The Samuel French Off Off Broadway Short Play Festival, the nation’s premier short play competition, takes place August 21-25 at The Vineyard’s Dimson 15th Street Theatre. Chosen from over 850 submissions from the U.S. and abroad, 30 finalist plays and musicals, each running 10-30 minutes in length, will be presented. The Saturday, August 25th presentation is the culmination of the week-long festival at which the Samuel French staff will choose the winning six pieces for licensing and publication in an anthology.
This year’s honorary Festival playwright is the Kesselring Prize winner Lauren Yee (The King of the Yees, The Great Leap, The Hatmaker’s Wife). Ms. Yee will kick off the Festival at a private event with the 30 finalist playwrights. Samuel French has assembled a distinguished judging panel including playwrights Kirsten Childs, David Greenspan, Hansol Jung and Max Vernon; and industry professionals John M. Baker (SPACE on Ryder Farm), Nan Barnett (NNPN), Ken Cerniglia (Disney Theatrical Group), B.J. Evans (BRIC), Chris Giordano (Theatre Now New York/SOUND BITES), Adam Greenfield (Playwrights Horizons), Lisa Rothe (freelance director) and Susan Westfall (City Theatre, Miami).
Tickets for all performances are $18. Festival Passes are also available at 60% discount. For tickets and a complete performance calendar, visit www.oobfestival.com.
Tuesday, August 21 at 7:00PM:
BAKED GOODS Book by Charlie Cohen, Lyrics by Christyn Budzyna, Music by Helen Park, Orchestrations by Collin Martin
RABIOSA by Nelson Diaz-Marcano
PRECIPICE by Alex Dremann
LACRIMOSA by Christopher Marshall
Tuesday, August 21 at 8:30PM:
IT’S NOT A BLACK THING by Tessa Borbridge
HEAVY by Sofya Levitsky-Weitz
PLOVER by Ryan Fogarty
POSTSCRIPT by Janet Thielke
Wednesday, August 22 at 7:00PM:
KOI STORY by Timothy Huang
STALLED by Sharon E. Cooper
THE FERBERIZING OF CORAL by Patrick Flynn
Wednesday, August 22 at 8:30PM:
SEX FRIENDS by Serena Berman
CLICK! (A TRAVEL MOTIF) by Jared Eberlein
TIGER BARB by Jordan W. Morille
RE: OBLIVION by Seamus Sullivan
Thursday, August 23 at 7:00PM:
LA NEGROPHILIE: A STORY BASED ON THE LIFE OF JOSEPHINE BAKER by Zakiya Iman Markland
BETTER by Vince Gatton
CHOOSING LOVE by Chisa Hutchinson
Thursday, August 23 at 8:30PM:
THE LAST FIRST DATE by Reed Arnold
BALLGIRL by Gracie Gardner
AQUAMARINE by Bixby Elliot
JUST DESSERTS by David MacGregor
Friday, August 24 at 7:00PM:
BLUE SKIES by Rae Binstock
THE MOST INTERESTING MAN IN DAVE’S MIND by Amanda R. Martinez
THE FORGOTTEN PLACE by Jeff Locker
BAD CHINESE by Ruth Tang
Friday, August 24 at 8:30PM:
SO BEAUTIFUL by Barbara Lhota
SOMEONE GETS SHOT by Jake Martin
BURIED by Audrey Webb
PAPER WEDDING RING by Matthew Andrade
Saturday, August 25 at 2:00PM First set of Finalists (TBD)
Saturday, August 25 at 4:30PM Second set of Finalists (TBD)
JUDGES BIOS (in alphabetical order):
John M. Baker is a NYC-based new play dramaturg and the Director of Artistic Programs at SPACE on Ryder Farm, a non-profit residency program for artists and activists housed on a 222-year-old working organic farm in Brewster, NY. John is the former Artistic Associate at Williamstown Theatre Festival, Literary Manager at Woolly Mammoth, and interim Literary Manager at Long Wharf. John serves on the Board of the Seven Devils Playwrights Conference and holds a B.A. in English from Boston University and an M.F.A. in Dramaturgy from The University of Iowa.
Nan Barnett is a new play developer, producer, and advocate. She is the Executive Director of National New Play Network, the alliance of more than 100 professional theaters that share a dedication to the development, production, and continued life of new plays and the pioneering of programs and innovations for the new play sector. She worked to create and implement several of the organization’s revolutionary initiatives like its Rolling World Premiere and Residency programs, and led the organization through the development and launch of its field-altering database, the New Play Exchange. Prior to joining NNPN Nan was the long-time Managing Director of Florida Stage, the nation’s largest regional theater producing exclusively new and developing plays and musicals. She also serves on the Artistic Council for the O’Neill and PlayPenn and is the Coordinating Producer for the Women’s Voices Theater Festival in Washington, DC, where she currently resides.
