Unproduced Works Get Readings Staged By and For Broadway Folk at Tribeca Theater Fest

News   Unproduced Works Get Readings Staged By and For Broadway Folk at Tribeca Theater Fest Broadway directors Kenny Leon (A Raisin in the Sun, the upcoming Gem of the Ocean) and Michael Greif (Rent, Never Gonna Dance) will stage readings of new works by six selected playwrights as part of the upcoming Tribeca Theater Festival.

Part of Tribeca All Access Open Stage (a developmental program for a playwrights of color), the selected works will be presented to industry professionals in two invitation only sessions, Oct. 25 and 26.

A committee — that consisted of actress Daphne Rubin-Vega (Rent, Anna in the Tropics), playwrights Eduardo Machado, Diana Son and Cheryl West as well as novelist Jessica Hagedorn, Harlem's IMPACT Repertory Theater co-founder Jamal Joseph and Harlem Arts Alliance chairman Voza Rivers — selected six previously unproduced works.

The plays include Cynthia Robinson's Ascension about the impending marriage of two slaves that is haunted by the woman's relationship with the master of the plantation; Michael Golamco's Cowboy vs. Samurai, a rework of Cyrano in which a man must decide between the "Asian American" and "American" within himself to pursue love; Steve Harper's The Escape Artist's Children centers around an unemployed, African-American lesbian trying to beat the blues; Caridad Svich's Magnificent Waste, a dark comedy involving three people hungry for celebrity who make a pact that changes their lives;  Ricardo A. Bracho's Sissy, a coming-of-age tale in which a 12-year-old's disco dreams are set against a Central America social revolution; and Akin Salawu's You Dead Yet? about a dysfunctional family drama that puts a schoolteacher between her troubled nephew and her nasty mother.

Marcus Gardley's Dance the Holy Ghost: A Play on Memory and Christina M. Ham's Where Sleeping Dogs Lie were given honorable mentions and will be paired with a mentor playwright during the Tribeca Theater Festival to discuss their work, but not read as part of the TAA Open Stage series.

* Tribeca Film Festival co-founders Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal and Craig Hatkoff are teaming with the Drama Dept. to present the new Tribeca Theater Festival Oct. 19 31. The first annual two-week event presented by American Express will feature a short play series called The Downtown Plays as well as "Stage on Screen" film screenings and theatre panel discussions.

The Downtown Plays will be an evening of world premiere short plays by playwrights including Douglas Carter Beane, Peter Hedges, David Henry Hwang, Neil LaBute, Warren Leight, Kenneth Lonergan, Frank Pugliese, Paul Rudnick and Wendy Wasserstein. Tony Award-winning director John Rando (Urinetown) will stage the production to perform at the Michael Schimmel Center for the Arts at Pace University.

For tickets and more information about the first annual Tribeca Theater Festival, visit www.TribecaTheaterFestival.org.