MTC Announces Lineup for "7@7" Play Reading Series; Lynne Meadow, Trip Cullman Among Directors

By Michael Gioia
02 Mar 2012

Manhattan Theatre Club has announced the lineup for the Ernst C. Stiefel "7@7" Reading Series, testing new works in front of the public, which will kick off March 12 at 7 PM.



The readings (free and open to the public) will take place at New York City Center – Stage I on consecutive Mondays through April 23. Space is limited and RSVPs are required. To RSVP, visit www.manhattantheatreclub.com/7@7 or call (212) 399-3000, ext. 4163.

Here's a look at the 2012 "7@7" series:

March 12
Death of the Author by Steven Drukman
Directed by Lynne Meadow

"At a university for the privileged, adjunct professor Jeff Egan detects something unusual about a paper submitted by Bradley, a legacy student a week away from graduation and parental approval. Jeff's discovery sets in motion a series of events that challenges each man's assumptions about the other—uncovering their past while potentially threatening their future. A smart and probing new drama about academia, class, and conscience."

Steven Drukman was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize in 2003. His play The Prince of Atlantis will premiere at South Coast Repertory this spring.

March 19
Phaedra by Adam Bock
Directed by Trip Cullman

"Stuck in an unsatisfying marriage, still in her sexual prime, Catherine develops a secret obsession for Paulie. But Paulie's not just a younger man with a checkered past, he's also Catherine’s stepson. When her epic passion is unleashed on her small suburban town, the results rock both her community and her family. A riveting modern adaptation of Racine's classic tale by the author of MTC's The Receptionist."

Adam Bock's plays have been produced at Manhattan Theatre Club, Playwrights Horizons, Second Stage, SoHo Rep, Rattlestick and Clubbed Thumb.

March 26
Important Hats of the Twentieth Century by Nick Jones
Directed by Moritz von Stuelpnagel

"New York, 1934: A world of high fashion, none higher than the ultra-modern new collection from designer Paul Roms. But when a jealous rival starts snooping around Roms’ workshop, he finds that Roms’ influences are less Robert Piguet and more H.G. Wells. A sartorial sci-fi satire from the creator of Jollyship the Whiz-Bang and The Coward."

Nick Jones is a graduate of the Juilliard School. He is currently adapting his play The Coward for a feature film and developing a musical for the Center Theatre Group.

April 2
The Village Bike by Penelope Skinner
Directed by Kate Whoriskey

"Becky’s pregnant and frustrated. Her husband is more interested in the baby books than her new underwear, and her porn stash under the bed is no longer enough. As the summer heats up, a brief encounter with a local tradesman sends her speeding downhill towards total disaster. A provocative and darkly comic look at fantasy and romance, fresh from a sold out run at London’s Royal Court Theatre."

Penelope Skinner is a British writer who won the 2011 George Devine Award and the 2011 Evening Standard Theatre Award Charles Wintour Most Promising Playwright for The Village Bike.

April 9
Seven Homeless Mammoths Wander New England by Madeleine George
Directed by Ken Rus Schmoll

"Dean Wreen's college is on the verge of financial crisis, its beloved museum is set to close, and the community is in an uproar. But as one window to the past is about to close, another one opens: Wreen's ex-girlfriend Greer reappears, announces she’s terminally ill and takes up residence with the dean and her much younger girlfriend. Academic and romantic worlds collide in this hilarious and deeply moving comedy."

Madeleine George's Seven Homeless Mammoths Wander New England was a finalist for the 2012 Susan Smith Blackburn Award. She has been a MacDowell Fellow and a Princess Grace Playwriting Fellow.

April 16
The Seduction Community by Greg Keller
Directed by Kip Fagan

"Owen's and Amy's relationship is four years old. Master pickup artist Baller thinks it's time Owen isolate a new target, shotgun some negs, and drop a couple IOIs so he can DHV. Will Owen follow Baller's advice? Will Owen's and Amy's relationship survive? Will Owen figure out what any of those terms mean? A rollicking, unsentimental comedy about modern relationships from the author of Dutch Masters."

Greg Keller is the author of The Young Left and Dutch Masters. He was a Lila Acheson Wallace Playwriting Fellow at the Juilliard School and is currently appearing in MTC's Broadway production of Margaret Edson's Wit.

April 23
Donny's Brain by Rona Munro
Directed by Dexter Bullard

"Donny’s suffered a major brain injury, but he’s sure he’ll recover in the care of the love of his life, Emma. But Emma is acting strangely, and who is this other woman who won’t stop weeping by his bedside? In this funny and poignant play, Donny might get a second chance to follow his heart, if only his head will let him. Donny’s Brain was commissioned by MTC through the Alfred P. Sloan Initiative."

Rona Munro is a Scottish writer who has written extensively for radio, film, television and stage including the award-winning Iron, which debuted at MTC.

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Now in its fourteenth year, the reading series is dedicated to the support and development of innovative new work. Several plays developed in "7@7" have gone on to full productions at MTC, including David Auburn's Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize-winning Proof, Joe Hortua’s Between Us, Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa’s Based on a Totally True Story and Molly Smith Metzler’s Close Up Space (Susan Smith Blackburn finalist).

New York City Center – Stage I is located at 131 West 55th Street.