12 ARTISTIC TRIAL BALLOONS
12 EXCITING EVENINGS OF PLAY READINGS
ALL FREE FOR YOUR FEEDBACK
December 1 to 17, 2017
Our season kickoff script Emilie was a fan favorite in this series of play readings, which launched in Season 26 and has yielded world premiere stagings of The Good Devil (In Spite of Himself) and Helen Hayes Award-nominated TAME. Our Scripts in Play Festival continues in Season 28 with a fresh new lineup of edgy, classically based scripts under consideration for full production.
All Scripts in Play events are FREE and take place at Gunston Arts Center Theatre Two. No reservations required. Call 703-418-4808 if you have any questions.
WE ASK ONLY FOR YOUR FEEDBACK. After each event there will be a facilitated Afterchat so you can tell us what you think. You can also email your thoughts to ScriptsFest@avantbard.org. Your feedback will help us plan future Avant Bard seasons, and we thank you for your participation!
CHECK OUT THE AMAZING OFFERINGS….
Friday, December 1 at 7:30 PM
Blues for Mister Charlie, by James Baldwin
Directed by Jeff Kirkman III
James Baldwin, author of incisive works like Go Tell It On The Mountain, Giovanni’s Room, and The Fire Next Time, was one of the first writers to explore the complex intersections of race, class and sexuality in America. His play Blues for Mister Charlie, loosely based on the murder of Emmett Till and dedicated to civil rights martyr Medgar Evers, explores these themes with grit, wit and passion.
Saturday, December 2 at 2 PM
Georgia Avenue Nocturne, by Jon Jon Johnson
Directed by Solomon HaileSelassie
When seemingly humble mechanic Glow stumbled into Club Erebus on DC’s Georgia Avenue, he was just following the aetherial music. When he meets Nyx, the mythic singer haunting the club, he finds a love with far more depth than he could ever imagine – but the affairs of the gods never did run smooth. With a dark ending that will leave you speechless, Georgia Avenue Nocturne is an ode to songs unsung, to lives cut short, and to those who have spent an eternity looking for a place called home.
Saturday, December 2 at 7:30 PM
Illyria, by Jonelle Walker and Mitch Hébert
Freely adapted from Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night
Directed by Medha Marsten
Jonelle Walker became an instant Avant Bard favorite for TAME., her fearless response to The Taming of the Shrew. Now she returns to the Scripts in Play Festival with her latest Shakespearean adaptation: inspired by the gender-bending comedy Twelfth Night, Illyria reimagines Viola, Sebastian, Orsino and Olivia in the technicolor, four-to-the-floor fantasia of the 1970’s New York City disco scene.
Sunday, December 3 at 2 PM
Brand New Ancients by Kate Tempest
Directed by Megan Behm
“Suddenly it feels as if we are not in a theatre but a church… gathered around a hearth, hearing the age-old stories that help us make sense of our lives. We’re given the sense that what we are watching is something sacred.” – The Guardian
An epic spoken-word poem from UK hip-hop MC and artist Kate Tempest. Brand New Ancients is an odyssey through contemporary life that demands we attend the gods that live on park benches and in subways, lest we lose the hope they hold dear. Winner of the 2013 Ted Hughes Award for Poetry.
Thursday, November 7 at 7:30 PM
The Custom of the Country by Philip Massinger & John Fletcher
Directed by Charlene V. Smith
A tragicomedy from Shakespeare’s (presumed) heir apparents. A malevolent duke demands his right to deflower a bride on the eve of her marriage. The betrothed couple flees to the coast, joins a ship of not-pirates, and hijinks ensue. Love, lust, travel, murder, witchcraft, and everything else you love about the Jacobean era.
Friday, December 8 at 7:30 PM
Vieux Carré by Tennessee Williams
Directed by Christopher Henley
Williams began writing the autobiographical Vieux Carré in 1938; by the time he finished the play, forty years later, he was acknowledged as a giant of world theatre. In this early/late work we can already catch tantalizing glimpses of many of his most archetypal characters: the aging spinster; the aspiring poet; the grifters and transplants and other lonely, dispossessed figures longing to make a new home in the Big Easy. In 1977 (five years before Williams’ death), the New York Times wrote of Vieux Carre: “You leave the theater with the impression of having been told a secret. Not necessarily a truth, but a secret. Yet beneath those murmurings, through the meanderings, is an authentic voice of the 20th century…”
Saturday, December 9 at 2 PM & Saturday, December 16 at 2 PM
Marvellous, an Illuminated Tale, by Matthew Minnicino (workshop reading)
Performed in partnership with Yorktown High School
Directed by Carol Cadby
Saturday, December 9 at 2 PM at Yorktown High School (5200 Yorktown Blvd, Arlington, VA 22207
Saturday, December 16 at 2 PM at Gunston Arts Center, Theatre II (2700 S Lang St, Arlington, VA 22207)
Verbatim, an orphan boy left on the steps of the Abbey at Clonmacnoise, climbs an anchor that falls from the sky to find himself in a dream he’s been waiting for all his life, where he finally gets to meet the girl who’s been popping up in it. A mystical, mythical, meta-fictional manuscript, the play illuminates the fine art of growing up, imagining things, and telling stories about them—with shadow puppets. Presented in partnership with Yorktown High School, Marvellous is a workshop reading of a play in-progress performed by the next generation of theatre makers.
Saturday, December 9 & 16 at 7:30 PM
Her, Across The River by Hope Villanueva (workshop reading)
Directed by Elena Velasco
An American woman on an escape from her past in Bangkok befriends a novice Buddhist monk. As they work through their wounds together, their lost loved ones linger in the In Between, meeting gods of Greco-Roman and Thai Buddhist pantheons alike, all trying to achieve some level of peace and maybe even enlightenment.
Sunday, December 10 at 2 PM
Blood Wedding by Federico García Lorca, translation by Langston Hughes
Directed by Sandra L. Holloway
Equal parts earthy tragedy and surreal landscape, Blood Wedding is Lorca’s entrancing meditation on love, lust, community and revenge. Translated by a leader of the Harlem Renaissance, Langston Hughes, Lorca’s rural Spanish poetry takes on a whole new feeling in Hughes’ jazz-age, African-American vernacular.
Thursday, December 14 at 7:30 PM
The Misanthrope, by Molière, adapted by Matthew Minnicino
Directed by Rex Daugherty
Less a translation than a distillation of the classic play, this new adaptation does in our day what Moliere did in his: it tells the tale of a society weighed down by flattery, and the one man whose quips equip him more than all the rest to diss dishonor: venom-tongued Alceste. A play precocious, prating, and perverse, and 95% in rhyming verse.
Friday, December 15 at 7:30 PM
Far Away, by Caryl Churchill
Directed by Angela Kay Pirko
Joan is a milliner with a flair for the gaudy. In her cozy world, she does everything she can to forget the gruesome sights she witnessed as a young child. When her colleague gets a suspicious contract, Joan is forced to confront those memories and gaze directly at the fear that has crept into her life, answering the question, “What are all those ridiculous hats for, anyway?” A deep cut from legendary playwright Caryl Churchill (Top Girls,, Cloud 9, Love & Information).
Sunday, December 17 at 2 PM
Sizwe Bansi Is Dead by Athol Fugard
Directed by Doug Robinson
Sizwe Bansi has a problem: he needs a work permit in three days or he will be unable to provide for his family. In his despair, he goes out drinking and finds a permit under the worst circumstances–on the body of a dead man. Penned by legendary South African playwright and activist Athol Fugard, Sizwe Bansi Is Dead is a heartbreaking snapshot of life under colonial oppression, and the shimmers of hope pictured within it.