New York Stage and Film, begins its summer season in Poughkeepsie on Saturday, July 9 and will run for five weeks to Sunday, August 7. More than 35 new stories for theater, film and television will be premiered. For 37 years, NYSAF has operated as a vital incubator for artists and their work. www.newyorkstageandfilm.org/summer.
The First Play Reading Weekend on Saturday, July 9 at Marist Colleage features My Brother Is Better At Love Than Me by Lily Houghton and directed by Leigh Silverman at 12:00 PM; Nuestro Planeta: A Colombia Project by Diana Burbano and devised and directed by Elisa Bocanegra at 3:30 PM; and a new untitled play by Josh Radnor and directed by Sheryl Kaller at 8:00 PM. Casting includes Midori Francis, Carla Gugino, Bill Heck, Henry Houghton, Thomas Sadoski and Reza Salazar.
The 2022 Summer Artists-In-Residence are Nissy Aya, Molly Carden, Stephen Belber, Kyle Beltran, Abigail Zealey Bess, Jaki Bradley, Molly Carden, Adam Chanler-Berat, Shayok Misha Chowdhury, Kate Douglas, Lee Sunday Evans, Estefanía Fadul, Yvette Gainer, Diego Vazquez Gomez, Gethsemane Herron, Rebecca Holderness, Cedwan Hooks, Shayfer James, Tim J Lord, Roopa Mahadevan, Gloria Majule, Grace McLean, Talene Monahon, jeremy o’brian, Ibi Owolabi Jon Riddleberger, Dominique Rider, Sruti Sarathy, Samantha Speis, Shiv Subramaniam, Shona Tucker, Noelle Viñas, Nicole A. Watson, and Dawn Monique Williams.
Each year NYSAF awards the prestigious Founders’ Award and Pfaelzer Award to emerging artists. This year Nissy Aya is the recipient of the Founders’ Award with Calley N. Anderson, natyna bean, Johnny G. Lloyd, Carmen LoBue, and Andrew Rincón as finalists. And Dawn Monique Williams is the recipient of the Pfaelzer Award with Minita Gandhi, Tara Moses, and Abigail Vega as finalists.
Nissy Aya (Recipent Founders’ Award) is a Black girl from the Bronx. She and all her younger selves tell stories and tall tales — while helping others to do the same.
Dawn Monique Williams (Recipient Pfaelzer Award) is the Associate Artistic Director at Aurora Theatre Company in Berkeley, CA. Her recent directing credits include the world premiere production of The Incrementalist by Cleavon Smith, an audio version of Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye adapted by Lydia R. Diamond, Bull in the China Shop (Aurora), Lauren Gunderson’s The Half-Life of Marie Curie (TheatreSquared), Sweet Water Taste (Orlando Shakespeare Theatre), Letters to Kamala (American Stage Company), Earthrise (Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts), The Merry Wives of Windsor (Oregon Shakespeare Festival), Moon Man Walk, Tijean and His Brothers, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (American Conservatory Theatre, MFA program), an audio version of Lynn Nottage’s Las Meninas, The Secretaries (Profile Theatre), Romeo & Juliet (Chautauqua Theatre), August Wilson’s The Piano Lesson (Le Petit and UNCO), Lynn Nottage’s By The Way Meet Stark (Douglas Morrisson and UNCO), and Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (Town Hall). Dawn’s awards include a Princess Grace Theatre Fellowship, a TCG Leadership U Residency Grant, and a Drama League Directing Fellowship. She holds an MA in Dramatic Literature and an MFA in Directing. Dawn is a proud member of SDC.
JULY PLAY READING WEEKEND:
MY BROTHER IS BETTER AT LOVE THAN ME
Written by Lily Houghton
Directed by Leigh Silverman
Presentation: July 9 at Marist College at 12:00 PM
Cast includes Midori Francis, Bill Heck, Jake Horowitz, Henry Houghton, and Christine Newberry
At a neuro-diverse summer camp tucked in the woods of the Catskills, teenage camper Hank gets swept up in his first summer love– immediately transfixed by fellow camper and dog lover Ella. The only problem– his bossy yet rebellious younger sister Ruth has decided to join the camp as a counselor this year, really hindering Hank’s studliness and getting herself into all sorts of trouble with toxic lifeguard Roger, who is unfortunately afraid of the water and fish of all kinds. Based on her brother’s real life first summer love, My Brother Is Better At Love Than Me highlights a new kind of romantic lead, ultimately revealing which sibling is actually teaching the other the most important lesson of all– how to love.
