According to The Araca Group, "Beginning May 21, audiences will be treated each night to a reading of a new play at an early stage of development. Araca's goal with this project is to present plays that have not yet received a fully realized production in New York City and to create a platform for the development of new plays and new voices. AracaWorks will pair each playwright with a director and a group of New York actors. The series will provide an outlet for playwrights to explore their material in a forum open to the public, yet safe from critical reviews."
Each AracaWorks series presents a play by the winner of its graduate playwriting award. This spring's winner is Vertebrae by Lila Feinberg.
The spring 2012 AracaWorks schedule includes:
Sister Sister by Barbara Blumenthal-Ehrlich
Directed by Mark Brokaw
"For Dirdra and Janice, mom's dead and it's a great day. There's going to be a celebration, and hopefully nothing will go flying out the window — including one of them. A viciously comic and tense 20-year reunion between two sisters on the day of their mother's unforgettable death." Tuesday
Mommune by Dorothy Fortenberry
Directed by Rebecca Taichman
"In a not-too-distant future, where Maternal Investigators can arrest you for improper mothering, the incarcerated women of the Mommune prepare for Assessment Day — their chance to be sent home to their children. When they aren't leading interactive workshops on infant safety and attachment theory, the mothers are battling with each other for the freedom to leave — or the chance to stay. Mommune is a frantic, funny, absurd, and violent look at what it means — really means — to be a bad mom."
Vertebrae by Lila Feinberg
Winner of the AracaWorks Graduate Playwriting Award
Directed by Kip Fagan
"The weekend: a medical school reunion. The place: Vermont. The forecast: Hurricane Irene. Hoping to evade the storm, friends find themselves in the eye of their very own. When the premature death of one of their classmates is called into question, each is forced to examine the choices they've made, in the operating room and in the bedroom. Vertebrae takes a darkly comic look at commitment — in the face of black-outs and white-coats — when one mistake can have a turbulent aftermath."
That Good Night by Andrew Dolan
Directed by Daniel Aukin
"In this dark comedy about death, James O'Dwyer's disparate children return home to euthanize their not-so-beloved father. What could possibly go wrong?"
Ask Aunt Susan by Seth Bockley
Directed by Seth Bockley
"In this irreverent new comedy, a 20-something man moonlights as Aunt Susan, an online guru offering advice to women on everything from boyfriends to back problems. Ask Aunt Susan becomes the web's hottest spot for self-help, even as Aunt Susan's boss, a reckless funder, hopes to profit from the women's woes. As the website grows, so does Aunt Susan's web of deceit — and soon the Ask Aunt Susan phenomenon is much bigger than one man could have imagined."
Readings are at 7:30 PM at The Studio at Theater 511, 511 W. 54th Street (between 10th and 11th Avenues).
Admission is free and open to the public. Seating is limited. Reservations are suggested and may be made online at aracaworks.com.
AracaWorks premiered in December 2010, showcasing established playwrights and emerging voices. The series gave voice to works that later were seen in full productions elsewhere: Suicide, Incorporated by Andrew Hinderaker (Roundabout Underground, Fall 2011), How the World Began by Catherine Trieschmann (South Coast Repertory, Winter 2012), Disgraced by Ayad Akhtar (LCT3, Fall 2012), Warrior Class by Kenneth Lin (Second Stage Uptown, Summer 2012) and Recall by Eliza Clark (Colt Coeur, Summer 2012).
The Araca Group is a theatrical production and live event merchandising company. Araca's producing credits include Urinetown: The Musical, Wicked, Frankie and Johnny in the Claire de Lune, Boeing-Boeing, The Laramie Project, Debbie Does Dallas, The Vagina Monologues, The Scene, Fault Lines, The Wedding Singer, Match, A View From the Bridge, Lend Me a Tenor, Catch Me If You Can, The House of Blue Leaves and The Merchant of Venice.