Meet the ANPF 2012 Playwrights and Their Winning Scripts
The God Game by Suzanne Bradbeer
Suzanne Bradbeer’s recent productions include God in the Goat (Barrington Stage) and Dedicated (Half Moon Theater). Full Bloom is being published by Playscripts this fall. Naked Influence was workshopped at the Dorset Theatre Festival, directed by Daniella Topol; Shakespeare in Vegas was workshopped at both the Drilling Company, directed by Giovanna Sardelli, and at Arizona State University, directed by Zac Yurkovic. Prizes and awards include grants from the New York Foundation for the Arts, the Berrilla Kerr Foundation, and the Anna Sosenko Trust, as well as the 2012 BMI Foundation Harrington Award for Creative Excellence. Bradbeer was also the winner of the Dayton Playhouse FutureFest and is a two-time finalist for the Heideman Award. Monologues from many of her plays have been published by Smith & Kraus, who have also published her plays Bethlehem, PA; Sometimes Romeo Is Sad; Full Bloom; and Okoboji. She also worked with Emmy–award winning children’s television producer Carole Rosen on an original web series for the Discovery Channel. Residencies include The New Harmony Project, New River Dramatists, and the Alabama Shakespeare Festival. Nominated by Theresa Rebeck, Suzanne was also a fellow of The Lark’s Playwrights’ Workshop. She is a member of Ensemble Studio Theatre, the Dramatists Guild, Actors Studio P/D Workshop, and the BMI Workshop. A professional highlight was working with Arthur Miller and Jim Houghton as the dramaturg on Miller’s The American Clock at the Signature Theater. www.suzannebradbeer.com
The God Game takes place over the summer weekend when Tom, a rising political star, is asked to be a major party vice-presidential nominee. There’s one condition: the presidential campaign, which is represented by old family friend Matt, just needs Tom to “sound more Christian” on the campaign trail.
Directed by Kimberly Scott*. Cast: John Pribyl*, Robin Goodrin Nordli*, John Stadelman, and Judith Rosen
Performances: Thursday, October 25, at 2 p.m. and Saturday, October 27, at 8 p.m.
This Rough Magic by Richard Manley
After two decades of success as a copywriter and advertising executive, Richard Manley started a second career writing stage plays, which he has been doing for the past five years. Pulling from many years’ worth of personal journals, he rediscovered his passion for the sound of the language and its potential to entertain and provoke and inspire. When he returned to the States from a sabbatical in Paris four years ago, he sold his business and structured a lifestyle that would allow him to write stage plays full-time. This Rough Magic was a finalist at the STAGE International Script Competition for the best new play about science and technology and four other competitions. Life is Mostly Straws won the Pillars Playwriting Prize and the Todd McNerney National Playwriting Award, took first place at the Long Beach Playhouse New Works Festival, and had a staged reading in June 2012 at the Actors Temple in London. His other plays include Quietus (which was chosen in 2012 for a staged reading by the Actors Studio in New York); An Ignorant Man (winner of the W. Keith Hedrick Award and the Brevard New Play Competition); Even the Wee Waves; Matches (winner of the Oglebay Institute’s Towngate Prize); Thank Emily, which has had two full productions; and Apparently Not, which took first place at Sundog Theatre’s “Scenes from the Staten Island Ferry” competition and has had eight fully produced performances in New York. Manley is a member of the Dramatists Guild. www.richardmanleyplaywright.com | Read an exclusive interview with Richard Manley
This Rough Magic takes place a few years from now, when overcoming loneliness and feeling loved are no less of a problem, but technology offers more solutions to those who can afford them. David is a wealthy and well-known businessman who has fought depression for most of his life. We discover that he has recently found the love for which he had been desperately searching—in an expensive, innovative technology that employs social media theory to satisfy his emotional needs. An unexpected visit from his long estranged brother, however, disrupts his new equilibrium. His brother has problems of his own and wants to tear down the wall between them. In the course of breaching that wall, a battle ensues between David’s faith in the future and his past with his brother. Only one will survive.
Directed by Michael J. Hume*. Cast: Russell Lloyd, Will Churchill, Paul R. Jones, Brandy Carson, Elsbeth Poe, Monica Keaton, and Joe Wegner
Performances: Wednesday, October 24, at 8 p.m. and Friday, October 26, at 2 p.m.
How It Works by Cary Pepper
Cary Pepper has had work presented throughout the United States and in Europe. How It Works was given a staged reading at the Abingdon Theatre in New York City, and it was a finalist at Dayton Playhouse’s FutureFest 2010. And Jonah Rose Up was a semifinalist in the Dorothy Silver Playwriting Competition, The Maltese Frenchman was a finalist for the National Play Award, and The Walrus Said won the Religious Arts Guild Playwriting Competition. Small Things won the Robert R. Lehan Playwriting Award and the Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival 2006 One Act Play Contest and has been published in Best American Short Plays 2005–2006. House of the Holy Moment was part of the 2008 Bay One-Acts Festival and has been published in Best American Short Plays 2007–2008. His work also appears in Audition Monologues for Student Actors II (Meriwether Publishing) and Scenes and Monologs from the Best New International Plays (Meriwether Publishing). He was nominated for the 2010 David and Lynn Angell Humanitas Comedy Fellowship, and in August 2012 Small Things aired on National Public Radio. Pepper is a member of the Dramatists Guild, a founding member of the San Francisco Bay Area playwrights group ThroughLine, and a member of the Marin Playwrights’ Lab. www.carypepper.com
How It Works explores the issues of success, power, fame, recognition, compromise, integrity, and satisfaction in the world of art. How do you handle The Struggle? How do you maintain integrity as a person and an artist? What happens when you’re given one of the most prestigious awards in the world but yearn for a “smaller” award the public knows nothing about? And what happens when you’re offered your Big Chance but have to pay a Big Price?
