Looby Reading Series Schedule — Looby Reading Series — AAPEX

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Looby Reading Series Schedule

Taking a moment to stop and thank the playwrights who have helped launch the Metro Nashville Parks Theatre Department's New Play Reading Series, Carolyn German, Artistic Director:

Hershell Norwood - Billie's Blues
Mark Southers - Nine Days in the Sun
Steve Leslie and Len Cohen - Umbrella
Jamie Cutler - Angels Without Wings
Jesse Goldberg and Gene Levine - It's a Ruff Life

As of Monday, June 21 we hit a landmark with the sixth event in the new play readings at The Looby. Our track record actually includes one default but weigh that against the five extraordinary successes we have had with your plays and I sincerely believe that this series has something unique to offer playwrights.

As we move forward, I am looking to develop a strategy for establishing the importance of this project at a national level which will brand us as a prestige launching pad in the world of new play development. I am confident to do this because of our artistic team and their ability to turn out quality entertainment and that team is Courtney McClellan, Helen Pettaway, Mark Payne, Alexis Lherisson, William Jenkins and Halee Culicerto. It also includes Len Cohen & Steve Leslie and Jesse Goldberg & Gene Levine for taking charge of their own projects - and a huge round of applause to Leslie & Cohen for landing a spot as one of the three finalists in the Boiler Room competition.

And of course it includes our actors. And our special guest artist, musician Bob Teague.

The selection of plays here is a fusion of my own personal dramaturgical agenda, which is split between the plays of AAPEX and new musicals by Nashville songwriters. Here's how that plays out for the rest of 2012:

June - we are actually mounting a full - and very spontaneous - production of Chris Boardman's play SO SHE LIVED at the Darkhorse, opening June 15th. The Darkhorse isn't the Looby and this isn't a reading, but this project is a direct result of the Metro Parks Theatre Department's New Play Reading Series because it was after the reading of UMBRELLA that Chris came up to me and asked for assistance with his first play. Chris has 6 Emmys and received an Academy Award nomination for THE COLOR PURPLE. Courtney McClellan is directing and I am hoping that all of you will plan to be there opening night, which is June 15th. Check out the playwright at www.chrisboardmanmusic.com

June will also see the world premiere of the Carolyn German/Rollie Mains Steampunk Musical AIRSHIP AT VAPOR STATION at The Looby Theatre, opening June22. Reservations and information at 615-509-0247.

July -( this is very cool!.) - It seems that some of the theatre students at The University School of Nashville have written a musical called "hYm" under the mentorship of Catherine Coke, so we will be partnering with a local school whose recent productions included a fantastic take on CABARET and the regional premiere of BLOODY BLOODY ANDREW JACKSON.

Just for the record, in my world there is no such thing as a "student" production - there are just actors of all ages.

August - Shawn Whitsell and his team of artists will encore their reading of YOUNG MESSIAHS FLY by Dr. Frank Dobson, Executive Director of Vanderbilt's Bishop Joseph Johnson Black Cultural Center - and the possibility of a double bill with another one act out of Atlanta (in negotiation.)

September - Alexis Lherisson directs THE CHITTLIN THIEF by Mike Oatman, Resident Playwright at Karamu House in Cleveland, Ohio. On board so far cast wise - Max Desir, LaToya Gardner and Elliot Winston.

October - we will celebrate our one year anniversary with HANNAH ELIAS by two Winston Salem colleagues, Nathan Ross Freeman, playwright, as commissioned by Johnie Blue Gardner - with Helen "Olaketi" Shute-Pettaway in the title role directed by Dr. Dara Talibah and an original piano score by yours truly, Jaz Dorsey.

HANNAH ELIAS is a story that is gonna rock you with some serious historical revisionism - not to mention murder, scandal and millions (of dollars).

The season ends in November with STORIES MY GRANDMOTHER TOLD ME by Ted Swindley of ALWAYS . . .PATSY CLINE fame.

Jaz Dorsey

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