MTC's Ernst C. Stiefel Reading Series, Featuring Works by Halley Feiffer and Joshua Harmon, Begins March 24 | Playbill

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News MTC's Ernst C. Stiefel Reading Series, Featuring Works by Halley Feiffer and Joshua Harmon, Begins March 24 The 16th year of Manhattan Theatre Club's Ernst C. Stiefel Reading Series commences March 24.

Halley Feiffer
Halley Feiffer Photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN

The series, which was formerly known as [email protected], is held on consecutive Mondays through April 7 at New York City Center – Stage I.

Dedicated to the support and development of new work, the series has resulted in several full productions at MTC, including David Auburn’s Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize-winning Proof, Joe Hortua’s Between Us, Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa’s Based on a Totally True Story and Molly Smith Metzler’s Close Up Space.

The series kicks off March 24 at 4 PM with I’m Gonna Pray For You So Hard, by Halley Feiffer (How to Make Friends and Then Kill Them). The cast comprises Peter Friedman and Betty Gilpin, and the reading is directed by Trip Cullman. "Ella is a precocious actress whose sole aim in life is making her famous playwright father proud," press notes state. "But after seeking his approval her whole life, she must learn that the only way to make her dreams a reality is to finally strike out on her own. A dark and bitingly funny drama about fathers and daughters and the powerful draw of making art."

The Franco-Prussian War, by Joshua Harmon (Bad Jews), will be presented March 31 at 4 PM, directed by Stephen Brackett. Here's how the reading is billed: "Jordan's always been there for his trio of best girlfriends as they stumble through the pratfalls of dating in New York City. But as singles' nights turn into bachelorette parties for Kiki, Vanessa and Laura, he's no longer the only man in their lives. A coming of age story about what we do when one feels like the loneliest number."

The Chinese Room, by Michael West (Conservatory), will be presented April 7 at 11 AM, directed by James MacDonald. "Frank has dedicated his life to the development of Artificial Intelligence. When his company decides to dispense with his services – and his research, the line between his life’s work and his life turns out to be blurrier than it appears. A moving and complex thriller about love and just how far we will go to keep it alive," press notes state. Carolyn Cantor will direct Happy Place, by Joe Tracz, April 7 at 4 PM. Here's how the show is billed: "Caroline is determined to plan the best trip possible for her family vacation to Disney World. When she hires a handicapped woman to help them cut the lines, she sets into motion a series of events that none of them could have anticipated. A compelling drama about the questions and complexities behind the Happiest Place on Earth."

All readings are free and open to the public.  Reservations are required. 

Call (212) 399-3000, ext. 4163 or visit to reserve seats. 

Visit for more information.

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