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Playwrights Theatre presenting Free Reading of New Play in Madison

Playwrights Theatre  logo
Playwrights Theatre logo

Playwrights Theatre’s will present a free reading at the Madison Public Library, 39 Keep Street, Madison, NJ of James Glossman’s adaption of Suzanne Berne’s novel A CRIME IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD. The reading will begin at 7 pm on January 30, 2014, and will be followed by a discussion with Mr. Glossman.

This reading is part of Playwrights Theatre’s FORUM new play reading series. Any patron who purchased a FORUM pass for the December reading series, that pass is valid for this reading.

FORUM brings theatre artists and audience members together to enjoy the process of bringing a play to life. Professional actors and directors from both New York and New Jersey work with the writer in pre-reading rehearsals. Oftentimes, some very well-known performers are able to lend a hand, schedule permitting.

“Playwrights Theatre’s Forum Reading Series brings to local audiences exciting new works by some of the best writers in the country and the State of New Jersey. In turn, our rehearsal process and interaction with the audience, during the reading and in discussions afterward, help these writers move their play along to final production,” said John Pietrowski, Artistic Director. “We began a wonderful partnership with the Madison Public Library this past October presenting readings in the Chase Room on Thursday evenings. It’s a warm, intimate space that allows us to connect with the audience. An added bonus is that this is a final reading before rehearsal and a March production in Chicago.”

About the Play: During "Watergate Summer" in 1972, a young teenage boy is found murdered behind a mall in suburban Washington DC. At the other end of the same residential neighborhood, 10-year-old Marsha, who fancies herself a detective, begins to have suspicions that her new next-door-neighbor may have something to do with the crime. A tale of family upheaval and old business from the past, that still hangs on after four decades.

The cast includes: Evelyn McGee Colbert, Annie Leithead, Kathy McCafferty, Linda Setzer, Allison Rose Carr, Emily Daly, Paul Murphy, and Jeff Knapp.

About the Playwright: JAMES GLOSSMAN's latest play, A CRIME IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD, adapted from Suzanne Berne's Orange Prize winning novel, was commissioned by Chicago's City Lit Theatre, where it will have its world premiere in March 2014. His baseball musical collaboration with legendary songwriter Terry Cashman, ONCE UPON A PASTIME, for which Glossman wrote the book, will receive a staged workshop this spring at Montclair State University starring Len Cariou. Among his earlier works are KICK THE CAN, THE SPECIAL PRISONER, and FLYING CROWS, all collaborations with novelist and journalist Jim Lehrer (the latter two premiering at Playwrights Theatre), the award-winning BEHIND THE SCENES AT THE MUSEUM, Mark Twain's THE MAN THAT CORRUPTED HADLEYBURG and A CONNECTICUT YANKEE IN KING ARTHUR'S COURT, Faulkner's THE HAMLET, Scott Fitzgerald's FAMILY IN THE WIND, OUT OF DUBLIN BY JOYCE (from the works of James Joyce), A WRINKLE IN TIME, Eudora Welty's WHY I LOVE AT THE P.O., a screenplay adaptation of Kurt Vonnegut's BLUEBEARD, and most recently Raymond's Chandler's TROUBLE IS MY BUSINESS, which had a staged reading two years ago at Playwrights Theatre, followed by its world premiere at Portland Stage Company. His upcoming (musical) adaptation of Raphael Sabatini's SCARAMOUCHE, and (non-musical) of Ross Macdonald's THE ZEBRA-STRIPED HEARSE will be having workshops in Chicago and Los Angeles this coming spring and summer. He has directed well over 200 plays across the last quarter century, from classics to new work, and is on the theatre faculties of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore and Far Brook School in NJ. Glossman is Associate Artistic Director of Playwrights Theatre.

About the Novelist: Suzanne Berne spent her early years on a horse farm in Warrenton, Virginia, before moving to Washington, DC, where her father taught courses on mythology at Georgetown University and her mother became a psychologist. After earning her B.A. in English at Wesleyan University in Connecticut, and then an M.F.A. at the University of Iowa’s Writers’ Workshop, Suzanne lived for several years in California, where she held jobs ranging from a stint as a proofreader for the Hollywood Reporter to hostess at a San Francisco restaurant, while also writing for several newspapers and beginning to publish short stories. In 1986, she began teaching expository writing at Harvard University. During this period she was also reviewing for the New York Times Book Review and writing essays and articles for the Travel section. She has also published essays in numerous magazines, from Vogue and Allure to Ploughshares.

Her first novel, A Crime in the Neighborhood, was published by Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill in 1997. It was published in Great Britain in 1999 and won the coveted Orange Prize for fiction, from a short list that included Toni Morrison and Barbara Kingsolver that year. The judges called it “a stunning novel of rare quality.” Reviewer David Baddiel described the book as “a beautifully lyrical – and deeply disturbing – rites of passage novel, written, with the hindsight of melancholy adulthood, from the point of view of a young girl growing up at that stage in the early ‘70s when the idyll of American family life started to come apart.” Other novels and memoirs includeA PERFECT ARRANGEMENT,THE GHOST AT THE TABLE, andMISSING LUCILLE. She has been the recipient of fellowships from the N.E.A., the Massachusetts Artists’ Foundation and nominated for an Edgar Award and the Los Angeles Times First Fiction Award. Currently she teaches creative writing at Boston College and is on the faculty of the Ranier Writing Workshop in Tacoma, Washington. She lives with her husband, a lawyer, in Newton, MA, with their two daughters.

Writers in the New Play Program are drawn from across the country, including our affiliation with the National New Play Network, a nation-wide group of theatres dedicated to the development and production of new work. Teaching Artists in our Education Programs are professional artists working in their field in the New Jersey, New York, and Philadelphia metropolitan areas. From 2003-2016, we have been designated a Major Arts Institution by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts (along with only five other theatres: The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, George Street Playhouse, McCarter Theatre Center, Two River Theatre and Paper Mill Playhouse) as “an anchor institution that contributes vitally to the quality of life in New Jersey.”

Playwrights Theatre is a member of the New Jersey Theatre Alliance, the National New Play Network, and Madison Arts & Culture Alliance.

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