Lily Houghton (She/Her) is a twenty-six-year-old playwright born and raised in Manhattan. Her plays have been produced/developed at MCC Theater Company, Atlantic Theater Company, EST/Youngblood, NYU, Seattle Repertory Theater, Normal Ave, The Flea Theater, Yale, Contemporary American Theater Festival and Jermyn Street Theatre in London. She has won two Sloan Foundation Science Grants, the Elizabeth George Grant and was awarded the Launch Commission from the Atlantic Theater Company. She is a proud member of the Obie winning Youngblood at EST. Lily currently has television projects in development at Amazon with Blake Lively’s B for Effort, Sister, Rebelle Media, Dakota and Elle Fanning’s Lewellen, Belletrist and Temple Hill. She loves her brother, Henry.
Leigh Silverman (Director). Her Broadway credits include Grand Horizons (2ST; Williamstown Theater Festival); The Lifespan of a Fact (Studio 54); Violet (Roundabout Theater Company; Tony nomination); Chinglish (Goodman Theatre; Longacre); Well (Public Theater; ACT; Longacre). Recent Off-Broadway: SUFFS (Public Theater); The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe (Shed); Soft Power (Public Theater; Ahmanson Theater/ Curran Theater; Drama Desk nom); Tumacho (Clubbed Thumb); Hurricane Diane (New York Theatre Workshop; Two River Theater); Harry Clarke (Vineyard Theatre/Audible, Minetta Lane; Lortel nom); Wild Goose Dreams (Public Theater; La Jolla Playhouse); Sweet Charity (New Group); On The Exhale (Roundabout); The Outer Space (Public Theater). Encores: Bring Me to Light; Violet; The Wild Party; Really Rosie. 2011 Obie Award and 2019 Obie for Sustained Excellence.
NUESTRO PLANETA: A Colombia Project
Written by Diana Burbano
Devised and Directed by Elisa Bocanegra
Commissioned by Hero Theatre
Presentation: July 9 at Marist College at 3:30 PM
Cast includes Andrea Abello, Helena Betancourt, Maki Borden, Zuleyma Guevera, and Reza Salazar
A young Colombian American scientist, Alondra travels back to her family’s homeland of Colombia after her mother’s passing. Her goal is to study the country’s rich biodiversity. Through her informative and often comedic travels, she discovers the healing power of nature and the deeper meaning of returning “home.” This play is the first commission of NUESTRO PLANETA, a ten-year-long new works initiative based on environmental justice and stories of climate change in Latin America.
Diana Burbano (She/Her) a Colombian immigrant, is a playwright, an Equity actor, and Literary Manager of Breath of Fire Latina Theatre Ensemble. Diana’s play Ghosts of Bogota, won the Nu Voices festival at Actors Theatre of Charlotte in 2019. Ghosts was commissioned and debuted at Alter Theater in the Bay Area in Feb 2020. Sapience was a Playground-SF 2020 Winner and was featured at Latinx Theatre Festival, San Diego Rep 2020. Fabulous Monsters, a Kilroys selection will premiere at The Public Theatre of San Antonio, featuring the music of FEA in 2023. She was in Center Theatre Group’s 2018-19 Writers Workshop cohort and is in the Geffen’s Writers Lab in 20-21. She has worked on projects with South Coast Repertory, Artists Repertory Theatre, Breath of Fire Latina Theatre Ensemble and Center Theatre Group and Livermore Shakespeare Festival. Diana recently played Amalia in Jose Cruz Gonzales’ American Mariachi at South Coast Repertory and Arizona Theatre Company, and Marisela in La Ruta at Artists Repertory. See her as Viv the Punk in the cult musical Isle of Lesbos. She is the current Dramatists Guild Rep for Southern California.
Elisa Bocanegra (She/Her) is the founder of HERO Theatre, which she started with the help of her mentor, Olympia Dukakis. She is a Fulbright Scholar and the current Pfaelzer Award winner at NYSAF, where she was also part of the NEXUS program. Elisa won the TCG Leadership U Grant, the nation’s largest grant of its kind. This allowed her to be part of the Leadership Team at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival for two seasons. Her stage directing credits include Troy, a modern retelling of The Trojan Women about women and homelessness. She directed Troy and worked alongside Kilroy List playwright Amina Henry in the development. Bocanegra and Henry are recent recipients of an NEA Award. Other directing credits include Festival Irene: A Tribute to Playwright Maria Irene Fornés, The Floating Island Plays by Eduardo Machado, and a new screen and stage project called Nuestro Planeta, which focuses on educating Latinx audiences about environmental justice within the Americas. As an actor, she can be seen on season two of Apple TV’s Physical, starring Rose Byrne, and will be returning for season three. Her first film, Girlfight, won the Grand Jury Prize for Best Film at The Sundance Film Festival.
