Plays and Playwrights 2015

February 2, 2015

Today we're very excited to announce that Plays and Playwrights 2015, Indie Theater Now's newest anthology, is now available.

This is the latest in an annual series that started long before Indie Theater Now was even dreamt of: our initial collection, Plays and Playwrights for the New Millennium, came out in February 2000. Our vision for that print volume is identical to our vision for this newest digital anthology: to preserve and bring attention to worthy new works by playwrights whose work has not yet penetrated the mainstream; and to spotlight a selection of excellent plays from the past 12 months that stretch the boundaries of theater and reflect today's world in terms of theme and theatrical form.

In short, here are 11 plays that actors will want to act, directors will want to direct, and producers will want to produce--because they are original, contemporary, dazzlingly diverse, smart, funny, and NEW. Click on the boxes below and you'll discover lots more details about the plays, including a review of each one (almost all written by yours truly; Montserrat Mendez and Collin McConnell contributed one apiece, and one of the plays hasn't had a full production yet in NYC, hence no review). And click on the playwrights' names/pictures below to learn more about them!

These plays include one solo work, several small-cast plays that can easily be presented (and have in fact successfully been presented) in modest circumstances, and a couple of larger-scale pieces that would benefit from bigger casts and/or some technically advanced production components.

Thematically they cover all kinds of ground: Donkey takes place in a very typical Middle American small town and tells the story of the Way We Live Now with astonishing acuity; Real Dead Ghosts at once looks obliquely and squarely at the problems of economic survival in contemporary America; Near Vicksburg is a historical drama about empowering the disenfranchised (a white woman and a former slave in Civil War-Era Mississippi); The Pink Unicorn follows a mother's journey toward acceptance and understanding of her transgendered child; The Better Man focuses on a bisexual who invites his former male lover to be best man at his wedding to a young woman; The Qualification of Douglas Evans updates the well-worn tale of the alcoholic hitting the skids with strong 21st century resonance; Light of Night uses magic realism to tell the harrowing story of a woman who has become virtually enslaved by her husband; Oscar Tango-Bravo blends intellectual non-sequitur and a vaudevillian blackout sensibility to examine the thorny area of conspiracy theory; and there are three plays that take contrasting looks at parenting and, more broadly, the ways individuals must take responsibility for themselves and those around them: Branched-A Comedy with Consequences, which has a highly contemporary feel; Chosen Child, which is filled with flashbacks going back to the time of the Apollo 11 moon-landing; and Unequilibrium, which is a sort of sci-fi/cautionary tale.

I am very proud to have all eleven of these works on Indie Theater Now. We'll be talking more about them in coming weeks, so stay tuned. Meanwhile, please check out all of the plays and consider adding the entire anthology to your Indie Theater Now library!





Loco7's "Undefined Fraction" at La MaMa
I got to pay a visit to one of my all-time favorite indie theaters, La MaMa E.T.C., for a performance of Undefined Fraction, which is part of the company's 2015 Puppet Series. This blend of edgy puppetry, physical theater, and dance is an exemplar of the kind of meditative hybrid installation/happening/drama that has been a mainstay of this East Village institution for decades.
Trav S.D.'s Great Vaudeville History
A look back at Trav S.D.'s book on vaudeville, published 10 years ago this month.
United Solo 2014: Done; United Solo 2015: Starting Now!
ITN's United Solo 2014 play collection is now complete; and our first 2015 play--LOUISE IN CHARLESTOWN by Penny Jackson--is available as well.