Public Reading “Marathon”

  • 11:00 AM – The Truth and Consequences of War by Charles Durgin, directed by Josh Shoemaker
  • 1:00 PM – Unworthy of Love by Michael Reimann, directed by Miriam Bazensky
  • 3:00 PM – Affair of Honour by Will Reed, Directed by Michael Tan

The Truth and Consequences of War

In Afghanistan an IED blast disables Danielle, a young army medic who returns home with life-altering injuries. Fearing that her will to persevere is slipping away her family intervenes. Uncle Alex infuses stability, her young cousin Marie inspires hope, and her boyfriend Jacob opens the door to intimacy. This story, The Truth and Consequences of War, by Charles Durgin, provides an honest and unfiltered look at the effects of war and the power of love through the eyes of one family.

Charles Durgin is originally from Binghamton (NY), lives in the Annapolis area, works at the Kennedy Krieger Institute and is an Adjunct Professor at George Washington University. In his professional life he has authored and/or contributed to books and journal articles in the field of neurorehabilitation but recently turned his attention to playwriting. His first play, a comedy, Are You Kidding Me?, received a reading as part of the Baltimore Playwrights Festival last season.

Unworthy of Love

In Unworthy of Love, by Michael Reimann, a woman has been severely beaten and police psychologist Carolyn Garbo is assigned the task to determine which of three suspects committed the violent act. It’s not long before she discovers all three had motive and opportunity. The audience is invited to sit in on this game of cat and mouse to distinguish perpetrator from suspect. Test your own investigative skills as Garbo separates fact from fiction in this modern day who-done-it.

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. Earned a BA and MA at Lenoir Rhyne College and George Washington University, respectively. He is the author of two novels: The Man Who Discovers Himself and My Christmas Angel. More recently, his stage play Lethal Injection was selected by the 2012 Baltimore Playwrights Festival for their reading series, and a finalist in the 2012 SART ScriptFEST. The play received its first production at the Vagabond Theatre in, Baltimore, MD, directed by Larry Pinker. Mr. Reimann received Honorable Mention in the 77th Annual Writer’s Digest Competition for his play Wall Paint. His play Helping Hand was selected as a finalist to the 2012 Magnola Arts Center’s Seventh Annual Play Competition. And his one-act play, titled The Perfect Package is scheduled for production in New York early in 2013. Michael is a member of the Dramatists Guild of America.

Affair of Honour

Politics and ambition collide with deadly consequences for two Founding Fathers in Affair of Honour, by William F. Reed, the true story of Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr. Revolutionary rivals stake fate, fortune, family, and AmericaÍs future on an ancient code, leaving one man dead, one man vanquished by history and memories, and a country haunted by their ghosts.

William F. Reed, composer, lyricist and writer, holds degrees in composition from Loyola University New Orleans and the Aaron Copland School of Music in New York. He has worked as a jazz pianist and music director for schools and theaters in New York, New Orleans, Washington DC, Chapel Hill, NC and San Diego, CA. Affair of Honour, his first musical, received a developmental reading at the 2012 New York Musical Festival (MYFM).

Public Board Meeting and Play Reading

  • 7:30 PM – BPF board meeting, open to the public
  • 8:30 PM – The Desert by Jacquelyn Bengfort, directed by Micah Chalmer

There will be a discussion with the audience and playwright after the play reading.

The Desert

Several years after a near-apocalyptic weather event known as ñthe Desert,î a set of twins recounts to their dinner guests the story of how their grandmother arrived ahead of the storm, bent on assuring their survival at any cost.

Jacquelyn Bengfort spent eighteen years reading library books and staring out at the North Dakota prairies before departing for stranger shores. Currently based in Washington, D.C., her fiction has appeared in The Labyrinth and is forthcoming in Storm Cellar.

Public Reading “Marathon”

  • 1:00 PM – The Gin Baby by Sarah Shaefer
  • 3:00 PM – Fifteen Men in a Smoke Filled Room by Colin Crowley

The Gin Baby

In this dark comedy, a young, suicidal alcoholic, whose life has fallen apart since she got sober, decides to spit in the face of her failures and commit herself to a psych ward.

