The three-day festival will include readings of plays and musicals in development. The mission of the festival is to give playwrights a chance to hear their works in front of an audience and learn from that audience’s response, and to give the audience at Bay Street and the East End Community a chance to experience cutting edge voices in the theater. Each play will be read by professional actors in its entirety, accompanied by minimal staging. Each reading will be followed by a talkback during which the playwrights and the audience will have the opportunity to ask questions of each other and share their reactions to the play.
The Bay Street New Works Festival is curated by Scott Schwartz, Artistic Director at Bay Street Theater, and Will Pomerantz, Associate Artistic Director at Bay Street Theater. The New Works Festival is sponsored in part by The Sag Harbor Inn. Casting is by Stewart/Whitley.
MOLLY SWEENEY: A NEW MUSICAL based on the play by Brian Friel, book by Eric Ulloa, and music and lyrics by Caleb Damschroder. What would you do if given the choice to completely change the life you've known? Molly Sweeney, blind since infancy, is about to face that question as she's presented with an operation that could restore her sight. With the support of her husband Frank and Doctor Rice, the three of them will embark on a journey into what "vision" really means.
Eric Ulloa is the author of the play, "26 Pebbles," which just had its world premiere at The Human Race Theatre Company. Eric is also the book writer of the musical "Passing Through," which was part of the Johnny Mercer Writer's Colony at Goodspeed Musicals in 2015 and 2016. On the other side of the footlights, Eric was doing the "Conga" in the Original Broadway Cast of "On Your Feet!" (Ensemble/Emilio Estefan u/s).
Caleb Damschroder is an NYC based composer/lyricist and actor. His musical Molly Sweeney (adapted from the Brian Friel play of the same name) headlined the 2014 New Works Series at The Human Race Theatre of Dayton, Ohio. He spent last year developing his americana-folk musical Devil's Kin at CAP21 in NYC and the show will be part of the PiTCH this coming summer at The Finger Lakes Musical Theatre Festival. His musical The Commuters: or A Cautionary Tale About The Port Authority was voted audience favorite of the Riant Theatre's 2016 Strawberry One Act Festival. His arrangement of Stille Nacht/Mi Zeh Hidlik was sung by the broadway cast of Cabaret on BCEFA's Carols for a Cure Vol. 16. Caleb has participated in creating new song for the charity MuseMatch for both its’ first and eighth cycle. He is a member of the Tony honored BMI Musical Theatre Workshop and The Dramatist Guild. As an actor, Caleb has recently appeared in Broadway's Cabaret at the famed Studio 54, and Paint Your Wagon at City Center Encores. He is a graduate of Otterbein College.
THE IMPOSSIBILITY OF NOW by Y York. A comedy of remembering and forgetting. Words have lost their meaning as books, movies and life begin blurring for Carl, formerly a brilliant, brooding science writer, but now suffering profound memory loss after a freak accident. This sudden change upends his wife Miranda’s thoughts about him, and of a possible future with Anthony, a sexy, funny pediatric dentist who is crazy about her.
Y York is the recipient of the National New Play Network's Smith Prize for …and LA is Burning; Houston’s Buzzy--Best New Play--for Woof; the Berrilla Kerr Award for the Secret wife; the Hawai`i Award for Literature for Nothing is the Same; four times awarded the AATE Distinguished Play Award, the Charlotte Chorpenning Award for her body of work for children and their families, and is currently at work on two new musicals with northwest composer Amanda Jacobs. Plays have been supported by the NEA, the Rockefeller Foundation, AT&T OnStage, USA Artists, and many local arts organizations. Y is an alumna of New Dramatists and a member of The Dramatists' Guild. She still lives with Mark Lutwak to whom many things are still dedicated.
THOMAS MURPHY is based on the novel by Roger Rosenblatt. Thomas Murphy - Irishman, dreamer and poet - lives alone in Manhattan, wondering what to do with the rest of his life. His daughter Maire worries about Murph's state of mind. And he does, too. Then, into his world, comes a blind and beautiful young woman, Sarah, and Murph finds his querulous self confronting love again.
Roger Rosenblatt's essays for TIME and PBS have won two George Polk Awards, the Peabody and the Emmy. He is the author of six off-Broadway plays, and nineteen books, including five New York Times Notable Books, and the bestsellers, Making Toast and Kayak Morning, among others. In 2015, he received the Kenyon Review Award for lifetime literary achievement.
THE COCKTAIL PARTY EFFECT by Scooter Pietsch. Three married couples gather to celebrate their 10th New Year’s Eve together. Tonight, however, marks a new phase of life for them as their kids have gone off to college leaving them empty nesters. How will they handle being “alone together” after being distracted from their marriages while raising a family? A funny, biting, ruthless look at what happens to us all after we’re “fired” from the greatest job we’ve ever had… raising our children.
Scooter Pietsch (pronounced Peach) is a playwright, Emmy-nominated composer/songwriter and TV producer. His play Windfall, directed by Jason Alexander, had a sold out run for its world premiere in June of 2016 at The Arkansas Repertory Theater. Several of his other plays have been optioned for production. Scooter has served as dramaturg for the past two productions of Dee Snider’s Rock and Roll Christmas Tale at the Broadway Playhouse in Chicago and the Elgin/Winter Garden Theater in Toronto. Readings of his plays have included performances by Tony winner and four-time Emmy winner Bryan Cranston, Tony winner Cady Huffman, Tony winner Faith Prince, Tony nominee Stephanie J. Block, Nancy Travis, Constance Zimmer, Jerry O’Connell, Gale Harold and many others. He is currently pitching his first musical, LONDON UNDONE. As a composer, Scooter’s music and songs have appeared in over 100 TV series and thousands of television episodes and many movies. Some of these include Pretty Little Liars, Burn Notice, All Dogs Go To Heaven, Greek, American Idol and So You Think You Can Dance. He has also created and executive produced shows for ABC, FOX, Lifetime, VH1 and E!.
The Flea Theater, one of New York's leading Off-Off-Broadway companies, is delighted to be joining forces with Bay Street for their New Works Festival. Under Artistic Director Niegel Smith and Producing Director Carol Ostrow, The Flea is known as a home for cutting edge productions and a haven for emerging artists. The Flea has presented close to 200 world premiere theater, music and dance productions since its inception in 1996 and is the winner of several Obie Awards, a Special Drama Desk Award for outstanding achievement and an Otto Award for political theater. Past productions include premieres by Steven Banks, Thomas Bradshaw, Erin Courtney, Bathsheba Doran, Will Eno, Karen Finley, Amy Freed, Sarah Gancher, Sean Graney, A.R. Gurney, Jennifer Haley, Hamish Linklater, Enrique Gutiérrez Ortiz Monasterio, Itamar Moses, Anne Nelson, Qui Nguyen, Adam Rapp, Jonathan Reynolds, Kate Robbins, Roger Rosenblatt, Elizabeth Swados, and Mac Wellman. Successes include The Guys as well as Drama Desk nominated She Kills Monsters, These Seven Sicknesses, Restoration Comedy, The Mysteries and ten World Premiere productions by A.R. Gurney. The Flea has just completed a $23M capital campaign and is poised to move into a new three theater performing arts complex in Tribeca this fall.