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Red Bull Theater Announces Selections for THE NINTH ANNUAL SHORT NEW PLAY FESTIVAL including World Premieres from Kia Corthron and Marcus Gardley
Posted by: Official_Press_Release 06:50 pm EDT 06/13/19

Red Bull Theater
Announces Selections for

THE NINTH ANNUAL
SHORT NEW PLAY FESTIVAL

Including Commissioned World Premieres from Kia Corthron and Marcus Gardley

Directed by Vivienne Benesch and Jade King Carroll

Monday, July 15th at 7:30 PM

At the Lucille Lortel Theatre

Red Bull Theater (Jesse Berger, Artistic Director | Jim Bredeson, Managing Director) today announced the selections for their ninth annual festival of 10-minute plays of heightened language and classic themes, featuring two brand new commissions from Kia Corthron and Marcus Gardley, alongside six brand new plays that have been chosen from hundreds of submissions from playwrights across the country: Kate Abbruzzese, Terry Glaser, Eric Pfeffinger, BrIdgette Dutta Portman, David Lerner Schwartz, Sofya Levitsky Weitz, and Matthew Wells.

The 2019 Short New Play Festival will be presented on Monday July 15th (7:30pm) at the Lucille Lortel Theatre, directed by Vivienne Benesch and Jade King Carroll. Casting will be announced at a later date.

Each year, the company selects new works of heightened language and classical themes from today’s top established and emerging playwrights. Six brand-new short plays have been selected from a competitive open submission process and will now be presented in staged readings alongside the commissioned plays.

This year’s selections are:

Kia Corthron, LEAP FROG

Two incarcerated men play an invented card game that leap frogs through history tracing moments of sinfulness both profound and ridiculous, in a powerful riff on Aristophanes.

Kia Corthron was the 2017 resident playwright of Chicago’s Eclipse Theatre, which produced three of her plays. Other plays produced in NYC by Playwrights Horizons, EST, NYTW, Atlantic, MTC; in London by the Royal Court, Donmar Warehouse; regionally at Minneapolis’ Children’s Theatre, ATL/Humana, Taper, Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Yale Rep, NYS&F, Baltimore's Center Stage, Goodman, Hartford Stage, elsewhere. Awards include the Windham Campbell Prize, USArtists Jane Addams Fellowship, Simon Great Plains Playwright Award, McKnight National Residency. TV: "The Jury," "The Wire." The Castle Cross the Magnet Carter won the 2016 Center for Fiction First Novel Prize. Dramatists Guild Council, New Dramatists alumnus.


Marcus Gardley, (play to be announced)

Marcus Gardley is a proud Oakland-born playwright-poet whom The New Yorker calls “the heir to Garcia Lorca, Pirandello and Tennessee Williams.” His play, X or The Nation V. Betty Shabazz was a New York Times Critic's Pick and was remounted off-Broadway in the Spring of 2018. His play The House That Will Not Stand won a 2019 Obie award and opened Off-Broadway in the summer of 2018 to rave reviews and a sold-out extension with 8 AUDELCO nominations, winning 4 including Best Play. It is now being adapted into a motion picture written by Gardley. He is the recipient of the 2019 Doris Duke Artist Award and the 2019 San Francisco Library Laureate Award. Gardley received the 2018 Guiding Light Award presented by Cal Shakes and won the 2017 Special Citation Theater Award for his play Black Odyssey, which swept the Theater Bay Area Awards garnering 6 other prizes including Best Production and a special playwriting award. He is the 2015 Glickman Award for The House That Will Not Stand and the 2013 USA James Baldwin Fellow. He was the 2011 PEN Laura Pels award winner for Mid-Career Playwright. His work has been produced across the country with several productions in England and France. Currently, Gardley is writing a biopic about Marvin Gaye produced by Dr. Dre, a film adaptation of Twelve Angry Men developed at HBO and a television show at F/X.


Kate Abbruzzese, AN EVENING WITH THE MACBETHS

Just a casual night in with two of the most reviled characters in Shakespeare's cannon. Everything's fine. Really. We promise.

Kate Abbruzzese is an alum of Vassar College and NYU's MFA Graduate Acting Program. She has acted in many of Shakespeare's plays and has imagined his characters’ lives beyond the page in several other works for the stage. She also moonlights as a cartoonist and illustrator.


Terry Glaser, PARDON MY GREED!

With ribald humor and dazzling poetry this newly-minted Canterbury Tale follows Chaucer himself as he meets a Pardoner, who makes his fortune selling pardons for our sins.

