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Br!NK New

Play Festival

Showcasing the NEW work of Midwestern women playwrights

The 2019 Br!Nk New Play Festival Will be held

SEPTEMBER 7 - 8, 2019

NEW LOCATION NŌ STUDIOS - 1037 W McKinley Ave, Milwaukee, WI 53205

Public parking is available at the Brewery Parking Garage at

1213 N 9th Street or at metered street spaces.

 

TICKETS ON SALE!

All admissions purchased online will be available at 'Will Call' when you arrive at the Br!NK New Play Festival at NŌ STUDIOS

 

Tickets for the Br!NK New Play Festival are only available online or in person for day of sales. All sales are final. Tickets not available via phone or the Broadway Theater Center Box Office.

 

2019 Br!NK Resident Playwrights

Photo of Artistic Director Suzan FeteInna Tsyrlin

STITCHED WITH A SICKLE AND A HAMMER, 2019

BIOGRAPHY

Inna Tsyrlin received the Trisolini Graduate Fellowship (Ohio University) for Stitched with a Sickle and Hammer, and the play is the 2019 Br!NK New Play Festival finalist (Milwaukee, WI) and 2020 Alliance/Kendeda Playwriting Competition finalist (Atlanta, GA). Her work has been presented in New York City at The Rising Sun Performance Company, Emerging Artists Theater, HB Playwrights Theatre, and Manhattan Repertory Theater.

PLAY SYNOPSIS

Aleksandra, a university student arrested by the Soviets for reading an article from the West, is sent to a Gulag camp for seven-years. To help survive her sentence, she joins the camp’s theatre troupe but when she learns that she’ll be performing for the American Vice-President Henry Wallace, she faces a life or death decision. Will she comply with the charade and pretend she is a free woman so she can survive the Gulag? Aleksandra realizes she has unintentionally signed up for a scheme to deceive Wallace, and the world, that she and other political prisoners across the Soviet Union do not exist. She prepares for two roles: the character on stage – Nina from Chekhov’s The Seagull – and the role of an actor who’s isn’t imprisoned. The theatre troupe becomes Aleksandra’s family, she even falls for the director. While preparing for the performance she realizes that truth requires even greater sacrifice than her arrest. Stitched with a Sickle and a Hammer is centered around an actual event where Wallace visited the camp in May of 1944, but instead of seeing a hard labor camp, he saw a façade of a town.

Photo of Artistic Director Suzan FeteKaren Saari

'RAIN ON FIRE, 2019

BIOGRAPHY

Karen Saari's IN A CLEARING premiered at Magnetic Theatre Company (Asheville, NC) in 2018 following development via Last Frontier Theatre Conference and Wisconsin Wrights New Play Festival and was an O'Neill Conference semi-finalist. Her one-acts have been performed across the country. Her comedy, BAD IN BED (A Fairy Tale), premiered with Acadiana Rep (Lafayette, LA) in 2018. She is a member of Dramatists Guild and Playwrights Center.

PLAY SYNOPSIS

Marie, a failed musician, returns home to plan her pill addict mother Lorraine's funeral. She discovers "Rain," a closet poet, left a surprising final request for Marie to carry out with her cousin Caleb. Caleb is a meth user that cared for 'Rain in her final months. They must compose a song out of one of Lorraine's poems to perform at her funeral in this sometimes funny, sometimes painful look at the opiate crisis in Michigan's north woods.

2019 Br!NK Br!efs Playwrights

Photo of Artistic Director Suzan FeteEmily Elliott

TWO TRUTHS AND A LIE

Emily Elliott is a recent graduate from the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire with a BA in Theatre Arts and English. Her play, Two Truths and a Lie was initially part of a 24 hour theatre project; it was written overnight over a span of about six hours. It has come a long way since then and she hopes you enjoy it!

 

 

Photo of Artistic Director Suzan FeteJennifer Dobby

THE ARRANGEMENT

Jennifer Dobby is a local playwright, director and script consultant.  She received her BFA from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and her MFA in Writing for the Screen+Stage from Northwestern University, where she was the recipient of a Jacob K. Javits Fellowship.  Jenn is a former Dramatists Guild Fellow and currently teaches at Carroll University in the Theatre and Arts Management Program, where she is also the Chair of the Department of Visual and Performing Arts.

 

 

Photo of Artistic Director Suzan FeteDeanna Strasse

A VERY DRAMATIC SCENE

Deanna Strasse, a Milwaukee-based playwright, is overjoyed to be included in this year's Br!nk Festival!  Her most notable works include DANCING WITH HAMLET, SUMMERS IN PRAGUE, MOLLY'S (MOSTLY) ACCURATE MYTHOLOGY ANTHOLOGY, and FRIENDS 4EVER.  Ms. Strasse has had the pleasure of seeing her shows produced and workshopped through companies such as Windfall Theatre, The Box Theatre Co, Chameleon Theatre Circle, Sidecar Theatre (in Minneapolis, Minnesota), Macha Productions (in Seattle, Washington) and more.  www.DeannaStrasse.com

 

 

Photo of Artistic Director Suzan FeteNicole Amsler

HOLIDAY CARDS

Nicole Amsler is a fiction writer focused on Midwestern Dysfunction, both in short stories and stage plays. Her works examine broken relationships, the lies we tell ourselves, and found families. Nicole also has a long career in marketing, including teaching marketing to authors and playwrights. Most importantly, she has created her own mostly functional family who she brags about in her own holiday cards. Their home is made in Indianapolis.

