The reading series is held at 7 PM on consecutive Mondays through April 11. The readings (free and open to the public) are at New York City Center – Stage I, MTC's Off-Broadway home at 131 W. 55th Street. Space is limited and RSVPs are required. To RSVP, visit firstname.lastname@example.org or call (212) 399-3000 ext. 4163.
Here's the 2011 "7@7" series at a glance:
Reverberation by Matthew Lopez
Directed by Leigh Silverman
"Jonathan never leaves his apartment. He lives in memories and dares human contact only via the anonymity of the internet. Claire is out every night, stumbling through a life full of acquaintances but devoid of friends. When Jonathan and Claire fall into each other's orbits, they find loneliness a powerful connector. But the past is not far enough behind them and it reverberates into the present, threatening to shake apart their fragile happiness."
Matthew Lopez's play The Whipping Man is currently running at MTC at New York City Center – Stage I. His other plays include Tio Pepe (Summer Play Festival) and Zoey's Perfect Wedding. He is playwright-in-residence at The Old Globe Theatre, a New York Theatre Workshop Playwriting Fellow and a recent member of the Ars Nova Play Group.
Carl's Sister by Alfred Uhry
Based on the book "Apples and Oranges" by Marie Brenner
Featuring Tony Award winner Boyd Gaines as Carl and Tony Award winner Julie White as Marie
Directed by Lynne Meadow
"Marie Brenner's extraordinary memoir about her strained, heartwarming and funny relationship with her brother is adapted for the stage by Pulitzer-, Tony- and Academy Award-winning author, Alfred Uhry. A medical crisis brings Marie, a classic New York liberal and investigative journalist, and Carl, a conservative apple grower living in Washington State, together after many years apart. While Marie abandons her life to help her dying brother, Carl fights her every step of the way. This touching memoir tells the story of their attempts to heal and understand one another." Alfred Uhry's distinguished body of work includes the Pulitzer Prize- and Academy Award-winning Driving Miss Daisy, the Tony Award-winning The Last Night of Ballyhoo and Parade as well as the book for MTC's LoveMusik.
The Recommendation by Jonathan Caren
Directed by Evan Cabnet
"Who is your best friend? The person who treats you the nicest? The person who knows you the best? Or is it the one who owes you the most? When a chance encounter with a street hustler sheds new light on their friendship, Iskinder and Feldman are forced to question the ties that bind them together. The Recommendation is a bold, theatrical and shockingly honest look at modern friendship from a thrilling new voice."
Jonathan Caren is a Lila Acheson Wallace Playwriting Fellow at The Juilliard School. His plays include Friends in Transient Places (Ars Nova) and Catch the Fish (Outstanding Play – 2007 NY International Fringe Festival). His work has been read at The Atlantic 2nd Stage, Ars Nova, The Lark Development Center, The Ensemble Studio Theater and by Partial Comfort Productions, where he is currently a member.
Tender by Kelly Younger
Directed by Lynne Meadow
"On the verge of foreclosure, a working mom and her stay-at-home husband reappraise their assets, including her aging father and his new motor home; but when they take away his keys, they learn love is not a loan that can be repaid. Tender is a timely drama about the debt we owe our parents, the interest we charge our children, and the price of forgiveness."
Kelly Younger has had plays commissioned, produced, and developed by the Irish Repertory Theatre, New Repertory Theatre, Orlando Shakespeare Theatre, EST/LA, and The Blank Theater. Younger was a finalist for the Joanne Woodward/Paul Newman Drama Award and winner of the John Gassner New Play Award.
The Chooky Brae by DC Jackson
Directed by Garry Hynes
"It's Christmas Day in Stewarton, and Irene Gordon's struggling to get in the festive spirit. Her 18 year-old daughter's had a baby, her ex-husband's had a stroke and her eldest son's having a break down. If this was a wonderful life she would receive angelic intervention — instead she gets pot, infidelity and an escaped chicken that won’t be stuffed. The Chooky Brae is a comedy about love, duty and free range fowl from acclaimed Scottish writer DC Jackson."
DC Jackson is a Glasgow-based writer. His plays include My Romantic History (Bush Theatre/Sheffield Theatres), Company Policy and Out on the Wing. The Chooky Brae is the third part of a trilogy of plays which includes The Wall and The Ducky. He holds commissions from the Royal Court Theatre and the National Theatre of Scotland and is at work on an adaptation of The Marriage of Figaro for the Royal Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh.
A Lasting Mark by Michael Elyanow
Directed by Michael Wilson
"On April 4, 1968, the night of Martin Luther King's assassination, two families — one Jewish, one African-American — face impending riots in Hartford's north end. Forty years later, the same families, now living in the suburbs, face another crisis. A Lasting Mark is a personal story about the intersection between civil rights and the Holocaust, escape and survival, hope and sacrifice."
Michael Elyanow's work has been produced or workshopped at Hartford Stage, Chicago's Naked Eye Theatre Company, L.A.'s Open Fist Theatre, Shakespeare & Company, The Lark Play Development Center, The Blank Theatre and Miami's City Theatre. His plays have been published by Samuel French and Playscripts. He has taught playwriting and screenwriting at Northwestern University, Emerson College and Hampshire College.
The Great Immensity written and directed by Steven Cosson
Music and lyrics by Michael Friedman
"Polly, a photojournalist, disappears while working on Barro Colorado Island in the Panama Canal. Polly's twin embarks on a search for her sister that spans from the tropics to arctic Canada. Weaving in interviews with locals and top scientists, the play follows the sisters' struggles with polar bears, tundra buggies, snakes, and the harsh and seemingly hopeless realities of climate change. The Great Immensity is a smart and imaginative new play from the Civilians investigative theatre team."
Steven Cosson is a writer/director and founding artistic director of The Civilians. With The Civilians, he created In the Footprint (Irondale Center), This Beautiful City (Vineyard Theatre, Mark Taper Forum), Paris Commune (Public Lab) and Gone Missing (Barrow Street Theatre, New York Times Top 10 of 2007). He won an Obie Award in 2004 for the work of The Civilians. He is currently under commission by MTC through the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.
Michael Friedman wrote the music and lyrics for the Broadway musical Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson. His work with the Civilians includes This Beautiful City, Gone Missing and In the Footprint among others. His other work includes Saved, The Brand New Kid, In the Bubble and Hoover Comes Alive! He recently performed in Lincoln Center's American Songbook in a concert of his songs.
For more information about MTC, visit www.ManhattanTheatreClub.com.