Denver's New Play Summit, With Works by Matthew Lopez, Laura Eason, Marcus Gardley and More, Runs Feb. 8-10

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08 Feb 2013

Denver Center Theatre Company explores five plays in staged readings as part of the 8th Annual Colorado New Play Summit Feb. 8-10. The playwrights are Catherine Trieschmann, Matthew Lopez, Laura Eason, Karen Zacarías and Marcus Gardley.



The weekend, open to media, industry people and lovers of new works, coincides with the DCTC's full productions of two titles from the 2012 Summit: Ed, Downloaded by Michael Mitnick and Grace, or The Art of Climbing by Lauren Feldman.

Here's the 2013 Colorado New Play Summit at a glance:

Staged Reading
The Most Deserving
By Catherine Trieschmann

"Tasked with awarding $20,000 to a deserving and needy local artist who 'demonstrates an underrepresented American voice,' a small town arts council in Ellis County, Kansas comically erupts into chaos. Should the award go to a high school teacher/photographer of modest talent or to the self-taught African-American artist who creates controversial religious figures out of trash? The Most Deserving is a satirical, insightful look at how the arts collide with politics, self-interest, taste, relationships, egos and gossip."

Staged Reading
The Legend of Georgia McBride
By Matthew Lopez

"He's young, he's broke, his landlord's knocking at the door, and he's just found out his wife is going to have a baby. To make matters even more desperate, Casey is fired from his gig as an Elvis impersonator in a run-down, small town Florida bar. When the bar owner brings in a B-level drag show to replace his act, Casey finds that he has a whole lot to learn about show business ― and himself. From one of the most-produced playwrights of the year [via The Whipping Man], The Legend of Georgia McBride is a joyous, bawdy comedy with a ton of music and a great big heart."

Staged Reading
The Vast In-Between
By Laura Eason
A Denver Center Commission

"Cate becomes obsessed with the man down the street who is exposed for having maintained two families in two different cities for years. Then her own marriage becomes strained when her unemployed husband refuses to compromise in his job search, and she finds herself being drawn into her own possible double life. A candid look at relationships and marriage in today's troubled economy."

Staged Reading
Just Like Us
Based on the book by Helen Thorpe
Adapted by Karen Zacarías
A Denver Center Commission

"Based on Helen Thorpe's bestselling book, Karen Zacarías' play follows four Latina girls in Denver, two who are documented and two who are not, as they complete their final year of high school, then move through college and into the world. Their close-knit friendships begin to unravel as opportunities open or close for each girl according to her immigration status. When a political firestorm arises in the wake of the shooting of a policeman, their situations are thrown into even bolder relief. Just Like Us grapples with some essential questions: Who is an American? Who gets to live in America? What happens when we don't agree?"

Staged Reading
Black Odyssey
By Marcus Gardley
A Denver Center Commission

"…Gardley magically re-casts Homer's Odysseus as a black soldier returning home from a harrowing tour in the Gulf War. The great Greek archetypes reverberate with new world African-American culture as Gardley fuses modern reality with ancient myth in this gripping new play."

World Premiere Mainstage Production
Grace, or the Art of Climbing
By Lauren Feldman
Directed by Mike Donahue

"In this captivating tale of a reluctant young athlete, rock climbing is both metaphor and action. Emm struggles with doubt, depression, and her own demons as she trains mind, body, and spirit for a world climbing competition."

World Premiere Mainstage Production
Ed, Downloaded
By Michael Mitnick
Directed by Sam Buntrock
Videography by Charlie I. Miller

"This intriguing new comedic drama, set sometime in the not too distant future, tells the story of Ed, who is dying. Given a chance to be immortal, Ed selects the trendy procedure of having his brain downloaded. He's allowed 10 memories to accompany him into eternity. But when his girlfriend discovers that Ed has chosen moments spent with another woman, she decides to intervene. Ed, Downloaded, equal parts live action and feature film, was commissioned by the Denver Center Theatre Company and workshopped at the 2012 Colorado New Play Summit."

The Producing Partners of the 2013 Colorado New Play Summit are Leo and Susan Kiely, Daniel L. Ritchie, and The Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust.

The Summit is held at DCTC's home at Denver Center for the Performing Arts, 14th and Curtis Streets, in downtown Denver.

Theatregoers, artistic directors, literary managers, dramaturgs, directors and media people attend the Summit, which is the showcase for the Denver Center Theatre Company's new play development program. It's under the direction of artistic director Kent Thompson and director of new play development Bruce K. Sevy. Douglas Langworthy is DCTC's literary manager.

For more information, visit denvercenter.org/summit or call (303) 893-6030.