The Eugene O’Neill Theater Center has announced casting and creative teams for the eight new plays selected for development at the 53rd annual National Playwrights Conference, which will be held July 5-29.
Among the actors premiering new work are Kate Bornstein, Amy Landecker, Frank Wood, Ana Reeder, Cassie Beck, and Jill Eikenberry. Creative teams feature directors Doug Hughes, David Auburn, Wendy C. Goldberg, and Daniella Topol.
Led by Artistic Director Goldberg, each play will undergo the O’Neill’s signature development process, employing professional creative and support staff, including acclaimed directors, dramaturgs, actors, and designers to bring new plays to life. Public staged readings of each play will subsequently be presented at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center.
The eight new works, with casting and creative teams, are:
We Are Among Us
By Stephen Belber
Director: Doug Hughes
Dramaturg: John Baker
Cast: Nilanjana Bose, Jimonn Cole. Amy Landecker, Teresa Lim, and Noah Robbins.
Synopsis: “War; love; deceit; omission. A 20-year-old son still living with his mother; a daughter and her dead father. We Are Among Us tells the story of a younger generation grappling with the actions and inactions of those who came before it.”
Readings: July 5 and 6 at 8:15 PM
The Quiet Ones
By Mary Hamilton
Director: Portia Krieger
Dramaturg: Sarah Lunnie,
Cast: Kate Bornstein, Deonna Bouye, Reyna de Courcy, April Matthis, Maryann Plunkett, and David Ross
Synopsis: “Katherine’s old-school methods as a kindergarten teacher have come under new scrutiny. She struggles to handle a disturbing event between two of her students; her only son is getting married and she can’t decide on a pair of shoes; and she is still working to recover from the breakup of her family 17 years ago after her husband transitioned genders. As Katherine attempts to navigate a new culture using all the old rules, the fragility of her world-view becomes painfully clear. The Quiet Ones explores what is lost or gained as we evolve as people and as a society.”
Readings: July 7 and 8 at 7:15 PM
By Martyna Majok
Director: Danya Taymor
Dramaturg: John Baker
Cast: Isabel Arraiz, Mia Barron, Cassie Beck, Marjan Neshat, Ana Reeder, Andrea Syglowski, and Nicole Villamil.
Synopsis: “The lives of two generations of immigrant women from Poland, Ukraine, Honduras, and Afghanistan haunt a basement apartment in the borough of Queens. In 2017, Inna comes looking for the mother who abandoned her as a child in Ukraine, and Renia is assaulted by the memories of the women who occupied the building wherein she once sought refuge and now owns. Spanning 2001 to 2017, Queens looks at the choices these women made for security, family, dignity, and desire in a country that plays favorites with its fortune. What are you forced to leave behind when working so hard to move forward?”
Readings: July 12 and 13 at 8:15 PM
By Steve DiUbaldo
Director: Wendy C. Goldberg
Dramaturg: Abigail Katz
Cast: Chris Berry, Marcus Callender, Michael Galligan, Sam Kebede, Hugh Kennedy, Postell Pringle, and David Zheng.
Synopsis: “A play about the world of AAU basketball and the dark side of NCAA Division-1 recruiting. When Eli Gamble grows seven inches the summer after his junior year of high school, he becomes a major college recruit with NBA potential. On the murky path to realizing his newfound potential, Eli must navigate who he can and cannot trust while he attempts to differentiate the game of basketball from the game of life.”
Readings: July 14 and 15 at 7:15 PM
By Elaine Romero
Director: Daniella Topol
Dramaturg: Kristin Leahey
Cast: Sean Carvajal, Jill Eikenberry, Maria-Christina Oliveras, Makela Spielman, Frank Wood, and Carmen Zilles.
Synopsis: “The third play of Elaine Romero’s U.S./Mexican border trilogy, Title IX follows a border family of Latina educators from 1972 to the present. Has sexism in the U.S. been eradicated, or has it just found new forms? Does the right to equal treatment lead to that equal treatment, or is it an insidious path to something else?”
Readings: July 19 and 20 at 8:15 PM
The One ATM in Antarctica
By Adam Esquenazi Douglas
Director: David Auburn
Dramaturg: Anne G. Morgan
Casting will be announced in the coming weeks.
Synopsis: “Sobriety is hard. Like, really hard. I'm talking Saturday New York Times crossword puzzle hard. Everyone thinks Sunday is the hardest, but the Sunday puzzle has a theme which makes it slightly easier. Saturday has no theme, so you're just flying solo. It's way harder. Almost as hard as sobriety.”
Readings: July 21 at 7:15 PM and July 22 at 3:15 PM
Black Super Hero Magic Mama
By Inda Craig-Galván
Director: Deena Selenow
Dramaturg: Carrie Chapter
Cast: Harron Atkins, Brian Hutchinson, Sam Kebede, Keith Powell, Heather Alicia Simms, Terrell Donnell Sledge, and Chandra Thomas.
Synopsis: “Sabrina Jackson cannot cope with the death of her son by a white cop. Rather than herald the Black Lives Matter movement, she retreats inward, living out a comic book superhero fantasy. Will Sabrina stay in this dream world or return to reality and mourn her loss?”
Readings: July 26 and 27 at 8:15 PM
By Michael Tucker
Director: Carolyn Cantor
Dramaturg: Anne G. Morgan
Cast: Dominic Chianese, Jill Eikenberry, Daniel Geroll, Patricia Kalember, Jodi Long, and John Pankow.
Synopsis: “Three couples in their golden years, thick as thieves, are gathered together at Sunny and Jer’s farmhouse to celebrate milestone birthdays that span three decades. The foundation of their long-lasting friendship is honesty and support—as well as a mutual commitment to the enjoyment of food, wine, and laughter. They’re so close that Sunny even suggests that they all move in together—to live and work and assist one another as they grow older. Their companionship is put to the test, however, when a marital betrayal is discovered. The bonds of loyalty and truth are explored in this mature comedy.”
Readings: July 28 and 29 at 7:15 PM
All eight plays were chosen from 1,350 plays received through the O’Neill’s open submissions process. Additionally, Devlin Elliott joins the 2017 National Playwrights Conference as a Writer-in-Residence.
Tickets are now on sale. More information is available by calling (860) 443-1238 or by visiting TheONeill.org.