A host of established names have been announced for the casts of the 16 plays featured in the 2005 Summer Play Festival in Manhattan, running July 5-31 under the aegis of producer Arielle Tepper.
Tepper founded the fest in 2004, spotlighted 18 shows by unknown and little known playwrights and composers during a 28-day-long period which began July 5 at midtown Manhattan's Theatre Row. This year's event will also take place in the hive of small theatres on West 42nd Street between Ninth and Tenth Avenues.
The plays and playwrights, with their known cast members (more are to come), are:
The Adventures of Barrio Grrrl! by Quiara Hudes, directed by Liesl Tommy, with Elisa Bocanegra, Olga Merediz, Nilaja Sun, Stephanie Beatriz and Jesse Perez
Courting Vampires by Laura Schellhardt, directed by Lou Jacobs, with Rill-Suili Hollum, Nina-Dana Acheson and Man-Jason Pugatch
crooked by Catherine Trieschmann, directed by Linsay Firman, with Shelly Stover, Effie Johnson and Katherine Sanderlin
Ephemera by John Yearley, directed by Erma Duricko, with Amelia Alvarez, Josh Pais, Marissa Duricko, Jimmy Ireland, Robyn Hussa and Trevor Jones
How Love Is Spelt by Chloe Moss, directed by Michael Sexton
Indoor/Outdoor by Kenny Finkle, directed by Daniel Goldstein, with Emily Cass, Brian Hutchison, Keira Naughton and Tommy Schrider
Madagascar by J.T. Rogers, directed by Gus Reyes, with Sherri Parker Lee, Mary Beth Piel and Larry Pine
The Map Maker's Sorrow by Chris Lee, directed by Stefan Novinski, with David Patrick Kelly, Maria Dizzia, Noah Bean, Daniel Oreskes, Nina Jacques and Marc Aden Gray
Messalina by Gordon Dahlquist, directed by David Levine, with John Mcadams, Laura Flanagan, Daria Polatin, Charles Parnell, Molly Powell and Bill Dawes
Mimesophobia (or before and after) by Carlos Murillo, with Florencia Lozano, Lisa McCormick, Ezra Knight and Hamish Linklater
Sick by Zakiyyah Alexander, directed by Daniella Topol, with April Yvette Thompson, Andre De Shields, Hoon Lee, Josh Heine and Susan Blommaert
Split Wide Open by Christina Gorman, with Laura Marks, Enver Gjokaj, Alfredo Narciso, Jacqueline Antaranian, Dale Soules and Michael Pemberton
Ted Kaczynski Killed People With Bombs by Michelle Carter, directed by Jeremy Dobrish
tempOdyssey by Dan Dietz, directed by Randy White, with Kat Foster, Rob Beitzel, Melinda Wade, Tom Wiggin and Tim Kang
Welcome to Arroyo's by Kristoffer Diaz, directed by Jamie Castaneda
Wildlife by Victor Lodato, directed by Michael Sexton, with NINA Hellman, Jeremy Shamos, Kristine Nielsen and Stephen Bradbury
In 2004, the festival covered production costs of all the shows, making it a much cushier environment for artists than, say, the New York International Fringe Festival, in which participants pay a nonrefundable $500 fee and pay for all aspects of mounting the show, save renting a space. Additionally, the festival held no rights to the shows at any times. The 2005 affair will run July 5-31. Submissions were accepted from Oct. 1, 2004 to Jan 15, 2005. All submissions were made via spfnyc.com only (one per writer).
The first SPF fest saw several shows sell out. Two of the plays presented, Brooke Berman's Sam & Lucy and Gary Sunshine's Sweetness were given further workshops at the National Theatre Studio in London.
When The Great Comet opened in November, no one knew it would end up the most Tony-nominated show of the season. Steele gives us an inside view of the Broadway opening before the praise came pouring in.