Br!NK New Play Festival

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Festival Weekend | September 9 & 10, 2017

Touring dates & locations will be announced soon!

The Br!NK Festival is unlike a traditional theatrical evening. These staged readings are all about the playwright's work. At Br!NK, audience members are encouraged to stick around after the show and give feedback to the playwrights. You'll meet the actors and directors, and hang out with a community of people passionate about creating and enjoying art.

Festival goers enjoy

  • Full-length staged readings, followed by talkbacks with the playwrights
  • Interactive & participatory workshops led by past Br!NK playwrights
  • New this year, Br!NK Br!efs - a collection of ten-minute plays

OPEN!

 March 15 - May 1, 2017

Engage | Experience | Enjoy

Phot of the cast of THE HALL OF FINAL RUIN

The Br!NK festival is made up of three different pieces:

Resident Playwrights: These select playwrights are offered a weeklong residency to workshop their script with a director, dramaturg, and full cast; a team dedicated to researching and considering the play from every angle.

Following the residency, staged readings of the script are toured to Milwaukee-area venues, culminating in a weekend festival at the Broadway Theatre Center. After each reading we offer a guided talkback with the playwright to obtain audience feedback.

NEW Br!NK Briefs: After three rounds of submissions over the course of the year, Renaissance Theaterworks chooses up to six submissions to be presented during the Festival Weekend.  These scripts will be presented fully-staged.

Playwriting Workshops: We offer two workshops during the Festival Weekend for any and all professional or aspiring playwrights.

Br!NK audience members to get a first look at the developed works, meet the playwrights, actors, directors, and participate in the post-show talkbacks.

Br!NK Br!efs

New! Shorts of Every Style

Renaissance Theaterworks is thrilled to announce a new addition to the Br!NK Festival - the Br!efs!

The Br!efs is a collection of Ten Minute Plays that will be presented over the festival weekend. There will be two rounds of submission, each with a different prompt. The Br!efs presented at the festival will span all two topics - shorts of every style!

“The Br!NK team impressed me with their artistry, insight, and professionalism... their constant focus was on the needs of the playwright and the development of the script.”

Christine Kallman, Br!NK Playwright 2016

 

"...I know that my play is much closer to being production ready because of Br!nk.”

Philana Omorotionmwan, Br!NK Playwright 2016

 

Br!NK Map - Midwestern States

Submit Your Work

Full Play Submissions: Now Closed

Br!ef Submissions: OPEN

Prompt: Fools rush In

Come Play With Us

We want to read your work. Learn what to submit, when we're reading scripts, and what you should expect as a Br!NK Playwright.

Submit Your Play

Br!NK is supported by:

2017 Br!NK Resident Playwrights

Photo of Artistic Director Suzan FeteReina Hardy

ANNIE JUMP AND THE LIBRARY OF HEAVEN, 2017

BIOGRAPHY

Reina Hardy is a playwright. Her plays, which usually contain magic and sometimes contain science, have been seen across the country, including at Rorschach Theatre in DC, the Vortex in Austin, and the 2013 NNPN National New Play Showcase. She’s a Michener Fellow, winner of the 2014 KCACTF TYA Prize, finalist for the Terrence McNally Prize and the recipient of an Interact 20/20 Commission. She can make things happen with her mind.

 

ABOUT WRITING THE PLAY

I wrote “Annie Jump” in about three days in August, while the Perseids were falling (yes, really).   I was on deadline for a staged reading that I scheduled before I’d written a single page of the script.  This… is not how it usually happens, but man was it fun!

As for the idea- years ago, I heard an NPR story about a man who maintained a website inviting aliens to contact him, and it stuck with me. That summer, while researching a different play, I read a science history book called “Coming of Age in the Milky Way” that described a theoretical concept much like the Library of Heaven.  The two ideas sort of collided, then Annie and Althea showed up from who knows where, already sniping at each other, already the best of friends. I sat on the idea for a couple of months until I had the time in my schedule to write it.  It brought together so many things that I've been thinking about for so long, and honestly it felt like a gift.

