Black Coffee Productions will present the inaugural Fresh Grind Festival in New York January 18-22. The developmental series is set to showcase ten staged readings of new works.
The line-up features ten-minute plays, full-length plays, and two musicals. George Simon, the artistic director of BCP, serves as the executive producer for the festival.
The festival takes place at Theater Lab, located at 357 West 36th Street, New York. Casting will be announced at a later date.
The full program, as billed by the festival, is outlined below:
An Unexpected Thing Happens
Written by Michael Perrie Jr., directed by Lacy Reily
Jazz is having a hard time lately. She works part time as a law secretary, and full time as a depressed comedian. Her best friend, Poppy, is on the verge of curing cancer, getting married, and buying a new brownstone. As Jazz is about to give up, she receives a mysterious gift from the Sea Turtle who lives in her dreams—a notebook with the cure for cancer scribbled inside.
Written by Jenna Spiwack; directed by Lauren Goldberger
Big Stuff is a story of a couple having a check-in conversation about the future of their relationship. Taylor and Ray are a young couple with different long term goals. Together they question if they should move forward knowing the future could be filled with nothing but heartbreak. Are they willing to compromise what they know they want for each other?
Book, music, and lyrics by Danny K. Bernstein; original story by Danny K. Bernstein and Adam Quinn; directed by Adam Quinn; musical direction by Evan Zavada
When an interview featuring their young chess prodigy goes viral, two fathers and their two children find themselves at the center of a national discussion about what makes a successful American family. With the country watching their every move, The Bishops are forced to confront their identities, their relationships and their fears as they strive to be a picture perfect family.
Written by Emerson Fd; directed by Dunya J. Karam
In the human experience, thinking and doing are two very different things. To a robotic mind, however, absolutely everything is an action. Deeper Alexandria depicts a conversation between George and Martha, two intelligences who may or may not be artificial. Their words seem blunt, ridiculous, and out of place at times. However, as their dialogue progresses, it becomes increasingly clear that the two of them aren’t just reveling in their own sentience and ability to make sentences, but desperately trying to grab hold of something, anything close to humanity.
Written by Sean Dunnington; directed by Jenna Spiwack
When Willy goes missing, his older sister Jill goes on a quest to bring him home. By reading the journal he left behind, Jill comes to understand her brother's misguided search for love--and, ultimately, uncovers not only the answers that Willy has been looking for, but makes unprecedented discoveries about herself. Through witnessing the complicated and unpredictable past of Willy, as Jill unfolds her disregarded issues, Flat Fish tells a haunting story of family, connection, and love.
How to Talk to a Girl Wearing Headphones
Written by Adrienne Dawes; directed by Dana Iannuzzi
Guy meets girl. You’ve heard that story before…But what about when guy meets girl wearing headphones? How To Talk to a Girl Wearing Headphones is a millennial twist on the classic meet cute—full of rich characters, hilarious dialogue, and a story that’s become all too true in the age of social media.
I Want to Eat Brains (or the Day I Killed All My Friends)
Lyrics and book by Lily Dwoskin; music by Danny Ursetti; directed by Dunya J. Karam; musical direction by Lena Gabrielle
I Want to Eat Brains (or the day I killed all my friends) is a ten-minute zombie parody musical. The world is in the midst of a zombie apocalypse, and our rag tag heroes are the only survivors. But what happens when one of them becomes infected? And would being a zombie really be so bad? I mean, honestly, when the undead rise, what's left to do but sing along?
Written by T.J. Petty; directed by Sivan Battat
When an outcast walrus asks directions from a starving polar bear on a lonely slab of ice, they enter a friendlier dynamic than might be expected. But that lasts too briefly before the bear threatens the walrus with his life if he doesn’t lead him back to the walrus herd for some lunch. As the pair get acquainted, tension both eases and bubbles. Turns out that neither fully meets the stereotype the other expected for their species, and as they swim along, they try to make some sense out of the end of the world, or at least the end of the Arctic as they know it.
Thank You Notes: Headed to Heaven W/ Flat Jimmy Fallon
Written by Vicki Vodrey; directed by Jessica Ryan
After deciding life was too unbearable to continue, Angela put a bullet through her head. Her will included three requests: First, she wanted to be buried with her dog. Next, her cardboard cut-out of The Tonight Show’s host Jimmy Fallon had to rest by her side for the rest of eternity. And the third wish—that her twin brother, Ethan, gives her eulogy by reading the handwritten notes that she left behind, all of which have been conceived in the format of Jimmy Fallon’s “Thank You Notes” segment. As Ethan goes through each letter, Angela takes us through the hilarious, touching, and ultimately shocking journey of her life.
Written by Natalie Margolin; directed by Alyssa White
This is a play about a girl who poops in her tutu during her first ballet recital. Tutus explores how we process our experiences, reminding us how important it is to laugh when things feel tragic, and questioning what happens when there's no room for laughter anymore.
For more information visit www.blackcoffeeproductions.org.