Long Wharf Theatre’s New Works Festival, the theatre’s fourth annual celebration of adventurous, innovative new plays, will take place September 21-22 on Stage II.
Tickets are $10 or all three readings for $24. Reservations can be made by calling 203-787-4282 or visiting longwharf.org. There will be a happy hour with half off drinks an hour before each reading.
“The purpose of the festival is to introduce our audience to exciting new plays and playwrights and to create a pipeline for future productions at Long Wharf Theatre,” said Literary Manager Christine Scarfuto, curator of the festival.
This year’s festival will include plays by Kevin Artigue, Angella Emurwon, and Torrey Townsend.
Strings by Angella Emurwon, directed by Leah C. Gardiner, will be presented Friday, September 21 at 7 pm. “Strings is a gorgeous, rich family drama set in small village in Uganda about the return of the family patriarch after 20 years. It’s a beautifully wrought universal story that asks how you reckon with the choices you’ve made in your life,” Scarfuto said.
Kevin Artigue’s Sheepdog, also directed by Gardiner, will take place on Saturday, September 22 at 5:30 pm. “This play speaks to a lot of the issues America is facing right now surrounding police violence in the black community, both from an intellectual and emotional perspective,” Scarfuto said. “It’s also a riveting story. It really pulls you in.”
Night Workers by Torrey Townsend, directed by Knud Adams, will take place on Saturday, September 22 at 8 pm. “People from all walks of life find a communal strength in each other in this play. It’s a raw, funny, and moving tribute to people on the road to recovery from addiction. It’s about the resilience of the human spirit and how we find the will to go on when there isn’t a reason to,” Scarfuto said.
Scarfuto believes that not only will the audience be engaged and moved by the work, but that they will also have access to perspectives that are not ordinarily seen on Long Wharf Theatre’s stage. “New work is the lifeblood of the theatre, it’s what keeps the art form vital and alive. We’re thrilled to bring these new voices to our audience. It’s a great opportunity for people in the community to meet and mingle with artists and fellow theatregoers, to see great work and have a good time. That’s the energy we want to cultivate at the festival,” she said.
The festival is sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Burry Fredrik Foundation.
For more information, visit longwharf.org or call 203-787-4282.
by Angella Emurwon
Directed by Leah C. Gardiner
Friday, Sept 21 at 7pm
In a small village in Uganda, Maama has ruled her home with a firm hand for 20 years in her husband’s absence. But when she discovers his return is imminent, she and her two grown children must confront a whirlwind of love, loss, and regret. A richly satisfying family drama about the stories we tell ourselves in order to accept the life we’ve chosen.
by Kevin Artigue
Directed by Leah C. Gardiner
Saturday, Sept 22 at 5:30pm
Amina, a black police officer, falls hard for her white partner Ryan—until he shoots a young black man in the line of duty. Sheepdog is a riveting drama that asks whether you can trust your heart if the story keeps changing and you don’t know who or what to believe.
by Torrey Townsend
Directed by Knud Adams
Saturday, Sept 22 at 8pm
Set in an old bar-turned-Alcoholics Anonymous clubhouse in Brooklyn, Night Workers tells the story of a disparate group of people that cling to each other for hope. This raw, funny story details the heartbreak, joy, and transcendence they find on the road to recovery.
Kevin Artigue (Sheepdog) writes plays, TV, and film. He was raised in Redlands, CA and lives in Brooklyn. His plays have been developed with Page 73, the Public Theater, South Coast Rep, the National New Play Network, New York Theater Workshop, Portland Center Stage, Golden Thread, Theatre of NOTE, the Playwrights Foundation, SPACE on Ryder Farm, Great Plains Theatre Conference, University of Iowa, and the Playwrights’ Center in Minneapolis. He’s formerly a member of Interstate 73 Writers Group and the Public Theater’s Emerging Writers Group. MFA: Iowa Playwrights Workshop.
Angella Emurwon (Strings) is a Ugandan award winning Playwright, a Stage Director, Filmmaker, and writing mentor. She has written two BBC awarded radio plays The Cow Needs a Wife (2010) and Sunflowers behind a Dirty Fence (2012), and two short plays for Climate Change Theater Action, Prayer (2015) and Bare Spaces (2017) that have been performed in Lithuania, USA, and Canada. She wrote a short film How to kill a Cockroach (2010) directed by David Tosh Gitonga and has just completed post production on Sunday (2018) a short film she wrote and directed. She has been mentoring screenwriters in Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania and Rwanda, as part of the Maisha Film Lab Mentor Team since 2014. Angella is passionate about storytelling as a means of learning about and from each other. Her play Strings was developed at the 2013 Sundance East Africa Theater Initiative, and workshoped at the 2014 Kampala International Theatre Festival. Strings was also selected for a reading at the 2015 PEN World Voices International Play Festival, as well as the opening play at the 2017 Kampala International Theatre Festival.
Torrey Townsend’s (Night Workers) most recent play THE WORKSHOP was produced by theater incubator SoftFocus, directed by Knud Adams, and starred Austin Pendleton. The play was received positively by critics. A New York Times “Critic’s Pick”, THE WORKSHOP is described as “an incisive and insightful tale of ambition and envy, inspiration and mediocrity.” Sarah Holdren of Vulture.com says the play’s “combustion of frustration and exhilaration makes for one hell of an evening of theater.” Torrey holds an MFA in Playwriting from Columbia University. Other works include A NIGHT OUT and HOME UNIVERSE (Knud Adams, director).