 

SYNOPSIS

Annie Jump is a 13-year-old science genius whose alien-obsessed father is the laughingstock of Strawberry, KS. One night in August, a meteor falls, and Annie meets Althea, an intergalactic supercomputer that manifests itself in the form of a mean girl with really great hair. Althea’s here to help Annie take humanity from the earth to the stars, but being the Chosen One isn't all glory. What is Althea hiding? And what will Annie have to sacrifice to fulfill her destiny? A play for all audiences about finding your place in the universe, and intelligent life in your neighborhood.

 

 

Photo of Artistic Director Suzan FeteAmanda Petefish-Schrag

THE ENDURANCE OF LIGHT, 2017

BIOGRAPHY

Amanda Petefish-Schrag is an Assistant Professor of Theatre at Iowa State University where she teaches courses in performance and theatre history.  Her professional credits include work as a playwright, director, puppeteer, (and mom to Celia and Eli). Her playwriting has been produced at festivals in Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, Kansas City, Minneapolis, Madison, and Iowa City, and has been published by Playscripts, Inc. Amanda is a member of the Dramatists Guild.

 

ABOUT WRITING THE PLAY

Ten years ago, I experienced a loss that countless women before me had already been through, (and countless more women will someday face), – a miscarried pregnancy. I realized in a new way why miscarriage proves such profoundly difficult subject matter.  It sits squarely at the intersection of numerous existentially-anxious issues - sex, death, religion, science, when life begins, and the very definition of life itself.  Yet in the years following my miscarriage, that needling question in the back of my brain, “Can we somehow talk about this?”, became the impetus for writing The Endurance of Light.

As I quickly discovered, grappling with miscarriage in the public sphere requires plunging into uncomfortable collisions headlong.  Exploring these intersections and attempting to reveal their inherent tensions; making them tangible, potent, and accessible, became the heartbeat of the play itself.

 

SYNOPSIS

Sophie, a scientist, refuses to leave her bed. Instead, she spends her time lost in piles of books,

trying to discover the reason for her multiple miscarriages. Her husband and her mother

desperately try to connect with her, unaware that her bedroom has become a surreal landscape where Sophie, along with Sir Ernest Shackleton and his ship, The Endurance, are perpetually trapped in the Antarctic ice. Guided by an irreverant Albert Einstein and spirited Hildegard Von Bingen, Sophie must navigate the mysterious forces that now threaten to trap her forever as past and present, faith and science, collide.

Past Br!NK Playwrights

Photo of Artistic Director Suzan FeteChristine Kallman

Duck, 2016

Is love of a duck enough to get someone committed? As we hear the clock strike eleven, we learn that 78-year-old Eleanor has until noon to come up with evidence that will keep her daughters from moving her to a memory care unit. In flights of memory, Eleanor builds her case, reliving her attempts to prove her husband wrong when he claimed she “has never loved anyone or anything and never will.” But when she chooses to love a duck, it’s not as easy as she had thought. She is left to defend herself in a world where love seems impossible and her actions make us ask what sanity really means.

A one-woman play, DUCK stars Milwaukee legend Flora Coker, directed by RTW Co-Founder Marie Kohler.

Cast & Crew

Directed by Marie Kohler

Featuring Flora Coker

 

Photo of Artistic Director Suzan FeteKathleen Allison Johnson & Gail Sterkel

Ten Thousand Moons From Here, 2016

In the summer of 2011, Jan Levine Thal, Artistic Director of the Kathie Rasmussen Women's Theatre, approached each of us with a commission to write a 30- to 40-minute one-act play for an evening of theater. After batting around ideas, we decided instead to collaborate on one full-length play. The play's story took several wrong turns before we realized we were writing about our desire to create a better world. Our mysterious aliens were already the better society we aspired to be. Our shared sense of humor promised to make the journey entertaining as well as enlightening.