Terry Glaser, adjunct professor at the University of San Diego, is a playwright, translator, librettist, stage director, actress, and acting teacher. She has worked both in academia and the professional theatre for over 30 years. Her writing includes translation/adaptations of classic plays and operas, including The Frogs, A Flea in Her Ear, The Surprise of Love, Croquefer, and Orfeo. Her original dramatic works include the Commedia dell'arte farce The Dentist, and solo shows in which she performs the life stories of playwrights, including The Mysterious Dwarf (Gogol), and Chekhov, Live! (Chekhov). Ms. Glaser has served as stage director for over 50 productions across the country and has performed her solo shows and conducted master classes at the University of Virginia, the University of Kansas, Syracuse University, and Point Loma Nazarene University. Ms. Glaser holds a B.A. in Playwriting from Brown University and an M.A. in Theatre (Directing) from Syracuse University.


Eric Pfeffinger, SOMETHING THIS WAY COMES

Lackey and Gofer are just a coupla working stiffs waiting for their guy to arrive, gossiping about their vile scoundrel of a king, who really does have a pretty good tax plan.

Eric Pfeffinger is a member of the Dramatists Guild and the Writers Guild of America east. His plays have been produced by the Humana Festival of New American Plays at Actors Theatre of Louisville, Denver Theatre Center, Geva Theatre Center, Phoenix Theatre, the InterAct, 16th Street Theatre, Source Festival, City Theatre of Miami, the One-Minute Play Festival, and elsewhere. He's written new plays on commissions from the Signature Theatre, the InterAct, Imagination Stage, and the Bloomington Playwrights Project. He's developed new work with PlayPenn, Page 73, the Lark Playwrights Week, the Colorado New Play Summit, the Orlando Shakes PlayFest, Chicago Dramatists, and others. His plays have been published by Dramatic Publishing, Dramatics Magazine, Steele Spring, HowlRound, and Indie Theater Now.


Bridgette Dutta Portman, EXPOSURE

Sometime in the mythical past on a warm summer night, a king attempts to leave his infant nephew on a hillside to die of exposure, but a nearby shepherd is having none of it.

Bridgette Dutta Portman is a playwright based in Fremont, CA. Dozens of her short plays have been produced locally, across the country and overseas. Her work was featured in Red Bull Theater's Short New Play Festivals in 2014 and 2016. Her full-length plays include The Widow of Sisyphus (semi-finalist, 2011 O'Neill Playwrights' Conference), La Fee Verte (Acadiana Repertory Theatre, 2016), Caeneus & Poseidon (Dragon Theatre, 2017), Ageless (Quantum Dragon Theatre, 2017), and The Mourner (Custom Made Theatre, 2018). She has been a finalist for the Bay Area Playwrights' Festival, the PlayPenn Conference, the Garry Marshall New Works Festival, the Kentucky Women’s Theatre Conference Prize for Women Writers, and the New Dramatists playwrights' residency. She is past president of the Playwrights' Center of San Francisco, a founding member of Same Boat Theatre Collective, and a member of the Pear Writers' Guild and the Dramatists' Guild. She earned an MFA in creative writing from Spalding University.


David Lerner Schwartz and Sofya Levitsky Weitz, NINETEEN TWENTY-SIX

Lot's Wife is a casino dealer. We meet her just as Sodom is being destroyed. It takes a little bit of evil to look back.

Sofya Levitsky-Weitz is a current Jerome Fellow and incoming Core Writer at the Playwrights’ Center and a member of EST/Youngblood. Plays developed with NYTW, UCF’s Pegasus PlayLab, Williamstown, Ensemble Studio Theatre, Steep Theatre, the Sam French OOB Festival, the Flea, Chicago Dramatists, and more. Finalist for the Heideman Award, semi-finalist for the O’Neill Playwrights’ Conference, the Playwrights’ Realm Fellowship, the Princess Grace Award and Premiere Stages. Published by The Kenyon Review, the 53rd State Press, and (twice) in The Dionysian. She’s the official annual playwriting judge for Hendrix College’s playwriting competition and got her MFA in Writing for the Screen & Stage at Northwestern University.

David Lerner Schwartz is the upcoming writer in residence at St. Albans in Washington, DC. He holds an MFA in fiction from the Bennington Writing Seminars where he was a recipient of the MFA Alumni Writer's Grant and a bachelor's from Tufts University with high honors. His work has been published in New York Magazine, Quartz, SmokeLong Quarterly, and more. He serves as an assistant fiction editor at Four Way Review and previously taught design at Parsons.


Matthew Wells, THE DEVIL OF HISTORY

In perfect iambic pentameter, Iago delivers his last words as a scathing litany, espousing the limitless virtues of vice. And he loves every second of it.

