|the claque| reads is an on-going project from |the claque|, a series of developmental readings. Every month, your favorite arts and performance conglomerate will be presenting the works of burgeoning writers who, in the spirit of our mission, are bringing us innovative and engaging works to share with our audience, allowing us to strengthen our ever-growing artistic community.
Previous reading include plays by Cory Finley, Nick Gandiello, Jessica Hinds, Matthew Jellison, Andrew Kramer, Dan McCabe, Tony Meneses, Erica Saleh and Lauren Yee.
How To Use A Knife by Will Snider
Tuesday August 19th @ 7pm
A newly sober chef with a brain full of bad memories befriends a disciplined African porter who helps him stay clean. But the porter has demons of his own.
Will Snider ‘s plays include SUNDOWNERS (semi-finalist, Prince Grace Award 2013; Youngblood/EST Unfiltered 2013), HOW TO USE A KNIFE (Youngblood/EST Bloodworks 2013), THE OLD MAN IS DEAD, and TREES LIKE NAILS (NY Fringe 2008; Best Undergraduate Play 2008, Columbia University). He was a semi-finalist for the 2014 Page 73 development programs and studied African history and playwriting at Columbia University. He is a member of Youngblood and begins a playwriting MFA at UCSD in the fall.
The Review, or How to Eat Your Opposition by Donnetta Grays
Tuesday August 19th @9pm
In the fall of 2001 the air has a marked change in New York City. Dana – a naïve yet self-righteous art critic – and her sports loving partner Kerri struggle to reconnect through its weight. This freshly weighted air, by contrast, provides new life for Naomi – an iconic visual artist – who, after years in the business, finally experiences the throes of financial success just as a debilitating disease threatens both that success and her legacy. When Dana questions Naomi’s artistic integrity the stage is set for a sexy, emotional and intellectual game of football between critic and artist. Secrets are revealed, beliefs are shattered, hearts are broken and art is made in this fast-paced drama that explores loss and sacrifice.
Donnetta Lavinia Grays is a Brooklyn based actor and playwright. Her plays include SAM, (developed as part of Naked Angels’ three part development series and presented as part of Classical Theater of Harlem’s Future Classics Reading Series), THE REVIEW OR HOW TO EAT YOUR OPPOSITION (2013 Eugene O’Neill Theater Center National Playwrights Conference Finalist). THE NEW NORMAL, THE COWBOY IS DYING (Both produced by Coyote REP) and ABSENCE OF FAITH. She is the inaugural recipient of The Doric Wilson Independent Playwright Award and is a Women’s Project Playwrights Lab Semifinalist, a Lark Playwrights’ Week Semifinalist and a terraNova Collective Groundbreakers Playwrights Group alum. Acting credits include Broadway: IN THE NEXT ROOM OR THE VIBRATOR PLAY and WELL. Other NY Theatre: The Civilians (Associate Artist), Primary Stages, Ars Nova. Regional: Portland Stage Company, Westport Country Playhouse, Arena Stage, Hartford TheatreWorks, Baltimore Centerstage, The Huntington, Oregon Shakespeare Festival and LA Women’s Shakespeare Company. She is 2-time Connecticut Critics Circle Award recipient and Helen Hayes Award nominee. Film/TV: WILD CANARIES, THE ENGLISH TEACHER, THE WRESTLER, THE BLACKLIST, all LAW & ORDERS, MERCY, RUBICON, THE SOPRANOS, A GIFTED MAN. www.donnettagrays.com
The 1’s and 2’s by Donaldo Prescod
Tuesday September 9th @7pm
The summer of 1980, Bronx, NY. The neighborhood is still feeling the repercussions of the Bronx fires. Patches of blocks are charred and desolate. The drug epidemic and gang violence is getting worse, but one of the last few remaining things that are still pure is the music and block parties.