After two public readings months apart and countless drafts, we presented our script to Jan. On June 13, 2013, our play opened at the Bartell Theater in Madison for eight performances, including one talk-back.

Cast & Crew

Directed by Mallory Metoxen

Stage Manager | Paula Gallarino

Dramaturg | Abby Stein

Featuring Libby Amato, Laura Gray, Tim Higgins, Sean Anthony Jackson, Josh Krause, Mary McLellan, Trevor Rees

 

Photo of Artistic Director Suzan FetePhilana Omorotionmwan

Before Evening Comes, 2016

This play began five years ago with the prompt “vaudeville.” For me, that conjured up images of blackface minstrelsy, which I did not want to write about. After a lot of Internet searches, I discovered videos of the acrobatic tap dances of the Nicholas Brothers. Watching them, I started to think about the ways in which being so comfortable and so free in one’s body can be viewed as threatening. Then I began to write.

Though this play started from things completely outside of myself, it also became a very personal work. In the last decade of my grandmother’s life, she saw her eldest son have his leg amputated. I never talked to her about it, but I always wondered how that affected her emotionally. In a lot of ways, this play is an exploration of that.

Some of the questions I’m interested as I develop this play are: What does it mean to choose motherhood as a black woman in 21st century America? How does the government/a militarized police force limit black boys, men, women, and girls from fully being in our bodies? Can artistic expression offer the possibility of freedom from a life of bondage?

Cast & Crew

Directed by Marti Gobel

Stage Manager | Paula Gallarino

Dramaturg | Nabra Nelson

Featuring James Carrington, Marques Causey, Samantha Montgomery, & Ericka Wade

 

Photo of Artistic Director Suzan FeteKatherine Glover

The Sweeter The Crime, 2015

Sometimes I get an idea for a play and then I write that play. Other times, I get an idea, I start writing, I make changes, I get new ideas, I add things, I cut things, and by the time I finish my first draft, it bears almost no resemblance to the seed it came from.

This play is in that second category. The inspiration was the back cover synopsis from an old crime novel that I own but have never actually read: a sickly old man kills someone he's always hated, figuring he'll be dead before the police can catch him -- but then an innocent man is arrested for the crime. I threw in the murder method I'd used in a terrible, never-finished novel I started writing when I was 14, incorporated a false confession, which are more common than I think most people realize, and I had my plot. Then the characters took over. Now I would say the play is more about this family's interpersonal relationships than it is about murder -- and certainly any criminal justice implications are firmly in the background.

Cast & Crew

Directed by Suzan Fete

Stage Manager | Nicole Weigert

Dramaturg | Jake Voss

Featuring Linnéa Koeppel, Joe Picchetti, Phillip Sletteland, Linda Stephens, & Tami Workentin

 

Photo of Artistic Director Suzan FeteKelly McBurnette-Andronicos

The Hall of Final Ruin, 2015

The Hall of Final Ruin is an allegorical representation of my own experiences as an "Anglo" American integrating into a heavily Hispanic and Native American culture. I use the historical lens of 19th century Santa Fe - and the real life of Doña Gertrudis 'La Tules' Barcelo - to interrupt contemporary immigration rhetoric and explore the ways in which this upended view of immigration, in which the white Protestant is "the Other," impacts the Barcelo family.

I designed the play to serve as a reminder of the basic history of the American Southwest, the sequence of events that lead to its inclusion into the Union, and the virtually unknown but critical contributions of Anglo, Hispanic, and Indian women. The play is meant to provoke conversations about the notion of "immigrant/undocumented/illegal," conflicting ideas of femininity and morality, the cost of conquest and colonialism, the value of alternative history, and the peculiar ways religion determines motivations.

