The series celebrates five seasons of Roundabout Underground productions — first launched in 2007 to introduce and cultivate artists — in the 62-seat Black Box underneath the Roundabout's Laura Pels Theatre on West 46th Street.
The works featured in the reading series include Jordan Seavey's The Funny Pain, directed by May Adrales; Laura Jacqmin's Two Lakes, Two Rivers, directed by Laura Savia; Joshua Elias Harmon's Bad Jews, directed by Sheryl Kaller; Emily Schwend's Route One Off, directed by Giovanna Sardelli; and Kirsten Guenther and Joy Son's musical Little Miss Fix-It, directed by Eli Gonda.
There will be one reading each night at 7 PM. Sign up to be part of Roundabout's Email Club and members will be notified first about ticket availability.
Here's the Roundabout Underground Reading Series at a glance:
The Funny Pain
Monday, Feb. 6 at 7 PM
By Jordan Seavey; Directed by May Adrales
"They don't call Mary Rochelle Douleur 'Roach' for nothing — she's practically indestructible. With a disease that makes her unable to feel physical pain, Roach can fall down stairs, stick her fingers in electrical sockets, scratch her eyeballs and still look up, smiling. But when she and her older sister Mary May become rival stand-up comediennes, they learn just how fine the line is between laughing and crying." Jordan Seavey is co-artistic director of the theatre company CollaborationTown (CTown), a member of the 2009 Emerging Writer's Group at The Public Theater, and a Usual Suspect at the New York Theatre Workshop. His plays include Listening for Our Murderer, Who's Afraid of George C. Wolfe?, The Funny Pain, The Truth Will Out, Children At Play, 6969 and This Is a Newspaper.
Two Lakes, Two Rivers
Feb. 7 at 7 PM
By Laura Jacqmin; Directed by Laura Savia
"When Peter becomes the twelfth boy to drown in a Midwestern college town's two lakes and two rivers, his friends search for a truth behind his death. Was it an accident? Suicide? Murder? Or something even stranger? A gripping tale of grief and how we choose to remember our past."
Laura Jacqmin was the winner of the 2008 Wasserstein Prize, a $25,000 award to recognize an emerging female playwright. Her plays include Look, We Are Breathing (Sundance Theatre Lab), Two Lakes, Two Rivers (commissioned by the Goodman Theatre, and workshopped through the Royal Court Theatre's 2011 International Residency) and Ski Dubai (Steppenwolf Theatre Company's First Look Repertory of New Work). Her short play Hero Dad will premiere in the 2012 Humana Festival of New Plays at Actors Theatre of Louisville.
Feb. 8 at 7 PM
By Joshua Elias Harmon; Directed by Sheryl Kaller
"Daphna Feygenbaum wants one thing: the religious emblem her recently deceased grandfather, a holocaust survivor, wore throughout his life. But her cousin Liam wants it too. And just as badly. This bitingly funny portrait of an American family explores what we lose when someone dies, what we inherit, what we discard, what remains, and what is gone forever."
Joshua Elias Harmon is the author of A Boy Named Alice, Bad Jews, Love in the Time of Channukah, and an adaptation of Emile Zola's novel Therese Raquin.
Route One Off
Feb. 9 at 7 PM
By Emily Schwend; Directed by Giovanna Sardelli
"Hector and Lee spend their days hanging out in a motel parking lot off Route One, killing time and smoking cigarettes while they wait for anyone to rent a room. But one day the arrival of an unstable A/C repairman shakes up their easy routine and sets into motion an unlikely series of events that changes their friendship forever."
Emily Schwend attended The Juilliard School and NYU's Tisch School of the Arts. Her plays include Carthage and South of Settling. In New York, her work has been developed or produced by Page 73, the Juilliard School, Partial Comfort Productions, Ars Nova, the Stella Adler Studio Acting School and Christine Jones' Theatre for One booth. In spring 2012, her play South of Settling will be produced in the Steppenwolf Garage as part of the Next Up Repertory.
Little Miss Fix-It
Feb. 10 at 7 PM
Book and Lyrics by Kirsten Guenther; Music by Joy Son; Directed by Eli Gonda
"Little Miss Fix-It is Nan, a gloriously precocious and imaginative 11-year-old free spirit who drinks black coffee for breakfast and tries to bend spoons with her mind. The one thing Nan fears most is disorder. As she tries to save her parents' marriage and the problems of everyone around her, Nan embarks on a hilarious and heartwarming journey, discovering that you can't always control what happens in life but that sometimes great things happen when you let go, trust your instincts, and take a step without knowing where you're going to land."
Kirsten Guenther (book and lyrics) appeared on the cover of Insight for Playwrights Magazine, and was named one of "50 writers to watch" by The Dramatist Magazine. She was recently featured as a guest expert on NBC's "The Apprentice" alongside Little Miss Fix-It. She wrote the book for Mrs. Sharp (music and lyrics by Ryan Scott Oliver), which won the 2008 Richard Rodgers Award (workshopped at Playwrights Horizons starring Jane Krakowski, directed by Michael Greif ). Other current projects include book for Benny and Joon (with Mindi Dickstein and Nolan Gasser), Measure of Success (with Julian Fleisher); and The Perfect Mate (with Dan Lipton and David Rossmer).
Joy Son is the recipient of the Jerry Harrington Award (with Steve Routman) and the Shelley Pinz Prize from the BMI Foundation. She was also a Jerry Bock Award nominee. Her songs have been heard in a variety of notable venues, including Lincoln Center, York Theater, Goodspeed Opera, Laurie Beechman, Barrington Stage (showcased by William Finn), the Manhattan Theatre Club, Birdland, Duplex, Golden Fleece Ltd. Composers' Chamber Theatre, Raw Impressions, Dixon Place, Triad, Zipper, ArsNova, Donnell Library Songbook Series, TADA! Youth Theatre, and in numerous New York City cabarets and theaters. Little Miss Fix-It received a concert reading at CAP 21 and was the subject of a workshop with Jerry Mitchell at Emerson College. The Fisher King (book and lyrics by Steve Routman) received a master class with Stephen Schwartz presented by BMI Lehman Engel Musical Workshop.
Past Underground productions include the acclaimed world premieres of Stephen Karam's Speech & Debate (2007), Steven Levenson's The Language of Trees (2008), Adam Gwon's Ordinary Days (2009), Kim Rosenstock's Tigers Be Still (2010), David West Read's The Dream of the Burning Boy (2011) and Andrew Hinderaker's Suicide, Incorporated (2011).
For more information about the programs of Roundabout, visit www.roundabouttheatre.org.