Celebrating its 20th anniversary season, New Plays for Young Audiences will stage rehearsed readings of three new plays

Photo from the Beyond the North Wind play
A staged reading of Beyond the North Wind at 2016's New Plays for Young Audiences. Photo by Ben Ouriel

Celebrating its 20th anniversary season, New Plays for Young Audiences will stage rehearsed readings of three new plays, June 10-25, 2017 at the historic Provincetown Playhouse, presented by the Educational Theatre program at the NYU Steinhardt School. The readings are free and open to the public.

The plays are the outgrowth of New Plays for Young Audiences’ annual summer play development series, established in 1998 by Lowell and Nancy Swortzell. The prize-winning series has developed nearly 60 new plays written by leading playwrights for young audiences and families, many of which have gone on to receive both national and international recognition, publication, and production.

Siamese Cycle by Tidtaya Sinutoke is a semi-biographical play-in-cycle of a young Thai artist living in New York City dealing with cultural differences, a language barrier, food preferences, and of course, being an immigrant in this lonely city. Siamese Cycle features many unknown characters with interesting “oriental” names and many well-known historical figures such as Rodgers and Hammerstein and of course Anna Leonowens. Nancy Smithner directs. This piece is appropriate for ages 13 and up. Rehearsed readings are on Saturday, June 10 at 7:30pm and Sunday, June 11 at 3pm.

Based on the American folk-ballad, John Henry by Elise Forier Edie takes place in a railroad camp a decade or so after the American Civil War. A young African American boy and his best friend, an Irish American girl, grapple with discrimination as their fathers struggle to keep their jobs in a burgeoning industrialized world. Karl O’Brian Williams directs. This play is appropriate for ages 9 and up. Rehearsed readings are on Saturday, June 17 at 2 pm and Sunday, June 18 at 3 pm.

Now Comes the Dust is a new musical with book and lyrics by Laurie Brooks and music by Paul Carrol Binkley. Jeff Church directs. Now Comes the Dust tells the story of Ellie, a girl who the town believes is an angel that can call rain from the skies and make crops grow again. The ravages of the Dusters that caused the death of her mother are bad enough, but even worse, Ellie knows she’s just an ordinary girl who cannot perform miracles. The phenomenon of one brave family who stayed through the Dustbowl and the prescient topic of climate change are embedded in this story. This play is appropriate for ages 11 and up. Rehearsed readings are on Saturday, June 24 at 7:30 pm and Sunday, June 25 at 3 pm.

All rehearsed readings are in the Provincetown Playhouse. Tickets are FREE. There are no advance reservations. Tickets will be available at the theatre’s box office beginning an hour before each reading.

The Provincetown Playhouse is located at 133 MacDougal Street, between West 4th and West 3rd streets [Subway: A, C, D, E, F, M (West 4th St.)]. Reporters interested in attending should contact Rachel Harrison at 212.998.6797 or rachel.harrison@nyu.edu. For more information on the series, contact David Montgomery at dm635@nyu.edu or 212.998.5869.

In addition to the three readings, NYU’s Educational Theatre program will host a special roundtable event for the New Plays for Young Audiences 20th Anniversary to explore emergent directions in writing and producing works. The event will take place on Saturday, June 17 from 3:30-5 pm at NYU Steinhardt’s Pless Hall (82 Washington Square East). RSVPs are required at bit.ly/TYAroundtable; contact Andrew Gaines (andrewgaines@nyu.edu) for more information.

Panelists include Laurie Brooks, award-winning Theatre for Young Audiences (TYA) playwright; José Cruz González, a leading Latino voice in TYA; Cecily O’Neill, foremost drama in education authority; David Montgomery, director of NYU’s Educational Theatre program and co-author of Theatre for Change; Kathy Krzys, archivist for ASU’s Child Drama Collection; and Courtney Boddie, director of education/school engagement at the New Victory Theater. The panel will be moderated by Philip Taylor, associate professor of educational theatre at NYU Steinhardt.

New Plays for Young Audiences is supported by The Nancy and Lowell Swortzell Permanent Fund in Educational Theatre and with thanks to NYU Steinhardt’s Department of Music and Performing Arts Professions.

Steinhardt’s Department of Music and Performing Arts Professions, established in 1925, instructs over 1,600 students majoring in music and performing arts programs. Music and Performing Arts Professions serves as NYU’s “school” of music and is a major research and practice center in music technology, music business, music composition, film scoring, songwriting, music performance practices, performing arts therapies, and the performing arts-in-education (music, dance, and drama).

Press Contact

Rachel Harrison
Rachel Harrison
(212) 998-6797