Kate Whoriskey, Liesl Tommy and Joanna Settle Will Stage Free Emerging Writers Group Plays at the Public Theater

By Adam Hetrick
February 25, 2013

The Public Theater will showcase the work of playwrights participating in the 2012-13 Emerging Writers Group with a series of free performances beginning March 27 at the company's downtown home.



EWG, which targets playwrights at the early stages of their career, is part of the Public Writers Initiative, a long-term program that supports and develops works by writers throughout their careers. The program has produced 50-70 readings and workshops per season in recent years.

The 2012-13 playwrights include Manuel Borras, A-Lan Holt, Boo Killebrew, Andrew Kramer, Brian "Dyalekt" Kushner, Mary Kathryn Nagle, Harrison David Rivers, Riti Sachdeva, Susan Soon He Stanton and Kyle Warren.

The free staged readings will be presented through April 29.

The schedule follows:

Manhatta
March 27
Written by Mary Kathryn Nagle
Directed by Kate Whoriskey
"When a modern day Lenape woman returns to her ancestral land to work on Wall Street, she must reconcile all that her people have lost with what she now attempts to gain. Manhatta simultaneously tells the story of the Lenape Indians who lived on the island of Manhatta in the 1600’s, when Peter Minuit and the Dutch claim to have purchased the island for $24, and explores how the concepts of indigenous identity, ownership, and the entire system of American capitalism have made us who we are today."

Sound Is Vibration
April 1
Written by Brian 'Dyalekt' Kushner
Directed by Kent Gash
"Melody's into beatboxing and physics/ It’s too bad that Def Jim can't hear her lyrics/ It is the letter of the law and the spirit/ To say she brings a new meaning to
'I can feel it'/ So how do we communicate?/ Will vocabulary elucidate?/ Or will we search the walls and let the graf writers choose the way?/ Love don't play, don'y know no s'il vous plait/ It's like Miles. It's the words we don't say."

Days Like Diamonds
April 3
Written by Boo Killebrew
Directed by Gaye Taylor Upchurch
"Sarah's best friend Sam is being tried for the savage murder of his girlfriend. Sarah is horrified when she realizes that she is unsure of Sam’s guilt or innocence. As details of the gruesome crime emerge, so do the truths of Sarah and Sam's friendship. Days Like Diamonds travels backward in time as it asks the question: How well can we ever know another person?"

Seek
April 8
Written by Susan Soon He Stanton
Directed by Kip Fagan
"In 1926, British mystery writer Agatha Christie went missing for 11 days. Once discovered, she claimed amnesia and never spoke of the incident again. In a fictional retelling of this real life disappearance, Seek imagines Agatha on the Big Island of Hawaii in Puna: a rough and unforgiving landscape. Burdened by a dark secret and chased halfway around the world, Agatha's life begins to resemble the dark stories she imagined."

Armature
April 10
Written by Andrew Kramer
Directed by Liesl Tommy
"Candidate Blythes Ames prepares - with a voice as smooth and strong as a song - for the upcoming governor's election. Her husband Denson should be happier for her political success. Her daughter Monica should stop dyeing her hair. Across town, pop-culture blogger Evan meets sexy stranger Shod at the dark and sordid Armature Bar where Mama serves the drinks - if he's able to avoid the reporters. The lives of these very different people collide as a roaring fire erupts with biblical wrath and passion, devouring everything in its path."

Nothing to Lose
April 15
Written by Manuel Borras
Directed by Joanna Settle
"Prison can rob a person of their resolve and their humanity, but some utilize the mind to escape. Raw and steeped in experience, this American story follows Lance Poet Rivera as he enters prison and struggles to beat the odds of two decades of incarceration and its aftermath when he is released."

Thoreau, and Other Assholes
April 17
Written by Kyle Warren
Directed by Lisa Peterson
"There are about two hundred thousand words in the English language. And not one of them describes what's about to happen to Jean De Bernis. For once, Jean might actually be happy. He's a college professor, his partner's pregnant, and the novel that's going to put him on the literary map is about to be published. But on the day his book is released, he discovers that another author has published a novel identical to his. Forced to fend off accusations of plagiarism, paranoia and worse, Jean fights to maintain a shred of ownership over his work, his words, and, eventually, every thought in his head."

The Bottom
April 22
Written by A-lan Holt
Directed by Eric Ting
"In the bottom of a high-rise housing complex, two kids find themselves tumbling between dreams, tripping over highs and lows, and loving and lamenting the limitations of their bodies."

Sweet
April 24
Written by Harrison David Rivers
Directed by Leah C. Gardiner
"The Baker sisters have always been the best of friends, but when their next door neighbor returns home from college, desire threatens to tear them apart. A bittersweet coming of age story about the sacrifices we make in order to hold onto the ones we love."

Other Farmers' Fields
April 29
Written by Riti Sachdeva
Directed by Patricia McGregor
"Since 1995, over 300,000 farmers in India have committed suicide to escape their debt to corporations that manipulated them into buying genetically modified seeds that don't reproduce. In this sensual and macabre revenge fantasy, what goes around comes around for bio-tech CEO Darren Warren when Asha, the widow of one of these farmers, comes to work in his home and care for his pregnant wife, Hope."

Tickets must be reserved in advance by calling The Public Theater box office at (212) 967-7555. Visit PublicTheater. The Public Theater is located at 425 Lafayette Street in Manhattan.