Athena Writes 2015

Athena Theatre Company
Contemporary, Compelling, Provocative

Developing world premiers of off-beat and irreverent psychological dramas and dark comedies that challenge traditional stereotypes.
Athena produces theatre that entertains, informs, enlightens, questions and deepens audience awareness of vital modern issues.

Athena Theatre Playwright Group 2015

Tom Block, Athena Theatre Playwright-in-Residence
Paul Bomba
Maximilian Clark, Athena Theatre Playwright Group Intern
Wynoami Glasser
Alex Hersler
Sarah Kinsey
Veronique Ory
Ryan Spahn
Alex Thompson
Xavier Toby
Michael Walker

Playwriting Group and New Play Festival

Athena Theatre’s new playwriting group, “Athena Writes,” selected eleven playwright/actors assembled for a one-year exploration of the theme: “Undiscovered Inhibitions,” and centered on Athena Theatre’s commitment to supporting new work which pushes at the boundaries of live theatre.

Playwrights were asked to write a short, 10 minute play for production at the New Play Festival at Theatre Row on Monday, May 18th, 2015 at 8PM. Playwrights are also working on a full-length piece on this year’s theme. The play group is being facilitated by Athena Theatre Company’s 2014-15 playwright in residence, Tom Block.

The playwrights will also be considered for full production by Athena Theatre Company in its next season. The play group has been meeting twice a month on Mondays, beginning in mid-January, for two-three hours, to discuss the year’s theme, share new work and talk playwriting and the business of theatre. The meetings also comprise of discussion about individual playwrights’ projects, as well as readings of new work, where playwrights will cast (from the other writers) and hear their work read aloud. Athena Theatre believes that a play cannot be fully understood until the words hit the ear of an audience. This process allows playwrights to deepen their understanding of their own work, as well as glean ideas and approaches from their fellow playwrights.

In addition to closed sessions, some meetings will include dramaturg, directors and other industry professionals, to help deepen the understanding of specific works, as well as discuss industry concerns. Athena Theatre will also actively solicit opportunities for artists to submit their plays, to venues in New York City as well as around the country.

On Tuesday, December 8th at 7PM at A.R.T./New York, 520 Eighth Ave, 3rd floor -Studio B, NYC a Staged Reading of excerpts from the group’s full-length plays.

BLESSED AND HIGHLY FAVORED by Ryan Spahn
CONNOISSEUR by Maximilian Avery Clark
DANNY & THE THERAPIST by Tom Block
TINY HOUSE by Sarah Kinsey
TORTURE FOR BEGINNERS by Xavier Toby
JUKE by Alex Hersler
TOUCHING SAINTS by Michael Walker
TYRANNOSAURUS by Alexander Thompson

Directed by Brad Raimondo

Cast:
Greg Carere
Veronique Ory
Tara Pacheco
Rosie Sowa
Jeorge Watson
Simon Winheld

Guest Dramaturgs

Miriam Weiner is the Literary Associate at the Tony Award winning Vineyard Theatre and the author of SHAKESPEARE’S SEASONS. Professional Theatre Director committed to new work and new interpretations of the classics. MFA in Directing from Brooklyn College.

David Winitsky is the director of the jewish plays project (www.jewishplaysproject.org), a collaborator with StorahTelling, and a PresenTense New York City Fellow. He has directed or assisted on Broadway, off-Broadway, and regionally at Papermill Playhouse, Steppenwolf Theatre Company, California Shakespeare Festival and Philadelphia Theatre Company. NYC: Displaced Wedding (New Worlds Theatre Project). A Wonderful Flat Thing (14th St Y), Dominic D’Andrea’s One Minute Play Festival, Brooke Berman’s Until We Find Each Other (Midtown International),. Regional: Douglas Adam’s The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (What Exit?), and Javier Malpica’s Our Dad is in Atlantis (Playwrights Theatre). MFA in Directing from Northwestern, BA in Mathematics from Cornell. Member: Lincoln Center Directors Lab and Emerging Artists Theatre. David is the proud husband of playwright and painter Elizabeth Samet, and father to Ezekiel and Alexander.

Nora Sørena Casey is a playwright and dramaturge. Recent dramaturgy projects include the development of The Universe is a Small Hat by Cesar Alvarez (Joe’s Pub, Prelude 2013); workshops of LYLAS by Jackie Sibblies Drury (Lark Studio Retreat); The In-Between by Kareem Fahmy (Noor Theatre Myth Project); and contributing to The Civilians cabaret Holy Matrimony! (Joe’s Pub). Her most recent play, Not Afraid, about a death metal blogger who The New York Times called “the type of weirdo we want to root for.” Other plays include: the site-specific Intimate Bar Plays and Absolutely Somewhere (The Motor Company); Oh, Pioneers? (TinyRhino); Letters from Kafka (PowerOut); and Waiting for Achilles (Horizon Theatre, New South Young Playwrights’ Festival). Nora has worked previously in the literary departments of Berkeley Rep and Portland Stage Company.