Karam was the first playwright produced in the Roundabout Underground program in 2007, an initiative that develops and produces new works and provides artistic and financial resources to emerging playwrights. In addition to producing their first play on the Roundabout stage, writers receive a commission for a future play. Following his participation in the program, Karam's first Roundabout-commissioned play, Sons of the Prophet, was a Pulitzer Prize finalist.
The program’s expansion will begin in fall 2016 with the world premiere of Jenny Rachel Weiner’s Kingdom Come, set to begin performances Oct. 7, 2016, at the Black Box Theatre at the Harold and Miriam Steinberg Center for Theatre. The world premiere examines what happens when two women venture into the world of online dating, both pretending to be someone they're not. A second spring 2017 production is yet to be announced.
The two new plays joining the 2016-17 Off-Broadway season at Laura Pels Theatre in the Harold & Miriam Steinberg Center for Theatre are If I Forget by Steven Levenson, set to begin previews Jan. 19, 2017; and Meghan Kennedy's Napoli, Brooklyn, scheduled to begin performances May 18, 2017. Both playwrights have debuted new works as part of the Underground Program previously.
Here's how Roundabout bills the premieres:
If I forget
"In July of 2000, immediately following the failed Israeli-Palestinian peace talks at Camp David, three adult siblings and their families gather in a suburb of DC for their father, Lou’s, 75th birthday. Middle son Michael, a Jewish studies professor, has recently finished the manuscript he hopes will push him into tenure. Dedicated to his father, a Jewish WWII veteran, the book argues an incendiary point about American Jews, Israel, and the Holocaust – but Lou hasn’t said a word about it, leaving Michael uneasy. And as the visit continues, it becomes clear that Lou isn’t the only member of the family leaving things unspoken. Money, marriage, and career pressures bear down, quickly turning familial responsibility into resentment. With deep sensitivity and dark humor, If I Forget focuses an unwavering gaze on the personal politics of family, heritage, and history – and the scars and legacies they leave behind." Napoli, Brooklyn
"The women of the Muscolino family have lived for years under the frightening temper of their husband and father. All are desperate for a life beyond their four walls, hiding dreams, loves, and longings. But when an accidental tragedy rocks the neighborhood, the family’s plans are put on hold. The women fight to find their voices and struggle to hold on to them and to each other. Napoli, Brooklyn is a play about sisterhood, freedom, and forgiveness in 1960s Brooklyn."
Tickets to all three productions are currently available to subscribers and donors. Visit roundabouttheatre.org or call (212) 719-1300 for more information.