Albany, N.Y.—May 21, 2019—The eighth annual NEXT ACT! New Play Summit, at Capital Repertory Theatre and Proctors, June 7–10, features readings of three full-length plays—Meridith Friedman’s The Luckiest People, Rachel Lynett’s Here Be Dragons and Deborah Yarchun’s The Calm Before. The developmental workshop will also include the popular First 15; a Synopsis Clinic led by Dramatist Guild Member Aoise Stratford; two events featuring Young Playwrights; and, for the first time, a film screening.
A Proctors Collaborative venture, led by theREP, NEXT ACT! seeks to highlight new works that use theatre to address injustices, inequities and cultural collisions, providing a voice for the unheard on stage. Scripts that engage art and social justice are encouraged in the yearly competition. To date, the summit has brought more than 300 theatre professionals and 4K+ audience members together for annual workshops, readings and discussions.
NEXT ACT! New Play Summit 8 launches with a new twist, Stage to Screen, featuring the premiere screening of Frosted Lens and Poorductions’ Broken Lilies. Paige Zubel’s film script, which began as In Full Bloom at the 2017 summit’s New Voices presentation, provides the basis for the short film. A reading of In Full Bloom and a panel discussion on turning a stage work into a film follow the screening. (7 p.m. Friday, June 7, Capital Repertory Theatre.)
Second Look provides an opportunity to take an in-depth peek at a previously submitted script. By special invitation, Friedman—whose 2017 winner Your Best One makes its East Coast premiere at theREP in January—returns with The Luckiest People, the first entry a trilogy, which precedes Your Best One.
Richard and David have it all in Luckiest: a wonderful family, great jobs, a Manhattan apartment and a great relationship. The natural next step is to start their family by adopting a child, right? But what happens when one partner begins to panic and fear of commitment rears its ugly head? (7 p.m. Saturday, June 8, GE Theatre at Proctors.)
In Lynett’s Here Be Dragons, virtual reality meets actual reality in an exciting “choose your own adventure” drama. Amy, Ines, Julian and friends have created an elaborate and complex game that provides players with a chance to live a second life. For Amy, the only problem is that she has gone so deep into her alternate world that it’s caused her to go missing in real life. (5 p.m. Sunday, June 9, Capital Repertory Theatre.)
When Ellen’s father Mitch asks her to help pack up his Rockport, Tex. home right before Hurricane Harvey, she doesn’t know his intent is not to evacuate but to bunker down. As the hurricane makes landfall in Yarchun’s The Calm Before, and as the basement slowly fills with water, difficult parts of their past and their current ideologies play out. (7 p.m. Monday June 10, Capital Repertory Theatre.)
The First 15: Be a Literary Manager culls excerpts from five NEXT ACT! finalist scripts, with the audience taking the role of literary manager and voting on the question, “Would you read the full script?” (1 p.m. Saturday, June 8, Orchestra Room, The Addy at Proctors.)
The Young Adult Playwright Event features three short plays, 15–30 minutes in length, by young playwrights aged 19–25. (4 p.m. Saturday, June 8, Orchestra Room, The Addy at Proctors.)
New Voices features readings of ten 10-minute plays by student playwrights—middle- and high school-age finalists in theREP’s Young Playwright Contest. Five winners will see their plays fully produced at theREP, performed in August by the Summer Stage Young Acting Company. (1 p.m. Sunday June 9, Capital Repertory Theatre.)
Stratford leads the synopsis clinic 3:30 p.m. Sunday, June 9 at theREP.
Complimentary refreshments and cash bar available at all events.
Tickets, $10 per day, are available at the Box Office at Capital Repertory Theatre, 11 N. Pearl Street, Albany and at the Box Office at Proctors, 432 State Street, Schenectady. Tickets are also available by phone at 518.455.7469; and online at capitalrep.org.
The Next Act! New Play Summit 8 is made possible in part by a legacy gift from Samson O.A. Ullmann, professor of English at Union College, 1957-1992