Matthew Wells is a Thailand-based playwright whose productions include Schrödinger's Girlfriend (EST Sloan Grant; Magic Theatre, San Francisco; Act II Playhouse, Ambler PA); Oscar and Adonis (2000 Tennessee Williams Literary Festival One-Act Play Award); Scarlet Woman (2011 Frigid Festival, NYC; Edmonton Fringe; Winnipeg Fringe; Gremlin Theatre, St. Paul); Beautiful Day (finalist, 2013 Lark Playwrights Week; Actors Theatre of Charlotte's 2016 nuVoices Festival; fourth prize, 2016 Hope & Optimism Competition); Countrie Matters (2015 Great Plains Theatre Conference); Romeo and Rosaline (2015 Red Bull Theater Short Play Festival); Elvis at Auschwitz (Nylon Fusion); Barabbas (semi-finalist, 2017 National Playwrights Conference) and Falstaff In Love (Finalist, First Round and Second Round, 2018 Shakespeare's New Contemporaries).


Red Bull Theater’s annual Short New Play Festival has generated over 1,000 new short plays of classic themes and heightened language, presenting over 60 of them in a one-night only Festival performance with some of New York’s finest actors and directors. In its first eight years, the commissioned playwrights have been: Lee Blessing, Constance Congdon, Lisa D’Amour, Elizabeth Egloff, Amy Freed, David Grimm, John Guare, Tina Howe, David Ives, Arthur Kopit, Ellen McLaughlin, Dael Orlandersmith, Peter Oswald, Regina Taylor, Anne Washburn, and Doug Wright. Winners of the open submission competition have included: K.M. Abbruzzese, Liz Duffy Adams, Mike Anderson, Heidi Armbruster, Matt Barbot, Emily Taplin Boyd, Dave Carley, Fred Dennehy, Dipika Guha, Arthur Holden, Will Kenton, Anchuli Felicia King, Sam Lahne, Tabia Lau, Patricia Ione Lloyd, Wendy MacLeod, Anya Martin, Stephen Massicotte, Dakin Matthews, Elizabeth Miller, Winter Miller, Mark O'Donnell, Eric Pfeffinger, Jason Gray Platt, Bridgette Dutta Portman, Amanda Quaid, Lynn Rosen, Tom Rowan, Aubrey Saverino, Natalia Savvides, Jen Silverman, Tommy Smith, James Still, Matthew Wells, Samara Weiss, Daniel Wilson, and Tim West.

Stage Rights has published a 4-volume collection of the plays from the first 8 years of Red Bull Theater’s annual Short New Play Festival as RED BULL SHORTS.

Red Bull Theater, hailed as “the city’s gutsiest classical theater” by Time Out New York, brings rarely seen classic plays to dynamic new life for contemporary audiences, uniting a respect for tradition with a modern sensibility. Named for the rowdy Jacobean playhouse that illegally performed plays in England during the years of Puritan rule, Red Bull Theater is New York City’s home for dynamic performances of great plays that stand the test of time. With the Jacobean plays of Shakespeare and his contemporaries as its cornerstone, the company also produces new works that are in conversation with the classics. A home for artists, scholars and students, Red Bull Theater delights and engages the intellect and imagination of audiences, and strives to make its work accessible, diverse, and welcoming to all. Red Bull Theater believes in the power of great classic stories and plays of heightened language to deepen our understanding of the human condition, in the special ability of live theater to create unique, collective experiences, and the timeless capacity of classical theater to illuminate the events of our times. Variety agreed, hailing Red Bull’s work as: “Proof that classical theater can still be surprising after hundreds of years.”

Since its debut in 2003 with a production of Shakespeare’s Pericles starring Daniel Breaker, Red Bull Theater has served adventurous theatergoers with Off-Broadway Productions, Revelation Readings, and the annual Short New Play Festival. The company also offers outreach programs including Shakespeare in Schools bringing professional actors and teaching artists into public school classrooms; Bull Sessions, free post-play discussions with top scholars; and Master Classes in classical acting led by veteran theater professionals.

Acclaimed as “a dynamic producer of classic plays” by The New York Times and “the most exciting classical theater in New York” by Time Out NY, Red Bull Theater has produced 19 Off-Broadway productions and nearly 200 Revelation Readings of rarely seen classics, serving a community of more than 5,000 artists and providing quality artistic programming to an audience of over 65,000. The company’s unique programming has received ongoing critical acclaim, and has been recognized with Lortel, Drama Desk, Drama League, Callaway, Off Broadway Alliance, and OBIE nominations and Awards.

Red Bull Theater’s mainstage production of Mac Beth recently completed its acclaimed, sold-out run at the Lucille Lortel Theatre.

For more information about the Short New Play Festival, or any of Red Bull Theater's programs, visit www.redbulltheater.com.
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