The two-day festival at the troupe's home in Manalapan, FL, near West Palm Beach, includes staged readings of six new American plays and panel discussions featuring prominent directors and playwrights from across the country.
The March 4 kickoff reception coincides with Florida Stage's final performance of A House With No Walls by Thomas Gibbons, a National New Play Network world premiere. Florida Stage is exclusively devoted to world premieres or recent works (usually giving plays their second productions).
1st Stage begins March 5, with a directors panel discussion followed by the reading of three new plays at Florida Stage, and continues March 6 with a writers panel discussion, a keynote address delivered by playwright John Guare (Six Degrees of Separation), the reading of three additional new plays and a closing reception and gathering.
General public, student and theatre industry packages are available.
The featured plays to be read during 1st Stage include:Up, Up, Down, Down by Barton Bishop: "Joy works in a local video arcade, far from her days as a championship video gamer, but her world is turned upside down when her mother brings her a game encrypted with top-secret government information that can only be revealed by playing the game to the very end."Mustardseed by Doug Cooney: "Peaseblossom, Cobweb, Moth and Mustardseed may get overlooked among all the memorable characters from A Midsummer Night's Dream, but in this charming new one-act, these four fairies take center stage. Four teenage actresses playing the fairies in a regional production spend their time offstage gossiping, arguing, bonding, and growing up against the backdrop of Shakespeare's most beloved romantic comedy."City of Ghosts by Stephen Dietz (God's Country, Fiction): "A drama of suspense set in a crumbling tavern in New York. A young couple is caught in a web of conspiracy theories surrounding the 9/11 attacks. Adam and Janet agree to accompany a woman on an international trip and unknowingly place themselves in the midst of a scenario both dangerous and outlandish."The Count by Roger Hedden: "Having been estranged from her family for some years, Jane returns home to celebrate her parents' anniversary. Once there, her father's friendship with a mysterious count becomes the catalyst for a familial showdown that forces the question of responsibility."End Days by Deborah Zoe Laufer (The Last Schwartz): "Arthur Stein, a survivor of 9/11, has moved his family out of the city and into small-town America. When his wife begins to have premonitions of the end of the world, it is left to their earnest and straight-forward 16-year-old Elvis-garb-wearing neighbor to help pull the family back from brink of chaos and disaster."
The Breach by Catherine Filloux (Lemkin's House), Tarell McCraney & Joe Sutton (Voir Dire): "These three writers weave together the stories and voices of victims of Hurricane Katrina, creating a tapestry of devastation and hope." The reading directors include Melvin Bernhardt, Liz Engelman, Susan Hyatt, Greg Johnson and Desmond Gallant.
1st Stage festival passes are on sale at the Florida Stage box office or can be purchased by calling (561) 585-3433 or (800) 514-3837 and online at www.floridastage.org.