New Works Now. Northern Stage. Women Playwrights

Think January, and Thirsty Theater

Trick or Treat. New Works Now. Last year at this time, I sat with an Upper Valley audience at Northern Stage, watching a staged reading of a new and still-in-progress play called Trick or Treat by Jack Neary. No set to speak of, actors with scripts to hand, Gordon Clapp as a bereft husband with a great Boston accent. New Works Now is an annual tradition at Northern Stage, and it's here again, ready to kick off the first weekend (6th through 8th) in January. Where else can you see, and be a part of, theater in the making? At no cost, except a phone call or email to the box office to reserve your seat? 

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As Evans Haile of Opera North is wont to say (and I quote him often), the two most exciting words in the English language are "live theater." What may be even more exciting is new live theater. Northern Stage has been getting there first, producing new plays like Orwell in America, recently completing a turn off-Broadway after its initial run in White River Junction VT, and noted by no less that the New York Times.

According to Artistic Director Carol Dunne, because of their growing reputation for producing new work, this fourth year of New Works Now received "a record-breaking number of plays--over 100 . . .and much of the best work we received was from women." 3 plays have been chosen, all by female playwrights. They are:

Portugal by Elizabeth Heffron (Friday, January 6 at 7:30 p.m.): the literal and metaphorical fallout of living near and with nuclear power

She Exits, Laughing by Marisa Smith (Saturday, January 7 at 7:30 p.m) : aging, gracefully or perhaps not

Piece Of by Tasha Gordon-Solomon (Sunday, January 8 at 2:00 p.m.): being a child in the modern age, complete with helicopter parents

Playwright Marisa Smith

Like your theater in sips rather than a full glass? Thirsty Theater, after a really fun launch last year, is making its return the same weekend. These are 10-minute pop-up plays in other venues.  On offer:

Runway Lounge by Elisabeth Gordon at the Tip Top Cafe, Saturday January 7, 6:00 p.m.  Dinner reservations at the Tip Top are recommended. Last year it was like dinner theater, but through only the amuse-bouche course. 

Polar Bear Swim by Marisa Smith at the Filling Station, Saturday, January 7, 10:00 p.m. Yes, the Filling Station is the bar next door to Northern Stage's Barrette Center.

Winter dining at the Tip Top Café

Whatever happened to Trick or Treat, that staged reading of last year? It is about to make its premiere--in full production--at Northern Stage beginning on January 18. And Gordon Clapp will be back, pained and funny, in this very dark, and hilarious, comedy.

Need more information about any of these Northern Stage productions? Check out their website, or call the box office at 802-296-7000.


I write about the arts and other interesting things in the Upper Valley. You can sign up to receive an email alert each I time I post something new by clicking here.  To view my profile page, please click here.

Susan B. Apel, writer, ArtfulEdge


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