Just when we thought it couldn’t get hotter, Performance Network Theatre ignites its annual summer Fireside New Play Festival. It’s the perfect opportunity to for audiences to share their opinions about four of the hottest new plays that no one has ever seen. The fun begins on Sunday, July 21 and continues through Wednesday, July 24 with works that promise to deliver a deadly storm, two baristas, a sister from hell, and an intrigue in Motown. To make it even more inviting, tickets are available for an agreeable Pay-What-You-Can entry fee.
Per tradition, the Festival consists of a series of staged readings in which rehearsed actors present brand new work by select playwrights. The staged readings of these in-development scripts give audiences a first look at promising new American plays, and with post-show feedback sessions after each reading, the comments may even help authors to shape their future. In its 10-year history, the Fireside New Play Festival has launched over 20 plays to full productions across the country.
Here’s the Fireside New Play Festival lineup:
“Petty Harbour” by Martyna Majok: Sunday, July 21, 7 p.m.
On the rocky shores of Petty Harbour, Newfoundland, a house stands against an approaching storm. One by one, three banished sons return home to discover their fisherman father has turned the house into a church. With the roads flooding, the men are sealed in and the subtle war of sermons, songs, and drinking games begins. Two living ghosts from their past arrive, and salvation takes an unlikely form.
“The Bold Blend” by Kirsten Knisely: Monday, July 22, 7 p.m.
This delightful blend of kookiness is brightened by fruity top notes and balanced with a hint of sweetness. Best friends Madeline and Alice are trapped in the undergraduate’s nightmare. Their day jobs as barista’s come complete with the control-freak boss from hell, leering regulars, and a never-ending line of demanding customers. When their plot to escape goes terribly awry, it threatens both their sanity and their friendship.
“Sis” by Sean Christopher Lewis: Tuesday, July 23, 7 p.m.
A sister is your first friend in life... or your first enemy! When two wildly different sisters, Maia – a staunch conservative, and Church – a zealous feminist, reunite for Maia’s wedding, the fur flies as they use each other’s disparate values for target practice. From feminazis to family values, everything is fair game, as old hostilities bubble to the surface in this hilarious battle of the sisters.
“1300 Lafayette East” by Brooke Berman: Wednesday, July 24, 7 p.m.
Detroit, 1967: In the gleaming lobby of the Lafayette Towers, the Supremes are fighting, a young housewife is pining for something new, and Reena Walker – an aspiring Motown singer – is locked out of her apartment in a peignoir set paid for by a married man. As the Motor City streets rumble with pre-riot tension, the two women struggle to understand their individual differences and forge a lasting friendship.
Reservations for each evening's reading can be made at the PNT website, over the phone at 734-663-0681, or at theatre box office (120 East Huron St., Ann Arbor) Monday – Friday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.