Playwrights Theatre of Madison New Jersey will feature three new plays in its 1999-2000 season: Southern Christmas by Guillermo Reyes, Fathers and Sons by J. Rufus Caleb, and Radium Girls by Dolores Whiskeyman. The theatre also announced its free concert readings series line-up.
Reyes' Southern Christmas, a comedy about young Nacho, transplanted to his Aunt Nati's home in 1970s Chile, finding love, heartbreak and memories of Christmas, runs from Dec. 2-19. Reyes' play, Miss Consuelo, was a part of Playwrights 1997-98 season.
Fathers and Sons is an evening of two plays by Caleb featuring live music and dealing with rock and roll and the blues. In "The Rehearsal, a Fantasy," a young Jimi Hendrix faces off against Little Richard in a marathon jam session. The second play, "Midnight Special," tells of the twelve-string guitarist Leadbelly's break with his discoverer, folklorist John Lomax. Fathers runs Feb. 3-20.
Running May 11-28, Whiskeyman's Radium Girls takes place in 1926, when radium was a miracle cure, Marie Curie was a top celebrity and everyone was buying glow-in-the-dark watches -- until the girls painting them began to die. Radium is based on the true story of a group of women who worked for the U.S. Radium Company in Orange, NJ.
The 1999-2000 Concert Reading series, featuring semi-staged plays with professional actors and directors, will include: Ouroboros, a circular love story in five Italian cities, by Tom Jacobson (Oct. 15-16)
Bart the Temp, a modern telling of Herman Melville's classic, "Bartleby the Scrivener", by Steve Feffer (Jan. 7-8)
Yearnings, a love story that brings together a cucumber, a gold fish and a Tennessee waltz, by Sachi Oyama (Feb. 11-12)
Cheat, a look at life in a munitions plant a few weeks before the end of World War II, by Julie Jenson (Feb. 25-26)
Human Interest, the story of a yuppie couple haunted by real and imagined children when they hear of a murdered baby, by Jeanmarie William (March 10-11)
The Playwrights Theatre of New Jersey is a professional theatre dedicated to the development of new works and new playwrights. They sponsor the New Jersey Writer's Project, which includes the New Jersey Young Playwrights Contest and Festival, playwriting and acting workshops, Language in Motion and Teaching Teachers summer workshops. The 1999-2000 season is Playwrights' 14th.
-- By Christine Ehren