Actors Studio Drama School Hosts Full Length Staged Readings, All Open To Public
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by BWW News Desk
The death of a father, medical ethics, a drag queen, family secrets, mental illness, love, an honest detective and a family caught up in a hurricane (both internal conflicts AND the weather) are the themes resonating in the MFA playwrights' staged reading series presented by the acclaimed Actors Studio Drama School at Pace University during the weekends of February 27 and 28 and March 6 and 7.
The eight works-in-progress - one musical and seven contemporary dramas - were written and developed by the school's third-year master's degree students. The aspiring playwrights will be joined in their Off-Off Broadway debuts by their fellow acting and directing classmates, along with recent MFA alumni and current BFA students.
Performances of The Actors Studio Drama School's MFA Playwriting Showcase will take place weekend afternoons at 1 pm and 4 pm at Studio W509, a black box theater in the main building of Pace's downtown Manhattan campus just east of City Hall at Park Row and Spruce Street. Tickets are free but space is limited so reservations are strongly advised.
For reservations and more information, visit www.Pace.edu/ASDSEvents or call (212) 714-4643.
Storytellers of Tomorrow
"The staged readings are a wonderful opportunity for the audience to discover the great American ‘professional storytellers' of tomorrow," said Associate Professor Edward Allan Baker, a published and frequently produced New York City playwright with 32 plays to his credit - most notably, DOLORES (which starred Joan Allen and is included in The Best Short Plays of 1989), NORTH OF PROVIDENCE, PRAIRIE AVENUE (which starred Ed Harris), ROSEMARY WITH GINGER and FACE DIVIDED (which starred Sam Rockwell).
Questionnaires given to audience members after each staged reading will allow playwrights to gain perspective of their scripts "performance power" and further assist them as they continue to develop their works.
This year's eight, original full-length staged readings are:
TOPPING FROM BELOW
Chloe's a drag queen. She's got somebody tied up on her sofa. Also, that boy and that girl keep breakin' up and yellin' about it. Cue the music.
Director: Bridget Leak
Setting: Present day, New York City
Cast: Brad Harris, Jeanne Joe Perrone, Trey Tatum, Dario Torres, Christina Cigala
A new full-length play by Trey Tatum
Saturday, February 27 at 4 pm
Refusing to evacuate during an impending hurricane, a family reunion turns into a fight for survival. Waters and tempers rise as three siblings are trapped between long-suppressed memories and the raging storm outside.
Director: Bridget Leak
Setting: July 4th weekend. The present.
Cast: Shaz Khan, Dario Torres, Ashley Love, Melissa Rosenberger, Hannah Timmons, Abigail Treut
Sunday, February 28 at 1 pm
A weary mother attempts to provide her mentally-ill son with a better life by having him cared for by one of his siblings, whose resistance unleashes revelations long kept under the proverbial rug.
Director: Norma Medina
Setting: The east side of a small city in Central New York, 1995, once an Italian American community.
Cast: Chris Ferretti, Norma Medina, Marco Agnolucci, L.B. Roberts, Lawrence Sharp, Sarah Anfora, Steve Nicholas
A new full-length play by Chris Pierce
Sunday, February 28 at 4 pm
A tawdry, insane, phantasmagoric love story reminiscent of a Eugene Ionesco play, which asks the question, "Who's what and what is who, and do they even know?"
Director: Jamie Sellers
Setting: An office reminiscent of 50's Noir, a strange dungeon like room
Cast: Beau Burglund, Shereen Macklin, Shaz Khan
Stage Directions: Brandon Stock
FREEDOM AT BLACKBIRD
A new full-length play by L.B. Roberts
Saturday, March 6 at 1 pm
A down-on-his-luck private eye is searching for his next case. Too honest to do dirty cases and too nice to turn down a beautiful woman, he becomes embroiled in a case with more faces than a Picasso painting.
Director: Bridget Leak
Setting: The 1940's.
Cast: Marco Agnolucci, Dario Torres, Treasure Davidson, Ashley Love, Trey Tatum, Melinda Graham Raj, Vin Kridakorn, Marcus Terrell Smith, Suzanne Darrell
NEEDLES: A CHRISTMAS PLAY
A new full-length play by Katie Buckels
Saturday, March 6 at 4 pm
An old family friend arrives at a Christmas Eve party with a suitcase and a buried secret that ignites a struggle between the past and future.
Director; Jamie Sellers
Setting: The Godfrey house on Christmas Eve.
Cast: Melinda Graham Raj, Maria Roman, Jason Green, Nicholas Piore, Abigail Treut
Stage Directions: Anthony Cotto
Sunday, March 7 at 1 pm
An Illinois psychologist whose job and marriage are hanging by a thread has to choose between his career and his morals as he is pressured to conduct an unethical study.
Director: Jamie Sellers
Setting: A small state school in a dying town, Central Illinois. The start of a new school year, 2009.
Cast: Michael Albert, Treasure Davidson, Yoni Ben-Yehuda, Ashley Love, Lawrence Sharp, Chelese Belmont, Abigail Treut
Stage Directions: Alla Ilysova
THE FIRST KISS
A new full-length play by Carston Turner
Sunday, March 7 at 4 pm
A brother and sister reunite to deal with the death of their father. One daughter is on the hunt for a child rapist. One son, a child prodigy pianist, comes home after 20 years. A mother, mute for 20 years, holds the answers to the questions they both need to know.
Director: Jee Hyun Jung
Setting: A funeral home. The present.
Cast: Karreem Washington, Shereen Macklin, Suzanne Darrell, Osas Ighodaro, Ruben Del Valle, Jr.
About Pace University
For 103 years Pace University has produced thinking professionals by providing high quality education for the professions on a firm base of liberal learning amid the advantages of the New York metropolitan area. A private university, Pace has campuses in New York City and Westchester County, New York, enrolling nearly 13,000 students in bachelor's, master's, and doctoral programs in its Lubin School of Business, Dyson College of Arts and Sciences, Lienhard School of Nursing, School of Education, School of Law, and Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems.
The Actors Studio Drama School at Pace University is the only MFA theater program officially sanctioned by The Actors Studio. The entire faculty is chosen and approved - and the curriculum is designed and supervised - by the leadership of The Actors Studio through its Curriculum Advisory Committee, including the Presidents of The Actors Studio, Ellen Burstyn, Harvey Keitel and Al Pacino. All students -- actors, directors, playwrights -- train side-by-side as actors. All students participate in the Craft Seminars known to the world as the Bravo Network television series, "Inside The Actors Studio," hosted by James Lipton. For further information about the program, go to www.pace.edu/actorsstudiomfa