National Showcase of New Plays 2004 | Festival | Chicago Reader

National Showcase of New Plays 2004 

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The National New Play Network, a consortium of theaters devoted to developing and producing new work, presents its second biennial festival. Eighteen plays--some previously seen elsewhere, others slated for future production, yet others just waiting for a chance to reach an audience--are performed in concert readings or staged readings. The fest is a joint effort of two local troupes, Prop Thtr and Chicago Dramatists, and two other midwestern companies, Ann Arbor's Performance Network and the Phoenix Theatre of Indianapolis. But the 18 entries come from cities around the U.S., including LA, Dallas, Minneapolis, Denver, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., and elsewhere, offering audiences a rare opportunity to sample a lot of regional work in a short time frame.

National Showcase of New Plays 2004 runs July 16-23 at three venues: the Chicago Cultural Center's studio theater, 77 E. Randolph; the Loop Theater, 8 E. Randolph; and Chicago Dramatists, 1105 W. Chicago. Admission is $5 per reading; three-day passes are $25, and an all-festival pass costs $50. In addition, a reception for festival participants and the public takes place Sunday, July 18, starting at 6:30 PM at Prop Thtr, 3502-4 N. Elston. Party admission is $10, or free to holders of an all-festival pass. For more information, call Chicago Dramatists at 312-633-0630 or log on to www.nnpn.org.

FRIDAY, JULY 16

Wait!

Julie Jensen's comedy, submitted by Utah's Salt Lake Acting Company, is described as "a wacky, tough-love valentine to life and to theater." Andrea Urice directs. Chicago Cultural Center studio theater, 8 PM.

Rock Shore

Chicago's Steppenwolf Theatre Company submitted this drama by Lisa Dillman, about the effect a glamorous new patient has on the residents of a tuberculosis sanitorium in 1913. Steve Scott directs. Loop Theater, 8 PM.

Men on the Verge 2

From Tucson's Borderlands Theater comes this program of comic monologues exploring the lives of male Latino immigrants as they deal with culture shock, sexual identity, and other issues. Guillermo Reyes's script (a follow-up to his popular Men on the Verge of a His-panic Breakdown) is directed by Joseph Megel. Chicago Dramatists, 8 PM.

SATURDAY, JULY 17

Women of Lockerbie

The aftermath of the terrorist bombing of Pan Am flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, is examined in this drama by Deborah Brevoort. Robert Graham Small directs this submission from Shenan Arts in Staunton, Virginia. Chicago Cultural Center studio theater, 12:30 PM.

Running With Scissors

Submitted by West Palm Beach's Florida Stage, this drama by Michael McKeever concerns a guy who encounters death--a guy named Wally--in an out-of-the-way motel. Lee Sankowich directs. Loop Theater, 12:30 PM.

Direct From Death Row: The Scottsboro Boys (An Evening of Vaudeville and Sorrow)

This drama by Mark Stein, featuring music by Harley White Jr., is inspired by the case of nine African-American youths falsely accused of raping two white women. Directed by Bennett Bradley, it's submitted by the Fountain Theatre of Los Angeles, where it was produced last season. Chicago Dramatists, 12:30 PM.

(W)hole

Denver's Curious Theatre Company submitted this drama about a twisted romantic triangle. Chicago Cultural Center studio theater, 4 PM.

The Adjustment

Mike Folie's romantic comedy, submitted by the New Jersey Repertory Company in Long Branch, concerns the relationship between a political lobbyist and her Orthodox Jewish chiropractor. Loop Theater, 4 PM.

Jump/Cut

A budding filmmaker and his girlfriend encourage their brilliant bipolar friend to attempt a "reality film" with life-or-death stakes in this drama by Neena Beber. Submitted by the Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company in Washington, D.C., it's directed by Charles Goad. Chicago Dramatists, 4 PM.

The Katydid

A woman coping with her ungrateful family and an unwelcome preacher is visited by her dead husband. That's the premise of Michael Davis Sutton's comedy, submitted by Indianapolis's Phoenix Theatre and staged by Phoenix's producing director, Bryan Fonseca. Chicago Cultural Center studio theater, 8 PM.

