Readings of winning plays in Wisconsin Wrights competition set for next week

New works by Wisconsin playwrights who placed in the first three spots of the Wisconsin Wrights New Play Development Project will be read and staged next week on campus.

Kristin Hammargren, Sam White, and Kimberly Yarnall are the three playwrights awarded a residency which includes workshops of his/her play with a director, cast, and dramaturge and a staged reading.

The Wisconsin Wrights New Play Development Project was created to encourage development of new works by state playwrights. Project partners include UW-Madison Continuing Studies in Theatre and UW-Madison Dept. of Theatre and Drama/University Theatre. Joining them for 2013 are Milwaukee Chamber Theatre and Forward Theater Company.

“Readings of the winning new works will take place at Hemsley Theatre on UW-Madison’s campus May 28-30 at 7:30 p.m.,” says Sarah Marty, Continuing Studies theatre program director who is on the project’s advisory board. The three winning works are:

Discovering Austen  by Kristin Hammargren; directed by Jessica Lanius
Tuesday, May 28, 7:30 p.m.

The plot: Visit a theater’s dressing room about a play that centers on the author, Jane Austen. Still searching for the essence of her character only hours from opening, the actress explores Austen’s writing in an attempt to find the author in her novels and letters.

Kristin Hammargren is a playwright and actor based in the Midwest. Originally from Minnesota, she recently received her MFA in acting from UW-Madison. Kristin’s professional work includes Forward Theater Company, American Players’ Theatre, Door Shakespeare, and Guthrie Theater. She is also a founding member of Madison’s Theatre in All the Wrong Places and will appear this summer as Rosalind in Optimist Theatre’s As You Like It in Milwaukee.

Coyote Moon  by Sam White; directed by David Pausch
Wednesday, May 29, 7:30 p.m.

The plot: Life can be hard for a young man just starting out. Especially if you just lost your job, your girlfriend is having your baby and marrying another guy, and, on the next full moon, you’re pretty sure you’re going to turn into a were-coyote. Maybe the best thing to do is go out back at your mom’s countryside tavern, lock a tow chain around your neck, and hope for the best… but then again, maybe not.

Sam White is a Madison area actor/director and has been playwriting for many years. His play Oatesland was a 2011 Wisconsin Wrights finalist and has had public readings at both Forward Theater and The Bricks Theatre. Bricks Theatre is scheduled to produce the play this winter. In 2012, White’s piece, Beer is Good, was a part of Forward Theater’s Soul Food Monologue Festival. Sam is a founding member of Forward Theater Company and serves on its advisory committee.

Waiting by Kimberly Yarnall; directed by Jennifer Uphoff Gray
Thursday, May 30, 7:30 p.m.

The plot: Crystal and John are married professionals who shop at REI, and eat canned soup sometimes because it’s easier. They also can’t get pregnant. The audience follows Crystal and John’s quest for a baby, while meeting other characters such as fertility doctors, nosy colleagues, and overly-friendly dentists. It’s a story about wanting something and having to wait for it, and how to negotiate life in the interim.

Kimberly Yarnall’s plays have been performed from New York City to Anchorage. Two-time finalist for the National Ten-Minute-Play Heidman Award, she’s also been published by Smith & Krause. Kimberly worked on the Tony-nominated A Class Act. She holds a BA from University of Notre Dame, and is artistic associate with Forward Theater Company.
Tickets are $10 for each reading and are on sale through the Campus Arts Box Office (608) 265-ARTS. Call for box office hours, to place a phone order, or for location information.

For more about the project visit its website.

Which play will you go see? Why does it interest you?