It’s a Tidal Wave of New Plays at Bay Street

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The production and talkback session of "Medea" as created by the Kilbanes, during the 5th Annual New Works Festival at the Bay Street Theater in Sag Harbor on Friday, May 4, 2018. Michael Heller photo.

From September 10 to 19, Bay Street Theater will present “Title Wave: The New Works Series.” Now in its seventh year, performances of four new plays will be held live and in-person at Bay Street Theater in Sag Harbor.

“Title Wave: The New Works Series” features readings of new plays in development, providing playwrights a chance to hear their works in progress in front of an audience, and learn from the audience’s response. The series presents work from diverse and contemporary storytellers, introducing the audience at Bay Street and the East End community to up-and-coming works for the theater. Scripts from previous “Title Wave” readings have gone on to full productions both at Bay Street and at theater companies around the country. The 2018 reading of “The Prompter” was later produced during Bay Street’s 2019 summer season to much critical acclaim, and the reading of Amy Berryman’s “Walden” from the same year is just opening on the West End in London.

Bay Street Theater’s 2021 “New Works Series” is curated by Hope Villanueva, Bay Street’s literary manager, artistic director Scott Schwartz, and associate artistic director Will Pomerantz. Plays are read by professional actors in their entirety, accompanied by minimal staging. Each reading is followed by a talkback, during which the playwrights and the audience have the opportunity to ask questions and share their reactions to the play. The 2021 New Works Series will feature “Between/Time” by Dane Figueroa Edidi, “Tent Revival” by Majkin Holmquist, “Princess Clara Of Loisaida” by Matthew Barbot and “The Right Here, Right Now” by Peter Macklin.

The series will be held over two weekends, including HarborFest weekend from Friday, September 10, through Sunday, September 12, and Friday, September 17, through Sunday, September 19. Each play will be read at an 8 p.m. showtime and 2 p.m. matinee. Seating will be arranged in accordance with all necessary health and safety guidelines, with masks and proof of vaccination required for entry. Tickets are $20 or $65 for any four showtimes, and are available at 631-725-9500 or baystreet.org.

New Works Series Schedule:

Playwright Dane Figueroa Edidi. Courtesy Bay Street Theater.

“Between/Time” by Dane Figueroa Edidi

Friday, September 10, at 8 p.m.

Saturday, September 11, at 2 p.m.

“Between/Time” centers on an artist and a CEO in Baltimore as they fall in love while trying desperately to forget mistakes from their past. When the global pandemic struck, Rhonda found work drying up and her money running out, while her neighbor Alex tries to win her affection despite the fact they can only communicate via their windows. As the two begin to fall in love, their past may tear the only thing that can tear them apart. “Between/Time” invites us to ponder the questions what is one’s responsibility in fixing a world that those who came before them tried to break.

Playwright Majkin Holmquist.Courtesy Bay Street Theater.

“Tent Revival” by Majkin Holmquist

Saturday, September 11, at 8 p.m.

Sunday, September 12, at 2 p.m.

In “Tent Revival,” a woman’s astonishing miracle starts her husband on a path toward becoming a revivalist faith healer, and their daughter, Ida, must confront the cost of deeds done to acquire his devoted following. In rural Kansas, 1957, a farmer-turned-preacher searches for inspiration, his wife for hope, and their daughter for a sense of stability. When a seeming miracle turns their church on its head, Ida follows her parents across the state as they spread the word of their newfound faith. But when the miracles begin to multiply, and the demand for spiritual healing grows faster than anyone expected, Ida must confront the cost of deeds done to inspire devotion.

Playwright Matthew Barbot. Courtesy Bay Street Theater.

“Princess Clara Of Loisaida” by Matthew Barbot

Friday, September 17, at 8 p.m.

Saturday, September 18, at 2 p.m.

“Princess Clara of Loisaida” follows middle-schooler Clara and her older brother José when they start to question their reality, as the fantastical prophecy they created comes true. With Mamá long gone and Papá catatonic (and only able to sing old sitcom theme songs), video-game obsessed middle-schooler Clara finds herself in the hapless care of José. Scraping by together on the Lower East Side, the siblings try to stay distracted from their bleak reality through José’s fanciful stories: that Clara was a fairy princess of a magical realm, left in Central Park for their parents to find. Unbeknownst to José, Fefu, a magical fairy scout embedded in New York to keep an eye out for the lost princess when she comes of age, has identified her target to bring her home. When the siblings realize José’s stories might be true — that, in fact, he may be making them come true — Clara is faced with a choice, and José will fight a magical battle for his sister’s destiny

Playwright Peter Macklin. Courtesy Bay Street Theater.

“The Right Here, Right Now” by Peter Macklin

Saturday, September 18, at 8 p.m.

Sunday, September 19, at 2 p.m.

In “The Right Here, Right Now” by Peter Macklin, a family, a marriage, and what it means to be Jewish are tested by a devoutly Christian mother accused of a terrible crime. Defense lawyer Adam Stein was born Jewish but as a staunch progressive now finds himself a vehement atheist. When assigned the case of Doreen Smith — a devoutly Christian mother, who is on trial for murdering her young child — Adam’s pregnant wife, Nina, and his brother Ira, who has remained faithful to his conservative Judaism, also get swept up in the case. What happens when belief, faith and certitude get challenged in a post (mid?) pandemic United States?

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