Created in 1998, the twelfth annual New Works Festival brings together playwrights, directors and audiences to shape new works for the stage. Audiences play an integral part in the development process, with post-performance talkbacks with the cast and creative team held following each reading.
First up is Ken Love's Black River, directed by William Partlien (July 10-12). "In the spring of 1981," press notes state, "a young man and a young woman come to a small town in Georgia, from very different places and for very different reasons. The worlds they've left, the world they find, and the worlds they cannot leave behind collide in this compelling play, full of poetry, drama, and vivid characters, from a fresh Phoenix voice."
Following will be The Weight of Breath by Ben Sahl and directed by Mark Demichele (July 17-18). "Alan, a teenager whose world spins like a merry-go-round witness his parents uncouple and recouple, with all the wit, sophistication, and devastation that come with love and marriage. A play that is funny, wistful, and moving by turns, with characters that are rich in nuance and believably real in their complexity and confusion."
Robert Kolby Harper will direct Kirt Shineman's Cloning Peter (July 24-26). "Scientists have families, too. From the laboratory to the bedroom, no recent technological development has opened more possibilities and provoked more controversy than the science of genetics. Stem cell research may conquer terrible diseases, while the very concept of human cloning can seem irreverent, irresponsible, and simply wrong. This thought-provoking play engages the subject in a very human way, through the story of a family facing a unique situation with unique knowledge, and wrestling with the possibilities."
The final reading will be Robin Rice Lichtig's The Power of Birds, directed by Daniel Schay (July 31-Aug. 1). "A highly theatrical family drama about the ties that bind and the love that sets you free. The Power of Birds is a new play about three generations of a highly unusual family. Zoe and Charlie are very dissimilar twins. Loretta is a modern mom – fit, attractive, busy. Grandma Lily divides her time increasingly between here and now and a very interesting world of her own. Can these generations find common ground – even if it is up in the air?" Tickets are available by phoning (602) 254-2151. For further information visit PhoenixTheatre.
The Phoenix Theatre performs at the Little Theatre, located at 100 E. McDowell Road in Phoenix, AZ.