NEW HOPE, PA, November 9, 2021—As the lights come up on Broadway, so too will they brighten the stage at Phillips’ Mill on Saturday, November 20, at 7 pm, with a live play reading –– to a live audience –– the first since the pandemic closed theater doors.
Twelve talented actors will bring to life the six short plays of the triumphant playwrights of the Phillips’ Mill 4th Annual Juried Emerging Playwright Competition. Chosen by this year’s esteemed panel of jurors, Judy Hallberg, Kimberly Kalaja and Wilbert Turner (bios available on the Phillips’ Mill website), the winning plays/playwrights are:
The Emerging Playwright Competition cultivates original works for the stage and brings to the audience talented playwrights at all stages of their writing careers. “We welcome the community to attend the readings and participate in a Q & A,” says Phillips’ Mill Drama Chair Valerie Eastburn.
Playwright Sherry Friedman is excited about the reading. “I’m honored to be selected as a winning playwright in the EPC, and thrilled for the opportunity to see my work read live after almost two years of having my plays done in virtual performances. Sharing the space with live actors once again who can relate to each other while we experience the reactions of a live audience will mean so much to me in the development of my work.”
Adds Eastburn, “The Mill is creating a valuable opportunity for the playwright to gain insight into how an audience responds to their play. This feedback is critical for further development of the play and playwright, and the audience is an integral part of that process.”
Presenting actors are Cecily Laidman, Thomas Metelski, Rick Goodwin, Tabitha Dell’Angelo, Sarah LeClair, Laura Scotti, Tim Wade, Kevin Nalty, Keith Maliszewski, Matt DiMarino, Millie Levy and JaQuinley Kerr.
Actor Cecily Laidman explains, “When a play is being read, the challenge is delivering the experience without physical movement, props or visual animation. The vocal delivery is even more important and gives the playwright the opportunity to continue to explore their creative process.”
Fran Young, director and narrator, says, “It has been a joy to direct such talented actors in these interesting and thought-provoking plays. I am excited that Phillips’ Mill theater is once again ‘live.’ We can’t wait to greet our audience to celebrate new, innovative works and great talent with them. This will be a wonderful evening of theater.”
To be eligible for the competition, playwrights must live within a 100-mile radius of the Phillips’ Mill Community Association of New Hope. Submissions close after 50 plays are submitted or the deadline is reached. This is a blind competition, meaning the scripts are identified to the judges only by a number. The name of the playwright is revealed only after the six winning scripts have been chosen. The plays selected this year come from Pennsylvania, New York City, Brooklyn and New Jersey.
The readings will take place at the historic Phillips’ Mill at 2619 River Road, just north of New Hope, and a moderated Q & A between audience and playwrights will follow. A wine reception will wrap up the evening to allow judges, playwrights, actors, sponsors of the event, and the audience a chance to mingle.
There is no admission fee, but a donation of any amount is appreciated. For the safety and protection of all, proof of COVID-19 vaccination and masking will be required.