Irvington Town Hall Theater is excited about our first festival of readings of original works. This festival grew from our stage door reading series the past few seasons and creates an exploratory laboratory for playwrights to try out their works in front of an audience. Each session will end with a Q&A where audiences can talk about what they just saw with the playwrights.
Please take a look at each session when choosing which one you want to attend & purchase tickets for THAT session– or join us for the entire festival and make it a theatrical weekend in Irvington! Tickets can be purchased here.
Please note that not all sessions may be suitable for children.
Eight Readings of new plays
Fresh from the playwright and straight to the heart...
November 11th at 3:00pm
Goat Feed by Samuel Harps
On April 27th, 1994, the day of Independence from Apartheid in South Africa, a White South African Goat Farmer is confronted by his long time African worker, over the rights to the home and land they’ve lived on, but on two very different sides of the fence.
Playwright Bio: Samuel Harps interned at New York's New Dramatist, studying with noted playwrights August Wilson and Charles Oyamo Gordon. He was later accepted as a member of the prestigious Negro Ensemble Company playwright's program. Samuel’s first major production, Don't Explain was staged at New York's famed Nuyorican Poet's Cafe. The explosive drama on the death of trumpeter Lee Morgan went on to receive seven AUDELCO Awards, including best play and playwright. Samuel also received The Arts Council of Rockland County Executive Award for Literary Artist. New York productions include; The Paul Roberson Theater, The National Black Theater, The Billie Holiday Theater, Theater for the New City, Theater Four, Duality Playhouse, and HERE Theater. Regional productions include; Rutgers University, (Newark) The Christina Cultural Arts Center (Wilmington, DEL) The Painted Bride and Bushfire Theaters, both in Philadelphia, EXIT Theater, (San Francisco) Vision Theater, Los Angeles.
Reunion by Brian Wallace
A story of two star-crossed lovers who meet decades after their high school crush. The seemingly sentimental journey sails the sea of first loves and possibilities, rekindling the passion of youth. Their memories chase their dreams, only to collide with reality. The dance floor reunion is bittersweet.
Playwright Bio: An actor and writer, Brian Wallace has built a professional stage career for several years. He has been in the original casts of plays by several Tony and Pulitzer-nominated authors, and his own writing has been produced in NYC, Los Angeles and Canada. Online, he has served as a NYC theater and dance critic, and ran the Lost Plays podcast, resurrecting forgotten dramas in audible form. Brian has a penchant for comedy (usually), and his election parody "Trump's Island" was staged on both coasts and cited by Broadway World as the most insightful theatre piece about the 2016 campaign. Brian has lived in California since 2015, where he is currently performing in "End of the Rainbow" at the La Mirada Theatre, starring Angela Ingersoll. Eternal gratitude to Jan, Susan and Martin. If you like “Reunion,” he has more. www.splashofwallace.com
The Brotherhood by Reneè Flemings
Two brothers face the challenges of overcoming a family tragedy when one of them finds himself caught between who he is and what he represents in this ten-minute play inspired by recent events.
Playwright Bio: Reneè Flemings (Playwright) Plays include Strange Weather, which has had readings at Roundabout Theatre Company (NYC), New Federal Theatre, The New Professional Theatre’s, Centenary Theatre and Run of the Mill Theatre (Baltimore). Other plays include Rendered, Daddy’s Home, Coyote Calls, Monsters, Second Hand Smoke, Legend, Scars (Sam French Finalist) and The Jam, which received a reading as part of the Genesis Festival @ Crossroads Theatre and a developmental workshop through The Blank Theatre in Los Angeles, CA. Other works include the libretto and lyrics for Love Rose and a full-length multi-media work about the Little Rock Nine, With All Deliberate Speed. Additionally, Renee´ has written and performed several solo shows including From the Front Porch, “…secrets…” and The Bible Belt. Publications include: Bounce &Roll, Bel Canto, Rewind and The Visitation.
November 11th at 7:30pm
Between Friends by Danielle Frimer
The story of two best friends with disparate political views who are forced to face their differences at a wedding one month after the 2016 election. It asks questions about the true nature of friendship, what it might take to build bridges towards compromise, and where the line is where disparate views make friendship something too hard to hold.
Playwright Bio: Danielle Frimer is a writer, actor, and singer. Most recently, she played Daphna in the San Diego premiere of Bad Jews at the Cygnet Theatre. Before that, she wrote the book for The Honey of His Music Vows, a play with music, at CoHo Lab in Portland, Oregon with the Sycamore Theatre Company. She graduated from A.C.T.'s MFA program, where her roles on the mainstage and in the conservatory included Althea in Monstress, Nell in Indian Ink, Teresa in Napoli, Annabelle in A Christmas Carol, Ophelia in Hamlet and Victoria/Edward in Cloud Nine. Other roles include the Princess in Love's Labour's Lost (Post 5 Theater), Olivia in Twelfth Night (Portland Actors Ensemble), Philomela in Weightless (Z Space) and Jessie in Eddie the Marvelous... (Berkeley Rep's Ground Floor). www.daniellefrimer.com.
AMP by Jody Christopherson
In AMP, Mary Shelley begins the process of writing Frankenstein on stage. Mary's monologues are interwoven with film interviews of a woman who auditions for the Boston Symphony during their first historic "blind auditions" and is committed to an asylum.
