The inaugural Broadway Bound Theatre Festival is set to launch July 30 in New York City. Over the course of three weeks, the festival will showcase 20 new plays at the 14th Street Y Theatre, with a focus on empowering playwrights to self-produce commercially successful shows.
“This whole festival starts and ends with the playwrights and their work,” Festival Director Lenore Skomal tells Playbill. Playwrights are the center of the production process and receive workshop development, industry mentorship, marketing and PR guidance, and aid with industry outreach.
“Experiential knowledge is so much better than reading it in a book or talking to someone over a cup of coffee. Going through the paces yourself completely changes your experience of it,” says playwright-author Skomal.
Though festivals like Fringe Fest NYC, which is not taking place in New York City this summer, have given artists similar support, Skomal says that BBTF hopes to excel where other festivals may have fallen short—by being a stepping stone for these plays to receive longer, professional productions.
The plays were selected by a blind submission process by a panel made up of 17 industry insiders, including playwrights, producers, actors, and directors. The focus was on plays that will have a commercial life beyond the festival, hence the name. “We want BBTF to be the launchpad for taking these plays elsewhere,“ says Skomal.
BBTF was founded by Skomal, general manager Abby Judd, and marketing director Melissa Gordon.
Among the performers involved are Tony winners Alice Ripley and Daisy Eagan, along with Tony nominees Sharon McKnight and Sally Mayes, who will appear in Phil Geoffrey Bond’s play Small Town Confessions.
See below for the complete lineup of new plays, as outlined by BBTF:
Adam and Brian by Craig Donnelly
Adam and Brian are a typical gay couple living in New York City whose lives have been forever changed by a brutal assault by three thugs, which sends them both to the hospital. In the aftermath, the men are at odds with how to regain their inner stabilities. As they physically heal, their emotional wounds do not, challenging their commitment to each other.
Bedlam by Neath Williams
Lance Corporal Hunt discovers the body of his friend and fellow Marine who has killed himself while standing watch. Unanchored, he wrestles with conflicting feelings about the suicide, compounded by his own depression, the ever-present violence of war, the miserliness of the Corps when it comes to suicide, and his own sense of purpose. In the end, Hunt finds himself in his own personal battle with the very thing that killed his buddy.
Bone on Bone by Marylou DiPietro
When Linda, a 59-year old artist, reunites with her mentor after 20 years, her world is turned upside down by a job opportunity that forces her to choose between her marriage to Johnathan, her New York lawyer husband, and the life she's always dreamed of.
Convicted by Riley Thomas
After discovering one of her subordinates has been accused of a brutal murder, Amy, the local director of an LGBT advocacy organization, must help the detectives piece together what happened. As the circumstances start to unravel, one question left to answer is how far should someone go for what they believe?
Image by Jack Rushen
When a young, red-hot pop star suffers a heroin overdose, her opportunistic publicist sends an equally shark-like saleswoman to secure an exclusive image-rights contract from the pop star's mother, resulting in a battle of wills that questions the definitions of success, loyalty and humanity.
In Pursuit of Peace by Shane Howard
Despite the separation of many years and many miles due to an unhappy divorce, a father and his son struggle to remain connected through a scrapbook Junior's father gave him on their last day together. When he shows up to his father's house unexpectedly, he finds himself looking for something his father might not be able to give.
In the Room, Waiting by Thaddeus McCants
Everyone who comes into a hospital waiting room is forced to wait together. Malcolm and Aisha are no different. As they await results of a pregnancy evaluation, their disagreement about whether or not to bring a life into the world escalates past the point of no return. As the seemingly random people they intersect with file in and out, they unknowingly have a resounding impact on our young couple for the rest of their lives.
Keys by Mark Adrian Ford
Keys blends dark-comedy, absurdity and the rousing endeavours of spirited Heroina, who after a traumatic decade, is desperate to gain entrance into Paradise. Set in a vast chamber piled high with keys, the space connects to the Great Door which leads directly to Paradise. Her formidable grit clashes with eight diverse and often amusing characters as she claws through the pile in search of her own key. She'll find it or die trying.
Mine by Maria Deasy
Can working with lawyers teach you to love the undead? Rebecca, a Manhattan paralegal, learns of an explosion in one of her client's West Virginia mines, trapping 8 miners underground. As rescue teams attempt to bring the miners home alive under media scrutiny, her bosses concern themselves more with billable hours than loss of life, forcing Rebecca on a journey that questions everything about the world around her. What is the distance between those who push paper and those who dig deep?
