The rehearsed readings will explore friendship and finding identity during a parent's health crisis

Drawing for "Ash and Feather" by Gillian Chappell

Celebrating its 23rd season, New Plays for Young Audiences will stage rehearsed readings of two new plays exploring friendship and finding identity during a parent’s health crisis. These staged readings are presented virtually by NYU Steinhardt’s Educational Theatre program from June 12-27, 2021 and are free and open to the public. Additionally, NPYA is piloting a new BIPOC initiative this summer to support BIPOC Theatre for Young Audiences (TYA) playwrights and highlight BIPOC TYA stories.

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 dozens of 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.

About the Readings

Co-written by Sandra Fenichel Asher and José Casas.
Public readings via Zoom on Saturday, June 12th at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, June 13th at 3 p.m.

Register via Eventbrite and join the Facebook event. Best enjoyed by ages 4-8.

Two neighbors live side-by-side in Texas. A low fence separates their gardens, but much more divides them from one another. One neighbor grows flowers; the other raises vegetables. One was born in the US; the other, in Mexico. One speaks English; the other, Spanish. Their differences have kept them so far apart that if one predicts a sunny day, the other is certain of rain. Even the arrival of a caterpillar causes disagreement -- until the resulting mariposa/butterfly and its eventual departure unites them in wonder, in sadness, and in a new understanding of the beautiful world they share.

Sandra Fenichel Asher's plays for young audiences have been produced coast-to-coast and abroad, and she's been honored with the Sara Spencer Award and the Charlotte Chorpenning Award for lifetime achievement by the American Alliance for Theatre and Education. José Casas is a playwright and Assistant Professor in the Department of Theatre and Drama at the University of Michigan. José Cruz González directs. González is a playwright and director from California.

R(estoration) I(n) P(rogress)

Written by Andrea Ambam
Public readings via Zoom on Saturday, June 26 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, June 27 at 3 p.m.

Register via Eventbrite and check out the website. Best enjoyed by ages 12 and up.

It is two months after the death of Charles Collins and the newly released bodycam footage of his deadly interaction with a police officer has just gone viral.
Suddenly, Charles’ death turns high profile creating public demands for justice that fall on the shoulders of his survived son, Jamal, and his survived ex-wife, Layla. Jamal is a young debater who doesn’t want his life to “become a movement.” Layla, a Black studies professor, has only just reappeared in Jamal’s life after abandoning him and her husband 12 years ago. When the truth of their relationship is revealed and momentum behind the case is lost they’re offered one remaining route to justice— meet face-to-face with the officer who killed Charles and resolve the conflict outside of a trial.

Ambam is a multi-dimensional storyteller based in Brooklyn, but whose roots sprout for Cameroon, Africa. Holding a masters degree in Art and Public Policy from NYU Tisch School of the Arts, Andrea best intersects spaces where community, performance, and social commentary pulsate. Tammie Swopes directs. Swopes has been in the business of theatre and education for over 20 years, starting her career in theatre as an intern at the Alliance Theatre Company in Atlanta, GA. Tammie is currently an adjunct professor at Marymount Manhattan College and Artistic Associate for the Verbatim Performance Lab, while pursuing her doctorate in Educational Theatre (NYU Steinhardt).

In addition to the two weeks of development, NPYA is initiating a new BIPOC initiative this summer, A Night of BIPOC TYA stories: Get Your Play Heard! The initiative will include two - three nights of readings between June 17-19 of new and unpublished TYA scripts by BIPOC playwrights for BIPOC young audiences (and beyond). Each reading will feature 5-10 minute snippets from each selected script. Further details and Zoom links to the readings will be announced via social media (links below).

For more information on the series, contact David Montgomery at Further information will be announced via social media:

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

Sarah Binney
Sarah Binney
(212) 998-6829