Sarah Shaefer was born and bred in Baltimore, but now resides in NYC. Her plays address women’s issues, specifically women who overcome major obstacles to find their own voices. Her work has been developed and/or produced in New York at Primary Stages, Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival, Caps Lock Theatre Company, New River Dramatists, Filling the Well, HB Studios, Fresh Produce’d at Drama Bookshop, Jimmy’s No. 43, the Maggie Flanigan Studio and the Red Harlem Readers. Selected acting credits include Yelling to the Sky (Berlin International Film Festival), Bring a Weasel and a Pint of Your Own Blood (Classic Stage), Five Very Pretty Girls (dir. Michael Greif), The Famished (dir. Ken Rus Schmoll), Follow (dir. Daniel Talbott), Too Much, Too Much, Too Many (dir. Hal Brooks).

15 Men in a Smoke Filled Room

ItÍs 1920 – an election year in the United States – and Warren G. Harding, Senator from Ohio, is overwhelmed by the prospect of becoming the presidential nominee of the Republican Party. Hounded by an ambitious campaign manager, a paralyzingly superstitious wife, a starstruck young mistress, and the frightening pull of inevitability, Harding appears doomed to be president. Or is he? Fifteen Men In A Smoke Filled Room explores the extent to which fate controls our lives and the self-defeating role we play in our own destinies.

Colin Speer Crowley is a playwright-lyricist who has written a variety of works for the stage, including a musical (for which he wrote the book and lyrics) that was produced in the Seattle area in 2008 and again in Connecticut in late 2011. Screenplays by Crowley have received distinctions in national and international screenwriting contests (including The Movie Deal! contest and The PAGE International Screenwriting Competition) and songs to which he’s written the lyrics have been performed in musical revues in London. Crowley’s new musical, One Little Wish, was produced in Connecticut this past Fall and a new straight play of his was recently one of 5 plays considered for the premier production of a new NYC-based theater group. His Fifteen Men In A Smoke-Filled Room has been a finalist in the Stanley Drama Awards, the New American Playwright Project, the Firehouse Theatre Project’s New Play Award, the Seven Devils Theatre Conference New Play Award, and the Hidden River Arts Competition, and it has been read by the Villagers Theatre in New Jersey, Long Beach Playhouse in California, and the North American Actors Association in London. Crowley is a member of the Dramatists Guild, the Lambs Club, and Phi Beta Kappa and also President and founder of the new theatrical group Speerhead Theatricals, Inc.

Public Reading “Marathon”

  • 11:30 AM – The Good News by Matthew Buckley Smith, directed by Kwame Bey
  • 2:00 PM – The Prognosis by Patrick J. McGeever, directed by Steve Goldklang
  • 3:00 PM – Peep Show by Ivan Taub, directed by Rodney Bonds

The Good News

The Good News, by Matthew Buckley Smith, tells the story of a young,inter-racial Baltimore couple who clash with their neighbors aftermoving from a luxurious high-rise to a row house in a low-incomeneighborhood. Their shaky friendship with a small-time drug dealeronly aggravates matters. The play contains explicit and provocativelanguage as well as suggested violence and frank discussion of race,faith, and class.

Matthew Buckley Smith was born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia. Heearned a BA in Drama from the University of Georgia and an MFA inPoetry from the Johns Hopkins University. He is currently an MFAcandidate in Playwriting at Catholic University. His short plays MyParasite and Turing Test recently appeared in the BaltimoreOne-Minute Play Festival. Other plays of his have received stagedreadings or productions at the Single Carrot Theatre, the Run of theMill Theatre, the Annex Theatre, and the Un Saddest Factory, as wellas at the King’s Head Theatre in London. His play Spooky Action at aDistance is currently in rehearsal and will be produced in March 2013at Catholic University in Washington, D.C. His poems have appeared innational publications, including Best American Poetry 2011, and hisfirst book, Dirge for an Imaginary World, was the winner of the2011 Able Muse Book Award.

The Prognosis

In The Prognosis, by Patrick J. McGeever, a patient goes to a doctorfor a checkup, confident that he’ll get a glowing report. Boy, is hein for a surprise! A ten-minute surprise . . .

Patrick McGeever has had twenty-some of his plays produced at theatersaround the country. In Baltimore, David Austin was produced atFells Point Corner Theater, Confiteor will be opening there soon,and Colleen and Kudso received a reading at the BaltimorePlaywrights Festival. Elsewhere, his comedies have included NasalHygiene: A Disgusting Little Farce, Prinderella and the Since,Sister Sex (winner of the 2011 “Make the House Roar” nationalcontest, and, opening later this month in Philadelphia, If theSlipper Fits, a musical.