 

 

Photo of Artistic Director Suzan FeteMolly Peterson

GLASS SLIPPER

Molly Peterson is a recent graduate of Carroll University in Waukesha Wisconsin. She has a B.A. in Theatre Arts with an Arts Management minor. GLASS SLIPPER was the first play she has written. She has worked on multiple shows mainly in stage manager and recently directed a production of THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF DISSOCIA. She would like to thank Jennifer Dobby and James Zager for always believing in her.

 

Photo of Artistic Director Suzan FeteLezlie Revelle Zucker

FOCUS

Lezlie Revelle Zucker is an award-winning playwright, author, and singer-songwriter from the Midwest. She is a Midwest Dramatists Center playwright, a producer with Potluck Productions, and a member of the Dramatists Guild. Lezlie’s plays have been produced nationwide, and she has released four albums with independent recording label Enneagram Records. You can find more information about Lezlie and her work at the New Play Exchange or her own website, www.lrzcreative.com.

 

 

 

WHAT IS

Br!NK?

 

Each year, Renaissance Theaterworks puts a call out for Midwestern women playwrights to submit their work. Two playwrights are selected to receive the Br!NK Residency Award to develop and advance their work. The Br!NK Resident Playwrights spend a week with a director, cast, and dramaturg workshopping their play. Following the workshop week, the plays are presented as staged-readings for the public at the week-long Br!NK New Play Festival (Touring September 3-6 and at NO Studios September 7-8, 2019).

 

The Br!NK New Play Festival is unlike a traditional theatrical evening. These staged-readings are about the playwright’s work. At Br!NK, audience members are encouraged to stick around after the reading 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 new theatrical works.

 

The Br!NK New Play Festival also consists of Br!NK Br!efs - a collection of fully-staged 10-minute plays presented September 7-8, 2019. Festival goers are encouraged to enjoy all Br!NK events. We need YOU to help develop these plays!

 

Phot of the cast of THE HALL OF FINAL RUIN

Br!NK Resident Playwrights

 

These select playwrights are offered a week-long 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 new, NO Studios. After each reading we offer a guided talkback with the playwright to obtain audience feedback.

 

2019 Br!NK Plays

 

STITCHED WITH A SICKLE AND A HAMMER by Inna Tsyrlin

Aleksandra, a university student arrested by the Soviets for reading an article from the West, is sent to a Gulag camp for seven-years. To help survive her sentence, she joins the camp’s theatre troupe but when she learns that she’ll be performing for the American Vice-President Henry Wallace, she faces a life or death decision. Will she comply with the charade and pretend she is a free woman so she can survive the Gulag? Aleksandra realizes she has unintentionally signed up for a scheme to deceive Wallace, and the world, that she and other political prisoners across the Soviet Union do not exist. She prepares for two roles: the character on stage – Nina from Chekhov’s The Seagull – and the role of an actor who’s isn’t imprisoned. The theatre troupe becomes Aleksandra’s family, she even falls for the director. While preparing for the performance she realizes that truth requires even greater sacrifice than her arrest. Stitched with a Sickle and a Hammer is centered around an actual event where Wallace visited the camp in May of 1944, but instead of seeing a hard labor camp, he saw a façade of a town.

 

DIRECTED BY Samantha Martinson
FEATURING Rayne Kleinofen, Maggie Marks, Indy Valentin, Graham Billings, Sean Duncan, Stephen Roselin, Rae Pare, Caroline Fossum, & Simon Earle

 

'RAIN ON FIRE by Karen Saari

Marie, a failed musician, returns home to plan her pill addict mother Lorraine's funeral. She discovers "Rain," a closet poet, left a surprising final request for Marie to carry out with her cousin Caleb. Caleb is a meth user that cared for 'Rain in her final months. They must compose a song out of one of Lorraine's poems to perform at her funeral in this sometimes funny, sometimes painful look at the opiate crisis in Michigan's northwoods.

 

DIRECTED BY Libby Amato

FEATURING Maddie Wakely, Carrie Hitchcock, Shayne Steliga, James J Gallagher, Bryant Mason, Rana Roman, & Max Pink

 

STAGED-READINGS

Toured readings are suggested $10 donation that will benefit Renaissance Theaterworks and the host location. You do not need to purchase a ticket online to attend the toured events, September 3-6, 2019.

