GAS/FOOD/LODGING (Sep 2019)
By Audrey Cefaly, D.W. Gregory & Bob Bartlett
Directed by Carl Randolph
On Monday, September 2, 2019, TT, Inc. presented a reading of Gas/Food/Lodging written by a powerhouse trio of DC area playwrights: Audrey Cefaly, D.W. Gregory and Bob Bartlett. This compelling new work was presented as part of the 2019 Kennedy Center's Page-to-Stage Festival.
Synopsis: A collection of stories (Small Source of Comfort, Cage, The Magic Kingdom is Up for Grabs) set in a roadside motel near Disney World. DC/MD playwrights Bob Bartlett, DW Gregory, and Audrey Cefaly weave together tales of hapless and hopeful people in transit to the happiest place on Earth.
Audrey Cefaly is a southern writer and Alabama native based in the DC region. Her plays include The Gulf (Edgerton Award, Lammy Award, Samuel French OOB Fest Winner, Charles MacArthur Award Nominee); Alabaster (2019 NNPN Rolling World Premiere, 2018 NNPN Showcase, David Calicchio Emerging American Playwright Prize, BAPF Semifinalist); Maytag Virgin (Women's Voices Theater Festival); The Last Wide Open (Cincinnati Playhouse commission); The Story of Walter (adaptation of her podcast by the same name); and Love is a Blue Tick Hound (a collection of award-winning one-acts). Cefaly has developed plays with the National New Play Network, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Signature Theatre, Serenbe Playhouse (New Territories), Aurora Theatre, Florida Rep, Theater Alliance, Quotidian Theatre Company, University of Alabama - Birmingham, and Contemporary American Theater Festival. She is published by Samuel French, Smith & Kraus (two volumes of Best American Short Plays), and Applause Books. Cefaly is a member of the 2019 Playwrights' Arena cohort at Arena Stage and was recently named a Traveling Master by the Dramatist Guild Foundation. She is an outspoken proponent of silence in story-telling and has authored numerous articles on the topic of playwriting for HowlRound and Samuel French’s Breaking Character Magazine. Cefaly is a recipient of grants from the Boomerang Fund for Artists as well as the Alabama and Maryland state arts councils.
D.W. Gregory’s plays frequently explore political issues through a personal lens. The New York Times called her “a playwright with a talent to enlighten and provoke” for her most produced work, RADIUM GIRLS, about the famous case of industrial poisoning. Other plays include MEMOIRS OF A FORGOTTEN MAN; MOLUMBY’S MILLION, nominated for a Barrymore Award by Philadelphia Theatre Alliance; THE GOOD DAUGHTER, and OCTOBER 1962; and a new musical comedy, THE YELLOW STOCKING PLAY, with composer Steven M. Alper and lyricist Sarah Knapp. She is also a two-time finalist for the Heideman Award at Actor’s Theater of Louisville, where her short comedy SO TELL ME ABOUT THIS GUY was produced on a bill of short works. In addition, Gregory writes for youth theatre and makes occasional appearances as a teaching artist. Her new drama, SALVATION ROAD , recently released by Dramatic Publishing, was the winner of the American Alliance for Theatre in Education’s Playwrights in Our Schools Award and developed through New York University’s New Plays for Young Audiences program. Her work has also received the support of the National Endowment for the Arts, the National New Play Network, the Maryland Arts Council (she is a two-time winner of the Individual Artist Award in Playwriting), the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the New Harmony Project and the HBMG Foundation. A member of the Dramatists’ Guild, Gregory is also an affiliated writer with The Playwrights’ Center in Minneapolis and an affiliated artist with NNPN.
Bob Bartlett's plays include E2 (Rep Stage), Do No Harm, The Orbit of Mercury (2017 O'Neill Finalist), Swimming with Whales (1st Stage), happiness (and other reasons to die) (The Welders), The Accident Bear (The Avenue Laundromat), Falwell (Active Cultures), Kuchu Uganda (DC Queer Theatre Festival), and Kansas. His work has also been seen at The Welders, Iron Crow Theatre, The Kennedy Center’s Page-to-Stage Festival, and The Capital and Edinburgh Fringe Festivals, and developed at Seven Devils Playwrights Conference, Theater Alliance, Spooky Action Theatre, Rep Stage, and Alliance Theatre. His play Bareback Ink, a queer reimagining of the Ganymede myth, recently had a run at NYC's Hard Sparks, directed by Obie-winner David Drake. Swimming with Whales, which was one of the winners of the Kendeda National Graduate Playwriting Competition, The Mark Twain Prize for Comic Playwriting, and The David Mark Cohen National Playwriting Award, will have its world premiere this coming season at 1st Stage in Tysons, Virginia, and is a part of the SigWorks reading series at Signature Theatre. His time-bending "romcom", The Accident Bear, premieres this fall at The Avenue Laundromat in downtown Annapolis. He is the 2018 Playwright-in-Residence at New Voices for the Theater, a two-time recipient of the Individual Artists Award in Playwriting from the Maryland State Arts Council, an affiliated artist with the National New Play Network, a member of The Dramatists Guild of America, Vice Chair of KCACTF's (Region 2) National Playwriting Program, and a member of the theatre faculty at Bowie State University in Maryland, where he teaches playwriting, directing, and devising. Bartlett lives in Central Maryland in an old farmhouse, and is a founding member of The Welders, a Washington, DC-based, producing playwrights collective who were recognized with the 2016 John Aniello Award for Emerging Theater Company by theatreWashington's Helen Hayes Awards.
Photos by Christopher E Robin
LAST CATASTROPHIST (JUN 2019)
By David Valdes
Directed by Jenny Male
On June 8, 2019, TT, Inc. presented its inaugural play reading of Last Catastrophist by the exceptionally talented David Valdes at Joe's Movement Emporium located at 3309 Bunker Hill Rd, Mt Rainier, MD 20712 . The piece featured Fatima Quander as MARINA and Kelly Renee Armstrong as LUCIA.
Synopsis: Marina, one of the last two climatologists on earth, has hidden herself on the coast of Iceland to escape increasing threats from Eternal Sunshine, a shadowy cabal harassing climate scientists into silence. When Lucia, her one remaining peer, shows up unannounced, a cat-and-mouse game ensues. Are they allies? Enemies? Who works for whom? Last Catastrophist draws on climate science and real life events to imagine life on the brink of extinction.
David Valdes' plays have been produced across the US and abroad, most recently with Actor's Theatre of Charlotte, Mixed Blood, Borderlands, Milagros, and Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company. His plays have appeared in the Humana Festival, New York International Fringe Festival, Portland Stage Little Festival of the Unexpected, and New York Theatre Workshop Thursday Studio. Currently, he is collaborating with Company One on Boston (un)Documented, a nonfiction theatre project about the immigrant experience.
Photos by Christopher E Robin