By Madison Petro
Staged readings of new contemporary American plays are being presented at East Stroudsburg University to promote Pocono Mountains Theater Company, which is partnered with ESU’s Theatre Department.
Pocono Mountains Theater Company is an up-and-coming nonprofit organization that aims to develop and produce new diverse works.
“We hope to culturally and financially help the community by bringing the work in here for an audience,” says Brian Long, prospective artistic director of Pocono Mountains Theater Company.
“Producing shows here, overtime can bring tourism, which brings finances.”
The first plays in the series of public readings include “Krapp, 39,” “The Hate Inside, or Second Fiddle” and “Until Death.”
“Krapp, 39” was read on Monday, March 21.
“Krapp, 39” is written by Michael Laurence and influenced by Samuel Beckett’s absurdist drama, “Krapp’s Last Tape.”
Laurence’s play was previously performed Off-Broadway, in London and in Dublin. It was named “Outstanding Show” at the New York International Fringe Festival and “Critic’s Pick” by The New York Times and Time Out New York.
In the play, an actor named Michael Laurence relates his life to Beckett’s character on his 39th birthday.
Laurence recalls his fears, failures and unsuccessful search for love while he prepares for an imagined production of “Krapp’s Last Tape.”
Laurence hopes to include a current recording of Krapp’s soliloquy in his production, which he plans to perform 30 years from now.
Laurence is played by Chris Stack of “One Life to Live” and most recently Lindsey Ferrentino’s “Ugly Lies the Bone.”
“For the readings, I’m focusing on bringing New York actors and well-known talent to draw attention so I can know what audiences think of the readings we do,” says Long.
“In terms of turn out, I would like to see it reach 300 so that I can get a sense if people like the work and would tell their friends about it, so we can eventually put on full length shows.”
“The Hate Inside, or Second Fiddle” will be read on Saturday, March 26 and “Until Death” will be read on Saturday, April 30. Both readings will take place at 7 p.m. in the Smith-McFarland Theatre of ESU’s Fine Arts Center.
“The Hate Inside, or Second Fiddle” is written by Maggie Bofill and will have a cast of three including Florencia Lozano of “One Life to Live,” Matthew Saldivar of “Peter and the Starcatcher” and Dawn McGee of “House of Cards.”
The play involves a love triangle between a newly hired professor, his wife and his colleague.
“Until Death” is written by Sarah T. Schwab and will also have a cast of three including Karen Allen of “Raiders of the Lost Ark” and additional casting to be announced.
The play follows an elderly woman’s decisions after her husband chooses to spend his dying days alone.
For more information about the readings or Pocono Mountains Theater Company, visit www.poconomountainstheatercompany.org.
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