Donaldo Prescod was born in Boston, Mass, then quickly moved to Germany for five years, then back to Boston, then over to California. He now resides in New York City. Donaldo’s first filmmaking experience took place in Monterey, Ca. where he rented out the Osio Cinema to premiere a blacksploitation film he made called Black Thunder: America’s Most Hated Crime Fighter. The film was a success selling out its first screening. After attending film school at SFSU Donaldo moved to New York City to earn his Masters in Acting from The New School for Drama. As an actor Donaldo has appeared in: Angels in America, Lend Me a Tenor, The New York premiere of The Recommendation by Jonathan Caren, The Wundelsteipen by Nick Jones, True Bible Tales by Rob Asksins, Patrick’s Story and The End: When God Gave Up by Kyle Bradstreet, Richard III, Burn This, and Dylan directed by Liz Carlson. He has written numerous plays for the late night episodic #serials@theflea including The 1’s and 2’s, and is currently working on a play about bears. www.donaldoprescod.com.
Little Ghost by Kim Davies
Tuesday September 9th @ 9pm
In a tiny, threadbare apartment on the fringes of the city, Albert and Pauline wait for the end of the world to come. And then, one day, it doesn’t.
Kim Davies is a member of Youngblood and an affiliated artist with New Georges. Her play Smoke will have its world premiere at the Flea Theater in fall 2014, directed by Tom Costello. Short works, including “Untitled Play about Balls,” “Miss Authenticity,” and “The Love of Richard Nixon,” have been produced with the Ensemble Studio Theatre, the Weasel Festival, and the 24 Hour Plays. Her plays have received readings and development with the Flea Theater, Partial Comfort Productions, and the Lark, among others. She is a recent graduate of Mac Wellman and Erin Courtney’s MFA in playwriting at Brooklyn College.
Companion Piece by Kevin Armento
Tuesday October 14th @ 7pm
After many months in an online relationship, Dolores has come to New England for a work conference and meets Leonard face-to-face for the first time. But when she starts to unravel a secret about his lonely existence, their transition to love in the flesh becomes a wholesale struggle over the nature of love itself – a struggle that will shape both of them for the rest of their lives.
Kevin Armento is a Brooklyn-based writer originally from San Diego. His plays include Bets & Blue Notes (San Diego Lyceum Theatre), Companion Piece (Pleasance, London), andkillers (Tom Noonan’s Paradise Factory). His work has also been performed or developed with Rogue Machine Theatre, Ugly Rhino, INTAR, Last Frontier Theatre Conference, ICA in London, and the New Ohio. He was an inaugural member of Fresh Ground Pepper’s PlayGroup, and the recipient of a commission from the Abingdon Theatre. Upcoming: workshop of his new play a way to reach me with Naked Angels and at Hollywood Fringe; reading of his other new playGOOD MEN WANTED at Seattle Repertory Theatre before performing at Ars Nova’s ANT Fest; and devising a new piece with One Year Lease. His screenplays have received honors from Slamdance, Action on Film Festival, New York City Horror Film Festival, and Los Angeles International Film Festival, and his work hasalso been featured on Glamour, Yahoo, and The Huffington Post.
The Forum by Lucy Gillespie
Tuesday October 14th @ 9pm
In a park in downtown Manhattan, a group of idealistic strangers gather to protest for hope, for change, for a Better America. Whatever that’s supposed to mean.
Lucy Gillespie is an Anglo-American playwright. Her plays include OUTFOXED (FullStop Collective, 2012), ATWATER PROJECT (terraNOVA Groundworks Reading, 2012), and HANGMAN SCHOOL FOR GIRLS (Vagabond/FullStop, 2010). She has had work produced at Ensemble Studio Theater, IRT, P.S122, and the O’Neill, and site-specifically around New York. She is a member of Youngblood, a terraNOVA Groundbreaker, a MacDowell Colony fellow, and a recent MFA graduate of NYU’s Dramatic Writing Program.
The Ugly Pilgrim Thing by Brendan Hill
Tuesday November 11th @ 7pm
What happens when White People teeming with disease and buckled hats go on a vacation they enjoy so much they decide to stick around to rename a few things.