NEW UNTITLED PLAY
By Josh Radnor
Directed by Sheryl Kaller
Presentation: July 9 at Marist College at 8:00 PM
Cast includes Carla Gugino and Thomas Sadoski
How do we learn to forgive? When two people are brought together after the death of a creative genius, they must confront the myth of their idol and the limits of their own ability to forgive. In this new play by Josh Radnor, the lies we tell ourselves can be more painful than the lies we tell each other.
Josh Radnor (Playwright). He can currently be seen in the acclaimed Amazon series Hunters co-starring alongside Al Pacino with Jordan Peele executive producing. On television, Radnor is best known for his leading role as ‘Ted Mosby’ on CBS’ groundbreaking Emmy nominated series, “How I Met Your Mother.” Additional television credits include Lou Mazzuchelli on “Rise” (NBC), and Jedediah Foster on “Mercy Street.” (PBS). Film: Joey Soloway’s Afternoon Delight alongside Kathryn Hahn and Juno Temple, Theresa Bennett’s Social Animals (Paramount). Upcoming Film & TV: Fleishman is in Trouble (F/X/Hulu), 3 Birthdays (dir: Jane Weinstock), All Happy Families (dir. Haroula Rose). Radnor has also made his mark as a director and writer. His film, Liberal Arts, premiered at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival and was later released by IFC. His directorial debut, HAPPYTHANKYOUMOREPLEASE, debuted at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival, where it won the Audience Award for Favorite U.S. Drama. Radnor has appeared on stage in a number of theatrical productions, including Little Shop of Horrors at The Kennedy Center; the world premiere of Richard Greenberg’s The Babylon Line at Lincoln Center; the Broadway production of Ayad Akhtar’s Pulitzer Prize winning play, Disgraced; Roundabout Theatre Company’s special one-night-only gala reading of She Loves Me; the Ovation Award-winning world premiere production of Jon Robin Baitz’s The Paris Letter; and his leading role as the title character in Terry Johnson’s Broadway stage adaptation of the 1967 film The Graduate. He also makes music with Aussie musician Ben Lee as Radnor & Lee. They released their second album, “Golden State,” on Flower Moon Records in 2020. His solo EP “One More Then I’ll Let You Go” was released in the spring of 2021. And he recently recorded a double album in Nashville (EULOGY: VOLUMES 1 & 2) which will be released later this year. In addition, Radnor debuted as a playwright with Sacred Valley, which premiered at the Mainstage of Vassar & New York Stage and Film’s Powerhouse Theater.
Sheryl Kaller (Director). Some recent productions include A Walk on the Moon at George Street Playhouse, Bliss by Tyler Beattie and Emma Lively at Seattle 5th Avenue Theater and The White Chip by Sean Daniels at 59 E. 59. She directed Terrence McNally’s Tony Award-nominated play on Broadway, Mothers and Sons with Tyne Daly. Sheryl received a Tony Award nomination for Best Director for the Broadway production of Next Fall by Geoffrey Nauffts. Other projects include Frozen for Disney Cruise Lines, Our Town with Deaf West Theater and Pasadena Playhouse and Sacred Valley by Josh Radnor at NYSAF. The world premieres of Billy Porter’s play While I Yet Live at Primary Stages, Nick Blaemire’s A Little More Alive (Barrington Stage and Kansas City Rep), Roundabout Theater Company’s Underground production of Too Much Too Much Too Many, by Meghan Kennedy, and the LCT3 production ofMr. Joy, by Daniel Beaty. She’s is currently in collaboration with playwrights Marilyn Ness, and Josh Radnor, among others.
NEW YORK STAGE AND FILM’S SUMMER SEASON (JULY 9-AUGUST 7:
NEW PLAY WORKSHOPS:
THE WORLD IS NOT SILENT
Written by Don Nguyen
Directed by Marya Mazor
Presentations July 15, July 16, and July 17 at Vassar College’s Powerhouse Theater
Don, an astrophotographer, returns home to reconnect with his estranged Vietnamese father only to discover that the communication gap between them has grown even wider in the wake of his father’s recent deafness. Hoping that sign language will provide a bridge to overcome that distance, Don begins taking lessons. But the closer he gets to being able to communicate with his father, the further he seems to get from actually understanding the man, leaving Don to realize that mastering a language means very little if you’re not willing to speak from the heart. Performed in English, Vietnamese and Sign Language, The World is Not Silent is a multilingual play that explores how language simultaneously divides and unites us.
