Works by Rush, Byers, Colston and Friel Get Philly Readings in Annual PlayShop Fest

News   Works by Rush, Byers, Colston and Friel Get Philly Readings in Annual PlayShop Fest The four plays and writers of Philadelphia Theatre Workshop's second annual PlayShop Festival, March 7-22, have been announced.

Audiences passionate about new works in progress can expect readings of Catherine Rush's The Loudest Man on Earth; Joe Byers' Noori and the Infidels; L.E. Colston, II's Solitary; and Lindsay Harris Friel's Traveling Light.

The festival will present these works in repertory over several weekend performances. After each performance, audiences can offer feedback to the playwright and director. The director, playwright and company head back into a week of rehearsals to work on any changes to the play and perform it again the following week.

"We are excited to present the Second Annual PlayShop Festival to put the focus on new works by playwrights in the Philadelphia region," said PTW artistic director Bill Felty. "This is a unique developmental opportunity, where the playwrights can watch their play 'on its feet' over a five-week period. They get the opportunity to continually experiment and re-work the piece using feedback from both rehearsals and performances. We feel we are giving a unique gift to the playwrights, to the artists and to the audiences who get to be a part of this process."

Jay Wahl directs The Loudest Man on Earth; Meghann Williams directs Noori and the Infidels; Rebecca Wright directs Traveling Light; Jane Stojak directs Solitary. Adrian Blue is designing the set for all four plays, with Stephen Dombkowski handling lighting design. Jamie Grace-Duff is creating costumes.

Here's a look at the PlayShop plays: The Loudest Man on Earth by Catherine Rush: "Haylee Masters and Jordan Weiss prove that opposites attract: she's concerned with everyone's opinion and he couldn't care less; and she loves music and he's been deaf since birth. Jay Wahl directs this thought-provoking romantic comedy about navigating the terrain of opposites and oppositions on the road of love." The cast includes Jake Blouch, Adrian Blue, Kate Brennan and Bi Jean Ngo.

Noori and the Infidels by Joe Byers: "Uptight graduate student Alex Swank goes to visit his parents in their new home on a private island off the coast of Florida. Along with the new home, Alex's parents have also acquired Noori, a live-in servant, who performs all sorts of outrageous tasks for his new owners. Alex discovers that Noori is part of the solution to the overcrowding at Guantanamo Bay — the government has secretly lobotomized inmates and recycled them as house-slaves for prominent Republicans." Jean Brooks, Tim Chambers, Robert Heath and Jerry Rudasill are cast in this "charged look at international relations."

Solitary by Lee Colston, II: "Jamal awakens to find himself in solitary confinement with no memories of how he got there. He searches the limits of his confines only to get his many questions met with silence. Solitary is a dark and visceral drama that closely examines the fibers of a man's being." The cast includes Brian Cowden, Gerard Joseph, Aimee Kelly, Jennifer Nehila, Kevin Savage, Wendy Staton and Johnny Walker.

Traveling Light by Lindsay Harris Friel: "In 1967 London's not so swinging when you're Brian Epstein and trying to kill yourself. He can't evade Joe Orton and his script for the Beatles and together, they can't evade the police. Will they have the time of their lives before they end up dead? The cast of the dark comedy includes Alex Bechtel, Sarah Milici, Ed Renninger, Matt Rohner and Bob Stineman.

The public readings will be held at the Shubin Theatre, 407 Bainbridge Street, in Philadelphia, PA. For ticket information and schedule visit www.philadelphiatheatreworkshop.org. Admission is $8-$10.

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Philadelphia Theatre Workshop "strives to nurture bright and emerging artists at various stages of their careers."

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