Emerging playwrights, directors and actors are represented in the presentations, as are some veteran artists, such as Broadway's Michael Cumpsty (Sunday in the Park With George, Copenhagen, 42nd Street).
The public readings of new works are free and will be presented at the NYU Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program Center (113 Second Avenue, between 6th and 7th Streets). For reservations e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
The 2009 Writers' Jam Session public readings include:
Aurin Squire is an award-winning playwright whose work includes Defacing Michael Jackson (winner - Samuel French, Inc. International Play Competition); Match Me (2005 FringeNYC); and To Whom It May Concern (Abingdon Theatre - Fresh Fruit Festival Awards for Best Play and Best Playwright).
July 28 at 7 PM: Cori Thomas' My Secret Language of Wishes, directed by May Adrales. "A child is caught in the middle of an unlikely custody battle between a poor white caregiver desperate to save her, and a black woman desperate to undo a past mistake." Cori Thomas' plays include When January Feels Like Summer (2008 Sundance Theatre Lab; Momentum 08 Pittsburgh City Theatre; Finalist 2008 O'Neill Conference; 2008 Finalist Juilliard Fellowship), So… (Finalist EST 2008 Marathon); Getting Rid of the Rat (Finalist EST 2007 Marathon); Pa's Hat: Liberian Legacy (Passage Theatre), …Our Lives, Our Fortunes, and Out Sacred Honor (runner-up Theodore Ward Prize) and more. She is a lifetime member in playwriting and acting at Ensemble Studio Theatre.
July 29 at 7 PM: Carlos Murillo's Diagram of a Paper Airplane, directed by Jerry Ruiz. "They thought they were going to change the world, but the world changed them; two decades later, five estranged friends reluctantly come together to read the last play ever written by their late ringleader." Carlos Murillo's plays include Dark Play or Stories for Boys, Unfinished American Highwayscape #9 & 32 (Or, The Broken Tractor Graveyard), Mimesophobia (Or, Before and After), A Human Interest Story (Or, The Gory Details and All) and more. His plays have been produced at Humana Festival, the NYC Summer Play Festival, En Garde Arts, Soho Rep, The Hangar Theatre Lab, Theatre @ Boston Court, Circle X, Son of Semele, Actors Express, City Theatre of Miami and elsewhere.
July 30 at 7 PM: William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, directed by Jim Calder. "An ensemble of just four young NYU-Tisch graduate actors take on all of Romeo and Juliet in this swift and invigorating approach to Shakespeare's timeless classic." The cast includes Andre Holland, Lucas Near-Verbrugghe, Nikiya Mathis and Chivas Michael. Jim Calder has received two National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships and is the recipient of the Rockefeller's U.S.-Mexico Fund for Culture to create a new work which will tour the U.S.-Mexican border. He has received grants to develop new work from the New York Foundation for the Arts, Jerome Foundation, New York State Council on the Arts, The Ford Foundation and Inroads. He has performed Shakespeare at the Old Globe in San Diego and is co-creator of The Buddy Performance – Two Cowboy Gynecologists in Search of the Male Grail.
The 2009 Writers Jam Session acting company is a mix of long-time veterans and emerging artists. Some of the following company members will appear in the public readings: Mando Alvarado, Heidi Armbruster (seen last in The Playwrights Realm's Dov and Ali), Ashley Bryant, Nora Cole, Rayme Cornell, Michael Cumpsty (Broadway's recent Sunday in the Park With George), Manish Dayal (The New Group's Rafta, Rafta…), Laura Esposito, Tovah Feldshuh (Irena's Vow, Golda's Balcony), Natalie Gold, Laura Heisler, Charles Hendricks, Marva Hicks, Andre Holland, Sisi Aisha Johnson, Teresa Avia Lim, Nikiya Mathis, Nanah Mensah, Irungu Mutu, Lucas Near-Verbrugghe, Joyce O'Connor, Maria Christina Oliveras, Chivas Michael Perkins, Ken Robinson, Nilaja Sun (author-performer of No Child…) and Mather Zickel ("Rachel Getting Married").
The Playwrights Realm — which most recently presented Anna Ziegler's critically acclaimed production of Dov and Ali — is committed to developing and producing theatre with artists — and for audiences — who share its belief that the playwright's vision is central to great theatre. Founded in 2007, The Realm is an Off-Broadway theatre, led by co-artistic directors John Dias and Katherine Kovner and producing director Stephanie Ybarra. It believes in "creating immediate, imaginative and theatrically vital productions that spring from the core of the text — its language, its ideas and its mysteries."
For additional information about the 2009 Writers Jam Session visit www.playwrightsrealm.org.