AboutFACE Ireland NEWvember Dublin New Plays Festival: The Winners
AboutFACE Ireland have announced the final selections for their 2017 NEWvember Dublin New Plays Festival – a showcase of original plays to be held at Belvedere Houseon Great Denmark Street, in Dublin’s city centre, November 16-19 2017. The announcement was made by AboutFACE Co-Artistic Directors Anna Nugent and Paul Nugent.
NEWvember Dublin will feature these works over a four-day weekend, presented via rehearsed readings. After 6 years of NEWvember Festivals in New York, this is the first year the event will be held in Dublin. The spirit of NEWvember is to provide a dynamic, interactive and welcoming place where writers can hear their plays read by seasoned actors, and discuss their work and creative process. The plays are chosen by an open call with no fee for submissions and all plays are read blind of name or gender by a panel. It was also announced that many of this year’s playwrights will be in attendance, and will take part in post show Q&As, including writers traveling from Europe and the US.
The NEWvember Dublin 2017 plays are:
1) The Barber of Moville by Ronan Carr, from Derry. “It’s the day for Padge and Dommo to head off on their Italian holiday … only Padge has forgotten. He’s forgotten a lot of things recently. And why does Dommo keep talking about Dr. Death? In this sweetly moving comedy of Dublin barbers and Italian opera, we see the unseen ways love works.” Ronan is a writer, actor and director, whose work ranges from radio plays for RTE to his upcoming movie directorial debut. (Thurs. Nov. 16 @ 7pm in a double-header)
2) The Bull: Death of a Ladiez Man by Jim Connell-Moylan, from Dublin. “In this razor-sharp satire of modern Irish relationships, a couple’s anniversary is invaded by a mysterious stranger. But then no-one in this South Dublin house is quite what they seem, in this hilarious and suspenseful short fable of identity, lust and dog kennels.” Jim is an actor and theatre-maker, who recently graduated from Trinity College.(Thurs. Nov. 16 @ 7pm in a double-header)
3) The Late Rosie Callaghan by Jeanne Beckwith, from Vermont. “Rosie Callaghan has passed away, and it seems it’s making everyone a little crazy: Jimmy is stealing mail trucks, cop Red Dolan is hiding secrets, and FBI librarian Jenny needs to find a box in the Guntersons’ basement. Maybe a wake at Rosie’s old house will sort everything out, in this heartfelt comedy of lost chances and new hope set in Boston.”Jeanne is a playwright and theatre professor, whose work has been performed across the US and Off-Broadway. (Fri. Nov. 17 @ 7pm)
4) Extremophiles by Fergal O’Byrne, from Dublin. “In this claustrophobic drama of isolation, sacrifice and miracles, three members of an International Survey team struggle with being stranded at Halley Base in the Antarctic. How will they cope … especially since they may be humanity’s last survivors?” Fergal is an award-winning playwright, screenwriter and short story author, currently based in Copenhagen. (Sat. Nov 18 @ 3pm)
5) Charlotte’s Letters by Jennifer O’Grady, from New York. “Through the investigative work of a mother and daughter team, the secret story of Charlotte Brontë‘s schooling in Belgium and a forbidden romance are revealed in this enthralling and powerful multi-layered mystery.” Jennifer is an award-winning playwright and poet, whose work has been published in, among others, The Best Ten-Minute Plays 2017and Harper’s Magazine. (Sat. Nov. 18 @ 7pm)
6) Festival by Denis Dennehy, from Dublin. “In this bold comedy told in rich poetic language, Aeneas Mackles must try and win the love of cute thing Lea Gubbins, while seeing off the divilment of Aunt Marge and old flame Maggie Molyneaux, and defending his farm from the land-grabbing bank, amidst the madness of the agricultural show, the Festival.” Denis’s work ranges from plays for RTE Radio in the 1970’s to a recent text/music piece performed by Crash Ensemble. (Sun. Nov. 19 @ 3pm)
AboutFACE are very grateful to Dublin City Arts Office and to Belvedere House at O’Reilly Theatre for their support for this year’s festival.
The outstanding plays were selected based on originality, range, production potential, storytelling quality and emotional resonance. AboutFACE Ireland Co-Artistic Director Paul Nugent reflects on the wide variety of stories selected: “We are so excited about the range of outstanding new plays for our first NEWvember Festival in Dublin. It feels very fitting, coming from co-producing NEWvember for 6 years in New York and bringing it to Ireland, to this year be featuring terrific new Irish writing alongside some top-class new plays from America. Our six chosen plays represent an amazing range of voices, each ambitious, heartfelt and deeply engaging. From stinging satire to heartbreaking romance, in locations ranging from the Antarctic to a Boston wake, our 2017 NEWvember festival promises to be a storytelling feast for Dublin audiences.”
The NEWvember Festival was first presented at the Carpenter Shop Theatre in Tivoli, upstate New York in 2011, in a co-production between AboutFACE Ireland and New York-based Tangent Theatre Company. 2017 marks the 7th year NEWvember has been produced, and the first time it will take place in Ireland, as NEWvember Dublin. Previous festivals have seen many plays go on to acclaimed production; examples include NEWvember alumni John Cariani’s Love/Sick, Alex Merilo’s The Widow of Tom’s Hill and James McLindon’s Comes a Faery going on to Off-Broadway and regional American productions.
NEWvember activities also continue in New York in 2017, where AboutFACE’s colleagues Tangent Theatre Company will be presenting NEW17: Works in Progress, featuring readings of five new plays by past Tangent and NEWvember writers, November 9-12, 2017 at the Carpenter Shop Theatre, Tivoli, NY. AboutFACE look forward to future NEWvember collaborations with Tangent.
AboutFACE Ireland was founded in 2002. In its first phase, the company produced the acclaimed Irish premieres of seven plays including Tape by Stephen Belber, Boy Gets Girl & The Glory of Living by Rebecca Gilman, Collected Stories by Donald Margulies, and The Laramie Project by Moisés Kaufman & the Tectonic Theater Project. AboutFACE then took an educational hiatus with company members based in New York, Edinburgh and Dublin. The company entered its second phase of producing with a staged reading of Almost, Maine by John Cariani at the Mill Theatre in 2010, and co-producing the first 6 years of the annual NEWvember New Plays Festival (2011-2016) in Tivoli, upstate New York, in partnership with Tangent Theatre Company. AboutFACE was delighted to mark its 10th anniversary in 2012 by producing its first World Premiere show, Orson Welles’ Christmas Carol at Marlay House. In 2017, returning full-time to producing in Ireland, AboutFACE has begun its latest phase by advancing its New Works Initiative to develop new plays through its NEWvember Dublin festival, its Winter Pub Reading Series, and workshops including a work-in-progress presentation of Brutal Selfish Rattlesnake by Aaron Weissman, and by opening new creative opportunities via its Great Plays Gang and acting classes, with plans for exciting new programming and productions in 2018 and beyond.
Writing.ie has been developed and is run by Vanessa Fox O'Loughlin who founded The Inkwell Group publishing consultancy and is Ireland's leading literary scout. Vanessa is represented by literary agent Simon Trewin and writes crime as Sam Blake. LITTLE BONES will be published by Bonnier's Twenty7 imprint in May 2016. Vanessa is the Chair of Irish PEN and the Irish and Eurozone Adviser to the international organisation The Alliance of Independent Authors.