliot Exchange and will be working as a Teaching Artist for Yale School of Drama/Yale Repertory Theatre’s Dwight/Edgewood Project.

The Tall Girls
By Meg Miroshnik
Directed by Mike Donahue

Set design by Matt Saunders
Costume design by Nick Mramer
Lighting design by Hyun Seung Lee
Sound design by Jennifer Lynn Johnson
Dramaturgy by Benjamin Fainstein

Cast: Monique Barbee, Joshua Bermudez, Miriam A. Hyman, Brenda Meaney, Marissa Neitling, Carmen Zilles

Welcome to Poor Prairie, the dusty, desolate town where fifteen-and-a-half-year-old Jean has been exiled as caretaker for her wild-child cousin, Almeda. It’s a grim, dangerous place to eke out an existence as a teenage girl—until a handsome man with a past arrives, a brand-new basketball in tow. As the town’s girls come together to form a team set on making it out of Poor Prairie, a murky committee of townspeople threatens to stamp out girls’ sports altogether. Inspired by the flourishing and decline of high school girls’ basketball teams in the 1930s rural Midwest, The Tall Girls asks: Who can afford the luxury of play? What is the cost of childhood? And who is responsible for keeping the promise of social mobility that sports make in this country?

Meg Miroshnik’s productions at Yale School of Drama include The Droll (dir. Devin Brain) and Ah, Americans! (directed by Charlotte Brathwaite); and at Yale Cabaret: Good Words (directed by Andrew Kelsey) and A Portrait of the Woman as a Young Artist (directed by Devin Brain). The Droll {Or, a Stage-Play about the END of Theatre} was selected for inclusion in the 2011 Pacific Playwrights Festival (directed by David Chambers) at South Coast Repertory. Her play The Fairytale Lives of Russian Girls is the 2011-2012 Kendeda Graduate Playwriting Award winner and will be produced by Alliance Theatre in 2012.  Meg's work has been produced or developed by Perishable Theatre, Brown New Plays Festival, WordBRIDGE Playwrights Laboratory, A.R.T. Institute, Powerhouse Theatre, and published in Best American Short Plays, 2008-2009 (Applause, 2010). She was a visiting instructor in theatre at Wesleyan University in the fall of 2010 and a visiting teaching artist at New Haven’s Cooperative Arts and Humanities High School. Upcoming projects include a new adaptation of the libretto for Shostakovich’s opera Moscow, Cheryomushki (re-orchestration by Gerard McBurney, directed by Mike Donahue) for Chicago Opera Theater’s 2012 season, a workshop at The Kennedy Center, and a commission for a new play for South Coast Repertory. Meg is originally from Minneapolis.

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

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