I’ve enjoyed the last eight summers at the Brown/Trinity Playwrights Rep, watching new plays being developed by ensembles of emerging actors performing works by emerging playwrights. A number of plays have gone on to be produced across the country, winning praise from critics and audiences.
When “American Theatre Magazine” named the top 10 most produced plays in American theatres in 2009-2010, the 31 and 32 plays were first seen at Brown: Peter Sinn Nachtrieb’s “boom,” which was later a hit at Gamm Theatre and Stephen Karam’s “Speech& Debate.”
This summer, the Playwright’s Rep is presenting three new works: Emily Young’s “Melena,” Charles Castro Smith’s “The Hunchback of Seville” and Marcus Gardley’s “The Gospel of Lovingkindness.” As these plays are still being developed and polished, we are not reviewing, which is a particular joy for me, being able to sit in a dark theatre without pen and pad and just enjoy the production.
For the first time in nine years, Lowry Marshall has turned over the artistic direction to Ken Prestininzi, who comes to Brown with a long list of theatre credentials, including Associate Chair of Playwriting at Yale. Actors are recruited from the Brown/Trinity MFA program (both graduates and undergraduates), alumni and other major theatres around the country. The opportunity to see plays in their infancy that stand an excellent chance of becoming major hits is a rare one for Rhode Islanders.
The plays are offered in repertory for a week, Wednesday through Saturday. The week of July 31, all three will play in repertory. On Aug. 3, you can watch all three plays in one day. Tickets are $12; $10 for students and seniors. Call 863-2838 for reservations, or go online at www.playwrightsrep.com.