Roundabout Theatre Company has announced the lineup for its sixth annual Roundabout Underground Reading Series, a five-night event that features readings of new works written and directed by emerging artists. Roundabout Underground is an initiative dedicated to introducing and cultivating artists in Roundabout’s 62-seat Black Box Theatre.
The 2017 series will feature new works by Saheem Ali, Emily Feldman, Alex Lubischer, Don Nguyen, Ming Peiffer, and Michael Thurber. Readings and post-show receptions will take place January 9-13, 2017, at the Black Box Theatre in the Harold and Miriam Steinberg Center for Theatre. The readings are free to the public.
Here’s how Roundabout bills the new works:
Usual Girls, January 9
By Ming Peiffer, directed by Tyne Rafaeli
On an elementary school playground, a boy threatens to tell on a group of girls for swearing – unless one of them kisses him. But just before lips can touch, Kyeoung tackles the boy to the ground. The victory is short-lived. Over the coming years, Kyeoung herself is knocked down again and again. By an alcoholic dad. A group of quick-to-judge friends. And an endlessly invasive parade of men. As we follow Kyeoung from the discoveries of childhood to the realities of adulthood, her stories get stranger, funnier, more harrowing – and more familiar. How do girls grow up? Quickly, painfully, wondrously.
My Lover Joan, January 10
By Emily Feldman, directed by Will Davis
Whether wearing sackcloth, toga, golden bangles, or a pantsuit, there seems to be no moment in history when it’s easy to be a woman. Wiser than the powerful men who keep her in her place, Joan longs to use her mind and take charge. Her ambition will take her on a surprising journey, all while her lover watches longingly from the sidelines, wondering where he fits in her topsy-turvy world.
Bobbie Clearly, January 11
By Alex Lubischer, directed by Kip Fagan
In the small town of Milton, Nebraska, everyone has an opinion about what Bobbie Clearly did in the cornfield on that terrible day, but few want to face Bobbie himself. Some remain stuck in the past, others are desperate to move forward, and one might even find solace in the local talent show. In this darkly comic portrait of a community at a crossroads, Bobbie’s return to Milton will lead to a discovery that time may not be able to heal all wounds.
The Supreme Leader, January 12
By Don Nguyen, directed by Moritz von Stuelpnagel
It’s the fall of 2002 at a Swiss boarding school, and a teenage Kim Jong-Un – a basketball-loving, note-pad sketching, Un – finds himself torn. He’s suddenly enjoying an unlikely friendship with fellow student Sophie, who opens Un’s eyes to the possibilities of a world beyond his restricted reality and his father’s watchful gaze. Brimming with character and humor, The Supreme Leader imagines the teenage years of the enigmatic leader of North Korea and explores the importance of friendship and connection in a life that’s been pre-destined.
The Booty Call, January 13
Music and lyrics by Michael Thurber, directed and developed with and additional material by Saheem Ali
Most singles in New York would be thrilled to receive a booty call from a woman they’re into, but when Gabe gets a message from Sam, he’s thrown into a tailspin. As Gabe tries to lose himself in his music, his recordings soon turn into an outlet for all of his anxieties about love and intimacy. The Booty Call offers a musical window into the insecurities hiding within even the kind of guy who’s supposed to have it easy.
Tickets can be reserved by emailing [email protected].