Cast & Crew

Directed by Mallory Metoxen

Stage Manager | Nicole Weigert

Dramaturg | Jake Voss

Featuring Deborah Clifton, Alejandra Gonzalez, Joanna Kerner, Kathiamarice Lopez, Michelle Lopez-Rios, & Rána Roman

 

Photo of Artistic Director Suzan FeteJanet Burroway

Parts of Speech, 2014

Though most of Parts of Speech is fiction or fictionalized, it grew out of a powerful memory of my family – my home-designer father, elocution teacher mother, budding journalist brother – in a time when moral values seemed simpler and more rigid. There were Japanese internment camps ten miles from the ranch house where I grew up, but I didn’t learn about them until I was living in England in my thirties.

Governments then as now guard their secrets with ferocious righteousness, and then as now we live with prejudices we don’t even know we have.

Cast & Crew

Directed by Mallory Metoxen

Stage Manager | Nicole Weigert

Featuring Niffer Clarke, Jim Farrell, Reva Fox, Trevor Rees, Ryan Schabach, Sasha Sigel, Phillip Sletteland, & Emily Vitrano

 

Photo of Artistic Director Suzan FeteGwendolyn Rice

The Griots, 2014

To prepare to tell this story, I did a lot of research about the politics of Georgia in the 1930s, the general plight of the rural poor at that time, the Rural Electrification program, FDR’s involvement in Georgia, and the legacy of lynching. I have also read hundreds of actual interviews with former slaves that are now catalogued at the Library of Congress, and some of the subsequent scholarship about the veracity of those documents.

The most intriguing thing about the Writers Project transcripts, I find, is that they have been almost universally discounted by historians as unreliable. In my play The Griots, I began to explore the reasons behind that, along with the power inherent in keeping secrets and writing your own history.

Cast & Crew

Directed by Suzan Fete

Stage Manager | Nicole Weigert

Featuring Libby Amato, Marti Gobel, & Rick Pendzich

 

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Phot of the cast of THE HALL OF FINAL RUIN
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Photo of Artistic Director Suzan FeteAmanda Petefish-Schrag

THE ENDURANCE OF LIGHT, 2017

BIOGRAPHY

Amanda Petefish-Schrag is an Assistant Professor of Theatre at Iowa State University where she teaches courses in performance and theatre history.  Her professional credits include work as a playwright, director, puppeteer, (and mom to Celia and Eli). Her playwriting has been produced at festivals in Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, Kansas City, Minneapolis, Madison, and Iowa City, and has been published by Playscripts, Inc. Amanda is a member of the Dramatists Guild.

 

ABOUT WRITING THE PLAY

Ten years ago, I experienced a loss that countless women before me had already been through, (and countless more women will someday face), – a miscarried pregnancy. I realized in a new way why miscarriage proves such profoundly difficult subject matter.  It sits squarely at the intersection of numerous existentially-anxious issues - sex, death, religion, science, when life begins, and the very definition of life itself.  Yet in the years following my miscarriage, that needling question in the back of my brain, “Can we somehow talk about this?”, became the impetus for writing The Endurance of Light.

As I quickly discovered, grappling with miscarriage in the public sphere requires plunging into uncomfortable collisions headlong.  Exploring these intersections and attempting to reveal their inherent tensions; making them tangible, potent, and accessible, became the heartbeat of the play itself.

 

SYNOPSIS

Sophie, a scientist, refuses to leave her bed. Instead, she spends her time lost in piles of books, trying to discover the reason for her multiple miscarriages. Her husband and her mother desperately try to connect with her, unaware that her bedroom has become a surreal landscape where Sophie, along with Sir Ernest Shackleton and his ship, The Endurance, are perpetually trapped in the Antarctic ice. Guided by an irreverent Albert Einstein and spirited Hildegard Von Bingen, Sophie must navigate the mysterious forces that now threaten to trap her forever as past and present, faith and science, collide.

