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The 2012 National Newborn Festival Is Almost Here!

by Karen Tortora-Lee on January 31, 2012

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As part of the Board of Directors of MTWorks I’m really proud to be involved with the National Newborn Festival. Part of my job was to help choose the Excellence in Playwriting Award (see below for the winner!) and this year I’ll be introducing one of the plays — but I won’t tell you which one!  You’ll just have to come join me at the festival.

So what is Newborn?

Now on its sixth year, The National NewBorn Festival is MTWorks playwriting competition and flagship program created to find talented emerging playwrights from across the US, introduce their work to the New York community, and open new doors to regional voices.



February 2-4, 2012
The City College of New York (map)
North Academic Center, 160 Convent Avenue  New York, NY
First Floor Lecture Hall (1/202)



Thursday, February 2nd at 7pm

The Tragedy of Dandelion by Duncan Pflaster, directed by Leah Bonvissuto, produced by Jessica Thornhill.

The Tragedy of Dandelion follows a Princess named Dandelion, who attempts to escape, by dressing as a boy, a forced marriage to Ratliff, a man who raped and impregnated her. She collaborates with Prince Crispin, son of Queen Alice, telling him that the baby is his, to gain a place in that kingdom and while waiting in the Queen’s orchard, meets the Queen’s daughter, Princess Cèlie, and shares a kiss with her. She gains a place in Alice’s kingdom, till Ratliff and her father King Stephano, come to Alice’s palace and point out that Dandelion is a female, and drag her away. A new lesbian verse play by Duncan Pflaster.


Friday, February 3rd at 7pm

Denny and Lila by August Schulenburg, directed by Tom Wojtunik, produced by London Griffith.

After her husband Marcus divorces her for their much younger maid Lucia, Mary turns to the con artist team of Denny, Lila and Jabber for revenge. They take the job, with Denny pretending to be the Neruda-quoting electrician ‘Fred’ to seduce Lucia; and Lila pretending to be the daffily charming British novelist ‘Mara’ to seduce Marcus. All goes well until Denny develops an unexpected connection to Nettie, Mary and Marcus’ manic-depressive daughter.


Saturday, February 4th at 5pm *Excellence in Playwriting Award Winner*

The Excellence in Playwriting Award is bestowed by the MTWorks’ Board of Directors. The board selects the winner before the festival takes place and is not influenced by the work the director and actors are achieving at the readings.

Absinthe by Joe Musso, directed by Dev Bondarin, produced by Martha Goode.

It’s July 1900, and a race riot has engulfed New Orleans, sparked by a black man killing two white policemen. At first, the violence on the streets is far removed from the genteel parlor of Grace Newman, a blind white woman cared for by her house servant, Curtis, a former slave owned by Grace’s father. Grace and Curtis’s relationship is forged by respect and compassion. However, their true feelings for each other must remain hidden from Grace’s racist brother Henry, a Civil War vet who fought for the South and who is hell-bent on bringing justice to a black man who killed two white policemen. As a race riot in the streets unfolds, Grace and Curtis’s relationship unravels.


Saturday, February 4th at 8pm *Resident Reading*

On Egdon Heath adapted by David Stallings from Thomas Hardy’s novel The Return of the Native directed by Glory Kadigan, produced by David Stallings.

Award-winning playwright David Stallings’ adapts one of the most powerful works of famed author Thomas Hardy, “The Return of the Native”. The ensemble of townspeople On Egdon Heath will take you on a journey of love, passion and folklore, centered around the beautiful and mystical Eustacia Vye. Her hunger for escape and a devastating twist of fate will affect the lives of the Yeobrights, the Wildeves and the heart of the heath.



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