Broadway Stars Ready for Readings at O'Neill Center Playwrights Conference

News   Broadway Stars Ready for Readings at O'Neill Center Playwrights Conference
The Eugene O'Neill Theater Center has announced some of the stars slated to appear in the 2006 National Playwrights Conference including recent Tony Award nominee Jayne Houdyshell, Manu Narayan, Marin Ireland, Kevin Geer, Yul Vazquez and more.
Manu Narayan in the Second Stage Uptown production of Getting Home.
Manu Narayan in the Second Stage Uptown production of Getting Home.

Eight plays (from nearly 750 submissions) were selected from those received by the Waterford, Connecticut, company. The playwrights develop their respective works with actors, directors and dramaturgs before they are presented in readings.

Houdyshell (Well), Narayan (Bombay Dreams), Ireland (The Ruby Sunrise), Geer (Twelve Angry Men, Side Man) and Vazquez (The Last Days of Judas Iscariot) are among the confirmed names for the 2006 NPC season, which also includes Kate Buddeke (Carousel, Gypsy), Stephen Kunken (Festen, Proof), Cyrus Farmer ("NYPD Blue") and Daoud Heidami ((I Am) Nobody's Lunch).

The complete cast lists for Jorge Ignacio Cortiñas' Bird in the Hand and Tommy Smith's Air Conditioning, which begin performances July 5, have also been announced. Louis Tyrrell will direct the former work, which will star Michael Ray Escamilla, Abe Cruz, Marin Ireland, Kate Guyton and Tasha Gordon-Solomon. The latter work, helmed by Steven Cosson, will feature Lillian Meredith, Caitlin O'Connell, Kevin Geer, Kate Buddeke and Stephen Schnetzer.

The full O'Neill 2006 National Playwrights Conference selections (schedule subject to change) are:

  • Bird in the Hand by Jorge Ignacio Cortiñas (July 5 and 7)
    Directed by Louis Tyrrell
    "A quirky and tender comedy about a young Cuban man tied in knots by romantic complications, the specter of S.A.T.'s and the fading flamingos in Miami. It's not easy to keep your color while flying the coop."
  • Air Conditioning by Tommy Smith (July 6 & 8)
    Directed by Steve Cosson
    "A biting and darkly-comic look at the dangers of meeting up with old friends when the rich are rich and the poor are desperate."
  • 1001 by Jason Grote (July 12 & 14)
    Directed by Kent Thompson
    "Arabian Nights meets Manhattan as a touching love story unfolds inside a troubling political fantasy."
  • The Little Flower of East Orange by Stephen Adly Guirgis (July 13 & 15)
    Directed by Oskar Eustis
    "In a New York City hospital a woman, identity unknown, goes in and out of consciousness. In prison, her son tries to figure out how she got there."
  • The Tale by Tommy Smith (July 16)
    "A hilarious, fast-paced musical comedy rendering of Greek Mythology featuring Zeus, Athena, Hermes, Apollo, Aphrodite, Dionysus and many more in a zany look at the lives of the gods on Mount Olympus." Theater for Youth Project, specially written family play for grades 5-9.
  • The K of D by Laura Schellhardt (July 19 & 21)
    Directed by Melissa Kievman
    "The truth is, Charlotte's brother kissed her on the lips before he died. The legend is, now everything she kisses also dies. An urban legend is chronicled in a one-woman tour de force."
  • False Creeds by Darren Canady (July 20 & 22)
    Directed by Wendy C. Goldberg
    "While uncovering the source of his supernatural visions, a tormented young African American man discovers his own family's connection to one of American history's most horrific events." Winner of the Alliance Theatre's Kendeda Playwriting Award.
  • The Exchange by Ursula Rani Sarma (July 28 & 30)
    Directed by Michael Barakiva
    "In a small post office in the West of Ireland, one man struggles to let go of the past and, with the help of his daughters, to move into the future." Part of an international exchange with the Abbey Theatre in Dublin, Ireland. Tickets are on sale through the O'Neill Box Office at (860) 443-1238. Outdoor performances are moved indoors in the event of rain.

    The Eugene O'Neill Theater Center was founded in 1964 and based in Waterford, CT. Programs at the Center include the Puppetry Conference, Playwrights Conference, Critics Institute, Music Theater Conference and the National Theater Institute. The Monte Cristo Cottage, O'Neill's childhood home, is also owned and operated by the group.

    For more information, call (860) 443-5378 or visit the website at

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