WEST HARTFORD - In many cases, art not only imitates life, but it’s also prophetic in nature. Stephen Kaplan’s Community was selected many months ago for our July 18 Playwrights on Park Reading Series, and its theme of race and tradition raises important questions that are relevant to current events in the world of theater.
Community tells the story of Christopher Marshall, an actor cast as George in Mt. Laurel Community Players’ production of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? He invites Zach, the young, black actor who’s been cast as Nick, over for a drink to give him some actorly advice. When the production’s Martha and Honey show up uninvited, they find themselves caught in this play about a play tackling deadly issues like race and, perhaps even more dauntingly, community theatre. This ferocious comedy asks questions about how we view stories about race and the not-just-color blindness that many have when trying to talk about it.
The mission of Playwrights on Park is to produce original plays and musicals, therefore fostering emerging and established playwrights. Each reading features a new work, where audience members participate in a talk back session with the playwright, director and cast members. Audience members are also provided with response cards at the end of each reading
Stephen Kaplan grew up in Northridge, CA and wrote his first play, And Jack Came Tumbling After (Old Globe Theatre, EST, HERE/Lincoln Center Theatre’s American Living Room Series) when he was 15. Selected awards, commissions and productions: Branwell (and other Brontës) (Semi-Finalist: O’Neill); Community (Finalist: Seven Devils; Road Less Traveled National Residency, Semi-Finalist: Premiere Stages, March Forth Productions); Exquisite Potential (NJ Playwrights Contest, Dezart Performs, Across the Generations New Jewish Play Festival, finalist: Woodward/Newman Award, semi-finalist: Seven Devils); A Real Boy (This Is Water Theatre and semi-finalist: PlayPenn, Ashland New Play Festival, Dayton Playhouse FutureFest and MTWorks’ Newborn Festival); una casa/a home (finalist: Landing Theatre’s New American Voices Reading Series, Route 66 Theatre’s New Play Development Program); For Unto Us (published by DPS; Productions: Barrington Stage Company 10x10 Festival, MiniFest - Acadia Theatre Company, Luna Stage New Moon Short Play Festival, QueerShorts); In Mrs. Baker’s Room (Commission: Abingdon Theatre Company, Father Hamblin Award for Outstanding Playwriting, Center for Spiritual Living Playwriting Festival, Theatre Southwest); The Seventh Son (semi-finalist: Ronald M Ruble New Play Festival).
The reading begins at 7:30 pm. All tickets are $5 each, general admission. For tickets, please call our box office at 860-523-5900 x10, or visit www.playhouseonpark.org. Playhouse on Park is located at 244 Park Avenue, West Hartford, CT 06119