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).

Mark Scharf’s “The Whispers of Saints” in New York City

The Oberon Theatre Ensemble will present a staged reading of Mark Scharf’s play The Whispers of Saints on Sunday, March 25th at 7 p.m. at The Lambs (America’s First Professional Theatre Club – est. 1874) located at 3 W. 51st Street, New York City.

The Whispers of Saints won both Best Play and Best Production in the 2002 Baltimore Playwrights Festival.

BPF Alumna Gets Reading at The Strand 3/10/2012

The Baltimore Playwrights Festival is proud to announce that The Chick Files by local playwright Sharon Goldner, will receive an independent reading at 7:00 pm, Saturday, March 10th, at The Strand Theater, as part of their Second Saturday Reading Series. The event is free of charge, and open to the public. There will be a discussion with the playwright following the reading, at which audience members are encouraged to give their feedback.

Then a series of monologues exploring women’s lives, The Chick Files originally received its first public reading as a part of the BPF’s season last year. "The reading I had last year was extremely helpful," Ms. Goldner says. "I rewrote the script from top to bottom based on what a few of the audience members suggested." The play now features characters that interact more with each other in a group therapy setting, allowing the audience a glimpse into their every-day lives.

Born and bred in Baltimore, Sharon Goldner began writing while in high school, and has had over 30 short stories published in literary journals across the country and in England. Switching her focus from short stories to plays within the past few years, Ms. Goldner appreciates the opportunities to hear her plays read afforded to her by the Baltimore Playwrights Festival, and The Strand’s Second Saturday series. "Writing is a very solitary process, and having the opportunity for a reading gives me a sense of accomplishment, like the readers got it, they understood what I was trying to do, the story I was trying to tell. That is worth its weight in gold."

The production will be directed by Miriam Bazensky, award-winning director and Vice Chair of the Baltimore Playwrights Festival, who, since directing the original BPF reading of The Chick Files, has become a great supporter of Ms. Goldner’s work.

Public Reading “Marathon”

  • 11:00 AM – The Breath of Enceladus by Scott Gilmore
  • 1:00 PM – The Luckiest Girl by Kitty Felde
  • 3:00 PM – The Plataeans by Alex Gammno

The Breath of Encladus

Samy, an introverted gay University Professor of Algerian descent, is pushed into the world of online dating by his well-meaning friends. SamyÍs ex-boyfriend and best friend, Jamie, throws himself into the ever evolving gay cyber culture with abandon. Their friends, Mo and Trish, a lesbian couple, struggle with their convictions and the legal limitations imposed on their relationship. SamyÍs cousin LoundjaÍs work as a global human rights activist makes her acutely aware of her loss of privacy. The Breath of Enceladus by Scott Gilmore is a tale of struggle, discovery and determination in the brave new world of courtship, sex and terror.

Scott Gilmore is a member of ActorÍs Equity and British Equity. Scott has been acting professionally since the age of six, directing since the age of twenty and was Artistic Director of the Waterfront Playhouse in Key West for many years. After studying in New York, he currently lives in Takoma Park, Maryland and is focused on playwriting. He has directed many productions in Key West, London and regionally throughout the U.K.

The Luckiest Girl

The Luckiest Girl, by Kitty Felde, tells the story of Tahira, who is moving to Holland with her Gran, an attorney for the United Nations International Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. The move is difficult _ Tahira is shorter than the other kids, she doesnÍt speak Dutch, and then she discovers thereÍs no American-style Christmas in Holland. Instead of jolly old St. Nick, kids wait for Sinterklaas _ a bishop who arrives from Spain on a boat. The SintÍs companion is the politically incorrect jester in blackface Zwarte Piet. Tahira _ like all the Dutch kids – falls in love with Piet. Her grandmother is horrified. Tahira and her grandmother battle over stereotypes and tolerance, and ultimately, over GranÍs decision to separate Tahira from her drug addicted mother.

By day, she covers Capitol Hill for public radio. But in real life, Kitty Felde is an award-winning playwright. Plays include a courtroom drama about the Bosnian war, A Patch of Earth, winner Maxim Mazumdar New Play Competition; an adaptation of a trio of short stories by Nikolai Gogol, Gogol Project, winner 2009 LA Drama Critics Circle Award; even a one-woman show with a ghost Alice, an evening with the tart-tongued daughter of Theodore Roosevelt, winner of the Open Book/Fireside Theatre Playwriting Competition. Alice played to sold out houses at Washington’s Capital Fringe Festival last summer. Felde co-founded Theatre of NOTE in Hollywood and ran the playwriting program at HOLA Youth Theatre in Los Angeles.

The Plataeans

Why do we honor dead soldiers? Is a country’s history its virtue? Alex Gammon explores these questions in his play The Plataeans. After a long siege, the citizens of Plataea surrender themselves and their city to the Spartans. The Plataeans soon realize that the surrender parley is in fact a capital trial they cannot win. When the hated Thebans arrive to press the case for the destruction of the city and the deaths of its people, the trial becomes an open-air courtroom argument over the use, and the usefulness, of the past.

Alex Gammon grew up in Northern California and graduated from St. JohnÍs College in Annapolis. He has been a gas station attendant, a mosquito control field inspector, and a fourth grade teacher. He lives in Baltimore with his wife and their son and their cat. There are a few places heÍs lived that he likes better than Baltimore, and several that he likes worse. The Plataeans is his first play.