The 9th annual Title Wave: 2023 New Works Festival returns to the stage at Bay Street Theater bringing with it four bold and exciting new plays currently in development, all written by female playwrights.
The weekend is a unique showcase of cutting-edge theater, complete with staged readings, talkbacks, and critical discussion, providing a rare opportunity for directors and actors to work on their play in-person.
Selected from 300 submissions, the four plays selected are Another Lovely Day by Leslie Ayvazian, starring John Slattery (Mad Men, Marvel Cinematic Universe, Spotlight) and Talia Balsam (Mad Men, Homeland, Divorce); Come Again by Lisa Feriend; What I Know, Now by Julia Motyka; and You Have to Promise by Audrey Lang.
Finalists include: Spit in Your Face by Paul Heller and Alberto Lomnitz; Howling: A Fairy Tale by Jordan Elizabeth Henry; Un Hombre: A Golem Story by Stephen Kaplan; Just One of Those Weird Days by Diego Lanao; Edith by Noah Parnes; Dream House by Cassie Seinuk; and Seeing Violet by Peter Snoad.
The schedule for 2023 New Works Festival weekend is:
Friday, May 5, at 8 p.m.: Another Lovely Day by Leslie Avayzian
Saturday, May 6, at 2 p.m.: Come Again by Lisa Feriend
Saturday, May 6, at 8 p.m.: What I Know, Now by Julia Motyka
Sunday, May 7, at 3 p.m.: You Have to Promise by Audrey Lang
In addition to the schedule of staged readings, opening reception for Patrons and Subscribers will be held Friday, May 7, at 6 p.m., and the presentation of winners of the 2023 Writing the Wave Creative Writing Competition will be held Saturday, May 7, at 7 p.m.
Tickets are available for a $10 fee that goes to supporting New Works initiatives at Bay Street Theater, or a Festival Pass with tickets to each performance can be purchased for $25. For tickets, contact the Box Office by calling 631 725 9500 Tuesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. or 24/7 at baystreet.org.
THE NEW WORKS
In Another Lovely Day, a couple's marriage is challenged by a change in politics and the aftershock has a troubling impact on their teenage son. The play asks: What happens when quiet ideas are revealed for the first time? What makes us decide to test the foundation of what we thought we trusted and shared? One family. Three members. One day.
Come Again tells the story of Miami hospice nurse, Marina Johnson, wakes one day to find a stranger in her apartment claiming to be Jesus Christ and telling her that she has been tapped to be God's climate change prophet. Despite her protestations, Marina finds herself pulled farther and farther into the mission she's been assigned, as she and Jesus set out to try and save humanity from itself.
As she awaits the answer to one of life's big questions, a woman explores the nature of faith and her own complicated family history. What I Know, Now asks: Does the answer lie in faith and prayer; probabilities and numbers; or is it something else entirely?
In You Have to Promise, seventeen-year-olds Maeve and Nessa have been best friends their entire lives. Three months ago, they discovered what they had was more than a friendship. When they decide to come out to their families together, Nessa's father kicks her out and the girls scramble to come up with a solution, all the while lying to Maeve's stepmother Rachael and trying to dream their way to being grown-up.
Leslie Ayvazian is the Interim Head of the Playwrighting Concentration in the Graduate School of the Arts at Columbia University. Her play Nine Armenians won the John Gassner/Outer Critics Circle Award for best new American play, the Roger L. Stevens Award, and second place for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize: productions were directed by Lynn Meadow/ MTC; Oskar Eustis / Trinity Repertory; Gordon Davidson /Mark Taper Forum. Her play Rosemary and I received an honorable mention from the Susan Smith Blackburn jury. Make Me, directed by Christian Parker, was produced by the Atlantic Theatre. High Dive, directed by David Warren, premiered at the Long Wharf Theatre and in NYC at the Manhattan Class Company. Her short film Every Three Minutes, starring Olympia Dukakis, was produced by Showtime and won a Telly Award. Her play Deaf Day was produced as a film in Syria; it won “Best Short Film” at the Bahrain Film Festival. Leslie’s one woman show, Porcupine Girl, recently had a performance at the Guggenheim and she has been invited back!
Virginia-born and Chicago-based, Lisa Dellagiarino Feriend is an award-winning playwright, a member of the Dramatists Guild, and President of the Board of Arts For All, a NYC-based nonprofit bringing accessible artistic opportunities to children who face barriers to exploring the arts. She has a BFA in Film & TV from NYU and two kids who are disappointed that she doesn't write plays about dinosaurs.
Julia Motyka has become a familiar face over the years on Bay Street's mainstage (Intimate Apparel, Travesties), Julia is thrilled to be a part of Bay Street's Title Wave! Over her 20-year varied career, she has become an internationally recognized writer, performer, producer, and teacher. As a writer, she has a recent piece in DPA and one forthcoming in The Manifest Station and was one of the winner's of the Fish Anthology Prize for Short Memoir 2020. As an actress,she’s performed Off-Broadway and all over the US in some of the nation’s top theatres—winning awards in Denver, San Francisco, and LA for her work— and voiced scores of audiobooks. What I Know, Now received its first workshops this winter with NCTC, and The Beekeepers. When she’s not in the theatre, you can find her teaching yoga around town. Whether on the page, the stage, or in the studio she is always seeking and telling stories of transformation that guide us home to ourselves. You can find sporadic musings @juliamotyka_me or via her mailing list juliamotyka.com.
Audrey Lang is a playwright born and raised in New York City, currently based in Silverthorne, Colorado, where she is a teaching artist for VIVO at Theatre SilCo. Previously, You Have To Promise was workshopped in the 2020 Pride Plays, co-produced by Michael Urie. Audrey's play alex getting better received its U.K. Premiere at the Bread & Roses Theatre in June 2022, produced by Theatre Zima, and has been produced at schools and youth theatre companies around the United States. Her play Birdie and Cait and the Book of Life is currently a finalist for the Jewish Plays Project's 2023 contest, and has been developed with Original Idiots and The Workshop Theater. Other plays include Lily Ineffable (JPP 2022 Finalist), Balancé, Rye Bread, and Dear Anna (FreshPlay Festival 2016). Proud alum of MCC Theater Youth Company Playwriting Lab; B.A. Theatre Studies, Ithaca College. audreyglang.com
Established in 2014, the New Works Festival is an annual presentation of new plays and musicals and an opportunity for playwrights to work on their play in-person with directors and professional actors. New Works plays and musicals represent a broad array of voices, viewpoints, cultures, and styles. The works presented are stories we haven’t heard, make us feel joy and humanity, and take us on new journeys. The festival is a process of growth and development for not only the playwrights and their works, but for the creative team at Bay Street who are looking to learn from new talent. Double Helix, a new musical by Madeline Myers premiering at Bay Street’s 2023 Mainstage season, was a play presented at the 2022 New Works Festival.
WSHU Public Radio is the official media sponsor of Title Wave: The 2023 New Works Festival.