Announcing New Collection of Plays from SUNY Empire State

Indie Theater Now has just published a new collection of plays from a distinguished playwriting program in NYC. Here’s Lynda Crawford, one of the faculty advisors, to tell folks about it:

Welcome to the second collection of Selected Plays from the ESC Playwriting Lab. I have had the privilege to lead the Lab at SUNY Empire State College every summer since its inception. SUNY Empire State College is the SUNY college for adults, where students work with a faculty mentor to design an individualized degree plan that recognizes their prior learning and experience and responds to their personal, professional, and academic goals.

Every summer, students interested in playwriting gather to read plays, see plays, and talk about playwriting. We invite guest playwrights to discuss how they do it, and we do it too—write plays, hear the work come to life in small bits, and get support and feedback from each other and from guest actors. And somehow every year the magic happens, and brave, funny, and sometimes terrifying, new work emerges from our Playwriting Lab.

We’ve chosen five very wonderful and well-crafted plays from the last two years to include here in our second collection of Selected Plays from the ESC Playwriting Lab.

In Bernard Smith’s Brendan Resurrected, the appearance of two characters from Brendan’s past ushers in memories of what he left behind in Dublin City and threatens the new life he has found in New York; The Gray Lady’s Broken Window by Jason Frix provides a window into the mental state of a recently returned war veteran who is court mandated to go into therapy; it is 1959 in Gary Ray’s The Hostess, and Jesse Rawlings’ days as a shameless Hollywood starlet are over, but she can’t quite accept her new role as hostess in a Greenwich Village bar; in Bambi Everson’s funny Neither Here Noir There, a novelist’s dream girl soon becomes his nightmare; and in Job Ethan Christenson’s poignant Where the Wild Ones Play, David delves into his past, meeting up with his younger self, exploring the one relationship that could have changed it all.

The curators for this volume were all ESC graduates who were included in the first collection: Lisa Maynard, playwright, ESC 2012; Tammy McNeil, actor/playwright, ESC 2015; Michele Richardson, actor/playwright, ESC 2013; and Lee Summers, playwright/composer/lyricist/librettist/actor/director, ESC 2014, and NYU/Tisch Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program MFA 2016.

Faculty advisors for this series are Lucy Winner, SUNY Empire State College mentor in Theatre, and yours truly, also an ESC graduate 1993, a playwright (published by Indie Theater Now), and an adjunct at ESC since 2005.

We are grateful to Martin Denton and Indie Theater Now for giving us the opportunity to once again showcase the extraordinary work coming out of the Lab, and to SUNY/Empire State College for providing a place for us to learn together and bring these new plays to life.

We are truly proud and honored to bring this work to ITN and to meet this fine collection of new playwrights. Check out their work now!