Tuesday, September 3 - Toured Reading of 'RAIN ON FIRE by Karen Saari at Arts @ Large @ 7:00 PM (1100 South 5th St., Milwaukee, WI 53204)

Wednesday, September 4 - Toured Reading of 'RAIN ON FIRE by Karen Saari at UW-Whitewater @ 7:00 PM (800 W Main St, Whitewater, WI 53190)

Thursday, September 5 - Toured Reading of STITCHED WITH A SICKLE AND A HAMMER by Inna Tsyrlin at Woodland Pattern Book Center @ 7:00 PM (720 E Locust St, Milwaukee, WI 53212)

Friday, September 6 - Toured Reading of STITCHED WITH A SICKLE AND A HAMMER by Inna Tsyrlin at UW-Parkside @ 7:00 PM (900 Wood Rd, Kenosha, WI 53144)

Saturday, September 7- Festival Weekend Reading of 'RAIN ON FIRE by Karen Saari at NŌ Studios @ 7:00 PM (1037 West McKinley Ave, Milwaukee)

Sunday, September 8 - Festival Weekend Reading of STITCHED WITH A SICKLE AND A HAMMER by Inna Tsyrlin at NŌ Studios @ 7:00 PM (1037 West McKinley Ave, Milwaukee)

Phot of the cast of THE HALL OF FINAL RUIN

Br!NK Br!efs

 

A collection of 10-minute plays by Midwestern women playwrights, performed over the Br!NK New Play Festival Weekend at the Broadway Theatre Center.

 

Prompts are shared on our website throughout the year, so keep an eye out for submission information! The Br!efs scripts that are chosen to be a part of the

Br!NK New Play Festival are fully staged.

 

All of these Br!efs were written based on three different prompts, each involving objects the playwrights needed to include in their play:

 

Round 1: Apple, Globe, Bucket

Round 2: Lyre, Headphones, Scarf

Round 3: Bear, Wine, Fan

 

2019 Br!NK Br!efs

 

TWO TRUTHS AND A LIE by Emily Elliott

Thomas lives in a typical college apartment with Miranda and Jamie... who annoy him... A LOT. One night, Thomas comes home from a late night of studying to his two drunk roommates who rope him into a game of Two Truths and a Lie. This short play explores how a seemingly harmless party game can take a dark turn in the right company.

 

Directed by Elliotte Puckette

Featuring Brittany Curran, Rayne Kleinofen, & Simon Earle

 

THE ARRANGEMENT by Jennifer Dobby

New Year's Eve.  Recently divorced couple Eva and Mario wrestle with whether or not 'should old acquaintance be forgot.'

 

Directed by Karen Estrada

Featuring Maggie Marks, Adam Qutaishat, & Hannah Shay

 

A VERY DRAMATIC SCENE by Deanna Strasse

 Everyone's got a story, and when there's a writer around, everyone can't wait to share it.

 

Directed by Trevor Rees

Featuring Cara Johnston, Shayne Steliga, Mary Kirby, & Christiane Laskowski

 

HOLIDAY CARDS by Nicole Amsler

When the Dealer family get together to play their annual round of cards at the holidays, we witness the real story behind the saccharine sweet holiday newsletters they send out.

 

Directed by Maria Pretzl

Featuring Pam Scheferman, Victoria Hudziak, Shayne Steliga, Ben Parman, Allison Chicorel, & Gabriella Ashlin

 

GLASS SLIPPER by Molly Peterson

GLASS SLIPPER deals with how people in our lives can directly affect our healing.

 

Directed by Dana Dossett

Featuring Ashley Rodriguez, Jennifer Nelson, & Jonathon Gideon

 

FOCUS by Lezlie Revelle Zucker

Robert has been trying to convince his wife that she should look into a recent medical advance—a chip that improves your focus—to help her be more productive. Celia, however, has strong reservations. Robert secretly gets the chip himself to prove its safety and efficacy, but just as Celia is about to be swayed, they learn how dangerous a shift in focus can be.

 

Directed by Dana Strothenke

Featuring Joe Picchetti & Alyssa Falvey

 

Come see these six, fun 10-minute plays over the Br!NK New Play Festival and see if you can identify which round they submitted for!

 

From whimsical comedies to thought-provoking dramas, this sample platter is perfect for any theater enthusiast of newbie! All six 10-minute Br!NK Br!efs will be performed during the Br!NK New Play Festival Weekend at NŌ Studios on Saturday, September 7 and Sunday, September 8 at 2:00 PM.

 

PERFORMANCES

 

Saturday, September 7 - Br!NK Br!efs Performance at NŌ Studios @ 2:00 PM (1037 W McKinley Ave, Milwaukee)

Sunday, September 8 - Br!NK Br!efs Performance at NŌ Studios @ 2:00 PM (1037 W McKinley Ave, Milwaukee)

Br!NK is supported by:

Frieda & William Hunt Memorial Trust

 

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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

Phot of the cast of THE HALL OF FINAL RUIN
Phot of the cast of THE HALL OF FINAL RUIN
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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

Phot of the cast of THE HALL OF FINAL RUIN
Phot of the cast of THE HALL OF FINAL RUIN
Br!NK Typewriter Logo

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

Phot of the cast of THE HALL OF FINAL RUIN
Phot of the cast of THE HALL OF FINAL RUIN