Public Reading “Marathon”

  • 11:00 AM – I Love My Wife, But Oh, You Kid… by Ray Hamby
  • 1:00 PM – Room 101 by Melaki King
  • 3:00 PM – The Amendment by Amy Bernstein

I Love My Wife, But Oh, You Kid…

I Love My Wife, But Oh, You Kid… by Ray Hamby is a wild farce showcasing the back- and on-stage antics of a third-rate theatrical company treading the boards of the Albee Theater in 1925 Kansas City. The machinations of slightly mature leading lady Bess, her actor husband Delbert, the handsome leading man Wesley and Angel, the ing_nue, feature love, requited and not, blackmail, murder plots, and revenge, all against a backdrop of zany, melodramatic, Tom-ïn-Jerry-style action.

At age 89, Ray Hamby canÍt quite stop writing. He wrote his first play at the age 10, and had his first play published at the age 17. When the check arrived, he declared himself a playwright and has not looked back. He has written over 30 full-length plays, and had productions all over the country, including in Alaska, as well as in Canada and Italy. He served 25 years as Executive Director of the MDDC Press Association, has been a university professor, and has owned his own theater.

Room 101

Room 101, by Melaki King, is about five high school children in a classroom that collectively discuss all the changes and problems in their lives. It is a form of group therapy, without a professional therapist. They indirectly help each other while discussing their own problems, letting the others gain the knowledge that they are not alone.

Melaki King, a young upcoming playwright/director from Baltimore, has been working with professional theaters since high school. While directing a drama club consisting of Baltimore City Public School students, he directed such plays as Romeo & Juliet Hip-Hop Tragedy, A Raisin In The Sun, and A Christmas Play. He has worked with Rosiland Cauthen of Center Stage, and as the Technical Director of the Kuumber Theater Company from 2008 to 2011. He currently teaches theater and dance to children at the James McHenry Recreation Center.

The Amendment

Gregory Grey, the protagonist of The Amendment by Amy Bernstein, is a talk-radio jockey and zealous guardian of the First Amendment. HeÍs convinced that his anything-goes program is the best way to defend free speech. His devotion to the cause turns dangerous, and his world begins to fall apart, when a wealthy, scandal-ridden politician lambasted on his program commits suicide, and Gregory defends the outspoken hecklers who show up to protest at her funeral.

Amy Bernstein is a long-time nonfiction writer„an award-winning journalist, executive speechwriter, public radio reporter, book author, and lots of stuff in between. But over the last two years, playwrighting scratches her real itch, with short plays and one-acts produced, professionally read, or with planned productions at, among other locations, Glass Mind Theater and Fells Point Corner Theater in Baltimore, the Kennedy CenterÍs Page-to-Stage Festival in Washington, D.C., Bellarmine University in Louisville, Kentucky, and the International Gone in 60 Seconds One-Minute Playwrighting Festival in Leeds, England.

Public Board Meeting and Play Reading

  • 7:30 PM – BPF board meeting, open to the public
  • 8:30 PM – Reprieve by Carmela Lanza-Weil

Reprieve

Reprieve takes us into the world of Ms. Agnes, a woman struggling with … life. A helping hand offers assistance — but to what end? It is a short play.

Carmela Lanza-Weil is a director, writer, actor, producer and educator currently residing in Baltimore. Bump In the Road Theatre, a company she co-founded in 2002, is dedicated to producing plays about challenging, important and/or under-discussed issues. BUMP produced her play, Bury the Hatchet (a play about forgiveness) at the Philly Fringe last fall.

Public Reading “Marathon”

  • 11:00 AM – Salvation Road by D.W. Gregory
  • 1:00 PM – Hamlet Bound and Unbound by Andrew Rothkin
  • 3:00 PM – Punctuated Equilibrium by David Allyn

Salvation Road

The comic drama Salvation Road, by D. W. Gregory, is the story of a talented young musician caught up in the fervor a new religious movement. Is Denise a victim or a willing participant? When she cuts off her family and friends as “toxic threats” to her newly discovered faith, her cynical younger brother Cliff and his best friend Duffy hit the road in search of her. But how do you rescue someone who doesn’t want to be saved? The winner of the American Alliance for Theatre in Education’s Playwrights in Our Schools award, Salvation Road is appropriate for audiences of middle school and above.

