PlayPenn, Philadelphia's only professional new play development organization, presents its second annual New Play Development Conference. The conference features two weeks of intensive work on four works-in-progress, culminating in staged readings of the plays that are free and open to the public. Reservations are recommended.
In Gina Barnett's artsy farcey A Scream, highly improbable plot situations, exaggerated characters, and slapstick elements collide for an evening of screaming hilarity. An utterly charming but totally corrupt and down-on-his luck art dealer -- Theo Blackstone -- is given what he assumes to be a fake repro of Edvard Munch's recently stolen The Scream. He tosses it, only to be unwittingly ensnared in a Homeland Security sting surrounding the famous painting. Things go from bad to worse with crooked federal agents, double crossing spies and members of an underground radical fringe group. Dan Foster directs.
Friday, July 14 at 8:00 PM
Swarthmore resident Peter Morris' Bad For The Jews is a black comedy about crime, guilt and justice. Late at night, in a warehouse on the outskirts of Chicago. Two old Jewish men, Mort and Barry, have bribed the security guard, a twenty-something slacker, to look the other way as they break in to the storeroom. But it soon becomes apparent that their real is because they have kidnapped a retired factory worker and Polish immigrant...who (Mort claims) was once a guard at the death camps. Or was he? Daniel Stein directs.
Saturday, July 15 at 3:00 PM
Malignance by Eric Pfeffinger is a searing drama that cuts through the complacent assumptions about prejudice and class. When a little white girl falls fatally ill, it's a chance for her mother to climb the social ladder; for her father to convert other people's sympathy into sexual opportunities; and for everyone else to participate in the seductive melodrama of someone else's suffering. But when the family sucks their African-American neighbor Carla into their tragedy, the venomous prejudices churning beneath these ordinary middle class lives explode their comforting narratives about race, status, and death. Rick DesRochers directs.
Saturday, July 15 at 8:00 PM
Scarcity by Lucy Thurber explores the themes of family, loyalty, poverty and class in small town America. Billy and Rachel Lawrence struggle with high school, intelligence and a desperate family as they try to find a way out of where they came from while still leaving their family intact. Brian Mertes directs.
Sunday, July 16 at 3:00 PM
Visit the PlayPenn New Play Development Conference Staged Readings website: