Long Beach Playhouse New Works Festival 2018
Two Winning Plays, Two Staged Readings
2017 Winners Presented Friday and Saturday March 23 & 24
Long Beach, CA, On March 23, 2018, the Long Beach Playhouse kicks off its 28th annual New Works Festival (NWF) in its Studio Theatre.
New Works is a national competition for plays that have never been produced. A call for scripts is made and playwrights submit their works to the Playhouse. The New Works committee reads all of the submissions and chooses the two plays it thinks to have the best chance to go on to full productions.
“We receive as many as 100 submissions from playwrights each year,” said Madison Mooney, Executive Director of the Long Beach Playhouse. “We are honored to read their plays and appreciate the willingness of the authors to put forth their work for our review.”
This year’s winners are Happy Thanksgiving, written by Tim Boland and Men Overboard, written by Rich Orloff. Happy Thanksgiving imagines holiday conversations by family members who did and did not vote for Donald Trump. Men Overboard observes a family preparing for a boy’s Bar Mitzvah.
The two staged readings will take place on March 23 and 24 with one script performed each night. Following the presentation, a facilitated discussion is held with the audience. This year the Playhouse is pleased to have two theater professionals, Cecilia Fannon and Lorin Howard, providing written critiques to the two winning authors.
“Because these plays are performed as readings, the focus is on the words and inflection. The audience pays attention in a different way because there’s nothing to distract from the script,” said Laura Clagett, Co-chair of the New Works committee.
Playhouse board member and New Works Co-chair, Anna Kate Mohler observed, “The feedback and discussion between the actors, director and audience can be lively and thought-provoking. It’s a chance for the audience to see the artistic process from many perspectives. We are pleased that Tim Boland (author of Happy Thanksgiving) is expected to attend the performance. Unfortunately, our other author had previous commitments but looks forward to hearing about the reading of his play and receiving the feedback from Fannon and Howard.”
New Works productions include formal auditions for the roles and actors have been cast for each play. Happy Thanksgiving (directed by Sheridan Cole) features Jack Murphy, Susan Stangl, Holland Renton, Lawrence Ingalls, Ellen Beiser and Prince Johnson. Men Overboard (directed by Reed Flores) cast members are Joshua Johnson, Michael Kaye, Jaxson Brashier, Russell Malang, Caitlin Barry and Gary Douglas.
“One of the most important things we can do is encourage playwrights. New Works exemplifies what it means to be a community theater,” said Sean Gray, Artistic Director for the Playhouse. “I encourage the public to attend. It’s a chance to see something new and actually participate in the dialogue about the plays.”
Tickets for the shows are $10.
Tickets can be purchased online at www.lbplayhouse.org or in person at the box office or before the show. The box office is open Wednesday-Saturday from 3:00-8:00 pm and Sundays from 1:00-2:00 pm on scheduled matinees.
For more information or to purchase tickets visit www.lbplayhouse.org or call 562-494-1014.