Ken Cerniglia is a dramaturg, writer, editor, and director. As resident dramaturg and literary manager for Disney Theatrical Group since 2003, he has developed over fifty shows for professional, amateur and school productions, including Freaky Friday, Aladdin, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Peter and the Starcatcher, Newsies, The Little Mermaid, High School Musical and Tarzan, and has adapted several Broadway scripts for young performers. Recent freelance dramaturgy includes Hadestown (London’s National Theatre, New York Theatre Workshop), Bud, Not Buddy (Kennedy Center), Passion Trilogy (LMU/Fisher Ensemble), and Bridges (Berkeley Playhouse). He is writing the book for the new musical Atlantis, which will premiere at Virginia Repertory Theatre in 2019. Ken holds a Ph.D. in theater history and criticism from the University of Washington and is co-founder of the American Theatre Archive Project, past president of Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas (LMDA), artistic director of Two Turns Theatre Company, and editor of Peter and the Starcatcher: The Annotated Broadway Play and Newsies: Stories of the Unlikely Broadway Hit.
Kirsten Childs (book, music, lyrics), is the award-winning writer of the musicals The Bubbly Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin, Miracle Brothers, Fly (with Rajiv Joseph and Bill Sherman), Funked Up Fairy Tales, and Bella: An American Tall Tale (directed by Robert O’Hara). Bella: An American Tall Tale received its world premiere at Dallas Theater Center, with a co-production at Playwrights Horizons, and is now published and licensed by Samuel French. For her work Kirsten’s received Obie, Kleban, Larson, Richard Rodgers, Audelco, and Gilman/GonzalezFalla awards, as well as Lortel and Drama Desk nominations. She’s currently working on a commissioned project for The New Group with writer/director Gordon Greenberg. She’s an adjunct professor in NYU’s Graduate Musical Theater Writing Program, and a member of the Dramatists Guild Council.
B.J. Evans is the Senior Producer, Performing Arts at BRIC Arts Media in Brooklyn where she curates and produces BRIC’s theater and dance programs, short-term and long-term residencies for performing arts, and public programs at BRIC House. She has worked for non-profit and commercial theaters alike, including Dallas Theater
Center, Working Theater, The Public, Blue Man Group, Our Town, and Sleep No More. She is also the Artistic Producer for Barton Booth, hosts a bi-weekly podcast about performing arts programs at BRIC, and holds a Master of Arts in Applied Theatre from CUNY.
Adam Greenfield is currently Associate Artistic Director at Playwrights Horizons, having begun there as Literary Manager in 2007. From 2006-2007, he was Literary Manager at La Jolla Playhouse, prior to which he was Associate Artistic Director of The Empty Space Theatre in Seattle from 1997-2006. In addition to his work producing and developing new plays within these organizations, he is a director whose credits include Courtney Baron’s Eat Your Heart Out (Humana Festival, Louisville), Madeleine George’s The Zero Hour (13P), Greg Moss’s La Brea (Clubbed Thumb), John C. Russell’s Stupid Kids (Empty Space), and Jordan Harrison’s Marjorie Prime (Playhouse Teater, Stockholm). Other directing and play development credits include work at La Jolla Playhouse, O’Neill Theater Center, Sundance Theater Lab, Seattle Repertory, New Dramatists, ACT Theater, The Playwrights’ Center, Printer’s Devil Theater, Portland Center Stage, Berkeley Rep and Playwrights’ Realm. Adam is an alumnus of Soho Rep’s Writer/Director Lab and Clubbed Thumb’s Writing Group, and he received his undergraduate degree from University of Michigan. He lives in Brooklyn with his husband, Jordan Harrison.
David Greenspan has worked with many contemporary playwrights; appeared in his own plays, most notably Dead Mother, She Stoops to Comedy, Go Back to Where You Are, I’m Looking for Helen Twelvetrees, his adaptation of Thornton Wilder’s The Bridge of San Luis Rey and his solo plays The Argument and The Myopia; performed solo renditions of Eugene O’Neill’s Strange Interlude, Barry Conners’ The Patsy, Gertrude Stein’s lecture Plays, a program of two Stein lectures and a playlet Composition…Masterpieces…Identity; received Guggenheim, Lortel and Fox fellowships, Alpert, Lambda Literary, Helen Merrill Playwriting awards and six OBIES.