Peep Show

Peep Show, by Ivan Taub, introduces us to Lonnie and Ray, twostreet-wise, manipulative but charming young actors, rehearsing a playthat grapples with issues of gender and identity. In this process ofself-discovery, the actors soon find themselves being pulled in andout of their lives and the lives of the characters they are portrayinguntil the distinction between art and life, fantasy and reality, faithand reason become increasingly and dangerously blurred. Will there bea happy ending for Lonnie and Ray, or one in which the ambiguity ofhuman relationships strikes a darker, bitter-sweet note?

Ivan Taub holds a BA in religion and an MFA in Theatre from TempleUniversity, where he was the recipient of a Sam S. Shubert Fellowshipin Playwriting, and a PhD in the humanities from Florida StateUniversity. Taub has taught in theatre and humanities programs atcolleges and universities in the United States and Canada, and, since1998, has been a full-time faculty member of Temple University,serving in the Intellectual Heritage Program. In 2005, he wasnominated by the National Society of Collegiate Scholars as Faculty ofthe Year. His produced full-length plays include Hearts and Downfrom the Mountain, and one-acts, A Scattering of Shards and TheBargain. His play, State of Grace, was selected as a finalist inthe full length category for the Maxim Mazumdar New Play Competition(2007). In addition to his credits as a playwright, Taub is apublished author, poet, song writer, recording artist, and bandleader.

Public Reading “Marathon”

  • 11:00 AM – Unprotected by Amy Bernstein
  • 1:00 PM – Not Another Damn Coming of Age Story by Sharon Goldner
  • 3:00 PM – The Bra Plays by Rosemary Frisino Toohey

Not Another Damn Coming of Age Story

Not Another Damn Coming of Age Story, by Sharon Goldner, takes place in a 1970s fifth grade classroom, where Siobhan SIlverman declares her love for Alan Shapiro. It is, of course, doomed from the start because in the hierarchy of popular kids, Alan reigns king, and Siobhan is non-existent. Being in the throes of love can make a person do strange things, and this is no different for ten year old Siobhan who chides any adult who would be callous enough to dismiss her love for Alan as merely a crush … ñour love can flatten us out just like yours can” … In a banquet hall sporting a high school 30 year reunion, Siobhan and Alan meet up again, and with the popularity field leveled, the two can have an earnest talk about the years behind them, and whatÍs in store for the future. They say people change. Or do they?

Sharon Goldner’s (sometimes) award-winning plays have been produced by: Manhattan Theatre Source; Manhattan Repertory Theatre; Future Tenant (Pittsburgh); Hand to Mouth Players (NY); Rochester Repertory Theatre (MN); Run of the Mill Theater (Baltimore); North Avenue Play Series (Baltimore); Fells Point Corner Theater (Baltimore); NYC Short Play Lab; The Women’s Theatre Project (FL); and Longwood University (VA). Two monologues from her play I Think I Love You, David Cassidy have been chosen to appear in Smith & Kraus’ Best Women’s Monologues of 2013. Additionally, over 30 of Sharon’s Pushcart Prize-nominated short stories have been published in literary journals across the country & in England, most recently in anthology form by HarperCollins.

Unprotected

Unprotected, by Amy Bernstein, is a raw look at the history we’ve lived, and have yet to live, through a particular lens, namely, what happens to women living with unwanted pregnancies. Let’s be real: it isn’t pretty. America’s history on this issue isn’t pretty. And nobody within orbit of a woman undergoing this struggle emerges unaffected. Just ask Rosie. And Roseann. And Rosina.

Amy Bernstein calls herself an emerging playwright in mid-life, which means her lifespan is approximately 28 times longer than the time she’s been writing for the theater (I dare you to figure that out). In her very short theatrical lifespan, Amy has had a number of 10-minute plays produced or read in New York City; Baltimore and Chestertown, MD; Washington, D.C., and Lexington, KY. Her short works have been produced at local theater and arts festivals around town. She was selected to participate in the Association for Theatre in Higher Education intensive playwrighting workshop in 2011. This is her second reading as part of the Baltimore Playwrights Festival. Amy is a member of the Playwrights Group of Baltimore and the Dramatists Guild.

The Bra Plays

Lost bras, found bras, bras sent forth on a mission, the five brief takes on bras of The Bra Plays, by Rosemary Frisino Toohey, explore the curiously complex territory of the one item of clothing worn only by women and the singular place breasts hold in society.

Produced all across the country as well as in Canada, Europe, and New Zealand, Rosemary Frisino Toohey has won the Baltimore Playwrights Festival twice as well as several national contests. A member of the Dramatists Guild of America, her work has been honored with grants from the Maryland State Arts Council. There’s more at http://www.frisinotoohey.com/.