Photo of Artistic Director Suzan Fete

Photo of Artistic Director Suzan FeteKathleen Allison Johnson & Gail Sterkel

Ten Thousand Moons From Here, 2016

In the summer of 2011, Jan Levine Thal, Artistic Director of the Kathie Rasmussen Women's Theatre, approached each of us with a commission to write a 30- to 40-minute one-act play for an evening of theater. After batting around ideas, we decided instead to collaborate on one full-length play. The play's story took several wrong turns before we realized we were writing about our desire to create a better world. Our mysterious aliens were already the better society we aspired to be. Our shared sense of humor promised to make the journey entertaining as well as enlightening.

After two public readings months apart and countless drafts, we presented our script to Jan. On June 13, 2013, our play opened at the Bartell Theater in Madison for eight performances, including one talk-back.

Cast & Crew

Directed by Mallory Metoxen

Stage Manager | Paula Gallarino

Dramaturg | Abby Stein

Featuring Libby Amato, Laura Gray, Tim Higgins, Sean Anthony Jackson, Josh Krause, Mary McLellan, Trevor Rees

 

Photo of Artistic Director Suzan Fete

Photo of Artistic Director Suzan Fete

Photo of Artistic Director Suzan Fete

Photo of Artistic Director Suzan FeteJanet Burroway

Photo of Artistic Director Suzan FeteGwendolyn Rice

The Griots, 2014

To prepare to tell this story, I did a lot of research about the politics of Georgia in the 1930s, the general plight of the rural poor at that time, the Rural Electrification program, FDR’s involvement in Georgia, and the legacy of lynching. I have also read hundreds of actual interviews with former slaves that are now catalogued at the Library of Congress, and some of the subsequent scholarship about the veracity of those documents.

The most intriguing thing about the Writers Project transcripts, I find, is that they have been almost universally discounted by historians as unreliable. In my play The Griots, I began to explore the reasons behind that, along with the power inherent in keeping secrets and writing your own history.

Cast & Crew

Directed by Suzan Fete

Stage Manager | Nicole Weigert

Featuring Libby Amato, Marti Gobel, & Rick Pendzich

 

Br!NK Typewriter Logo
Phot of the cast of THE HALL OF FINAL RUIN
Br!NK Map - Midwestern States

Photo of Artistic Director Suzan Fete

Photo of Artistic Director Suzan Fete

Photo of Artistic Director Suzan Fete

Photo of Artistic Director Suzan Fete

Photo of Artistic Director Suzan Fete

Photo of Artistic Director Suzan Fete

Br!NK Typewriter Logo
Phot of the cast of THE HALL OF FINAL RUIN
Br!NK Map - Midwestern States

Photo of Artistic Director Suzan Fete

Photo of Artistic Director Suzan Fete

Photo of Artistic Director Suzan Fete

Photo of Artistic Director Suzan Fete

Photo of Artistic Director Suzan Fete

Photo of Artistic Director Suzan Fete

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Phot of the cast of THE HALL OF FINAL RUIN
Br!NK Map - Midwestern States

Photo of Artistic Director Suzan Fete

Photo of Artistic Director Suzan Fete

Photo of Artistic Director Suzan Fete

Photo of Artistic Director Suzan Fete

Photo of Artistic Director Suzan Fete

Photo of Artistic Director Suzan Fete

Photo of Artistic Director Suzan Fete

Photo of Artistic Director Suzan Fete

Br!NK Typewriter Logo
Phot of the cast of THE HALL OF FINAL RUIN
Br!NK Map - Midwestern States

Photo of Artistic Director Suzan Fete

Photo of Artistic Director Suzan Fete

Photo of Artistic Director Suzan Fete

Photo of Artistic Director Suzan Fete

Photo of Artistic Director Suzan Fete

Photo of Artistic Director Suzan Fete

Br!NK Typewriter Logo
Phot of the cast of THE HALL OF FINAL RUIN
Br!NK Map - Midwestern States

Photo of Artistic Director Suzan Fete

Photo of Artistic Director Suzan Fete

Photo of Artistic Director Suzan Fete

Photo of Artistic Director Suzan Fete

Photo of Artistic Director Suzan Fete

Photo of Artistic Director Suzan Fete