The Mentor Project presentations, to take place from March 16-May 29 at the Cherry Lane Theatre, will feature three world-premiere plays by emerging playwrights who were mentored by award-winning playwrights.
Here are the upcoming shows:
Stray by Ruth McKee (March 16-27)
Giovanna Sardelli directs this "racially charged play," mentored by David Henry Hwang, that concerns "James and Rachel, who seem like the perfect parents: well-educated, successful, middle-class...white," according to an announcement. "But when their adopted son from Uganda is threatened with expulsion from school, they are confronted with the real challenges of parenting a traumatized child in suburban America." The cast features Emily Ackerman (This Beautiful City), Brianne Bergson, Antony Hagopian (Frost/Nixon), Petronia Paley (On the Way to Timbuktu, "Guiding Light") and Lisa Ramirez (Exit Cuckoo).
The Belle of Belfast by Nate Rufus Edelman (April 27-May 8)
Eric Tucker directs the " sharp and darkly witty play," mentored by Charles Fuller, "about seventeen-year-old Anne Malloy, who is lost and angry after the tragic killing of her parents to a terrorist's bomb. Like many who suffered and survived during Ireland's 'Troubles,' she turns to the comforts of her local parish. However, her passion is not for the Church, but for her confessor and confidant Father Reilly, forcing both to re-evaluate where one finds solace and faith during a time of conflict." The cast includes Evan Thompson (City of Angels, 1776), Elvy Yost ("Bandslam"), Katie Fabel (Ernest in Love), Sam Redford ("The Hurt Locker") and Terry Donnelly (The Yeats Project).
Paternity by Winter Miller (May 18-29)
Craig Lucas directs and mentors the "chaotically funny play… about a woman who wants to have a baby and be a single mother, and the man who happens to love her madly and challenges her decision." Rubin-Vega (Rent, Anna in the Tropics) will star in the central role of Tina (the woman who wishes to become a single mother). Additional casting will be announced shortly.
The design team for all three plays features Kina Park and John McDermott (set), Rebecca Bernstein (costume), Pat Dignan (lighting) and Daniel Kluger (sound).
Cherry Lane Theatre's Mentor Project each year pairs a new writer with an established playwright for a season of script development, casting, rehearsal and world-premiere productions of their works for the stage. Previous Mentor Project plays have included Sheila Callaghan's Lascivious Something, Deidre O'Connor's Jailbait, Rajiv Joseph's Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo, David Adjmi's Stunning and Katori Hall's The Mountaintop.
Tickets ($18 or $11 with student ID) to Mentor Project at the Cherry Lane Theatre Studio Theatre, 38 Commerce Street, are available by calling (212) 239-6200 or online at cherrylanetheatre.org.