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Meet the Artist: New Play Readings 2023

Wednesday Evenings in May

Please note: The readings will be held at the Summit Public Library

at 75 Maple Street. There will be no reading on May 10,

but there will be a reading on May 31. See you there!

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Vivid Stage's  “Meet the Artist” series is a forum that showcases new theatrical works. The series provides audiences an opportunity to experience new shows and participate in discussions with playwrights, directors and actors.

The series’s goal is to expose the adult public to the evolution of a theatrical presentation and to give the playwright valuable feedback to be used in the development of the play.

For more information on submitting a new play for consideration, click here.

Grieft at High Tide by Richard Willett

Grief at High Tide

by Richard Willett

Wednesday, May 3, 2023

7:00 pm

When struggling New York photographer Jennifer Evers tells her husband Christopher that the photo she took of him by his mother’s deathbed—the one he never gave her permission to take and asked her not to show anyone—was secretly entered in a very prestigious competition, it doesn’t go well. To try to investigate the role that art plays in real-life relationships, Jennifer goes out on assignment to California, to create a piece on a Pulitzer Prize−winning photograph, Grief at High Tide, which changed the lives of everyone involved.

Idée Fixe by Joe Sutton

Idée Fixe

by Joe Sutton

Wednesday, May 17, 2023
7:00 pm

A young, ambitious doctor latches onto the notion that vaccinations cause more harm than good as his ticket to medical notoriety. A chorus of five actors play all the people he encounters as he dives deeper and deeper into the world of twisted proof and tainted evidence. How will the scientific world treat his quest for fame? And more importantly, will ordinary people looking for an answer for their children's afflictions embrace or reject his flawed science?

The Festial Quartet by David Lee White

The Festial Quartet

by David Lee White

Wednesday, May 24, 2023
7:00 pm

Four high school seniors who make up a chorus struggle with the recent death of one of their friends, as they approach their own graduation and life choices in the world beyond. Against the backdrop of a Christian education, the students grapple with their own desires and the sometimes cloudy difference between right and wrong. When the adults in their orbit are also dealing with loss and moral quandaries, they turn to each other for support and clarity.

Acts of Creation by Brianna Barrett

Acts of Creation

by Brianna Barrett

Wednesday, May 31, 2023
7:00 pm

Thea and Reed have been married for 25 years, but now Thea is convinced that she's dying. Her legacy will be to write a play using technology that randomizes language, and she trusts her wife and two daughters to make sure it sees the light of day. With wit and humor, the play poses the question of whether art can be artificially created, and tells the story of a family mourning the loss of an actual person who has attempted to digitize her memory.

This year's readings are a part of the
NJ Theatre Alliance's

Stages Festival.


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The new play reading series is a chance for the audience to participate in the development of new works, both to hear the play read by professional actors and also to discuss the project with the playwright, director and actors afterward.  Feedback from these evenings helps the playwrights to further refine their scripts and also gives them a first-hand experience of how the audience will respond to the finished work. These evenings provide a fun and lively way to interact with the creative process, and to receive a preview of plays that may be performed on Dreamcatcher's mainstage in the future.

What is a “Reading”?

A reading is a performance of a play that focuses on the words of the script and the interaction of the actors without sets, props and costumes. Readings are a way to present plays in front of live audiences without the expense of a fully staged production. While readings can be of new or existing works, Dreamcatcher chooses to read new plays only. Readings of new shows can help a show’s creative team see what works and what might need a rewrite. When a reading goes particularly well, Dreamcatcher will consider the play for a fully-staged production in an upcoming season.


What to Expect

Just like in a staged performance, Dreamcatcher company members and guest actors will perform all the roles in the play. Typically, the cast will be seated in chairs onstage, and they will read their lines from the script. They might occasionally stand up and move about. There may also be a narrator, who reads aloud stage directions and describes scenery or movement as written in the script. There will be no costumes or sets.


Are readings appropriate for kids?

The themes of most chosen plays are probably “of interest” to those approximately 12 and up.

Overall, play readings are similar to reading non-picture books to your children at home. If your child can focus, listen, pay close attention, and imagine the setting for the play, she or he will probably enjoy the reading. Remember: there are no costumes or sets, and there is no action.


Why would I attend a reading if I can wait for a fully staged production?

Play readings at Dreamcatcher are about discovering new artists and their works, and including yourself in the development cycle of the plays. You will get to witness a work in progress, and afterwards you’ll have the opportunity to ask questions and provide feedback to the creative team. Playwrights often use readings to test new characters and lines in front of live audiences. And if you do come back for a fully staged production, you might notice some of your suggestions incorporated into the final performance.

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