A committee of artistic, managing and literary leaders from across the country selected plays by Megan Breen, Jack Canfora, Dan Dietz, Meridith Friedman, A. Rey Pamatmat and Stephen Sachs for the eighth annual showcase.
The National Showcase of New Plays (NSNP) is a rotating festival — a kind of trade show — that showcases new plays, new playwrights and theatres from across the country in a staged reading format. NSNP "creates a unique and invaluable opportunity for dozens of production-ready new plays to be viewed by artistic directors, literary managers, literary agents, publishers, and independent producers from around the country," according to NNPN. "To date, 80 plays have been showcased, of which more than 40 have been subsequently produced at professional theatres inside and outside NNPN.
The readings will be held at Curious Theatre Company in Denver, with the exception of the Dec. 4 evening reading, to be held at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts. The general public may purchase a Showcase Pass for all six readings for $10. Please see below for specific schedule and box office procedures. These readings are not open for review.
The selected plays are:
Edith Can Shoot Things And Hit Them by A. Rey Pamatmat, Dec. 3 at 4 PM
"Due to premiere at the Humana Festival in the spring in Louisville, Pamatmat's play follows the story of 12-year-old Edith and her 16-year-old brother Kenny, left to fend for themselves in a farmhouse in remote middle America. With the adult world indifferent to their adolescence, Kenny and his best friend Benji kindle a relationship, and Edith vows to protect their nontraditional 'family' with her BB gun. But when Edith shoots something she shouldn't shoot, the adult world threatens to break their family apart. A three-actor, tender-hearted coming-of-age comedy that’s full of surprises. Submitted by Victory Gardens Theater in Chicago." My First, My Fist, My Bleeding Seeded Spirit by Megan Breen, Dec. 4 at 10 AM
"In the desert of New Mexico, three Latina sisters try to make sense of their mother's mysterious death. On the day of the funeral, Strictly She, the oldest, tries to hold back Magdalena's explosive desire for Carlos, a lusty wolf. Martirio, the youngest, channels her passion into vengeance, determined to find her mother's killer. This freewheeling and contemporary adaptation of Lorca's House of Bernarda Alba trades in laughter, poetry, and lots of primal passion. My First… was read at the MFA Playwrights Workshop at the Kennedy Center in July 2010. Submitted by New Theatre in Coral Gables, FL."
Jericho by Jack Canfora, Dec. 4 at 1 PM
"Set in Manhattan and its suburbs, Jack Canfora's Jericho is a thought-provoking exploration of how people cope with collective and personal tragedy. In 2005, a Jewish 9/11 survivor and a Palestinian 9/11 widow find themselves embroiled in one family's personal and political dramas. Canfora's characters are touchingly human, struggling to learn what it means to belong to another person and to a larger community, all while figuring out how to meet their own needs. With surprising humor, Jericho reminds us that all struggles, even political ones, are ultimately personal. Submitted by New Jersey Repertory Company in Long Branch, NJ."
Blue Monday by Meridith Friedman, Dec. 4 at 4 PM
"An explosive and moving love story, Blue Monday follows the relationship between Bree, a young oil painter, and Nick, the famous and much older poet she marries. When Nick develops a form of dementia that causes him to lose the meaning of words, Bree struggles not to lose herself as she becomes his caregiver. As the disease progresses, Nick discovers painting as a way to regain his expression. Rivalry ensues, Bree's limits are tested, and she turns for solace to Nick's doctor. Finding tenderness in the dark heart of dementia, Blue Monday explores the capacity for love, regret and healing in every relationship. Submitted jointly by Curious Theatre Company in Denver and New Repertory Theatre in Watertown, MA."
Clementine in the Lower Nine by Dan Dietz, Dec. 4 at 8 PM at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts' Jones Theater
"Music sews together the tattered remains of New Orleans' Lower Ninth Ward in Dan Dietz's blues-laden riff on Aeschylus' Agamemnon. Clementine anxiously awaits the return of her husband Jaffy, a jazz musician who's been looking for work in Houston in the nine months since Katrina. When he arrives home with Cassy — a prophetic, drug-addicted white teenager — long-hidden secrets bubble to the surface. Will the truth do more damage to this family's soul than any hurricane ever could? A gripping examination of the courage it takes to rebuild a home."
Bakersfield Mist by Stephen Sachs, Dec. 5 at 11 AM
"Inspired by a true story. Maude Gutman, an unemployed chain-smoking bartender living in a trailer park, bought the ugliest painting she could find at a thrift store for three bucks. Turns out it might be a Jackson Pollock worth millions. Lionel Percy, former curator of the Met, arrives to deliver the New York Art World's verdict: is it authentic or not? Bakersfield Mist is a rollicking two-actor comedy-drama about the meaning of art and the class divide between the Average Joe and the world of East Coast Elites. Submitted by Fountain Theatre in Los Angeles."
With the exception of Clementine in the Lower Nine, all readings will be held at Curious Theatre Company, 1080 Acoma Street in Denver, one block west of Broadway on Acoma at 11th Avenue. Denver Center for the Performing Arts in the Jones Theater is located downtown at the corner of Speer and Arapahoe. A $10 Showcase Pass provides one ticket to all six readings; to purchase, call (303) 327-4192, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The National New Play Network (NNPN) is the country’s alliance of non-profit professional theaters that champions the development, production, and continued life of new plays. Since its founding in 1998, NNPN has commissioned over a dozen playwrights, provided thirteen MFA graduates with paid residencies, and supported over 80 productions nationwide through its innovative Continued Life of New Plays Fund, which creates "rolling world premieres" of new plays. Through these activities and others, NNPN has granted nearly a half million dollars to theatres and artists in the past ten years. Hundreds of artists have gained employment through these efforts in the 24 regions of the country where NNPN member theatres are located."
NNPN's 26 member theatres are Actor's Express Theatre (Atlanta), Actor's Theatre of Charlotte (Charlotte, NC), Borderlands Theater (Tucson), Curious Theatre Company (Denver), Florida Stage (Manalapan), Florida Studio Theatre (Sarasota), Fountain Theatre (LA), Horizon Theatre Company (Atlanta), InterAct Theatre Company (Philadelphia), Kitchen Dog Theater (Dallas), Magic Theatre (San Francisco), Marin Theatre Company (Mill Valley, CA), Mixed Blood Theatre Company (Minneapolis), New Jersey Repertory Company (Long Branch), New Repertory Theatre (Watertown, MA), New Theatre (Coral Gables, FL), Orlando Shakespeare Theater (Orlando), Performance Network Theatre (Ann Arbor, MI), Phoenix Theatre (Indianapolis), Playwright's Theatre of New Jersey (Madison), Prop Thtr Group (Chicago), Salt Lake Acting Company (Salt Lake City), Southern Rep (New Orleans), Unicorn Theatre (Kansas City, MO), Victory Gardens (Chicago) and Woolly Mammoth Theater Company (Washington, DC).