The Home Team

Ann Arbor's Performance Network submitted this family comedy by Kim Carney, which was produced last season by the Performance Network and the Phoenix Theatre in Indianapolis. Loop Theater, 8 PM.

The Age of Cynicism or Karaoke Night at the Hog

Chicago Dramatists resident playwright Keith Huff penned this comedy about romantic complications at a karaoke bar. Ann Filmer, who directs this workshop, will also stage the play's world premiere at Chicago Dramatists in September. Chicago Dramatists, 8 PM.

SUNDAY, JULY 18

The Playgoer

Christopher Bomba's comedy, submitted by Prop Thtr, concerns a theatergoer who returns to the same bad play night after night. Scott Vehill directs. Chicago Cultural Center studio theater, 12:30 PM.

Devil Dog Six

This drama by Mary Fengar Gail, about the recovery of a strong-willed woman jockey who fell off her horse, is submitted by Philadelphia's InterAct Theatre. Seth Rozin, InterAct's producing artistic director and president of the National New Play Network, directs. Loop Theater, 12:30 PM.

Ice Glen

Minneapolis's Guthrie Theater submitted this Joan Ackerman drama about a "passionate poetess" directed by Daniela Varon. Chicago Dramatists, 12:30 PM.

Patty Red Pants

Trista Baldwin's suspense drama juxtaposes the tale of Little Red Riding Hood with a real-life murder case. The play, directed by Tania Kirkman, is submitted by the Bloomington [Indiana] Playwrights Project. Chicago Cultural Center studio theater, 4 PM.

Hazard County

The attraction between a Kentucky widow and a reality-TV producer fuels this "dangerous tale of murder, moonshine, and The Dukes of Hazzard." Penned by Allison Moore and directed by Kimberly Senior, it's submitted by Dallas's Kitchen Dog Theater. Loop Theater, 4 PM.

Flags

"Jane Martin," the pseudonymous author of Talking With . . . and other plays, focuses on a man's enraged response to his son's death in Iraq. In anticipation of its world premiere by Minneapolis's Mixed Blood Theatre in October, it's submitted here by the Guthrie Theater and directed by Steve Pearson. Chicago Dramatists, 4 PM.

TUESDAY, JULY 20

The Home Team

See listing for Saturday, July 17. Chicago Dramatists, 12:30 PM.

Men on the Verge 2

See listing for Friday, July 16. Loop Theater, 4 PM.

Ice Glen

See listing for Sunday, July 18. Chicago Dramatists, 4 PM.

(W)hole

See listing for Saturday, July 17. Chicago Cultural Center studio theater, 8 PM.

Flags

See listing for Sunday, July 18. Chicago Dramatists, 8 PM.

WEDNESDAY, JULY 21

Wait!

See listing for Friday, July 16. Chicago Dramatists, 12:30 PM.

The Adjustment

See listing for Saturday, July 17. Loop Theater, 4 PM.

Rock Shore

See listing for Friday, July 16. Chicago Dramatists, 4 PM.

Women of Lockerbie

See listing for Saturday, July 17. Chicago Cultural Center studio theater, 8 PM.

Direct From Death Row: The Scottsboro Boys (An Evening of Vaudeville and Sorrow)

See listing for Saturday, July 17. Chicago Dramatists, 8 PM.

THURSDAY, JULY 22

The Age of Cynicism or Karaoke Night at the Hog

See listing for Saturday, July 17. Chicago Dramatists, 12:30 PM.

The Playgoer

See listing for Sunday, July 18. Chicago Dramatists, 4 PM.

Hazard County

See listing for Sunday, July 18. Chicago Cultural Center studio theater, 8 PM.

Patty Red Pants

See listing for Sunday, July 18. Chicago Dramatists, 8 PM.

FRIDAY, JULY 23

Devil Dog Six

See listing for Sunday, July 18. Chicago Dramatists, 12:30 PM.

The Katydid

See listing for Saturday, July 17. Chicago Dramatists, 4 PM.

Running With Scissors

See listing for Saturday, July 17. Chicago Cultural Center studio theater, 8 PM.

Jump/Cut

See listing for Saturday, July 17. Chicago Dramatists, 8 PM.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Johnny Knight.

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