2015 New American Voices Play Reading Series
Frenetic Theater - March 13-15, 2015
San Francisco, California
My Friend Dahmer adopted for the stage by Jake Arky
Based on the graphic novel by Derf
Directed by Troy Scheid
Friday, March 13, 2015 @ 7pm
In the mid 1970’s, two young high school boys formed a friendship. One grew up to be a successful underground cartoonist; the other grew up to be Jeffery Dahmer, one of the most notorious serial killers in American history. Derf and Dahmer’s friendship starts out with harmless fishing trips and youthful soul searching, but evolves into something much darker than either one of them could have predicted. This is a story of how friends make monsters. (The play is based off the graphic novel “My Friend Dahmer” by Derf and is used with permission by the author.)
Jake Arky is the Associate Director of Education-Playwriting for TheatreWorks. Jake was theatrically trained at the University of Utah’s Youtheatre Conservatory where he began writing and producing original plays before completing his B.F.A. in dramatic writing at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. Jake is the author of the plays Nosh, The Shift, Brothers of Astoria, My Friend Dahmer (based on the graphic novel by Derf), Sexbot 2600, Issei/Nisei, The Lookout and The Birthday Girl. His short stories include The Green Flash and #deathies, both published by SSWA Press. Jake is a 2014 National Playwriting Conference finalist with The O’Neill Center. He has worked with The Cherry Lane Theatre, The La Jolla Playhouse, The Playwrights Project of San Diego, ’06 Ensemble, Dragon Theater, 68 Cent Crew (NYC), PianoFight Productions. Jake co- founded So Say We All: a non-profits arts production and education organization specializing in the literary and storytelling arts. He regularly performs stories on stage with The Moth, Fireside Storytelling, Busting Out, and the Oakland Story Slam.
Ebenezer Creek by James McLindon
Directed by Cheramie Hopper
Saturday, March 14, 2015 @ 1pm
Union soldiers with conflicting views on race and slavery march across Georgia to end the Civil War, hampered or buoyed depending on their points of view by the thousands of slaves fleeing to them for freedom and protection. Meanwhile, the members of a makeshift family of newly freed slaves, separated by sale during the war’s waning days, search for each other amid the ruins and horrors, old and new, of the South. At the same time, vanquished Southerners cling to the Peculiar Institution until the end … and then begin an attempt to reimpose slavery on freedmen and women in all but name.
The North may have won the war. But who would win the peace?
James McLindon’s play, Comes a Faery, was developed at the 2010 O’Neill National Playwrights Conference, Sean Daniels directing, and was a finalist for the Humana Festival. Ebenezer Creek was just named a Semifinalist for the 2015 O’Neill. Salvation was produced by the Hudson Stage Company, Giovanna Sardelli directing, to critical acclaim in the New York Times and elsewhere. Dead and Buried, a semifinalist for the 2011 O’Neill, will be premiered March-May, 2012 at the Detroit Rep and will be produced twice more in 2012 in Boston and Ohio. Distant Music has enjoyed six productions, most recently at the Brigit Saint Brigit Theatre in Omaha, where it voted Best Comedy by the Omaha Arts and Entertainment Awards. His plays have been developed and/or produced at theaters such as the Lark, PlayPenn, Victory Gardens, Irish Repertory, Seven Devils, Abingdon, hotINK Festival, Samuel French Ten-Minute Play Festival, Telluride Playwrights Festival, CAP21, Emerging Artists Theatre, Love Creek Productions, Prop Thtr, Lyric Stage, Boston Playwrights Theatre, Colony Theatre, Theatricum Botanicum, Circus Theatricals, Great Plains Theatre Conference, and Arkansas Rep. His plays have been published by Dramatic Publishing, Smith and Krause and Level 4 Press.
James graduated Harvard Law School summa cum laude and was an editor of the Harvard Law Review. He has been a Dramatist Guild Fellow, a member of the Lark Play Development Center’s Monthly Meeting of the Minds, and a Next Voices Playwriting Fellow at the New Repertory Theatre in Boston. He has also had residencies at the O’Neill National Playwrights Conference, Ledig House and CAP21 in New York.
David Alan Brown
Lily's Blue: Portrait of a man, grieving by David Alan Brown
Directed by Jacey Little
Saturday, March 14, 2015 @ 7pm
A story of life after death. Inspired by Roland Barthes’ Mourning Diary, his writings and theories, the play is a meditation on culture, symbolism, art, emotions and loss. Mr. Barthes’ teaching on Semiology, myth and artistic intent are cleverly intertwined with the emotional highs and lows of living after tragedy. Over an eighteen-month period, our everyman lead engages in three seemingly random conversations. These interactions and events reveal the desperate, random journey of men grieving.
David Alan Brown holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. His play Lily’s Blue was a semi-finalist in Kitchen Dog Theater’s 2014 New Works Festival. In 2009 The Manhattan Theatre Source chose his play, It Is What It Is for its Playground Development Series. Another work, Confidence, was a finalist in the Bloomington Playwrights Project One Act competition. His comedy shorts have been performed by The Actor’s Project of New York and Frogs With Fangs Comedy Troupe. He is the published author of two nonfiction books (The Self-Help Paradox and Answer The Call). He has also written a young adult novel, numerous short stories and contributes freelance journalism to American Media Distributors. He lives in Indianapolis with his wife, two daughters, a fish and a cat who thinks it’s a dog.
The Me Generation by Catherine Rush
Directed by Paige Kiliany
Sunday, March 15, 2015 @ 3pm
The year is 1978. The Sixties are over and Reaganomics is moments away. It’s a time in- between. At the Pierson School, a private girls boarding school in New York State, the students share responsibility with the faculty for their education and their school community. Maggie Guthrie and Peggy Norris are roommates and best friends. In their senior year at Pierson, they have the added responsibility of being dorm proctors, charged to taking care of the younger students. Unwittingly, Peggy finds herself in the middle of a tug-of-war between the past and the future when a lecherous music teacher, two closeted lesbian counselors, a dominating new Dean of Students and a 12 year-old Iranian student dealing with the confusion of a revolution at home converge and explode. Peggy is pulled in all directions and each one is not the direction she wants. How much say does a young woman have in determining her future? Who is really looking out for her well-being and why is her generation labeled “The Me Generation?”
Catherine Rush’s play The Loudest Man on Earth received its world premiere production at TheatreWorks of Silicon Valley in July of 2013. Voted one of the top ten plays of 2103 by the San Francisco Chronicle, the play also won an Edgerton New American Play Award. Prior to that it had been developed at the TheatreWorks’ New Works Festival, New York Theater Workshop’s Readings@3 as well as their Dartmouth Summer New Play Workshop all under the direction of Pamela Berlin. Other productions include, Losing the Shore, commissioned and produced by BCKSEET Productions in Philadelphia, This Island Alone, co-written with Adrian Blue, developed and produced at the Martha’s Vineyard Playhouse, and A Nice Place to Live, co-written with Adrian Blue, commissioned and produced by Wheelock Family Theatre of Boston. Her one-act play, The Sum of Me recently won the Arts and Letters award for Drama at Georgia College and State University. Ms. Rush worked as dramaturg with the ASL Shakespeare Project translating Twelfth Night into American Sign Language and ultimately performing the role of Viola in ASL at the Prince Music Theater in Philadelphia. She has lectured on the translation process at the MLA Conference, Kent State University and the “Revolution in Sign” Conference at Gallaudet University. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Yale University and an MFA in Playwriting from Spalding University. She is represented by Seth Glewen at The Gersh Agency.