NewPlayFest World Premieres 2016

New Productions at 7 Producing Theatres

Congratulations to all the winning playwrights of the 2016 AACT NewPlayFest and to the seven producing theatres!  Listed below are the play titles, authors, producing theatres, and the world premiere performance dates. Producing theatres were selected from the 1000+ AACT-member roster, and include both small and large theatres from seven states, with budgets of $17,500 to $4.1 million. All plays are included in AACT NewPlayFest Winning Plays: Volume 2 (2016), published by Dramatic Publishing.

Lighthouse by William Baer
[Premiere: Windsor Community Playhouse, Windsor, Colorado - September 25-October 10, 2015]
Luce Fouchet is the keeper of the Beach Haven Lighthouse and a professional travel writer.  As she's planning to leave on a trip to Lisbon, an unexpected visitor arrives, and her world suddenly falls apart.  Despite her generally up-beat demeanor, Luce is now forced to deal with her unresolved past, a romantic intruder into her present, a jealous and suicidal friend, and the devastating ramifications of an extremely-rare, skin disorder known as Xeroderma Pigmentosum (XP).  The victims of this disease, which causes multiple skin cancers and early death, can never go out in the sunlight due to the devastating effects of ultraviolet rays on their skin.

Laguna Beach, Ohio by Malcolm MacDonald
[Premiere: Stage Right Productions/2nd Street Theater - March 25-April 9, 2016]
Dove needs to sell his family beach house, so his best friends from high school have come together to figure out a way to buy it.  The Laguna Beach bungalow holds so many essential memories from their teenage years -- not to mention, it's a valuable piece of real estate. The old friends are now in their fifties, and their margarita-fueled reunion is funny, sentimental and passionate.  The addition of Will's wife, Marsha, and the surprise appearance of old flame, Eva, help ignite the emotional fireworks.  Old jealousies come to the surface, as does Will's long-suppressed passion for Buffalo Bill Cody. The play takes place in the eclectic living room and veranda on January 2, 2013.

Wash, Dry, Fold by Nedra Pezold Roberts
[Premiere: Chicago Street Theatre/Community Theatre Guild, Valparaiso, Indiana - May 20-June 4, 2016]
Trudy and Enola have been bickering all their lives, over differences in religion, lifestyle, and childhood resentments. Now they are stuck with each other trying to salvage Grace's Place, the run down laundromat they inherited from their mother. And there are other problems. Uncle Slackjaw, a Vietnam P.O.W., slips in and out of reality as often as he wanders in and out of the laundromat. The bank has turned Enola down for a loan, and Officer Baby Face is threatening to lock up Uncle Slack as a public nuisance. The arrival of Arlene, a 28-year-old, over-qualified tattoo artist, into their working-class neighborhood brings the possibility of change. But her offer of a desperately-needed loan does more than give Enola and Trudy a shot at saving Grace's Place. It gives them the potential to unlock their cages of torment, especially the torment of their own guilt.

Gracefully Ending by A. J. DeLauder
[Premiere: Theatre Arlington, Arlington, Texas - July 1-17, 2016]
Set in 2009 amid the Appalachian Mountains of West Virginia, Gracefully Ending depicts, through flashback, the tale of Beth Fuller, a divorced, former bank clerk facing homelessness. Beth's only son, Andrew, is emotionally distant and has no room for her. So Beth attempts to move in and help her ailing widowed mother, Margret, who has recently been falling down late at night. But Margret doesn't want help and the two begin feuding, especially after Beth learns that Margret believes she sees her late husband, Hank, in the house. In desperation, Beth calls on a doctor to declare her mother incompetent and even asks Andrew for help. The fight grows between the two women, much like the early season snowstorm outside, and soon both will face the same ultimatum: resign control to another or face death alone.  

The Emperor of North America by Thomas S. Hischak
[Premiere: Silver Spring Stage, Silver Spring, Maryland - September 16-October 2, 2016]
A middle-aged hack writer of novelizations of movies is haunted by the ghost of "Emperor" Joshua Norton, an historical figure from 19th-century San Francisco, whom he is trying to write a biography about. The writer is also haunted by Leo Tolstoy's novel War and Peace which is being made into a movie again by Hollywood and he is asked to write the novelization. The two subjects are entwined with his personal life until he suspects he is losing his mind. Three women in his life - his agent. his long-time lady friend, and his grown daughter - provide support in his time of crisis, even though they also keep showing up as characters in War and Peace. It looks like the only alternative to insanity is to assassinate the Emperor.

Shades of Valour by Karen L. Lewis
[Premiere: Twin City Stage, Winston-Salem, North Carolina - October 28-30, 2016
Vietnam, 1971.  Rick Marshall, a young lieutenant, is killed by Danny Preston, an equally young enlisted man.] 
New Orleans, 1981. Rick's mother Barb arrives a day late to crash Danny's "Welcome Home" from prison celebration only to learn from Danny's mother, Kitty Preston, that Dan has not shown up.  Barb's demand for answers launches the two women on a difficult journey of examination, discovery, and ultimately acceptance while they wait for the man whose actions forever changed their lives. Shades Of Valor provides an intimate, personal exploration of military, race, and class warfare as the scenes slip back and forth between the mothers in 1981 and the sons in 1971.  
Get Out Of Dodge by Jeanne Drennan
[Premiere: Venice Theatre, Venice, Florida - November 3-20, 2016]
Apart from a mother-in-law who drinks, Molly Hamilton has an enviable east-coast liberal's life, with a great job, an equally great husband, talented kids. Then one hot July day, her long-missing father Schuyler knocks on the door. His plan? Molly should join him on a road trip back to Idaho, the place where he left her at seventeen to mop up way too much blood, some of it oozing from a wounded U.S. marshal. Family alliances shift as sixteen-year-old Phoebe embraces Schuyler's world while Molly fights her husband over how to handle the fugitive under their roof. Worse, Schuyler's story keeps changing, and yes, that is a thirty-eight in his bag. It takes a DUI, an ill-timed communal prayer, a food fight, and three lawyers named Henry to reveal Molly's path. There are all kinds of second chances. When it comes to family, grab one.

2016 NewPlayFest Now in Print

NewPlayFest 2016 anthology coverWinning plays are published in an anthology by Dramatic Publishing Company, now available from the publisher's website: AACT NewPlayFest Winning Plays: Volume 2 (2016).  Included are plays by William Baer, A.J. DeLauder, Jeanne Drennan, Thomas Hischak, Karen Lewis, Malcolm MacDonald and Nedra Pezold Roberts.


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