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Black Box New Play Festival

January 9, 2020 - January 26, 2020

Black Box New Play Festival

“Words can’t express what I feel right now. What a special two nights I just had. Sitting with friends and strangers and watching 2 hours of my work in a theater full of love and support for my writing. This whole process has been not only fun but important because I learned so much from seeing OCEAN PLANET staged and realized. What a special memory. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for believing in me and producing this weekend of my plays.” – Brett Epstein, playwright


23rd Annual Black Box New Play Festival
January 9 – 26, 2020
Thurs, Fri, Sat at 7:30pm | Sun at 3:00pm

There will be a talk back with the playwrights directly after the Sunday matinees.

First Week, January 9 – 12, 2020:

  • Sorry Shakespeare by Ken Levine, directed by David Thomas Cronin
    Shakespeare is rejected by a ten-minute play festival in Liverpool and does not take it well.
  • An Empowered Woman by Barbara Anderson, directed by Hilary Goldman
    Barbara Nicholson thinks she has become empowered as a woman when she runs smack into age prejudice.
  • Spilled Dictators by Andrew Rosdail, directed by Kevin Bain
    A week after the death of a country’s dictator, Bernard Reykjavik finds himself in police custody, not knowing why he was arrested. He is subjected to a bizarre interrogation.
  • On the Chain Gang by Ron Asher, directed by Sarah Bellin
    A young man is thrown into a holding cell where he is harassed and intimidated by a mysterious prisoner who lures him into a dangerous plot to escape at sunrise before the bus arrives to take them to County Jail.
  • The Piazza by Barbara Anderson, directed by Elizabeth Bove
    Mrs. Josephine Martin has spent her life thinking and saying what other people think and say until finally she does what she thinks.
  • Final Jeopardy by Ken Levine, directed by David Thomas Cronin
    It’s a battle of wits between a longtime Jeopardy champion and the contestant who finally toppled him. When he makes a shocking proposal both have tough “Final Jeopardy” decisions to make.
  • Songs Offered from the Heart by Judd Lear Silverman, directed by Jonas Barranca
    Two ladies are rescued from a burning church, where they had gone to practice their duet for Sunday’s service. Shaken and a bit shocked, they try to answer Fireman Bill’s questions as best they can, while the fireman tries to figure out what happened to start the blaze – and to find any possible remaining survivors.

Photo by Steven Pisano Photography

Second Week, January 16 – 19, 2020

  • Thanks Taking by Art Walsh, directed by Justin Braun
    Four grown children are shocked by what their mother tells them at their annual Thanksgiving dinner.
  • The Universe is Calling by Michael Bille, directed by Mark Gallagher
    Two men of different ages, backgrounds and circumstances meet in a specialty Manhattan sandwich shop and form a unique bond as they share stories of life, love, and mortality.
  • (In)security in Perpetuity by Deborah Chava Singer, directed by Glenn Girón
    A woman tries to navigate her way through bureaucracy, academic culture and an existential crisis, all in her quest to graduate, or to start with – just get the required forms signed.
  • Vacancies by Scott C. Sickles, directed by Whitney Stone
    A flood has forced Carol and Graham to seek refuge at a motel. Their marriage already strained, Carol also blames Graham for a tragic act of negligence. When she’s away from him, Graham is befriended by another guest who makes an unsettling yet alluring claim.
  • Sex by Greg Hovanesian, directed by Ted Thompson
    A man and woman lie in bed. As they lie, they talk. As they talk, they travel. Not physically, but verbally and mentally. And as they approach some other place, perhaps the world of sleep and dreams, they may begin to wonder: do I really know this person lying next to me?
  • Killing Time: What We Do by Stephen J. Kudless, directed by Mike Mroch
    Seth and Dolores know that something is terribly wrong in their lives and they punish each other and themselves for it.
  • The Piece by Lawson Caldwell, directed by Gabrielle Giacomo
    Lucille Anders is a world renowned artist who hasn’t presented a new piece of art in three years. She has chosen a small gallery in SoHo owned by Marie and Devon to present the work as her comeback. Margaret, Lucille’s agent, arrives at the gallery for the unveiling. The Piece is not what everyone was expecting.

Photo by Steven Pisano Photography

Third Week, January 23 – 26, 2020

  • In the Cold, Cold Night by Lesley Anne Moreau, directed by Nate Sayatovich
    Annie’s life has been in turmoil since the disappearance of her older sister, Nora. When she confronts a man from Nora’s past, he may have more information than Annie bargained for.
  • The F-Word by Rhona Klein, directed by Kevin Michael Morin
    Twenty-somethings brother and sister decide to take responsibility for their grandmother’s declining state when their own mother, more committed to ending climate change than dealing with family needs, ignores her family’s crisis. One of the grandkids must make a grand sacrifice. But who should that be? And how should they decide?
  • Songs of Light and Darkness by Meredith Green, directed by Noel MacDuffie
    Two women, The Older and The Younger, are chained in a dark cave by a mysterious force. They don’t know how long they have been there or who their captors are.
  • Deanna and Paul by Dagney Kerr, directed by Trent Dawson
    Deanna’s a quirky waitress with a strict no tipping policy. Paul’s a surly customer with a tight lid on his heart. Their lonely worlds collide one day in a small-town diner, where one cup of coffee can change everything.

Photo by Steven Pisano Photography


Co-Producers: Dominic Cuskern & Sue Glausen
Lighting Designer: Ian McMorran
Sound Designer: Nick Long
Production Stage Manager: Chelsea Janke
Assistant Stage Manager: Timothy Sheridan


January 9, 2020
January 26, 2020