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New Play Festival to be staged at New Paltz

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Festival continues Theatre Department’s commitment to developing new works for the stage;
eleven plays chosen from over 70 entrants

NEW PALTZ – The Department of Theatre Arts will present a New Play Festival on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, April 8, 9 and 10th in Parker Theatre on the State University of New York at New Paltz campus. The festival is part of the Mainstage season and will continue the theatre department’s commitment to developing and producing new works for the stage.

Over seventy one-act scripts from forty Hudson Valley playwrights, SUNY alumni and SUNY students were submitted, with eleven short plays chosen for presentation ranging from the realistic to the surreal, from outrageous comedy to the highly dramatic. Some of the plays will be presented as readings, while others will be more fully realized and contain more complete production values.

"What the Festival offers our students is the opportunity to work with texts that are not ‘established.’ Many of our students will continue to work with new plays when they are in the profession,” said John Patrick Bray, one of the Festival’s co-founders.

The New Play Festival was created by theatre faculty and director Nancy Saklad, designer Ken Goldstein, playwright John Patrick Bray, and Laurence Carr, who teaches Dramatic Writing in the English Department and heads the SUNY Playwrights’ Project.

Robert Miller, a member of the faculty of the SUNY New Paltz Communications Department and producing director of Mohonk Mountain Stage Company, serves as artistic director.

“Nothing in theatre is more exciting or rewarding than working with new scripts. It’s where the action is,” said Robert Miller.

The plays, running 10 to 25 minutes in length, were written by Hudson Valley playwrights Mary Gallagher, James Farrell, Lew Gardner and Sybil Rosen; SUNY New Paltz alumni Julie Demers, J. Holtham, Bruce Pileggi, Craig Sarich and Evan Leed; SUNY student Annette Storkman; and SUNY theatre faculty Emeritus Beverly Brumm. New Paltz theatre students will direct and act in the pieces and create designs, both as lobby displays and as production elements.

“The main idea is to focus on the scripts, to illuminate the words. We want each script to reach its next stage of development, and to have our audiences help shape these plays,” said Laurence Carr, playwright coordinator.

The New Play Festival will be presented as two separate series. Series A, made up of seven 10-minute plays will be presented Friday, April 8 at 8:00 p.m. and Saturday, April 9 at 2:00 p.m. Series B, presenting three longer one act plays, will be produced Saturday, April 9, at 8:00 p.m. and Sunday afternoon, April 10 at 2:00 p.m. Tickets are $5 for each series and can be purchased by calling the Box Office at 845.257.3880, Monday – Friday, 11:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., online or at the door. An audience feedback session will follow each series.