Exclusive! Michael Berresse and Amy Spanger Among Casting Announced for O'Neill Center Playwrights Conference

News   Exclusive! Michael Berresse and Amy Spanger Among Casting Announced for O'Neill Center Playwrights Conference
Casting has been announced for the eight new plays being developed this summer at the annual National Playwrights Conference at the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center in Waterford, CT July 1-25. Tony Award nominee Michael Berresse and Drama Desk Award nominee Amy Spanger are among those who will be taking part. Dates for the productions and their directors have also been announced.

Amy Spanger in <i>Chicago</i>
Amy Spanger in Chicago

Spanger will appear in No One's Sonata by Seven Sater, Tony-winning librettist and lyricist of Spring Awakening. His collaborator on the show, Tony-winning composer Duncan Sheik, has joined the No One's Sonata creative team.

Shows are performed on the various stages, indoor and outdoor, on the campus of the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center, a former farm.

Here is a complete list of the titles and authors, with play descriptions provided by the O'Neill Center. Casts, dates and directors are newly added:

Leftovers by Josh Wilder. In inner-city Philadelphia, an abnormally huge dandelion has grown through the sidewalk in front of the house of Jalil and Kwamaine, two brothers who are waiting for the arrival of their father. Leftovers tells the story of the brothers as they figure out their journey to discovering the reality of their dreams. A poignant, poetic, gritty play full of family, magic and Cliff Huxtable. Cast: Eric Berryman, Christopher Livingston, Starla Benford, Vladimir Versailles, Morocco Omari and Jefferson A. Russell. Directed by Reginald Douglas. Readings: July 1 and 2 at 8:15 PM.

Good Ol' Boys by Joe Waechter. Three Southern businessmen rent a hunting cabin for a weekend of shooting some guns, drinking some beer, and hopefully finding the mysterious giant deer that lurks in the forest. When one of the men brings his son along, things take a turn for the worst. Secrets bubble up to the surface, and with all that testosterone, all that camouflage, and all those bags full of guns, someone’s bound to get hurt. Cast: Andrew Garman, Paul Niebanck, Stephen Barker Turner and John Kroft. Directed by Mike Donahue. Readings: July 3 at 7:15 PM, July 4 at 8:15 PM. No One's Sonata by Steven Sater. Can we mediate our family pain with language? Can music help relieve us of our past? On a mound of broken glass, grown children gather--to celebrate the 45th anniversary of their Viennese immigrant parents, and to try and bridge the distance that they feel from their father’s death. Cast: Frank Wood, Laila Robins, Kristen Sieh, Kieran Campion and Amy Spanger. Directed by Wendy Goldberg. Music Director: Duncan Sheik. Readings: July 10 at 7:15 PM, July 11 at 8:15 PM.

Halftime With Don by Ken Weitzman. Retired NFL player Don Devers has had over forty surgeries, experiences violent outbursts, and relies on a blizzard of yellow Post-It notes lining barcalounger in order to offset his ravaged memory. When a long-time fan appears at his doorstep, Don seeks to salvage his life with a single act of heroic self-sacrifice. Cast: Cassie Beck, Michael Gaston, Scott Drummond, Makela Spielman. Directed by Giovanna Sardelli. Readings: July 17 at 7:15 PM, July 18 at 3:15 PM.

End of Shift by Jenny Connell Davis. Five teenagers gather in the back of a diner on the coast of Maine. Jesse wants Amanda, Amanda wants to party, Ben wants to know who screwed his girlfriend, and Heidi wants to know why that's Ben's business. And Max? Max wants to paint a rock. A funny/sad story about the moment when you realize everything has changed. Cast: Nick Lehane, Michael Angarano, Alec Shaw, Reyna De Courcy and Erin Wilhelmi. Directed by Daniella Topol. Readings: July 8 and 9 at 8:15 PM.

Slow Food by Wendy MacLeod. A vacationing couple celebrates their anniversary at a Greek restaurant in Palm Springs - but will the marriage survive the service? As a needy waiter insinuates his way into their meal - and their lives - the couple examine their past and their future together. A tender, uproarious comedy that delves deeply into what we hunger for. Cast: Jane Kaczmarek, Reed Birney and Michael Berresse. Directed by Kent Nicholson. Readings: July 24 at 7:15 PM and July 25 at 8:15 PM.

Nomad Motel by Carla Ching. Alix lives in a tiny motel room with her mother and two brothers. Mason lives in a grand empty house all by himself while his father runs jobs for the Triad in Hong Kong. As they develop an unlikely friendship, both struggle to finish high school and get into college to wrest themselves out of their weird family lives. Will they make it out or fall through the cracks? Cast: Ruy Iskandar, Nelson Lee, Gabriella Rhodeen and Shahine Ezell. Directed by Bart DeLorenzo. Readings: July 22 and 23 at 8:15 PM.

Cardboard Piano by Hansol Jung. Northern Uganda on the eve of the millennium: The daughter of American missionaries and a local teenage girl steal into a darkened church to seal their love in a secret, makeshift wedding ceremony. But when the surrounding war zone encroaches on their fragile union, they cannot escape its reach. Confronting the religious and cultural roots of intolerance, Cardboard Piano explores violence and its aftermath, as well as the human capacity for hatred, forgiveness and love. Cast: Mattie Hawkinson, Deonna Bouye, Terrell Donnell Sledge and Segun Akande. Directed by Liz Diamond. Readings: July 15 and 16 at 8:15 PM.

Tickets and more information are available by calling (860) 443-1238 or visiting theoneill.org.

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