See & Be Scene

One night only!  Monday, November 26th, 2018 @ 7p

This is an inside look into plays for the 2019-2020 45th Anniversary season. The evening includes up to 8 excerpts from 8 shows under consideration, in a staged reading format.  Admission is free for Subscribers, Members and Donors, but tickets are available to the general public for $15.  

The bar will be open for happy hour 1 hr. before curtain, and remain open following the presentation. Grab a drink, come back in and let us know what you think!
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César Alvarez     Nell Bang-Jensen     Bill Fennelly
Andrew Neisler      Paige Price     Alan Schmuckler
Musical Director: Erik Flaten

Jenny Ashman     Noah Burgess  Jessica Cannizzaro     Jen Childs     Walter DeShields
Liz Filios     Daniel Fredrick   Eamon Goodman   Colin Hanlon     Jack Henry
Angelica Jackson  Jessica Johnson     Todd Lawson     Julia Lewis  Aigner Mizelle
Bi Jean Ngo    Steve Rishard    Blair Sams     Michaela Shuchman     Leah Walton

Here is a glimpse at some of the plays we are considering this season:

The Closet
by Douglas Carter Beane (Broadway’s The Little Dog Laughed, Xanadu, Cinderella, Sister Act and the film To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar)
inspired by Francis Veber’s play Le Placard
Direction by Bill Fennelly (Heisenberg, Cinderella, The Lyons, After Miss Julie) 

This new comedy by Douglas Carter Beane is inspired by Le Placard, the French comedy by Academy Award nominee Francis Veber.  Martin O’Reilly is stuck in Scranton in a dead-end job, his marriage is over, and his son won’t return his calls.  His only friend is his eternally optimistic co-worker who can’t bake enough muffins to stave off her romantic longings.  When a stranger sashays into their world, he drags Martin—and everyone around him—out of their respective closets.  Helmed by Mark Brokaw, this contemporary satire breaks the chains of political correctness and celebrates the possibility of finding authenticity and love (and show tunes) in unexpected places.
We are excited that the playwright will be in attendance and *may* even read from his script!

By special arrangement with Simon Friend, Burnt Umber Productions and Scott Landis

Wait, Wait, Don’t Kill Me!
Book by Dave Holstein
Music & Lyrics by Alan Schmuckler 

Dave Holstein (Creator of Showtime’s new series, Kidding, with Jim Carrey, Catherine Keener, and Frank Langella) and Alan Schmuckler (winner of the 2018 Kleban Prize for Musical Theater writing) have created a musical exploration of our obsession with murder as entertainment. Wait Wait Don’t Kill Me is a subversive, comedic new musical satire inspired by the events surrounding the making of NPR’s Serial podcast.  Think Sweeney Todd set at NPR.
The composer will not only be in attendance but will appear in the presentation!

Bottle Fly
By Jacqueline Goldfinger
Direction by Paige Price

Winner of the 2017 Yale Drama Prize and a Finalist at the 2018 International Book Awards, Bottle Fly is set in a bar in the Florida Everglades. This biting, brutally funny multigenerational family drama concerns a Gulf Coast couple, their disabled young ward, two lesbian tenants, and the bonds that bind them all together. It is a powerful story born out of the playwright’s own experiences with the rapidly changing social environment of rural Florida, where long-standing traditions and beliefs can collide, sometimes dangerously, with new ideas of personhood, identity, and self-realization. (This play was developed at PlayPenn)
Our very own Philadelphia playwright will be in attendance!

Cost of Living
By Martyna Majok
Direction by Nell Bang-Jensen

What is the road that brought us here? Unemployed truck driver Eddie sits at a bar alone, recalling his final moments with wife, Ani, when a car accident turned the focus of their relationship from divorcing to caregiving. Overworked, under-qualified, and nearly homeless, Jess takes on another job to make ends meet – this time, as a personal caregiver for a wealthy and beautiful graduate student named John, who has cerebral palsy. The histories, influences, and challenges of four lives converge in the meeting of two strangers in a small, empty apartment in Bayonne, NJ.  The play won the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for Drama as well as two Lucille Lortel Awards, including Outstanding Play.

Elementary Spacetime Show
Music and Words by César Alvarez
Direction by Andrew Neisler

This new musical was launched right across the street at UArts by the co-founder of the Polyphone Festival, César Alvarez.

You can die, you just have to answer a few crazy questions first. And sing. And dance.
A young girl attempts suicide and wakes up trapped in a cosmic vaudevillian game show that she must win in order to enter the void of death. But the more Alameda wants to die, the harder she has to work—winning means she must confront avatars of scientific truth, ostentatious musical numbers, elaborate dance sequences, and acquaint herself with the enigmatic laws of the universe. From the creator of Futurity, comes a new not-your-traditional musical of up-tempo genre-bending songs and a healthy dose of the absurd in the search of why to exist when you no longer want to.
The composer/librettist will be in attendance!

Good Men Wanted
by Kevin Armento
directed by Paige Price

Good Men Wanted brings to life the incredible true stories of renegade women who disguised themselves as men to fight in the Civil War.  In a searing drama punctuated by explosive dance sequences set to contemporary pop music, five women of vastly different backgrounds become warriors and spies, endure prison camps and midnight raids, and ultimately intersect at America’s most storied battlefield, Gettysburg.  These unsung heroes circumvented the limitations of their time, with a boldness that speaks loudly to our own.

Fly By Night
by Kimberly Rosenstock (TV’s New Girl, GLOW), Michael Mitnick (Vinyl), Will Connolly (Once, This Ain’t No Disco)
directed by Bill Fennelly

Fly by Night looks at the lives of 7 average people and how their paths intersect unexpectedly during the great Northeast Blackout of 1965. The musical asks the question: Are our lives guided by Fate, Free-Will, or some mysterious combination of the two? Fly by Night is truly a star-crossed love story, reminding us that even in our darkest hours, Love connects us to everyone and everything in the universe. We focus on Miriam, a sweet young girl from a small town in South Dakota whose quiet life is forever changed when she accompanies her ambitious sister Daphne to New York City so that Daphne can pursue her dream of becoming a famous actress.

The Garbologists
By Lindsay Joelle
Direction by Nell Bang-Jensen

Marlowe and Danny, two New York City sanitation workers, have nothing in common. They spend their first shift bickering, one-upping each other, and practicing the secret art of “mongo”–searching for treasure in the trash. But as their lives become increasingly entangled, they must learn to sift through the garbage of each other’s past to find true value. An unconventional love story on a garbage truck. (Also developed at PlayPenn).

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