Hansol Jung is a playwright and director from South Korea. Productions include Wild Goose Dreams (The Public Theatre, La Jolla Playhouse), Cardboard Piano (Humana Festival at Actors Theater of Louisville), Among the Dead (Ma-Yi Theatre Company), and No More Sad Things (Sideshow Theatre, and Boise Contemporary Theatre). She is the recipient of the Whiting Award, Helen Merrill Award, Page 73 Playwright Fellowship, Rita Goldberg Playwrights’ Workshop Fellowship at the Lark, 2050 Fellowship at New York Theater Workshop, MacDowell Colony Artist Residency, and International Playwrights Residency at Royal Court. She has translated over thirty English musicals into Korean, including Evita, Dracula, Spamalot, and The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, while working on several award winning musical theatre productions as director, lyricist and translator in Seoul, South Korea. Hansol holds a Playwriting MFA from Yale School of Drama, and is a proud member of the Ma-Yi Theatre Writers Lab and NYTW’s Usual Suspects.
Lisa Rothe is a freelance director and educator based in NYC. She has developed hundreds of new plays and translations with companies in the US and around the world. Recent productions: Sooner/Later by Allyson Currin (Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park); Hold These Truths by Jeanne Sakata (Guthrie Theater, TheatreWorks/Silicon Valley & The Sheen Center, NYC); Ropes by Barbara Colio (Two River Theater); The Harassment of Iris Malloy by Zak Berkman (People’s Light); Confederates by Suzanne Bradbeer (TheatreWorks/Silicon Valley – nominated for 8 Bay Area Critics Awards); Science Fair conceived and performed by Hai-Ting Chinn (HERE Arts Center). Future: Wild Abandon by Leenya Rideout (Irish Repertory Theatre); In My Chair by Eva DeVirgilis (Virginia Repertory Theatre); Amber Waves by James Still (Indiana Repertory Theatre); Colony Collapse by Stefanie Zadravec (Barnard College). She is a co-Artistic Director of the Actor’s Center, former co-president of the League of Professional Theatre Women, graduate of NYU’s Graduate Acting Program and Director’s Lab, a Usual Suspect with New York Theater Workshop, Artistic Affiliate with New Georges, alum of the Drama League and the Women’s Project Director’s Lab, Fox Fellow recipient, member of the National Theater Conference, and for over five years was the Director of Global Exchange at The Lark in NYC. www.lisarothe.com
Max Vernon is a 3 time Drama Desk nominee, Out100 Honoree, and recipient of the Lucille Lortel Award for Best Musical, Richard Rodgers Award, Jonathan Larson Grant, New York Stage and Film’s Founders Award, New York Foundation of the Arts Fellowship, and the JFund Award from the Jerome Foundation. He has been a Dramatist Guild Theatre Fellow, MacDowell Fellow, and an artist in residence at Berkeley Rep, Ars Nova, Kimmel Center (via The Public Theater), Disney Creative Entertainment, and Rhinebeck Writer’s Retreat, among others. His musical, The View UpStairs, ran 105 performances Off-Broadway and will have ten new productions around the world in 2017-2019; original cast recording on Broadway Records. His other musical, KPOP, enjoyed a sold-out, extended run at Ars Nova this past October and was the most nominated Off-Broadway show of the 2017-2018 season. Notable concert performances include the Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center, Joe’s Pub, and The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Susan Westfall is a co-founder and literary director of City Theatre in Miami, Florida, and also a professional playwright. City Theatre, founded in 1996, is the only theatre company in the United States dedicated to the development and production of short plays and short musicals at such programs as the annual Summer Shorts Festival, Winter Shorts Festival, Shorts Gone Wild LGBT festival, Short Cuts middle schools tour, the regional City Shorts Tour.
Lauren Yee This season, Lauren Yee premiered Cambodian Rock Band (music by Dengue Fever) at South Coast Rep and The Great Leap at Denver Center, Seattle Rep, and Atlantic Theatre. Upcoming: Cambodian Rock Band at Oregon Shakespeare Festival and Victory Gardens; The Great Leap at the Guthrie, American Conservatory Theatre, Arts Club, InterAct Theatre; King of the Yees at Baltimore Center Stage, SF Playhouse; and The Song of Summer at Trinity Rep. Recent honors: Kesselring Prize, Primus Prize, upcoming Hodder Fellowship at Princeton, the #1 and #2 plays on the 2017 Kilroys List. Finalist for ATCA/Steinberg Award and Edward M. Kennedy Prize. Ma-Yi Writers’ Lab member, alumni playwright of Playwrights Realm. Current commissions: Geffen, La Jolla Playhouse, Lincoln Center/LCT3, Mixed Blood, Portland Center Stage, Second Stage, Trinity Rep. BA: Yale. MFA: UCSD. www.laurenyee.com