The Writer’s Cafe was created in 2014 as a response to our consultations with emerging, mid-career, and award-winning playwrights across New York State. It’s driven by the following ethos: To help playwrights develop their art rather than their careers; to provide a platform for playwrights to share their new and unproduced work and receive constructive criticism from others anywhere in the world; and to offer playwrights a chance to hear (and share) their work read by an ensemble of professional actors.

The Writer’s Cafe is FREE theatre for everyone on our website and on SoundCloud. It appeals to people’s imagination through their auditory senses. While fans of radio entertainment can appreciate The Writer’s Cafe, we believe the blind will especially embrace this unique accessibility to the performing arts. In a culture dominated by messages over-stimulating our sense of sight, The Writer’s Cafe opens theatre to the blind.

Please click here for information on how to SEND US YOUR PLAY and HOW THE PROCESS WORKS.

The Readers’ Theatre has a double function: To present staged (and on screen) performance readings of plays which have been produced or published (at Cinemapolis, our location in downtown Ithaca), and to present never-before-staged or produced plays through The Writer’s Cafe’s podcast (which airs here) in order to introduce the work of New York State playwrights to the public for the very first time.


POINTS IN BETWEEN

PLAYWRIGHT: Marsha Sheiness

DIRECTOR: Tim Mollen

ACTORS: Mark Bader, Marjorie Donovick, Caitlin McNichol, and Josh Sedelmeyer.

MUSIC: ‘Sherwood Z’ by Hank Roberts with Greg Evans, Chad Lieberman, and Michael Stark.

SYNOPSIS:
Carol and Emory Diamond are living a comfortable, insulated life with their extended family, Julie. Carol has created a safe haven from the reality of her marriage through teaching sensitivity awareness. This safe haven crumbles when Carol’s younger brother, Ritchie, arrives from out of town, uninvited. With his blunt and abrasive manner Ritchie stirs up trouble in nirvana.

ABOUT THE PLAYWRIGHT:
MARSHA LEE SHEINESS’ plays have been produced on television, Off Broadway, Off-Off Broadway, regional, community and university theatres across the US, as well as in Japan, Canada and England. As a playwright-in-residence at Playwrights Horizons she participated in nine productions of her work. PROFESSOR GEORGE and THE SPELLING BEE were presented by the O’Neill Playwrights Conference. MONKEY, MONKEY BOTTLE OF BEER, HOW MANY MONKEYS HAVE WE HERE? produced by PBS Channel 13/WNET “Theater in America” is available on DVD. She received the NEA in Playwriting as well as other awards. Member: Dramatist Guild, WGE, PEN, Published by Samuel French, Dramatic Publishing, ArtAge.

Running Time: One Hour and 15 Minutes

LIZ AND ZENA BY TAMARA WATSON

PLAYWRIGHT: Tamara Watson

DIRECTOR: Tim Mollen

ACTORS: Kate Murray and Judy McMahon

MUSIC: ‘Sherwood Z’ by Hank Roberts with Greg Evans, Chad Lieberman, and Michael Stark.

SYNOPSIS:
When their apartment building is scheduled to be demolished, the lives of two older women are turned inside out. We watch as the walls between them come tumbling down.

ABOUT THE PLAYWRIGHT:
Tamara Watson is a playwright, poet, and former opera singer. Her play, “Two Dots,” was presented as a staged reading by Wolf’s Mouth Theatre Company as part of the 2014 Spring Writes festival, and another short play, “Afternoon at the Opera,” is slated to be presented by Third Floor Productions this winter. A one-act play, “All Night Eats,” was produced at the Vassar Institute in Poughkeepsie, with support from the New York State Council on the Arts. Ms. Watson studied vocal performance and composition at The Juilliard School and acting with Bill Hickey at HB Studios in New York City. Ms. Watson is a 2014 recipient of a Fellowship in Writing (poetry) from the Community Arts Partnership of Tompkins County. Her poetry has appeared in a number of periodicals including The Paris Review, Nimrod, The Massachusetts Review, Bitterroot, 13th Moon, and the New York Quarterly.

Running Time: 12 minutes

NIGHT OF THE CURE BY AUSTIN BUNN

PLAYWRIGHT: Austin Bunn

DIRECTOR: Tim Mollen

POST PRODUCTION AUDIO: Andy Horowitz

ACTORS: Andy Horowitz as Eli, Brenden Gregory as Tucker, Chris Nickerson as Chris, and Adara Alston as the Narrator.

MUSIC: ‘Sherwood Z’ by Hank Roberts with Greg Evans, Chad Lieberman, and Michael Stark.

SYNOPSIS:
Outside a gay bar, on the eve of a shattering medical development in the fight against AIDS, two men discover an unexpected chain of consequences that links their survival.

ABOUT THE PLAYWRIGHT:
AUSTIN BUNN is a writer, playwright, and screenwriter. His work has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, The Atlantic, The Pushcart Prize and elsewhere. He wrote the script for Kill Your Darlings (Sony Pictures Classics), with the film’s director John Krokidas. He teaches at Cornell University.

Running Time: 12 minutes

BATTLE FATIGUES by George Holets

Playwright: George Holets

Director: Tim Mollen

Actors: Brett Bossard, Janet Jayne, and Cole Long. Stage directions read by Tim Mollen.

