The work of 10 rising New York playwrights saw the printed page on Feb. 1, as "Plays and Playwrights 2002," the new play anthology from Martin Denton, the creator and editor of the theatre-based website New York Theatre Experience, was released to stores (virtual and corporeal).
Now, the words of three of those writers will reach Brooklyn ears as selections from the book are read at 7:30 PM April 24, in the Park Slope Barnes & Noble (267 Seventh Avenue).
The volume is the third in an ongoing series, each book generally released in the first weeks of the new year.
"Plays and Playwrights 2002," features new works from this past season, each seen and selected by Denton, who also serves as chief critic for his website. The titles are:
• The Death of King Arthur by Matt Freeman
• Match by Marc Chun
• Woman Killer by Chiori Miyagawa
• The Wild Ass's Skin by J. Scott Reynolds
• Halo by Ken Urban
• Shyness Is Nice by Marc Spitz
• Reality by Curtiss I'Cook
• The Resurrectionist by Kate Chell
• Bunny's Last Night in Limbo by Peter S. Petralia
• Summerland by Brian Thorstenson. Featured on April 24 are:
• Jennifer Larkin, Ben Wilson, and Erin Maguire reading the opening scene of Kate Chell's The Resurrectionist
• Barrett Ogden and James Mack reading the opening scene of J. Scott Reynolds’ verse drama The Wild Ass’s Skin
• A special 15-minute version of Marc Chun's one-act play Match, read by Steve Wood, Tara Gibson, Gerry Downey, Erin Treadway, and Andres Munar.
After the readings, books will be available for sale to the public. Series editor Martin Denton and the featured playwrights will be on hand to sign copies.
Spitz is probably the best known of the playwrights. A contributing editor at Spin Magazine, he is the author of the plays I Wanna Be Adored, Retail Sluts, The Rise and Fall of the Farewell Drugs and ...Worry Baby. Curtiss I'Cook, meanwhile, is a member of The Present Company, which produces the annual New York International Fringe Festival.
The "Plays and Playwrights" series was born of critic Denton's wish to save some of the worthier Off-Off-Broadway plays he was reviewing from obscurity and artistic death. Keeping a mental tally of the productions he had especially admired, he later asked the playwrights for permission to publish them in a volume (the writers were paid in free copies of the resulting book).
The initial enterprise, titled "Plays and Playwrights of the New Millennium," returned its investment and continues to sell well as a popular alternative collection across the nation. The anthology has resulted in several regional productions for its showcased playwrights, the most recent being the Amaryllis Theater Company of Philadelphia's staging of C. J. Hopkins' Horse Country.
—By Robert Simonson