Directed by Cristofer Jean*. Cast: Bernard White*, Jackie Katzman*, Jeffrey King*, Tala Ashe*, and Kathryn Meisle*
Performances: Thursday, October 25, at 8 p.m. and Sunday, October 28, at 2 p.m.
Omission by Joshua Rebell
Joshua Rebell’s plays include Embraceable You (The Tamarind Theatre, Los Angeles), Paint (Synchronicity Space, NYC), The Movie Line (Raw Space; The Samuel Beckett Theatre, NYC), Gatsby in Hollywood (The Met Theatre, Los Angeles), Black Tie Affairs (The Met Theatre), and Preying On Puritans (Sacred Fools Theatre Company, Los Angeles). For Sacred Fools he has also written plays for Grimm! (published by JAC), Slow and Tight, Naked Holidays (a project he co-created), and Crime Scene, Sacred Fools’ long-running late-night serial, for which he wrote one of the three inaugural story lines. Screenplays include Old Boys Club; Confession; Misty in Maine; a screen adaptation of his play Preying On Puritans, The “B” Side (co-written with Gil Cates Jr.); and an original short screenplay commissioned for The Shanghai World Expo 2010. Rebell has a BA from Dartmouth College and a master’s in educational theatre from New York University. He is a member of both the Writers Guild and the Dramatists Guild. When he’s not writing, he is a spoken word curator at The Cornelia Street Café in New York City, a relatively serious art collector, and a frequent visitor to cities around the world known for their great coffee. This one’s for Dara.
In Omission it’s fall 2008. With the economy in shambles, two sisters are invited by their uncle, a world-renowned art dealer, to join their extended family for a weekend birthday celebration in the country. Once the weekend is under way, the uncle reveals a Madoff-like family secret that is compounded by the arrival of a distant relative with knowledge of the secret and a long-held grudge against a family he feels betrayed him.
Directed by Liisa Ivary*. Cast: Terri McMahon*, DeLanna Studi*, Jason Rojas, Kjerstine Rose Anderson*, Alejandra Escalante**, Ken Albers*, Catherine Lynn Davis*, Geoffrey Riley, and Rob Hirshboeck
Performances: Friday, October 26, at 8 p.m. and Saturday, October 27, at 2 p.m.
*Member of Actors’ Equity Association
**AEA Professional Theatre Intern
Host Playwright EM Lewis
EM Lewis, an ANPF 2008 winner with her play Song of Extinction, is returning to Ashland this year as our ANPF 2012 host playwright. She welcomed this year’s winners, moderated the talkbacks, and led the playwriting workshops. Lewis won the 2009 Steinberg/ATCA New Play Award from the American Theater Critics Association for Song of Extinction, which premiered in Los Angeles, produced by Moving Arts at [Inside] the Ford. The play also won University of Oregon’s EcoDrama Festival, the Ted Schmitt Award for the premiere of an outstanding new play from the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle, and Production of the Year from the LA Weekly Awards. It was published in Dramatics magazine and by Samuel French in 2010, a year in which the play also had productions at Ion Theater in San Diego and at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland. Song of Extinction was produced at the Guthrie in Minneapolis, by Theater Latte Da, in 2011. Lewis also wrote the Iraq War hostage drama Heads (winner of the 2008 Primus Prize for an emerging woman theater artist, and Best of 2007 from the Los Angeles Times). Her play Infinite Black Suitcase (about grief and redemption in rural Oregon) was produced by Moving Arts and by TheSpyAnts in Los Angeles and published by Samuel French. Lewis is a member of Moving Arts Theater Company, the Passage Theater playwriting workshop, the Dramatists Guild, the International Centre for Women Playwrights, and the Alliance of Los Angeles Playwrights. She is from Oregon, was in Los Angeles for quite a while, and is now living in Princeton, New Jersey. A 2010–2011 Hodder Fellowship in playwriting at Princeton University allowed her to move to the Garden State (New York adjacent), and a fellowship from the New Jersey Council on the Arts has allowed her to continue writing full-time on her new play, an epic Antarctic adventure story called Magellanica: A New and Accurate Map of the World, which she worked on during a residency at the William Inge Center for the Arts in Kansas and at the Lark in New York City. Her play Goodbye, Ruby Tuesday will have its world premiere at HotCity Theater in fall 2012, and she has college productions of two other plays slated this season. She is the new Dramatists Guild representative for the state of New Jersey and is currently working on her first commission—a history play—for the “Liberty Live!” program at Premiere Stages. www.emlewisplaywright.com
Lewis moderated the talkbacks after all the readings and led the playwriting workshops on Friday and Saturday, October 26 and 27, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.