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Enjoy New Plays at Nashville Rep New Works Festival

by PRIDE Newsdesk

Ingram New Works Playwrights (l-r) Riti Sachdeva, Lindsay Joelle, Dean Poynor, and R. Eric Thomas. (photo by Laney Fay)

Nashville Repertory Theatre has announced the lineup of new plays that will make up their tenth annual Ingram New Works Festival running May 8-18 at Nashville Children’s Theatre. The event, covering two weekends, celebrates new plays developed via the year-round initiative housed at Nashville Repertory Theatre. Reality television, immigration, intergalactic war, and the New York City subway inspire the plays of Nashville Rep’s 10th Ingram New Works Festival.

This year’s Festival will feature stage readings of new plays by Ingram New Works Lab Playwrights Lindsay Joelle, Dean Poynor, Riti Sachdeva, and R. Eric Thomas and a new work by Pulitzer Prize-Finalist and 2019 Ingram New Works Fellow Sarah Ruhl.

“These five brand new plays are each in their own way grappling with the question of who we are, and maybe more importantly, who do we want to be? These are plays about telling our own stories, finding new connections, and finally finding the places we belong.” says Nate Eppler, Director of the Project.

This year’s plays cover a wide variety of topics and will take audiences to an array of unusual locations. Sarah Ruhl’s play Becky Nurse Of Salem takes us to Salem, Massachusetts, where the great-great-great granddaughter of a witch struggles with her family legacy. The Messengers by Lindsay Joelle features a soldier and translator on a dangerous mission in the middle of an intergalactic conflict. The Second Avenue Subway by Dean Poynor is the tale of a father teaching his son about life and faith as they ride the New York City Subway together over many years. Riti Sachdeva takes us to a motel on the edge of a highway on the edge of a city where past and present collide in Welcome To The Taj Palace (Motel). R. Eric Thomas brings together four strangers including a former reality show contestant trying to start over in the comedy Crying On Television.

The Ingram New Works Project is a nationally recognized new play development program designed to empower new voices in the American theatre with transformative support and expand the creative capacity of Nashville by connecting artists and audiences across extraordinary new works. Plays developed in the ten years of the Ingram New Works Project have gone on to numerous awards and productions across the country, including This Red Planet by Nate Eppler, developed in the 2017/18 Ingram New Works Lab premiering at Nashville Repertory Theatre in February 2020.

“Each year we bring extraordinary writers to Nashville, and each year Nashville helps us launch their new works out to the rest of the country,” says Nate Eppler. “And this year will be no exception. You get to see them first, right here in Nashville, before everybody else does.”

Performances of the 2019 Ingram New Works Festival begin on May 8th at 7:00pm at Nashville Children’s Theatre located at 25 Middleton Street in Nashville and continue nightly through Saturday May 18th. Each staged play reading at the Ingram New Works Festival begins at 7:00pm and will be followed by a Talkback with the playwright. Tickets and complete performance schedules are available at: nashvillerep.org/ingramnewworks.

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