After a call for new work that resulted in submissions of more than 120 plays, Capital Repertory Theatre and Proctors announce the winning selections for the inaugural NEXT ACT NEW PLAY SUMMIT.
The first joint artistic venture for both organizations, NEXT ACT takes place Nov 2, 3 and 4 and features readings of the top three winning works:
· a musical, THE PIPER, music and lyrics by Grammy-Award winning songwriter, Marcus Hummon, book by Michael Aman and Marcus Hummon
and two plays:
· Michael Hollinger’s HOPE AND GRAVITY and
· Suzanne Bradbeer’s THE GOD GAME.
In addition to the readings, the three-day summit includes special daytime events designed to shed light on new play development including discussions with the featured artists. Complimentary refreshments will be available at all events.
The winning plays were selected by two groups of readers drawn from theatre administrators, professors, writers and local professional actors from the Upstate Equity Actors Association, whose members will serve as co-hosts for all NEXT ACT events. All the plays were read “blind,” in that the author’s name was not provided to the readers. The first group read more than 100 plays and selected the top 20. Another round of reading resulted in the top six titles. From there, the winning works were selected.
The Capital Repertory Theatre and Proctors administrative partnership, formed in January 2011, has enabled both organizations to combine resources to give Capital Region patrons the first peek at these new works, each under consideration for possible full production in later seasons.
“We could not do this alone,” says Capital Rep’s Artistic Director, Maggie Mancinelli-Cahill. “One of the great benefits of our partnership with Proctors is having the luxury to develop new plays without the pressure of opening night looming in the near future. Creating new work takes time, as does building trust with a writer. We want to foster safe, productive – and fun – atmospheres where material can breathe and where audiences know they are part of a process. You can’t always do that when you’re rehearsing a play for production.”
“This is a great foray into creative work for us at Proctors,” explains CEO Philip Morris, who also serves as Capital Rep’s Chief Administrative Officer.
“Our mission,” said Morris, “is to be a catalyst for economic and cultural growth utilizing the arts. NEXT ACT allows us to bring resources to the table that pique curiosity and expand the interests of our patrons with work that’s created and produced in our own backyard.”
Grammy-Award winning songwriter, Marcus Hummon, brings his musical talent to the score and lyrics of the selected musical, THE PIPER, with a book by Marcus Hummon and Michael Aman. Set in Boston, 1892, THE PIPER takes place in the notorious neighborhood of Scollary Square where the strains of Irish music fill the air, while a murderer haunts the street and alleyways. Jordan’s boardinghouse is a refuge in the storm, especially for her 14-year old daughter, Wilder, whose remarkable gift with the penny whistle brings myth, romance and magic together in this story about creating family.
Suzanne Bradbeer’s play, THE GOD GAME takes place over a summer weekend when Tom, a rising conservative political star, is asked to be his party’s vice-presidential nominee. There’s one condition: the presidential campaign just needs Tom to “sound more Christian” on the campaign trail.
When an elevator crashes in a major city, ten lives intersect in surprising ways – through love and sex, poetry and dentistry, in offices, backyards and hotel rooms – in Michael Hollinger’s play, HOPE AND GRAVITY. By turns comic and profound, HOPE AND GRAVITY traces the barely perceivable threads that connect us all.
HOPE AND GRAVITY will open the summit on Friday, Nov. 2 at 7:30PM at Proctors GE Theater, 432 State St, Schenectady. The reading of THE GOD GAME takes place on Saturday, Nov. 3 at 7:30 PM also in the GE Theatre. THE PIPER will be read at Capital Rep, 111 N. Pearl St. Albany on Sunday, Nov. 4 at 4 PM.