Tony Amendola, Steven Culp, Greg Germann, Mark Harelik, Matt Letscher and Matt McGrath are among performers participating in South Coast Repertory's 12th annual Pacific Playwrights Festival (PPF), a weekend of readings of new works, May 1-3.
The fest was created in 1998. This year's PPF will feature five staged readings and two fully-produced world premieres on South Coast Repertory's Segerstrom and Julianne Argryos Stages. The world premiere full productions — Richard Greenberg's Our Mother's Brief Affair and Lauren Gunderson's Emilie-La Marquise Du Châtelet Defends Her Life at the Petit Théâtre at Cirey Tonight — are longer-run shows that are part of the current SCR season and purposely coincide with the PPF weekend.
The 2009 PPF playwrights getting readings are Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, Bill Cain, Julia Cho, Howard Korder and David Wiener. The reading directors were also announced. They are Bart DeLorenzo, Art Manke, David Warren, Mark Brokaw, Michael John Garcés.
Tickets to PPF may be purchased online at www.scr.org, by phone at (714) 708-5555 or in person at the SCR box office. South Coast Repertory is located at 655 Town Center Drive in Costa Mesa, CA.
Here's the 2009 Pacific Playwrights Festival reading series at a glance:
David Warren will direct In a Garden by Howard Korder (Friday, May 1 at 1 PM) featuring Greg Germann, Mark Harelik and Bernard White. "A lovely gazebo will adorn the garden of Culture Minister Fawaz Othman al-Ulmati. Someday. It will be designed by the American architect Andrew Hackett. But first Hackett must pass muster. No easy task; it takes years, and in that time the two men play a fascinating game of cat and mouse. Hackett is teased, amused — and tricked — as Othman reviews countless renderings (and his favorite Hollywood movies). Around them, the world teeters on the brink of disaster, and the two men, like their countries, change loyalties as they find themselves caught up in history."
Bart DeLorenzo will direct Doctor Cerberus by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa (May 1 at 3:30 PM) featuring Steven Culp, Nike Doukas and Matt McGrath. "In the suburbs of Washington, DC, in the mid-1980s, 13-year-old Franklin Robertson is trying to survive. His parents don't understand him. His older brother torments him non-stop. He'd rather write stories than go on dates. His great comfort comes from the horror movies he watches every Saturday night at midnight, on a black-and-white TV set in his basement, introduced by the enigmatic Dr. Cerberus. In fact, Franklin feels certain that Dr. Cerberus can save his misfit life — if only Franklin could get on his show. A coming-of-age comedy with a twist of terror…"
Art Manke will direct Extraordinary Chambers by David Wiener (May 1 at 7:45 PM and May 2 at 7:45 PM) featuring Andrew Borba, Kimiko Gelman, Darrell Kunitomi, Kirsten Potter and Greg Watanabe. "Carter, an emissary for an American telecom company, arrives in Cambodia with his wife, Mara, to broker a business deal with the help of a 'fixer' named Dr. Heng. But just when it appears the deal will go through without a hitch, a cloud of suspicion descends on Dr. Heng. Was he the notorious Khmer Rouge figure known as 'The Doctor?' How do Heng's mysterious wife and his stone-faced assistant figure into his shady past? Perhaps these questions will be answered when the UN convenes hearings in the Extraordinary Chambers of the Courts of Cambodia — but for Carter and Mara, the biggest question involves a 24-month old Cambodian child with green eyes who may turn their lives upside down."
Michael John Garcés will direct 9 Circles by Bill Cain (May 2 at 10:30 AM). Casting is currently in progress. "Private Daniel Reeves is in a world of hurt. All he wants is to stay in Iraq alongside his military brothers until their mission is completed. Reeves is brave, smart and wholly committed to realizing the purpose of Operation Iraqi Freedom, so he can't understand why he's being forced to accept an honorable discharge. But that's just the first and least of his problems — the first of his nine hellish circles — and by the time his story reaches its sobering conclusion, Private Reeves has felt the full brunt of military justice and the full insanity of a war whose purpose has grown more obscure with the passing of years and the accumulation of brutalities."
Mark Brokaw will direct The Language Archive by Julia Cho (May 3 at 10:30 AM) featuring Tony Amendola, Matt Letscher and Maria Thayer. "George is a linguist, determined to record endangered languages before they die out. Mary is his wife, burdened by a sadness she can't explain. When their marriage starts to unravel, they find that speaking a common tongue is far trickier than one might think. A quirky comedy about love and miscommunication." As previously reported, anchoring the 12th annual Pacific Playwrights Festival are the fully-produced world premieres of Our Mother's Brief Affair, a new comedy by Richard Greenberg "about two adult siblings who reunite to tend to their elderly mother and are astonished to learn about her long-ago love affair," and Laura Gunderson's Emilie, "the story of an 18th century Parisian noblewoman and her lifelong affair with the Enlightenment superstar Voltaire."
SCR's 11 previous festivals have introduced 78 new plays to the national stage including Amy Freed's The Beard of Avon, Donald Margulies' Shipwrecked! An Entertainment, Lynn Nottage's Intimate Apparel, Nilo Cruz's Anna in the Tropics, Rolin Jones' The Intelligent Design of Jenny Chow and David Lindsay-Abaire's Pulitzer Prize-winning Rabbit Hole.