In keeping with Actors’ Theatre’s commitment to support, develop and produce new works, Actors’ is proud to announce the 2012 Pipeline Reading Series. From late February through early April, Actors’ Theatre will present staged readings of four new works by regional and national playwrights for public reading and discussion. Readings will take place on February 21, 28, March 27 and April 10, 2012.
The reading series will be graciously hosted by the Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts, located at 2 Fulton Street in Grand Rapids, Michigan. A suggested donation of $15 will benefit the development and presentation of new works at Actors’ Theatre and UICA. All performances will begin at 6:30PM and will include a brief discussion afterwards, facilitated by Actors’ Literary Manager Randy Wyatt.
The four new plays, selected from over 200 submissions for public reading, are:
THE EMPRESS OF SEX by Duncan Pflaster
UICA Theatre, February 21, 2012 – 6:30PM
A woman, spurned in love, finds a deserted island and sets herself up as The Empress Salacia, decreeing that there shall be no love allowed in her domain, only sex. She gathers some sybaritic acolytes, and all is frolicsome mindless fun until Salacia's ex-lover Agis comes to the island in disguise, to attempt to win her back. Suitable for Valentine's day fun,The Empress of Sex is scandalous, erotic romp with a surprisingly sweet center.
Duncan Pflaster has won awards for his plays Prince Trevor Amongst the Elephants and for the existential comedy Eternity: Time Without End . His most recent full-length plays include The Starship Astrov, The Thyme of the Season, Suckers (a comic vampire play, nominated for five 2009 Planet Connections Awards), and Ore, or Or (about greed and race in America). Other plays include The Empress of Sex, The Tragedy of Dandelion (a five-act all-female play in iambic pentameter), the critically acclaimed Gay love story The Wastes of Time, the comedic science-fiction Lesbian drama Dik and Jayne Are Not The Same, the parallel universe cocktail party comedy Sleeping in Tomorrow , the comic Greek tragedy Amazing Daedalus, book and lyrics for the pansexual soap opera musical Eskimo (music by Adam Rabin of the band Mailbox), and the drag queen Alice In Wonderland adaptation Wilder & Wilder. His writing often touches on themes of family, community, religion, and homosexuality.
THREE VOYAGES OF THE LOBOTOMOBILE by George Brant
UICA Theatre, February 28, 2012 – 6:30PM
The inventor of the American lobotomy, Dr. Walter J. Freeman embarks upon a tireless, deluded, and ultimately tragic quest to spread the good news of his medical procedure across America. The play presents Freeman’s life in a triptych of scenes - home, work, and retirement. Three Voyages of the Lobotomobile explores the dark side of the American myth of the confident genius, the brilliant inventor who will stop at nothing to achieve his dream.
George Brant’s plays include Elephant’s Graveyard, The Mourners' Bench, Any Other Name, Grizzly Mama, Grounded, Salvage, Three Voyages of the Lobotomobile, Defiant, Dark Room, Little Sir Echo, Good on Paper, Ashes, NOK and The Lonesome Hoboes, among others. His work has been produced and developed by such companies as Trinity Repertory Company, the Kennedy Center, Cleveland Play House, the Playwrights Foundation, the Playwrights’ Center, Dobama Theatre, Hangar Theatre, WordBRIDGE Playwright’s Lab, Florida Studio Theatre, ATHE, Premiere Stages,Trustus Theatre, Balagan Theatre, Elemental Theatre Collective, the Drama League, Debutantes and Vagabonds, Terrific New Theatre, the Disney Channel, Circle Theatre, Factory Theatre, StreetSigns Theatre Company, and zeppo theater company.
George received his Masters in Writing from the University of Texas at Austin and is a proud member of the Dramatists Guild.
ALL CHILDISH THINGS by Joe Zettelmaier
UICA Theatre, March 27, 2012 – 6:30PM
Dave has come up with a plan, Carter's got a way in, Mas has figured a way out and Kendra has the connections. All is ready for these four Star Wars fans to heist a cashload of fandom merchandise. When the heist goes wrong, though, lives are threatened, secrets are revealed and the ultimate temptation threatens to tear these friends apart forever.
Joe Zettelmaier is a two-time nominee for the prestigious American Theatre Critics Award for best new play, first in 2006 for All Childish Things (Planet Ant Theatre) and then in 2007 for Language Lessons (Performance Network). Other plays include Dr. Seward's Dracula (Planet Ant Theatre), Snow Angels (Eastern Michigan University), Night Blooming (Blackbird Theatre), Point of Origin and The Stillness Between Breaths (Performance Network). His play Point of Origin won Best Locally Created Script 2002 from the Ann Arbor News. Joe's Language Lessons was named Best New Play 2007 by the Ann Arbor News, who also called Zettelmaier "the Playwright to Watch." Next season, he will be co-writing the second part of the "Voices of the Midwest" series for Williamston Theatre. He will also see his new bluegrass musical, Blackwater Ballad, receive concert performances at Eastern Michigan University.
Zettelmaier is an associate artist at Performance Network, and director of student productions at Pioneer High School.
NADIA by David Turkel
GRCC Spectrum Theater, Tuesday May 1, 2012 – 6:30PM
Journalist Lily is both fascinated and repulsed, like everyone else, by the taboo work of Russian artist Nadia. After a disastrous first interview, the enigmatic, yet forceful, artist insists upon living with Lily, consenting to being filmed constantly while she works. Lines between art, pornography, life and psychological torture blur in this compelling piece told through a pastiche of live and filmed sequences.
David Turkel's plays have premiered through the eastern seaboard and the Midwest. Recent plays include Stroke/Book and Key to the Field. He is a resident playwright at Bricolage in Pittsburgh, PA and is currently an MFA playwrighting student at the University of Texas, Austin.