A resident playwright at New Jersey Rep, D.W. Gregory writes in a variety of styles and genres, from the historical epic Radium Girls to the psychological thriller October 1962. The RepÍs production of her impressionistic family drama, The Good Daughter, earned her a Pulitzer Prize nomination in 2003, and her screwball comedy MolumbyÍs Million, produced by Iron Age Theatre, was nominated for PhiladelphiaÍs Barrymore Award for Outstanding New Play in 2011. GregoryÍs work has received the support of the National New Play Network, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Maryland Arts Council, and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and is available from Dramatic Publishing, Playscripts.com, and YouthPLAYS.com. She is currently at work on two new plays for New Jersey Rep.

Hamlet Bound and Unbound

Hamlet Bound and Unbound, by Andrew Rothkin, tells the story of Robert, who has struggled for years to stand up to his anxious mother, to hold onto a decent girlfriend, and above all else, to ñmake itî as a respected, classical actor. After suffering the most horrible indignity of all — watching his dream role, Hamlet, being annihilated by the biggest no-talent movie star in Hollywood — Robert takes matters into his own hands, showing the cast, crew and audience how the role should be played. This irreverent dark comedy winks at every serious (but twisted) actorÍs deepest fantasy, giving due homage the Bard and a spit-in-the-face to the hollowness of Hollywood.

Andrew Rothkin is an award-winning actor, director, playwright and producer. He is currently in rehearsals for a revival of his play MeredithÍs Ring, a benefit performance of which he produced and directed in 2009 at BaltimoreÍs Theatre Project. That same year, MeredithÍs Ring won ñOutstanding Overall Production of a One-Act Playî Award in NYCÍs The Planet Connections Theatre Festivity. Other playwriting highlights include Danny, Voice, Paved with Gold, Love Bites, The Peppy Preppie and Soccer Mom 212, tryin’ t’ touch the sun (in development as a musical), and BubbyÍs Shadow (Winner, ñOutstanding Overall Production of a New Drama Playî Award, Midtown International Theatre Festival, 2008). Andrew serves as Artistic Director of White Rabbit Theater.

Punctuated Equilibrium

In Punctuated Equilibrium, by David Allyn, an attractive biology professor, her failing student, a gay actor, and an evangelical Christian must all come to terms with the paradoxes of life in this smart, witty comedy about the complicated relationship between science, sex and salvation.

David Allyn’s play Commencement won the 2010 Audience Choice Award in the Baltimore Playwrights Festival, and his play Writers Colony appeared in the 2009 Fresh Fruit Festival in New York City. He has been a playwright-in-residence at the Hangar Theatre Lab in Ithaca, NY, and a NYFA Fellow. The New York Times called him “a wicked observer of self-conscious people at their less than best.”

Our Lady of Sandwich, by Mario Baldessari and Keith Bridges, to be produced in Washington, DC

The last weekend of this month, the alumni of the National Conservatory of Dramatic Arts (where Mario teaches classes in comedy) will be producing Our Lady of Sandwich, a comedy he wrote with his friend, Keith Bridges. Our Lady of Sandwich had a public reading at the Baltimore Playwrights Festival’s "marathon" session on March 10th.
The play takes place in Sandridge, North Carolina, a small Southern town that finds itself suddenly turned “head-over-Tarheels” when a diner waitress says she and her best friend were visited by the Virgin Mary. The only thing more bizarre than the reported apparitions are the comical events they set into motion around the town – pitting locals against sightseers, Baptists against Catholics, and truth against fiction. The story provides a funny, yet thought-provoking, look at the nature of miracles.

Show times are March 29 @ 8 pm, March 30 @ 8 pm, March 31 @ 3 pm and 8 pm, and April 1 @ 3 pm.

Admission is free, but seating is limited. To reserve seats, call 202-333-2202. (There will be a suggested donation of $10 at some perfs. )

The conservatory is located in Georgetown at 1556 Wisconsin Avenue, NW – inside the Georgetown Lutheran Church at the corner of Wisconsin Avenue and Volta Place. The entrance to the theater is in the rear of the church. You’ll see the sign when you walk down Volta Place.

Our Lady of Sandwich is directed by Arturo Tolentino and features Christian Beltran, Lynette Franklin¸ Leigh Anna Fry¸ Lily Kerrigan, Julia Nakamoto, Dane C. Petersen, Susan S. Porter, Sarah Pullen and Nancy Viemeister.