Written by Eric Lockley
Directed by Shariffa Ali
Developed with The Movement Theatre Company
Presentations July 22, July 23, and July 24 at Vassar College’s Powerhouse Theater
When the prospect of a far off place called Home seems more appealing than the terrors of Earth, Marcus, a down and out teacher, launches himself on a journey across planets and centuries. Marcus risks everything, and a dysfunctional space crew will stop at nothing to discover Home. But as they encounter mysterious alien figures, Afro-Bots, and a very uncertain future, Home may not be all that they expected. SWEET CHARIOT is an Afrofuturistic exploration of the sorted line between escape and resilience, posing the question: is true liberation only possible for Black people beyond Earth?
TELL THEM I’M STILL YOUNG
Written by Julia Doolittle
Directed by May Adrales
Presentations July 28, July 29, and July 30 at Vassar College’s Powerhouse Theater
Allen and Kay are approaching 65 when their only daughter is killed in a car crash. Now parents without children, the two struggle to renegotiate their identities and their marriage, as the entrance of two young people revives a painful longing for what’s been lost: their family and their futures.
NEW MUSICAL WORKSHOPS:
THE RETURN OF YOUNG BOY
Book By Keenan Scott II
Music and Lyrics by Keenan Scott II & Tre Matthews
Directed by Steve H. Broadnax III
Presentations: July 23 and July 24 at Marist College
After a five-year trek to become the next Supreme Ruler upon the death of his grandfather, Prophet, Young Boy finds himself in an unfamiliar home as he’s soon reunited with his best friend and first love only to find out that his grandfather wasn’t the man he once thought him to be.
By César Alvarez
Directed by Sarah Benson
Presentations July 29, July 30, and July 31 at Marist College
On November 3, 1979 five communist labor organizers were murdered in broad daylight in the streets of Greensboro, NC by a group of KKK and Nazis. All five of the victims had committed their lives to fighting the rule of the capitalist class. The murders had been planned and supported by paid informants of the Greensboro Police and agencies within the U.S. government. One year later in Greensboro, César James Alvarez was born into the survivor community and named after two of the victims, César Cauce and James Waller. Thirty-six years after that an “entertainment” company paid César to write a musical about the Greensboro Massacre, but it turned into a seance full of ghosts and queerness and feelings and some stuff about how to recuperate from trauma that happened to you before you were born, and also capitalism.
Music & Lyrics by Katie Madison
Book by Deborah Cowell
Presentations: August 4, August 5, and August 7 at Marist College
Revolve…evolve…to solve the question. Depart and start to chart a new answer. Only for you, the answer isn’t just what you do, the answer is who you are! So who are we? SUN SONGS is an existential musical from the universe reminding us that we are all, ultimately, stardust. Seamlessly bringing musicians into the narrative, SUN SONGS by Deborah Cowell (book) and Katie Madison (music & lyrics) is an ensemble piece that follows two entities of light trying to find their place in time. Guided by their ancestors and a “narrator” of sorts, their relationship to the natural world inspires memories they thought they had lost. From the past through the present, inspiring endless possibilities of the future, we re[turn] to learn who we are is never far from who we were and who we’ll be. You, like me…see.
AUGUST PLAY READING WEEKEND:
AUGUST 6 & 7:
Written by Keelay Gipson
Directed by Steph Paul
Presentation: August 6 at Marist College at 8:00 PM
When the death of their patriarch draws family members home, they must reckon with grief and the haunting realities that death often brings to the surface. A surreal dark comedy, demons is a meditation on the reality of growing older, of losing a parent, and that ever-elusive quest to exorcise the trauma a family can pass down through the generations.
Written by Preston Max Allen
Directed by Trip Cullman
Presentation: August 6 at Marist College at 2:00 PM
Written by Anna Deavere Smith
Directed by Marc Bruni
Presentation: August 7 at Marist College at 12:00 PM
LOVE ALL tells the story of the rise of tennis icon Billie Jean King against a backdrop of the social upheaval and countercultural revolutions of the 1960s. A tale of tough competition on the court and gritty teamwork in the world, it asks what it takes to be a champion and what more it takes to change the course of history.
All tickets are $25 with additional casting to be announced at a later date. For more NYSAF summer season information, visit www.newyorkstageandfilm.org/summer.