Young Playwrights Festival
by Anthony Chase
…and other offerings from ART
It seems that everywhere you look these days theaters are featuring new works. American Repertory Theater of WNY is weighing in with their Young Playwrights Festival at the Buffalo Canalside’s historical ruins, July 16-17 and July 23-24, 2-5 pm. The special feature of this festival is that all of the playwrights are under the age of 25.
The themes of the plays reflect youthful concerns. Stefan M Brundage’s Here’s Looking at You, Kid tells the story of a is a “young man’s valiant attempts to vie for an older woman’s attention.” Emily Cutler’s Dropping the Question tells the story of “two young adults overcoming ever-present miscommunication found in a world of texting.” Matthew Henderson’s comedy, The Dating Game, similarly suggests the angst of youth. Connor Graham’s The Waiting Room promises “a Durang-ish look at death and what comes next.”
The four-day event is dedicated to developing young playwrights with the added benefit of providing audiences with a happy excuse to venture down to the canal side. As with Shakespeare in Delaware Park, it is suggested that audiences might enjoy taking a chair and some beverages. The event is free and open to everyone.
For more information on the festival please contact American Repertory Theater of WNY at 716-634-1102 or visit ART’s website at www.artofwny.org.
At the same time, energetic and innovative American Repertory Theater of WNY has announced a 2012-13 season that will offer Western New York debuts, an original musical, and a “tip o’ the hat to Decision 2012.” They’ve also announced that they’re moving. Their new home is in their old neighborhood. ART’s sixth season will feature five shows at the Episcopal Church of the Ascension (16 Linwood Avenue, at the corner of North Street), where the Allentown and Linwood districts connect.
The Curtain Up! September show focuses on the human element of 9/11 as ART presents Anne Nelson’s The Guys: “Written shortly after the fateful terrorist attack is based on true experiences. A writer helps a fire captain in need of composing and reading eight eulogies for men he lost in the Towers. In the process, she begins to fully understand the human side of this national tragedy.”
The piece is directed by Matthew LaChiusa and features the acting talent of Victor Morales and Andrea Andolina.
October finds ART in collaboration with Theatre Jugend and Steven E Sitzman with The Dead English, “a mod-music adaptation of Bram Stoker’s Dracula” just in time for the Halloween season. With composition and lyrics by Steven E. Sitzman and librettist Justin Karcher, The Dead English will be directed by Drew McCabe with Anthony Alcoler as the famed Count and Jacob Albarella as his bug-eating sidekick, Reinfeld.
In January, an existential Americana comedy, Jesus Hates Me, written by Wayne Lemon in which “five Texans take a existential journey to try to see their lives more clearly, or before the booze and drugs kick in.” Michael Lodick directs.
At long last making its Western New York debut in March is Michael John LaChiusa’s four-piece chamber piece, First Lady Suite, following the trials of four American First Ladies: Jacqueline Kennedy, Mamie Eisenhower, Margaret Truman, and Eleanor Roosevelt. For the record, the celebrated Broadway composer is the brother of ART founder Matthew LaChiusa. Tom Dooney directs.
The 2012-13 season concludes with Ron Hutchinson’s Moonlight and Magnolias, a tale of Hollywood in the 1930s.
Visit www.artofwny.org for more information on ordering subscriptions or single ticket prices to the regular season. Again, the young playwright festival is free.
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