The DCPA Theater Company has announced playwrights, dates and details for the 2023 Colorado New Play Summit. The 17th annual festival takes place over the weekend of February 25-26 and features readings of new plays by Jake Brasch, Vincent Terrell Durham, Christina Pumariega and Sandy Rustin. The festival will also feature Laughs in Spanish by Alexis Scheer and Hotter Than Egypt by Yussef El Guindi.
“The Colorado New Play Summit is an exciting time for Denver and the theater community. The Summit welcomes artists to our space and allows audiences to have a front row seat in the development process,” said Chris Coleman, Artistic Director, DCPA Theater Company. “I am thrilled that we will have the opportunity to witness some of the nation’s most exciting playwrights and step into the world of these stories.”
Hailed by American Theater as a “must do for new play development,” the Colorado New Play Summit is the DCPA’s signature festival dedicated to supporting playwrights and developing new works. Participating playwrights are given rehearsal time with professional directors, actors and dramaturges to develop the new plays. Industry experts and the public are invited to meet the artists, experience scenic readings and provide feedback on the work as it is developed.
Since its inception, the Summit has presented 64 new plays, more than half of which have returned to the stage as full Theater Company productions. Summit world premieres include Samuel D. Hunter’s The Whale feature film starring Brendan Fraser premiering in 2022, Matthew Lopez’ The Legend of Georgia McBride, Lauren Gunderson’s The Book of Will, Beaufield Berry’s In the Upper Room, José Cruz González’ American Mariachi, Rattlesnake Kate by Neyla Pekarek and Karen Hartman, FADE by Tanya Saracho, The Nest by Theresa Rebeck, Just Like Us by Karen Zacarías and Dick Scanlan’s reimagined version of The Unsinkable Molly Brown.
The new plays and playwrights
the reservoir by Jake Brasch | reading
Directed by Shelley Butler
Josh is on medical leave from NYU. He’s returned to Denver to get his life together but is struggling to stay sober. Struggling with grogginess, amnesia, shame and regret, he finds unlikely allies in his four hilarious grandparents.
Desperate for companionship, Josh decides to take his grandparents with him on the road to recovery. He overwhelms her with crossword puzzles. He drags her to jazzercise class. He forces her to eat handfuls of spinach. Eventually he reaches the limits of his conquest. When he can no longer help his grandparents, they begin to help him.
Polar Bears, Black Boys & Prairie Fringed Orchids by Vincent Terrell Durham | reading
Jamil Jude is directing
Peter and Molly Castle, a wealthy white couple, are throwing a cocktail party at their newly renovated brownstone in Harlem. The first guest to arrive is Shameka Davis, the intellectual owner of the Frederick Douglas bookstore. Then Jaquan Wallace, an activist in the BLM movement, and his partner Tom, an outspoken white man, enter the fray. They discuss black art, cuisine and music. They debate terminology and language. Tensions rise, but are eased with friendly banter and soul food-themed hors d’oeuvres.
The mood changes dramatically with the arrival of the fourth guest, Rita Dupree, mother of a 12-year-old black boy who was killed by police weeks earlier. The political division between races and classes suddenly becomes a personal matter.
Polar Bears, Black Boys & Prairie Fringed Orchids uses targeted, playful dialogue to encourage open discussion. It’s intense and undeniably funny – and every punchline is laced with a brutal honesty that makes audiences question their own prejudices.
Directed by Zoë Golub-Sass
Joan Dark follows the story of a Latina woman who dreams of becoming a Catholic priest. Thanks to a brand new pilot program, Joan Ruiz is suddenly allowed to serve as a deacon in impoverished Bridgeport, Connecticut.
Eager to make a difference in her new community through good works, Joan soon undermines the establishment at St. Vincent’s, run with sobering scrutiny by Father Sheehan. But like her sacred idol, Joan is determined to serve…
On a quest steeped in mystery, sin, and everyday magic, Joan fights to save a city neglected by our times. In this polarized country, can we find faith again after losing it? Joan Ruiz is about to find out.
The Murder of the Suffragette by Sandy Rustin | reading
It’s the morning of July 5, 1857, and the tenants of Mayhew’s boarding house on New York’s Lower East Side are preparing for a busy day. They’re an odd bunch given their surroundings. Among them are a mute, an Irishman, a black gay man, two Southern beauties and the Mayhews themselves – a couple dedicated to promoting the women’s suffrage movement. As they prepare to host an important meeting, they receive an unexpected visit from a constable. One of the tenants was murdered.
Set against the backdrop of a mysterious murder, hilarious fun ensues as the tenants band together to hide their involvement in the suffrage movement and improvise an elaborate riot to throw the cop off their trail. However, the investigations bring much more to light than motives for murder and incitement to hatred. It becomes an exploration of human rights, the struggle to define “women’s place,” and political systems that have historically attempted to obliterate feminist voices.
Directed by Lisa Portes
A lighthearted, almost hilarious snapshot of Cuban and Colombian-American culture in the heart of Miami’s bohemian Wynwood district
With Art Basel about to begin, Mariana, the director of a swanky modern art gallery, has a serious problem ahead of her. Your showroom is an active crime scene. Part crime comedy, part telenovela, and 100% chistoso, the play revolves around Mariana and her improvised support system, including her intern Carolina, a young police officer named Juan, and her mother Estella, a larger-than-life film and television star who insists on running the show to rescue.
Stylish and vibrant, this world premiere piece offers a light-hearted look at the struggles many Latinas go through to gain access to cultural and artistic spaces that have historically excluded them. It examines the representation of Latinx in the media, the fears and insecurities of adulthood, art as an industry, love and family. And through it all, you won’t stop laughing – or dancing – in your seat!
Join the party, embrace life’s twists and turns, and mark your calendars for this roaring new comedy.
Hotter than Egypt
By Yussef El Guindi
Directed by Chris Coleman
Reading at the 2020 Colorado New Play Summit
Hailed as a crowd favorite at the 2020 Colorado New Play Summit, Hotter Than Egypt is the gripping tale of an American couple’s personal revolutions.
No matter where you live, the ups and downs of married life are universal. For a middle-aged American couple traveling to Egypt on a business trip, their relationship is tested when an old connection leads to new temptations. As the eager tourists strive to connect with Egyptian culture in an authentic way, they end up getting more than they bargained for as long-running marital troubles begin to trickle down. Set in the heat of Cairo and drawing on the political, cultural and religious realities of life in the region, this quick-witted dramedy pits loyalty against attraction as its characters grapple with the ever-changing struggle, beholden to their partners stay.
Yussef El Guindi, winner of the Middle East’s Distinguished Playwright Award, specializes in “cultural and geographic shifts, from estranged couples to the promises and frustrations of immigration and the ways people maneuver through strangeness and belonging” ( Seattle Times).
The 17th Annual Colorado New Play Summit
25-26 February 2023
A la carte packages, all inclusive weekend packages with 4 play readings, 2 world premieres plus meals and special events are on pre-sale for DCPA subscribers December 2nd and on public sale December 9th.
Details and packages available at: https://cloud.broadwayworld.com/rec/ticketclick.cfm?fromlink=2210428®id=62&articlelink=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.denvercenter.org%2Fevents%2Fcolorado-new-play- Summit?utm_source=BWW2022&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=article&utm_content=bottombuybutton1.