Public's Free Reading Series Attracts Acclaimed Off-Broadway Directors

News   Public's Free Reading Series Attracts Acclaimed Off-Broadway Directors The Public Theater has announced the complete line-up for its Spotlight Series of free staged readings of new plays by their Emerging Writers Group. Directors involved will include Off-Broadway's Kip Fagan (Grand Concourse), Robert O'Hara (Bootycandy) and Eric Ting (The World of Extreme Happiness) among others.

The Public's 2014-15 Emerging Writers Group includes: Kevin Artigue, Damon Chua, Keli Goff, Ricardo Pérez González, Glenn Gordon, Elizabeth Irwin, Paola Lázaro-Muñoz, Patricia Ione Lloyd, Jiehae Park, and Sarah Sander. Each playwright will have a full-length play read at the Spotlight Series.

Details of the new plays and the dates of the readings are below:

April 7
In the Midwest by Sarah Sander
Directed by Lucie Tiberghien
The Jacobs live a seemingly average American life in suburbia: Celia is a cheerleader, Henry is a star student, Louise grows tomatoes and David teaches college. However, when John Keller and his mother Jocelyn move in across the street, the Jacobs’ wholesome façade begins to crack. In the Midwest is a play about sex, sibling rivalry and the importance of neighbors.

April 13
The Forcings by Kevin Artigue
Directed by Lileana Blain-Cruz
Company man Ernie Ledezma is the public face of Exxon in Mexico. As his family gathers at his vacation home in coastal North Carolina, seventeen anti-fracking activists remain missing in Mexico. The truth behind their disappearance will set off a chain of events with shocking repercussions for Ernie and his entire family. A contemporary riff on Arthur Miller’s All My Sons, The Forcings depicts a tragedy of power, self-delusion and civilization barreling towards extinction.

April 14
The Black Friend by Keli Goff
Shortly after accepting her dream job as the first African-American executive at a cosmetics company owned by a lifelong friend, Erica Reynolds discovers that the company and her friend are being sued for racial discrimination. The revelation places Erica firmly in the crossfire of the debates taking place among her family and friends and the nation at large in the Obama era. April 16
Separate & Equal by Ricardo Pérez González
It's an old-fashioned love story set in a pair of racially segregated gay bars in 1950s Houston, Texas. And Tom and Russ are a pair of old-fashioned lovers—one white, one black—risking their lives in an old-fashioned world that would rather see them dead than together.

April 27
Getting Over by Elizabeth Irwin
Directed by Kip Fagan

Give a working class kid from desolate-ass Holyoke a dollar, he might buy a scratch ticket or a few looseys; give him a free prestigious liberal arts college education in the bucolic town next door, he'll turn that dollar into a million working at an elite investment banking firm and get down on his knees and thank you every day. Right?

April 28
Optimism by Damon Chua
What does the 1964 World’s Fair in Flushing Meadows have to do with Wall Street in the 1980s? Quite a lot according to Larry Yang, a true optimist who grows up in Flushing and becomes a junk bond salesman during the Reagan years. Optimism simultaneously tells the story of an inter-racial romance between Larry’s mom and a black man in the sixties and Larry’s financial misadventures in the eighties, showing how Space Age boosterism and capitalistic exuberance is often at the expense of minority rights.

April 30
Syncing Ink by Glenn Gordon
Directed by Niegel Smith “When I'm alone in my room/sometimes I stare at the wall/and in the back of my mind I hear my conscience call” telling me I have a hidden gift I need to tap/could it be...this suburban teen is destined to rap?

May 4
La Gema by Paola Lázaro-Muñoz
Directed by Jose Zayas You're in Puerto Rico. Old San Juan. You're a tourist, you walk down the stairs of this beautiful old fort built by the Spaniards. When you reach the bottom, you realize you're in the hole, a slum. Welcome to La Gema, the barrio and the underbelly that lies under the tourism and behind the fort walls. You spend three days there, you don't want to leave. Oh no, you're addicted to the beauty, the women and the drugs.

May 19
Pretty Hunger by Patricia Ione Lloyd
Directed by Robert O’Hara
Leah, a biracial seven year old girl with an epic imagination, takes us on a journey of growing up as she realizes that her babysitter is actually her father and that she is actually Black. Guided by her imaginary friend Bette Davis, Leah explores what it means to be a woman of color and how to come to terms with both of her parents and the baggage they carry with them.

May 26
The Good Ones by Jiehae Park
Directed by Eric Ting
Education is broken. Jenna, Karol, and Matt want to fix it. Shouldn’t be too hard, right? A story of what happens when idealism meets reality (and a robot named Bob).

For more information on the Public Theater's Reading Series and season, visit publictheater.org.

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