Tuesday, October 9, 2012

It's All Brand New at Hartford Stage Play Fest

Hartford Stage has announced the lineup for Brand:NEW FallFestival of New Works, scheduled Oct. 25 - 28. The Festival will include readings of five new plays by Octavio Solis, Bess Wohl, Dan O'Brien, Matthew Lopez and Janine Nabers, as well as a playwrights' panel on Oct. 28 at 4:30 pm.

Brand:NEW readings will be at Hartford Stage's Rehearsal Studio 2 at 942 Main Street (the Residence Inn building). See all five readings for $25 ($20 for Hartford Stage subscribers) or individual readings for $10 each. Tickets are available by calling the Hartford Stage box office at 860-527-5151 or by visiting www.hartfordstage.org.

This year, Brand:NEW will feature a reading of a new playby Matthew Lopez, Reverberation. Lopez is the 2012-2013 Aetna New Voices Fellow at Hartford Stage and his play The Whipping Man was featured here at Hartford Stage last season.

The schedule of events for Brand:NEW is as follows:

Thursday, October 25, 7:30 p.m.
Se Llama Cristina
By Octavio Solis
Directed by Loretta Greco

In this evocative and haunting play, a man and woman wake up strung out and hung over, and must piece together what's happened to them and why they find themselves in an unknown room with an empty cradle.

Based in San Francisco, playwright Octavio Solis' plays included John Steinbeck's The Pastures of Heaven, Ghosts of the River, The Ballad of Pancho and Lucy, and Lydia at theatres across the country, including Yale Rep, Mark Taper Forum, and Denver Center for the Performing Arts.

Friday, October 26, 7:30 p.m.
American Hero
By Bess Wohl
Directed by Darko Tresnjak

American Hero is a comedy about three employees of a new sandwich franchise, and the lengths they'll go to to hold on to their jobs and to keep the world safe for democracy, and open for lunch.

Works by Bess Wohl, also a highly-regarded actress, have been produced or developed nationally at venues such as the Williamstown Theatre Festival; The Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles; The Pioneer Theatre in Utah; and at The Vineyard Theatre and Fringe Festival (Best Overall Production Award), both in New York City.

Saturday, October 27, 2 p.m.
Oak Dale
By Dan O'Brien
Directed by Elizabeth Williamson

After being inexplicably cut off from his family, Dan sets out to investigate the secrets of his childhood with the help of long-lost relatives, a private eye, and a couple of psychics in this new theatrical memoir.

Dan O'Brien, writer of many acclaimed productions, including Moving Picture and Williamstown Theatre Festival, directed by Darko Tresnjak, and co-writer of the chamber opera Theotokia/The War Reporter, featuring Dawn Upshaw, at the Spoleto Festival USA. O'Brien's most recent project is The Body of an American, a play about the haunting of war reporter Paul Watson, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for his photograph of a fallen U.S. soldier in Mogadishu.

Saturday, October 27, 7:30 p.m.
By Matthew Lopez
Directed by Maxwell Williams

In the wake of personal tragedy, Jonathan has retreated from the world, but his upstairs neighbor Claire is determined to pull him into the whirlwind of her life. They build a tenuous connection, but the past reverberates into the present, threatening to destroy the fragile happiness they've found.

In recent years, Matthew Lopez's The Whipping Man has become one of the more regularly-produced new American plays (including a critically lauded run here at Hartford Stage last season). Its New York production garnered Lopez the John Gassner Playwriting Award by the Outer Critics Circle. His most recent projects include the world premiere of Somewhere at The Old Globe in San Diego and his adaptation of the film Mad Hot Ballroom.

Sunday, October 28, 2 p.m.
A Swell in the Ground
By Janine Nabers
Directed by Hana Sharif

Over the span of seventeen years, A Swell in the Ground takes Liv and Nate (with their college friends Abigail and Charles) from their first meeting on the eve of college graduation through the trials of early adulthood, as they lose parents and think about changing partners.

Author of Welcome to Jesus and Series.Black.Face, Janine Nabers is a member of some of New York City's most prominent playwriting groups, including MCC Playwrights Coalition, New American Writer's Group at Primary Stages, Ars Nova, Soho rep Writer/Director Lab, and The Dramatist Guild Fellows.

Sunday, October 28, 4:30 p.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. The Playwrights' Panel will be moderated by Hartford Stage Senior Dramaturg and Director of New Play Development Elizabeth Williamson.

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

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