Five new plays by Octavio Solis, Bess Wohl, Dan O'Brien, Matthew Lopez and Janine Nabers, will make up Hartford Stage's Brand:NEW Fall Festival of New Works on Oct. 25 to 28. The festival will include readings as well as a playwrights' panel on Oct. 28 at 4:30 p.m.
The festival will feature a reading of a new play by Matthew Lopez, Reverberation. Lopez is the 2012-2013 Aetna New Voices Fellow at Hartford Stage and his play The Whipping Man was produced by the theater last spring.
The readings will be at Hartford Stage's Rehearsal Studio 2 at 942 Main St. (the Residence Inn building).
The festival will open Thursday, Oct. 25 at 7:30 p.m. with Solis' "Se Llama Christina," directed by Loretta Greco. It is described: "In this evocative and haunting play, a man and woman wake up strung out and hung over, and must piece together what's happened to them and why they find themselves in an unknown room with an empty cradle.
Her plays included John Steinbeck's The Pastures of Heaven, Ghosts of the River, The Ballad of Pancho and Lucy, and Lydia at theaters across the country, including Yale Rep, Mark Taper Forum, and Denver Center for the Performing Arts.
On Friday, Oct. 26, 7:30 p.m. Wohl's "American Hero," staged by artistic director Darko Tresnjak will be performed. The comedy is "about three employees of a new sandwich franchise, and the lengths they'll go to to hold on to their jobs and to keep the world safe for democracy, and open for lunch."
Works by Wohl, who is also an actress, have been produced or developed nationally at venues such as the Williamstown Theatre Festival; The Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles; The Pioneer Theatre in Utah; and at The Vineyard Theatre and Fringe Festival (Best Overall Production Award), both in New York City.
On Saturday, Oct. 27 at 2 p.m., O'Brien's "Oak Dale," directed by Elizabeth Williamson will be presented. The show is described: "After being inexplicably cut off from his family, Dan sets out to investigate the secrets of his childhood with the help of long-lost relatives, a private eye, and a couple of psychics in this new theatrical memoir."
O'Brien''s work includes Moving Picture and Williamstown Theatre Festival, directed by Tresnjak, and co-writer of the chamber opera Theotokia/The War Reporter, featuring Dawn Upshaw, at the Spoleto Festival USA. O'Brien's most recent project is The Body of an American, a play about the haunting of war reporter Paul Watson, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for his photograph of a fallen U.S. soldier in Mogadishu.
On Saturday, Oct. 27, 7:30 p.m., Lopez's "Reverberation" will be read, staged by Maxwell Williams, associate artistic director at the theater. "In the wake of personal tragedy, Jonathan has retreated from the world, but his upstairs neighbor Claire is determined to pull him into the whirlwind of her life. They build a tenuous connection, but the past reverberates into the present, threatening to destroy the fragile happiness they've found."
Lopez' The Whipping Man has become one of the more regularly-produced new American plays (including a critically lauded run here at Hartford Stage last season). Its New York production garnered Lopez the John Gassner Playwriting Award by the Outer Critics Circle. His most recent projects include the world premiere of Somewhere at The Old Globe in San Diego and his adaptation of the film Mad Hot Ballroom.
On Sunday, Oct. 28, 2 p.m., Nabers' "A Swell in the Ground,'" directed by Hana Sharif, who staged "The Whipping Man" at the theater "Over the span of 17 years, the play takes Liv and Nate (with their college friends Abigail and Charles) from their first meeting on the eve of college graduation through the trials of early adulthood, as they lose parents and think about changing partners."
Author of Welcome to Jesus and Series.Black.Face, Nabers is a member of some of New York City's most prominent playwriting groups, including MCC Playwrights Coalition, New American Writer's Group at Primary Stages, Ars Nova, Soho rep Writer/Director Lab, and The Dramatist Guild Fellows.
On Sunday, Oct.28, 4:30 p.m. a playwrights panel; will be presented featuring the festival's writers, moderated by Hartford Stage senior dramaturg and director of new play development Elizabeth Williamson
Tickets to all five readings are $25 ($20 for Hartford Stage subscribers) or individual readings for $10 each.
Information: 860-527-5151 or by visiting www.hartfordstage.or
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