Brendan Hill writes plays in a windowless room in Brooklyn. He is a member of heartpunch and Ensemble Studio Theatre’s Youngblood. He has worked with No. 11 Productions, The Glass Bandits Theatre Company and Manual Cinema, staging work with names like The Loudest Anything Anywhere, Impossible Bottle, The Ballad of Lula Del Ray, get gone, The Ugly Pilgrim Thing and This Dead Adventure in locations such as the Ensemble Studio Theatre, The Paley Center for Media, the D-Lounge, @seaport, Space on White, The Greenhouse, Under St. Marks and at various locations in Chicago including The Whistler and the Trumbullplex. He enjoys reading magazine articles about boxing.
Junkyard by Jerry Lieblich
Tuesday November 11th @ 9pm
When road-trippers Alice and Carly find themselves stranded in a strange, mountain desert town, they find it’s home to more than gang of colorful locals – it’s very soil houses an ancient and fearsome spirit. Indeed, everything in this junkyard, everything in this whole town, every scrap and chain and rusty can, has a life of its own. Alice must make a bargain with this terrible force – is it better to feel the bitter sturm and drang of this tumultuous world, or to flatten out the horrible peaks, blanden the bright colors, and live a life that’s comfortably numb?
Jerry Lieblich is a Brooklyn based playwright. He is a member of the Soho Rep Writer/Director Lab and Smith + Tinker Collaborative Writer’s Group at HERE Arts Center, and is the writerly half of the devising team Tiny Little Band.Hisplays include Ghost Stories(HERE Arts Center), Eudaemonia(not just 3 New Plays), 1927(Ars Nova, ANT Fest), SubwayPlay(Tiny Rhino) Rod Serling: Binghamton to Syracuse, Walt Disney and the Invention of the Human (Fresh Ground Pepper), and Cruelty to Animals(Manhattan Repertory Theater). He has been a finalist for the Heideman Award (Actors Theatre of Louisville), T.S. Eliot US/UK Exchange (Old Vic Theatre), Global Age Project (Aurora Theater), and New Works Festival (Kitchen Dog Theater). Semifinalist: Page 73 Playwriting Fellowship. 2011/2012 Literary Resident at Playwrights Horizons. He also worked at a zoo. BA: Yale.
Thoroughbred by Cory Finley
Tuesday January 13th @ 7pm
Christine Wyckland, guidance counselor at a prestigious prep school, is recovering from a panic attack. Her daughter, an amateur equestrian, is suddenly disillusioned with her sport. One of her students is showing up in the school locker room with strange markings on his skin. And in the woods around her sunny suburb, hidden eyes are staring at tall white houses with ill intent. A dark comedy about family, medication, and the monsters under the bed.
Cory Finley is a St. Louis-born, Brooklyn-based playwright. His plays have been produced at Theater for The New City, Ars Nova’s ANT Fest, the New York International Fringe Festival and Yale University. He has developed plays and produced shorter works with Ensemble Studio Theater, ACT Theater in Seattle, Prospect Theater Company, the Lincoln Center Directors’ Lab, The Claque, Serials @ The Flea, The Apprentice Company at the Actors’ Theater of Louisville, and The Brick. He is an Uncharted Artist in Residence with Ars Nova and a member of Youngblood at Ensemble Studio Theater.
Breathe Into This Bag by Angela Hanks
Tuesday February 10th @ 7pm
In a murky patch of wood in Central Texas, the lives of six strangers are forever changed when one of them commits a gruesome crime. As worlds collide, each person questions his or her own perception as reality becomes even more obscured.
Angela Hanks is a playwright from Dallas, Texas. Her plays include: Good Latimer, Big Tex(EST/Youngblood), Myrna In Transit (EST/Youngblood), Breathe Into This Bag, and High Five. Her work has been seen at Ensemble Studio Theatre, the Flea Theater, Cherry Lane, and the New York International Fringe Festival. She is a proud alum of EST’s OBIE-winning Youngblood, a MacDowell Colony Fellow, and a member of the Dramatist Guild of America. M.F.A. in Playwriting from the New School for Drama.