Free Theater in Progress: New Works Now Returns

Play by Dartmouth student Stephanie Everett included

You go to the theater, buy a ticket, see a play that is beautifully written, its i's dotted and its t's crossed. It's a long journey from an idea in the playwright's head to a perfected final script. Here is your opportunity to peek behind the curtain, see the test-run of some new plays as works in progress, and maybe even put in your two cents' worth of feedback in an after-show discussion. And the experience is free.

Trick or Treat, starring Gordon Clapp, started in New Works Now in 2016 and was followed by a full production at Northern Stage. An off-Broadway run is scheduled for 2019.

Northern Stage's New Works Now is back, with its 5th annual festival of staged readings of new plays. Four of the plays from past years have matured into full-fledged productions, including Orwell in America, produced off-Broadway last year. Only Yesterday, an imagined conversation between John Lennon and Paul MacCartney, is scheduled to premiere soon at Northern Stage on January 31, 2018; it was workshopped at the 2016 festival and again in 2017. 

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This year's New Works are:

It's Fine, I'm Fine by Stephanie Everett, January 19, 7:30 pm. Everett is a junior at Dartmouth College, and is the first student ever to have a play included in New Works Now. Hers is "a window into the tumult of modern-day adolescence" and the "unseen repercussions of concussions."

The Coup, a rock musical by Rebekah Greer Melocik, Jacob Yandura, and Victor Lesniewski, January 20, 7:30 pm. Rock music and political disconnects, featuring live music and the largest New Works cast ever.

Jane Burgoyne by Robert Moulthrop, Sunday, January 21, 2:00 pm. Directed by Stephen Fried-Brown, director of Northern Stage's Macbeth. A story of the relationships among three generations of women.

Playwright Stephanie Everett

And finally, there is Thirsty Theater. New Works Now's fourth offering is a very brief production, The Dual by Jack Neary. Emmy-winner Gordon Clapp and Northern Stage's own Susan Haefner will star. It's a 10-minute play about being in a 10-minute play, which sounds, as advertised, hilarious. Times and places for Thirsty Theater are:

The Filling Station, January 19, 9:00 pm. (Arrival by 8:45 pm recommended) The Filling Station is the bar located next to The Barrette Center in White River Junction, VT.

Thyme Restaurant, Saturday, January 20, 6:30 pm (dinner reservations via Thyme for 6 pm or earlier recommended)

Admission to the readings is free but you will need to reserve a seat for all performances except for those of the Thirsty Theater. Contact the box office at 802.296.7000 or email All plays except Thirsty Theater will be held at Northern Stage at the Barrette Center in White River Junction VT. Further info about the productions and the history of New Works Now can be found by clicking here.

(Featured photo, top, of Only Yesterday, when it was presented in New Works Now. In full production, it will be Northern Stage’s first play of 2018. All photos courtesy of Northern Stage)


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