Spring Readings Series Features the Region’s Most Promising New Plays

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UNION – Premiere Stages at Kean University will hold its annual Spring Readings on Thursday, March 17, Friday, March 18, and Saturday, March 19 at 7 p.m. and Sunday, March 20 at 3 p.m. in the University Center Little Theatre, located on Kean’s Central Campus, 1000 Morris Avenue, Union.

The finalist plays, selected from more than 300 submissions to the Premiere Stages Play Festival, will be given a professional reading and are considered for expanded development as part of the Premiere Stages 2011 summer season.

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“What makes Premiere unique is that we fast track plays from a sit-down reading to a fully staged production within a few short months, keeping highly topical plays relevant while affording playwrights the benefit of retaining the world premiere rights,” said John Wooten, producing artistic director of Premiere Stages. “Second productions of new plays are extremely rare, and demanding the ‘world premiere’ brand often stops a play dead in its tracks.”

One new play is read and discussed each evening and the public is encouraged to actively engage in the new play developmental process through post-reading dialogues with the writers and written evaluations. With audience response and input from a panel of theatre professionals, two plays are chosen for further development by Premiere Stages. One of the four plays will be selected for an Actors’ Equity Association staged reading in June, and the most promising play will be awarded a fully produced AEA production in July. All of the finalists also receive cash awards ranging from $500 to $2,000.

The schedule for the readings is as follows:

Thursday, March 17 – “Floodplains” by Gabe McKinley
When a weathered army veteran learns of his daughter’s disappearance in Iraq, he is forced to re-examine his role as both a father and a champion of the war.

Friday, March 18 – “Transit” by Kait Kerrigan
When a Poughkeepsie Transit worker is confronted by an ambitious young reporter about his connection with the death of a Muslim woman, he must choose between uncovering the truth about her life and keeping the secrets she left behind.

Saturday, March 19 – “Egyptian Song” by James Christy
A young gifted singer and her sensitive brother struggle to bridge social divides as they search for happiness and independence in a world where tradition comes first.

Sunday, March 20 – “Follow Me to Nellie’s” by Dominique Morisseau
Follow the road to Nellie’s where you will discover five women searching for a new life and the man willing to risk his to show them the way. Set in 1955 Mississippi, at the height of segregation, the play is based on a true story.

Admission and parking for the Premiere Spring Readings is free. Call 908-737-4092 for more information or visit www.kean.edu/premierestages. Reservations are recommended.

The Premiere Stages Play Festival is made possible in part through funding from The New Jersey State Council on the Arts, The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, The Provident Bank Foundation, The New Jersey Theatre Alliance’s Stages Festival, and through the support of individual patrons.


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