Kaufman, Esbjornson, Blessing Kick Off O’Neill Playwrights Conference in CT

News   Kaufman, Esbjornson, Blessing Kick Off O’Neill Playwrights Conference in CT Directors Moisés Kaufman (The Laramie Project), David Esbjornson (The Goat, or Who is Sylvia?) and playwright Lee Blessing take part in the first week of the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center Playwrights Conferences in Waterford, Connecticut.

The 26th anniversary summer season of developing works begins with a series of guest speakers, July 1. Esbjornson will speak July 2 and Blessing on July 4. These precede the first four (of 11) script-in-hand staged readings of new plays by Stephen Belber, Cusi Cram, Gina Gionfriddo and Irma Mayorga.

The first week of the O’Neill Playwrights Conference schedule is as follows (directors and actors added):

  • A Small, Melodramatic Story by Stephen Belber (July 4-5). A woman falls in love with a cop until she finds out secrets about his past. Moisés Kaufman directs a cast including Leon Addison Brown, Linda Powell and Josh Stamberg.
  • Fuente by Cusi Cram (July 4-5). Two residents of a lonely desert town finally hit the road. Loretta Greco directs Vanessa Aspillaga, Juan Hernandez, Sanjiv Jhaveri, James Martinez and Janine Serrales.
  • After Ashley by Gina Gionfriddo (July 5-6). A 17-year-old boy deals with the death of his mother while his father pens a best-selling book about her murder. Carolyn Cantor directs Kevin O'Rourke.
  • Cascarones by Irma Mayorga (July 8-9). An 18-year-old girl literally dives back into her Texas-Mexican family's history. Rebecca Taichman directs Jesse Perez, Dallas Roberts, Socorro Santiago and Jaime Terrell. Performances will take place in several of the O’Neill Theater Center venues: the Rufus & Margo Rose Theater Barn; the Dina Merrill Theater; the Amphitheater; and the Edith Oliver Theater. Shows performed at the latter two venues — which are outdoors — will be moved indoors in the event of rain. All performances are subject to change.


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    The remainder of the schedule follows:

  • Father Joy by Sheri Wilner (July 10-11), Edith Oliver Theater. A young art student begins dating her older professor and her father reacts in a curious way.
  • Deeds by Sherry Shephard-Massat (July 11-12), Barn. An inmate comes to terms with his life through his relationship with his deceased brother, on Christmas Eve.
  • Barking Girl by Susan Bernfield (July 12-13), Dina Merrill Theater. A woman battles age and motherhood.
  • Rock Shore by Lisa Dillman (July 15-16), Amphitheater. An Adirondacks town is thrown from its routine when a glamorous newcomer enters.
  • Dark Matters by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa (July 17-18), Edith Oliver Theater. When a woman goes missing, her son and husband unearth revelations while searching for her.
  • Mr. Fox: A Rumination by Bill Irwin (July 18-19), Barn. A reflection on the life and work of America’s first celebrity clown, George L. Fox.
  • Smoking Kills by Dominic Leggett (July 19-20), Dina Merrill Theater. A former Gulf War British soldier sends his son to the U.S. for a risky medical procedure to be administered by an Iraqi emigre — who lost her husband in the same war.
    For tickets to events at the O’Neill Theater Center, call the box office at (860) 443-1238. For more information, visit their website at www.oneilltheatercenter.org.