The Pittsburgh New Works Festival has been dedicated to producing new plays from all over the world for 28 years! From comedy to drama and traditional to cutting edge, there’s always something for everyone to love. Presented by 18 of the Pittsburgh region’s theatre companies and top-notch acting talent from all corners of the region, New Works is something not to be missed!
An Unexpected Mourner
by Michael Wolfson
produced by R-ACT Theatre Productions
David Ellis has been hired as a “shomer” – someone in Orthodox Jewish tradition whose job it is to pray over the dead in the hours before burial. Having never done anything like it before, David finds the prospect of spending the night in a mortuary reading Psalms to the departed a somewhat daunting undertaking. After his employer has instructed him in the intricacies of the job, David is left alone to “keep the dead company”. Soon, though, he is interrupted by an unexpected mourner whose sudden appearance and unusual attitude adds to David’s growing sense of discomfort. When a second mourner appears, things rapidly spin out of control, with music, dancing and seduction filling the air. When morning finally comes, David finds that he has acquired an entirely new appreciation of both life and death.
Michael Wolfson‘s work includes “Undue Influence”, L.A. Theatre Works (CA). “A Paradise Of Fools”, Detroit Repertory Theatre (MI).“The Prisoners Dilemma”, Pittsburgh New Works Festival (PA) and Vital Theatre (NYC). “Legerdemain”, Ashland New Plays Festival (OR); Asylum Theatre (NV) and Lake County Repertory Theater (CA). “Work And Play”, Spokane Civic Theatre (WA). “Party Time”, Little Theatre of Alexandria (VA). “Watch Your Language”, Stagecrafters (MI). “Thinking Outside The Box”, Pittsburgh New Works Festival (PA). “Word Play”, Brief Acts Company (NYC) and Road Theatre (CA). “Cat And Mouse”, Bridewell Theatre (London, England) and Penobscot Theatre Company (ME). “A Senior Moment”, Pittsburgh New Works Festival (PA) and Geneva Theatre Guild (NY). “Wishful Thinking”, Brief Acts Company (NYC). “Out- Of-Order”, Eclectic Company Theatre (CA). “The Green Eyed Monster”, Pittsburgh New Works Festival (PA). “T.G.I.F.”, Starlite Players (FL) and Silver Spring Stage (MD).
The Civil War
by Michael Champagne
produced by Thoreau, NM A Production Company
A young woman must act as a lifetime referee between her husband and her mother as the two re-draw the lines of the Civil War throughout the couple’s marriage.
Mike Champagne is an actor/director and playwright and novelist. His new book Brother to the Blood is currently available on Amazon. Most recently his new musical song-cycle, Bittersuite: More Songs of Experience was produced at the Centenary Theatre in New Jersey. Together with composer Elliot Weise, Mr. Champagne has written a number of musicals including The Witch of Wall Street, which was workshopped at Lincoln Center’s Rose theatre after being selected for the Eugene O’Neill Theater’s summer Musical Theater Workshop. Their original version of “Bittersuite,” Bittersuite: Songs of Experience ran for fourteen months Off-Broadway and for two years in Los Angeles. It has had successful runs in San Francisco and Chicago, and, most recently, was performed by the Bulgarian National Theatre. Currently Mike has published a new novel, The Goat Woman, which is also available on Amazon and Kindle. He is working on a cycle of short plays entitled The Civil Wars.
Where the Star Fell
by Kelly Bancroft
produced by CCAC South Campus Theatre
Based on a true story, Ann Hodges’ life in 1950’s rural Alabama is upended when she becomes the first person to ever be hit by a meteorite .
Kelly Bancroft‘s plays have been produced in Youngstown and Milwaukee, and her play “Lovie’s Spring” was a Pittsburgh New Works Festival winner. An essayist and poet as well, Bancroft’s work has been published in many journals and most recently her short documentary, “Arriving at Bessie” was selected for inclusion in the Cleveland International Film Festival.