Public Reading “Marathon”

  • 11:00 AM – Raising David Walker by Peter Snoad
  • 1:00 PM – Lethal Injection by Michael Reimann
  • 3:00 PM – Our Lady of Sandwich by Mario Baldessari and Keith Bridges

Raising David Walker

Baltimore-born Serena Fox, an African-American student, takes a class at her Boston College on the history of racism and becomes captivated by the ideas and passion of 19th century black abolitionist David Walker. After receiving several ñvisitsî from him„ñIs this his ghost or am I going crazy?î„Serena is convinced that Walker, who officially died of lung disease, may have been assassinated by the agents of Southern planters alarmed by his incendiary writings. She leads a campaign to establish a memorial at his unmarked gravesite and to exhume his remains. Her controversial quest for the truth propels Serena to re-examine her relationship with her white boyfriend and to embrace the broader contemporary struggle for racial justice.

Peter Snoad is a Boston, MA-based playwright whose plays have received over 70 productions and staged readings around the country and in Canada, the U.K., Australia, New Zealand, and Singapore. His full-length play, Guided Tour, garnered Peter two national new play awards, the Stanley Drama Award and the Arthur W. Stone Playwriting Award. He has twice won the New Play Festival at Centre Stage-South Carolina (with Guided Tour and Identity Crisis), as well as contests of the Santa Cruz Actors Theatre in Santa Cruz, CA (Orbiting Mars), Alarm Clock Theatre, Boston (IÍm Not At Liberty to Say), and the Brevard Little Theatre in Brevard, NC (The Life of Trees). A former Washington, DC resident, Peter received an Artist Fellowship for playwriting from the Massachusetts Cultural Council in 2009. He is a proud member of the Dramatists Guild of America, AFTRA and SAG, and is currently working on a new play, The Draft, about the Vietnam War draft.

Lethal Injection

The stakes are high for two well-bred brothers accused of murdering an intruder in their Texas home. A conviction means death by lethal injection. The victim, a deranged man with an unhealthy attraction for the fourteen year old daughter of one of the accused has died of a gunshot wound to the head. The defense argues shooting an intruder isn’t murder. Can the prosecution convince the jury a defenseless man was murdered? In this controversial, death penalty courtroom drama – the audience plays the jury.

Michael Reimann, a native of Washington, DC, graduated from the same high school where Warren Beatty, Shirley McLean and Sandra Bullock started their drama training. He earned BA and MA from Lenoir Rhyne College and George Washington University respectively. The author of two novels, The Man Who Discovers Himself and My Christmas Angel, and three stage plays, Lethal Injection, Helping Hand and Wall Paint, he held a position as ‘Writer in Residence’ with the New York Actors ensemble in Orlando, FL for seven years. Michael is a member of the Dramatists Guild, and is currently working on his next writing project.

Our Lady of Sandwich

Our Lady of Sandwich, by Mario Baldessari and Keith Bridges, tells the story of Sandridge, North Carolina — a typical small, Southern town that finds itself suddenly turned ñhead-over-Tarheelsî when a waitress says she and her gay best friend were visited by the Virgin Mary. The only thing more bizarre than the reported apparitions are the comical events they set into motion around town _ pitting locals against sightseers, Baptists against Catholics, and truth against fiction. The story provides a funny, yet thought-provoking, look at the nature of miracles.

Mario Baldessari is a local playwright, actor and acting instructor. He is currently the Playwright-in-Residence at First Draft at Charter Theater. Recent plays include the a cappella comedy Three Bears at 1st Stage (coauthored with Ethan Slater and produced in partnership with First Draft); Jack and the Bean-Stalk at 1st Stage/First Draft (Helen Hayes Award Recommended); and Fat Gay Jew at Charter Theater. Other playwriting credits include: Fear Itself, Wonders Never Cease and Sacred Cows for Charter Theater. His latest play (coauthored with Slater), The Every Fringe Show You Want to See in One Fringe Show Fringe Show, should premiere this summer at the 2012 Capital Fringe Festival.

Keith Bridges is a local playwright, director, the founder and artistic director of Charter Theater, and a founder of the Kennedy Center Page-to-Stage Festival. His playwriting credits include Lie With Me for Mutineer Theatre in Los Angeles; and the Charter Theater productions of F.U. (Forgive Us…What’d You Think We Meant?), Monkeyboy (co-authored with Chris Stezin and Richard Washer), and Watching Left (nominated for a Helen Hayes Award).