Music: ‘Sherwood Z’ by Hank Roberts, Greg Evans, Chad Lieberman, and Michael Stark.

Synopsis:
Two desperately overworked accountants attempt to keep Congress informed of the Iraqi War’s running cost-to-date. The war’s front lines move inside the Beltway when the General Accounting Office’s Human Resources Department, sends the accountants help in the form of an American of Iraqi descent, and the war’s expenses turn human.

About the Playwright:
GEORGE HOLETS co-founded and produced the Playwrights Theatre of Washington, and is a member of the Dramatist Guild and an award-winning playwright. His plays continue to find productions around the country from California’s Bay Area to the Metropolitan Playhouse in New York City. With 17 plays, mostly one acts, under his belt, he has seen all save three in production, many multiple times. His writing has been called “smart and challenging.” His longest running production with 168 performances was an adaptation of Treasure Island produced by the Smithsonian Institution. NY Artists Unlimited included two of his short plays, God’s Pants Too Huge and Going Postal on bills in their 2007 International Cringe Bad Play Festival (bad as in naughty, satirical, politically incorrect, etc.) for one month runs presented at the Players Theatre, NYC. While marketing his latest opus, Cloud Control, he is developing a new script dealing with Herman Melville’s impact on contemporary American thought and rewriting two older plays: In’ter.ac‘tive and Three Dykes One of Whom Is a Man. In other lives, George has traded options for a Wall Street brokerage, brought a 1,626 seat movie palace come performing arts center, the State Theatre of Ithaca, back on line, worked as CFO for an AIDS organization, and raised two kids. He lives in cyber space at www.georgeholets.com.

Running Time: 17 Minutes

FLOWERS IN THE DESERT

FLOWERS IN THE DESERT (Part One)

PLAYWRIGHT: Donna Hoke

DIRECTOR: Melanie Shulman Veazey

POST PRODUCTION AUDIO: Bob Veazey

ACTORS: Michael Hartson (www.michaelhartson.com) and Trudie Petersen (www.trudiepetersen.com)

MUSIC: ‘Sherwood Z’ by Hank Roberts with Greg Evans, Chad Lieberman, and Michael Stark.

SYNOPSIS:
After 14 years of marriage, Britt and Joe called it quits, so Joe is surprised when three years later, Britt asks him to try again. Cheater Joe still loves his ex and their boys, so he’s willing to go along with dates nights and counseling—until he realizes that Britt has a very specific agenda.

ABOUT THE PLAYWRIGHT:
DONNA HOKE (Playwright) Western New York representative for the Dramatists Guild and member of the International Centre for Women Playwrights, is a writer and editor, New York Times-published crossword puzzle constructor, and ensemble playwright at Road Less Traveled Productions. Her work has been seen in 25 US states, as well as in England, Korea, Australia, and Romania. She is co-curator of BUA Takes Ten: LGBT Short Stories, and author Neko and the Twiggets, a children’s book about a music-loving family of mice living in a double bass. In 2012, 2013, and 2014, she was named Buffalo’s Best Writer by Artvoice.

Running Time: 26 Minutes

FLOWERS IN THE DESERT

FLOWERS IN THE DESERT (Part Two)

PLAYWRIGHT: Donna Hoke

DIRECTOR: Melanie Shulman Veazey

POST PRODUCTION AUDIO: Bob Veazey

ACTORS: Michael Hartson (www.michaelhartson.com) and Trudie Petersen (www.trudiepetersen.com)

MUSIC: ‘Sherwood Z’ by Hank Roberts with Greg Evans, Chad Lieberman, and Michael Stark.

SYNOPSIS:
After 14 years of marriage, Britt and Joe called it quits, so Joe is surprised when three years later, Britt asks him to try again. Cheater Joe still loves his ex and their boys, so he’s willing to go along with dates nights and counseling—until he realizes that Britt has a very specific agenda.

ABOUT THE PLAYWRIGHT:
DONNA HOKE (Playwright) Western New York representative for the Dramatists Guild and member of the International Centre for Women Playwrights, is a writer and editor, New York Times-published crossword puzzle constructor, and ensemble playwright at Road Less Traveled Productions. Her work has been seen in 25 US states, as well as in England, Korea, Australia, and Romania. She is co-curator of BUA Takes Ten: LGBT Short Stories, and author Neko and the Twiggets, a children’s book about a music-loving family of mice living in a double bass. In 2012, 2013, and 2014, she was named Buffalo’s Best Writer by Artvoice.

Running Time: 41 Minutes

SEND US YOUR NEW & UNPRODUCED PLAY

The Readers’ Theatre is now accepting new and unproduced works from New York State playwrights in the form of shorts, one acts, and full length plays. Unproduced work does include plays that have had readings in front of a live audience. NOTE: We accept plays written in Spanish.

The deadline for new and unproduced work for the 2015-2016 season is June 1, 2015. Please note that we prefer plays with a cast of no more than four people and scripts that say something about being alive today. Send one script at a time only (with page numbers) as a PDF or MS Word attachment to thereaderstheatre@gmail.com. Please include a phone number.

HOW THE PROCESS WORKS

Once you send us your play, our script reading committee will read and discuss it. If your play is selected, we will contact you and then cast your play for two-to-three rehearsals before a recording. Recordings in Upstate NY will take place in the lobby of Cinemapolis, Ithaca. We also invite professional directors and actors out-of-state to record the selected new works.



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