The series kicks off at 7 PM with Andrew Bergh's Kisses. Veteran Tony-winning actress Marian Seldes, last seen on Broadway in Deuce, stars in the reading of the play, which asks, "What happens when three terminally ill elderly women, waiting to die, cross a stranger who offers peace through a kiss?" Steve Ditmyer directs.
The evening will also feature a reading of Maxine Kern's Emily's Will starring Tony winner Michael Cumpsty, who was recently seen in the Roundabout's revival of Sunday in the Park With George. Ching Valdes-Aran directs Emily's Will, which is described as "a story of a female artist and her struggles to become a woman in a Victorian society that cannot tolerate her unique sensibilities. With the help of poems by Walt Whitman, a feisty and amorous French trader, a North West Indian village, a parrot named Joseph and a dog named Sam, she achieves her place as artist and a reconciled woman. Soon after, her father dies leaving his diary to Emily who goes to great lengths to bury the diary and the dreaded story of her severed heart."
The readings will be held at Ensemble Studio Theatre, which is located in Manhattan at 549 West 52nd Street, 2nd Floor. Admission is free. For more information visit www.diversecitytheater.org.
The series will continue July 21 with Cassandra Medley's Daughter and Lydia Stryk's The Last Standing Protester; and Aug. 17 with James McManus' Bulldog Whiskey. Diverse City Theater Company Inc. is an independent not-for-profit organization-run by artist playwrights, directors and actors. Its mission is to "commission, develop and produce powerful and though-provoking original plays that explore and examine diversity issues in our national culture, create multiculturally fluent theatre audiences and advocate the non-traditional casting of actors."