Must Win by Larry Phillips
Following the disturbing death of his wife, Beau is ready to return as head coach of his four-time state championship-winning high school football team. But to his shock, he is greeted with disapproval. Neither his school nor the town believe he's ready to lead the team to another victory. With no margin for error, Beau must decide whether to keep his integrity or win at all costs.
Out There by Lina Sarrello
Inspired by true events, Out There navigates three worlds and time periods connected to the Cuban fight for freedom. A young pilot for the Brothers to the Rescue organization in south Florida questions his loyalties to the cause; two Cubans flee the island on a raft; and soldiers for the Revolution fight against their own inner demons while confronting their feelings for each other.
Poor Boys' Chorus by Brian Kettler
A daring trick by a mysterious illusionist at the summer carnival inspires a rich girl to convince an orphan boy to break all of the town’s rules. Plans are hatched, promises are broken, and innocent mistakes produce tragic consequences. The Poor Boys’ Chorus proudly presents a tale so tragically romantic it’ll take your breath away. Literally.
Running For My Life by Chuck Muckle
Meet Jay Chas: his relationship is coming apart, his family struggles with the loss of a loved one, and a strange and confusing apparition haunts him. His coping skills are at an ebb as he looks to running as his escape and the ultimate peacemaker as he rebuilds the fragments of his life.
Saving Stan by Gary Morgenstein
When arrogant corporate lawyer Stan suffers an incapacitating stroke and can't speak, he asks his oldest friend, Jack, a failed writer desperate for money -- and who can somehow hear Stan's voice -- to help him commit suicide in exchange for Stan's considerable estate. Unfortunately, Patrice, Stan's health care worker, becomes suspicious of Jack's intentions -- and pursues her own agenda of marrying Stan and dancing away with his heart and the money.
Skeletons by Amy da Luz
Meet the Skeletons, who exist side-by-side with Maddie's estranged family members. While some are comfortable in the closet and others struggle to stay put, all of them need to stay silent. When a family crisis brings Maddie, her family and their respective Skeletons together for the first time under one roof, the Skeletons are forced to squeeze into the same closet. When the truth threatens this tenuous coexistence, a battle ensues that's as insidious as it is tragic.
Small Town Confessions by Phil Geoffrey Bond
Small Town Confessions is a visit, through a collection of lively monologues, with the colorful residents of Anitola, Louisiana. Rumors of encounters with martians, a special stopover from Diana Ross, an obsession with Wicked, a has-been Walt Disney World employee, a chat with the bride of Satan and the creative use of spray glitter are tales told in this homespun account of small town living, hosted by Jobeth Maybelline, manicurist to the town and keeper of community secrets.
Snow White Padded Room by Erin Moughon
Adelaide is commited to a mental facility by her devoted husband Mark when she suffers severe memory loss and hallucinations due to a tragic car accident. Ten years of memory have been wiped away. As she works to recover what she’s lost, Mark isolates her further by keeping everyone else away, keeping a watchful eye on her through a two-way mirror. As her supposed delusions worsen, she tries to remember what caused the accident and who Mark really is. Can Adelaide escape from behind the magic mirror and emerge from her glass coffin by remembering the truth?
Sympathy in C by Suzanne Mernyk
The diagnosis of cancer and the threat of terrorism, a growing cancer in the fabric of our society--both seem to lurk around every corner. Accompanied by a live cellist, six stories of those who must wrestle with both intertwine, and remind us there is still love, hope and acceptance to be found.
The American Dream by Juan Ramirez Jr.
Corina is an illegal immigrant from Guatemala who has smuggled her way across the border guided by Efren, her coyote (aka human smuggler). Instead of finding freedom, she finds herself imprisoned by Efren, who now holds her inside a safe house, awaiting the final Western Union payment from her husband. Set in the last hour and twenty minutes, Corina begs for her freedom but letting her go is against everything Efren stands for.
2 Years of Eternal Joy by Sherod D. Lee
After a young woman is diagnosed with cancer, she and her fiancé find their relationship tested by the hidden resentments the illness brings out in her family that threaten to destroy their future. Can the couple find joy in the face of family discord and the threat of death? 2 Years of Eternal Joy is a poetic exploration into the tensile strength of deep seated love and commitment.
For tickets and more information visit Broadwayboundfestival.com