Brokaw, Benson, Donnelly, Esbjornson Among O'Neill Playwrights Conference Directors

News   Brokaw, Benson, Donnelly, Esbjornson Among O'Neill Playwrights Conference Directors
The directors who will participate in the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center's 2009 National Playwrights Conference have been announced.
Mark Brokaw
Mark Brokaw Photo by Joan Marcus

In addition to previously announced Conference artistic director Wendy C. Goldberg (Durango), directors will include Mark Brokaw (Distracted, Cry-Baby), Sarah Benson (Blasted), David Esbjornson (Cymbeline, Our Country's Good), Sean Daniels (Brink!, Cannibal! The Musical), Kyle Donnelly (Give Me Your Answer, Do!) and Davis McCallum (Queens Boulevard, Elliot: A Soldier’s Fugue).

The 2009 Playwrights Conference works follow:

The Language Archive by Julia Cho, directed by Mark Brokaw (July 4 and 5)
"George is a linguist. He knows many, many languages. But when his marriage starts to unravel, he suddenly finds himself utterly at a loss for the right words."

Fire Work by Lauren Gunderson, directed by Sean Daniels (July 9 and 10)
"Ana and her father Caleb run a small fireworks shop in a nowhere town in an unforgiving corner of the world. One day, Ben walks in...and the fireworks really begin. Fire Work is a love story about a strong woman, strong chemistry, a harsh landscape, and harsher choices you make not just to survive, but to thrive."

The Color of Desire by Nilo Cruz, directed by Wendy C. Goldberg (July 11 and 12)
"Havana, 1960. As the revolution heats up, a dashing American businessman hires a young Cuban actress for a role unlike any she's ever played: the woman he loved and lost. A vibrant and poetic exploration of the lost love affair between America and Cuba." House of Gold by Gregory Moss, directed by Sarah Benson (July 16 and 17)
"A lost little girl is brought back to a house, very much like the one she grew up in, by a suspicious Man and Woman, who have recently lost (or misplaced) their own child. While negotiating with the strange characters that inhabit this home - a seedy Detective who lives in the basement and a shady man with a van who sits parked outside - the girl befriends Jasper, a plump, surly 13 year-old white boy who lives down the street. The children form an awkward friendship, in an attempt to survive the increasingly menacing forces threatening them from inside their own homes."

Spoon Lake Blues by Josh Tobiessen, directed by Kyle Donnelly (July 18 and 19)
"In an attempt to save their family home from a constant barrage of debt collectors, two brothers, Denis and Brady, start robbing the homes of their rich neighbors in the quickly gentrifying mountain town of Spoon Lake. Everything is going according to plan until Brady develops a crush on Caitlin, a young African American college student whose wealthy family Denis and Brady robbed the day before. While Caitlin immediately takes pity on the brothers' dire situation her attempts to help out the locals end up causing problems of their own."

Carthage by Emily Schwend, directed by Davis McCallum (July 23 and 24)
"Complications arise and family secrets emerge when Hal returns to Carthage, Missouri, for the first time in six years to help his brother transition from state institution to regular life. Bryan, however, isn't about to make the process quick and painless, forcing his brother to confront the deep-rooted issues that have kept them apart and brought them together throughout their lives."

Bogwog by Abbie Spallen, directed by David Esbjornson (July 25 and 26)
"Bogwog is a play dealing with the very beginning of the conflict in Northern Ireland. A parallel with the conflicts in Iraq and Gaza and of particular resonance to events over the past weeks, Bogwog deals with the military intervention in Ulster and its fallout through a half-Irish, half-British family living in the North of England. It's about waking up one morning and finding yourself the enemy. It's about having to answer questions about the life you live and the person you are because of the actions of others, done in your name."

Tickets for the O'Neill Playwrights Conference readings will go on sale June 10. For tickets phone (860) 443-1238 or visit

The Eugene O'Neill Theater Center was founded in 1964 and is based in Waterford, CT. Programs at the Center include the Puppetry Conference, Playwrights Conference, Critics Institute, Music Theater Conference and the National Theater Institute. The Monte Cristo Cottage, O'Neill's childhood home, is also owned and operated by the group.

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