Playwright Bio: Jody Christopherson is a performer, writer, photographer, and filmmaker living in New York. Hailed by Time Out as "a talent to watch", recent works include; Greencard Wedding, (writer/performer/filmmaker) a multi-media rock musical about artist visas,(recently presented by: The Studios of Key West, The Brick Theater in Brooklyn NY, FilmGate Miami at the Miami Light Project, Dixon Place (New York), Carrie Morris Performing Arts in Detroit MI), Because You Are Good, a solo show, devised and performed by Ms. Christopherson, based on interviews with Mabou Mines Associate Clove Galilee, (2015 Innovative Theater Award Nomination) and Necessary Exposure: The Female Playwright Project, (conceptual artist/photographer) a photography and sound installation in art galleries and on iTunes. Ms. Christopherson is a contributor to The Huffington Post, and has been a teaching artist at The Orchard Project, a speaker at Mason Gross School of the Arts and New York Mensa. Member: Actors Equity Association, Dramatist Guild of America.
Session 3 (Family Friendly)
November 12th at 12:30pm
Bookworms by Linda Bidwell Delaney
The bookworms are terrified. Mr. Earl E Bird is coming to their library to study worm culture and mentions that he expects breakfast. Are they going to be breakfast? Birds eat worms, right? Hiding doesn’t work, disguising themselves doesn’t work, so they regale the bird with tales of a “worm culture” they invent on the spot, loosely based on books they’ve read. Will it work? What, or whom, does Mr. Earl E. Bird want for breakfast?
Playwright Bio: Linda Bidwell Delaney lives in Yorktown Heights, NY. Her playwriting adventures began in New York’s Capital District where Bookworms was toured to local libraries. Her other plays for family audiences include the musicals Calendar Club Convention, which also toured, and The Holly Jolly Follies, which was produced on the Proctors Main Stage in Schenectady NY. Her plays for adults have been performed widely, including at the annual festival of the Theater Association of New York State (TANYS). She is a proud member of the Westchester Collaborative Theater, which has produced some of her works locally. She is also a proud member of the Dramatists Guild of America. She is grateful to the Stage Door Playwright’s Festival for giving her the opportunity to provide her bookworms and bird with a vacation from their dusty old books.
November 12th at 3:00pm
Dog Park by Jason Odell Williams
Aspiring screenwriter Alice and struggling novelist Owen have always had a flirty vibe yet have remained just dog park buddies. But when world famous actress Jennifer Stone shows up at the park, and offers to option Owen’s novel shortly after meeting him, the competitive natures of the two writers are revealed. DOG PARK is a one-act romantic comedy about loyalty, celebrity, and what it means to be on top.
Playwright Bio: Jason Odell Williams is an Emmy-nominated writer and producer as well as an award-winning playwright. His most recent play, Church & State (published by DPS), ran for over 100 performances Off-Broadway at New World Stages March-June 2017, and was nominated for a BEST NEW PLAY AWARD by the Off-Broadway Alliance. Before that the play was selected as an NNPN Rolling World Premiere with productions at JCC CenterStage in Rochester and Skylight Theatre Company in Los Angeles where it was nominated for three L.A. Ovation Awards including BEST PLAYWRITING FOR AN ORIGINAL PLAY and BEST PRODUCTION OF A PLAY (Intimate Theatre). There are already 9 regional productions scheduled for the 2017-18 season. Jason’s first play Handle With Care (also published by DPS) was a New York Times Critics’ Pick, ran for over 100 performances Off-Broadway starring Carol Lawrence, has been produced 21 times in the last five years in the U.S. and Canada, and recently won three Theatre Bay Area Awards including OUTSTANDING PRODUCTION. Other full-length plays: Baltimore in Black & White (the cell theatre); Someone Else (NC Stage); The Science of Guilt (DR2). Short-plays: Going Offline (Fells Point Corner Theatre); The Jungle Gym (American Globe Theatre). Readings: Primary Stages, The Blank, The Lark, EST, as well as developmental readings starring Norbert Leo Butz, Matthew Lillard and Tovah Feldshuh. Jason is a winner of the 2012 Hudson Valley Writers Workshop contest and the 2011 Fixitsolife Theatre playwriting contest. He lives in New York City with his wife, daughter, and their rescued dog, Pepper. More at jasonodellwilliams.com
Backyard Desert by Nancy Kelly
A female border patrol agent finds a young migrant lost in the Arizona desert. The wrenching encounter slowly erodes the foundations upon which she’s built her life, leading her to question her choices and relationships. Torn between the comfort of her unexamined values and a budding awareness of the human ties that transcend all borders, she must make a wrenching decision in order to follow her truth.
Playwright Bio: Nancy Kelly is a playwright, performer, dramaturg, and educator. Most recently, she was the dramaturg on Platform Group’s production of “Roughly Speaking” and curated a solo performance series, Mono a Mono, at Bowery Poetry in New York City. She has performed her original solo performance pieces in New York and San Francisco. She holds an MFA in theater from Sarah Lawrence College and a BA in Dramatic Art/Dance from U.C. Berkeley and is a member of the Dramatists Guild. She has taught acting, storytelling and public speaking at New York area colleges since 2005. Originally from Northern California, she currently lives in New York City.