Nellie Bly Musical Will Sing in MTC Reading Series; Schreck, Mensch, Baker and More Get Voice | Playbill

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News Nellie Bly Musical Will Sing in MTC Reading Series; Schreck, Mensch, Baker and More Get Voice Manhattan Theatre Club announced six new plays and one musical to be presented in its Ernst C. Stiefel "[email protected]" Reading Series May 3-June 21.

The Ernst C. Stiefel Foundation has supported Manhattan Theatre Club's rehearsed-reading series since 2006; the series has been offer for 12 years.

The new slate — featuring Stunt Girl, a new musical about the intrepid New York City reporter Nellie Bly — kicks off May 3 at 7 PM and will be held on select Mondays through June 21 at New York City Center – Stage I (131 West 55th Street).

Several plays developed at [email protected] have gone on to full productions at MTC, including David Auburn's Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize-winning Proof, Joe Hortua's Between Us and Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa's Based on a Totally True Story. Other works have had regional exposure.

All readings are free and open to the public, but space is limited and reservations are encouraged. To RSVP, e-mail [email protected] or call (212) 399-3000 ext. 4163.

The spring 2010 [email protected] series includes: May 3
Retreat by Steven Levenson
Directed by Evan Cabnet

"Dr. George Hartness has a revolutionary idea about how to treat the psychoses of the women in his care: talk to them. But while George practices his controversial new treatment, where is his wife? Who is she talking to? And what are they telling her? A striking play set in 1906 that examines what drives us crazy and what keeps us sane."

Levenson is a graduate of Brown University and the 2010 Artist-in-Residence at Ars Nova. He is currently working on commissions for the Roundabout, Lincoln Center, and Ars Nova.

May 10
Nocturama by Annie Baker
Directed by Sam Gold

"Depressive 26-year-old Brooklynite Skaggs Bernstein returns home to Vermont to live with his mother and videogame-obsessed stepfather. A chance encounter with a local historical tour guide promises to end his losing streak, but is Skaggs too in love with his own misery to change? A hilarious comedy from the critically acclaimed writer and director of Circle Mirror Transformation."

Baker's Circle Mirror Transformation was voted one of the top ten plays of 2009 by the New York Times, the New Yorker, and Time Out New York. She is a Susan Smith Blackburn Prize nominee and is working on commissions for Center Theatre Group and Playwrights Horizons.

May 17
Pieces of Vincent by David Watson
Directed by Lynne Meadow

"In London, a young man visits his old piano teacher, and two former lovers meet over cocktails. In Northern Ireland, a Police Officer must deliver shocking news. And in Birmingham, a teenage boy wants his old friend back. An intricately woven tale of loss and connection from an exciting, new British voice."

Watson was one of the writers for the Old Vic Theatre's 24 Hour Plays in 2006 and is currently under commission to the Birmingham Rep and Royal Court Theatre.

May 24
There Are No More Big Secrets by Heidi Schreck
Directed by Kip Fagan

"There was a time when Charles loved Gabe like a brother. But that was before Gabe disappeared to start a whole new life in Moscow. Now 15 years later, he's arrived on Charles' doorstep seeking refuge for him and his Russian journalist wife. How well does Charles know Gabe? A bold play examining the mysteries we hide from those we love the most."

Schreck's Creature was recently produced by New Georges and Page 73. Her other plays have been produced or developed by Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, Soho Rep, The Vineyard Theatre, New Georges and The Foundry.

June 7
Stunt Girl
Book and lyrics by Peter Kellogg
Music by David Friedman

"Nellie Bly was a groundbreaking investigative journalist, an intrepid world traveler, and a captain of industry — all in a time before women had the right to vote. She's brought to tuneful life in a rollicking new musical about her hopes and heartbreak and fascinating times."

Kellogg has two Tony nominations for book and lyrics to a musical of Anna Karenina (composer Dan Levine). With composer David Friedman, he created Chasing Nicolette, produced at Westport Playhouse, Prince Music Theatre and Village Theatre; Desperate Measures (NYMF Award, Best Book); and Lincoln in Love.

June 14
How the World Began by Catherine Trieschmann
Directed by Carolyn Cantor

"When Manhattanite Susan Pierce accepts a job teaching biology in Plainview, Kansas, she's ready for more than a little culture shock, but she's not prepared for the violent controversy that seizes the town when she makes an off-handed comment about the origins of the universe." How the World Began was commissioned by Manhattan Theatre Club through the Alfred P. Sloan Initiative.

Trieschmann's work has been produced Off-Broadway at the Women's Project, London's Bush Theatre, Florida Stage, the Summer Play Festival, Actors Theatre of Louisville, the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and the New York International Fringe Festival.

June 21
Oblivion by Carly Mensch
Directed by Evan Cabnet

"When their 17-year-old daughter mysteriously disappears for the weekend, uber-hip Brooklynite parents Pam and Dixon fear the worst. But the truth turns out to be more shocking than anything they imagined. A fresh comedy about family, basketball, Pauline Kael, and what it means to ask the big questions."

Mensch's play Margie & Josephine will be produced at Ars Nova in September. Her other plays include All Hail Hurricane Gordo (Humana Festival, Cleveland Play House), and Len, Asleep in Vinyl (2nd Stage/Uptown Series). She is currently a staff writer on Showtime's "Weeds."

For more information on MTC, please visit

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