Previous AracaWorks

AracaWorks July 2013

When: Monday, July 29th to Thursday, August 1st at 6PM

Where: Theater 511, 511 West 54th Street, New York, NY

AracaWorks line-up:

Monday (7/29) Lungs – written by Duncan Macmillan/ directed by Gaye Taylor Upchurch/ Cast: Gabe Ebert and Jenni Barber

About Lungs:In a time of global anxiety, terrorism, erratic weather and political unrest, a young couple want a child but are running out of time. If they over think it, they’ll never do it. But if they rush, it could be a disaster. They want to have a child for the right reasons. Except, what exactly are the right reasons? And what will be the first to destruct – the planet or the relationship?

Tuesday (7/30) Burn Girl Prom Queen - written by Randall Colburn/ directed by Kip Fagan/ Cast: Philip Ettinger, Reyna de Courcy, Cameron Scoggins, Griffin Birney, Sarah Sokolovic, Reggie Gowland

About Burn Girl Prom Queen: Prom is right around the corner in Houghton Lake, a dying resort town in Central Michigan. Jo is about to be crowned Queen. She's also expecting a baby. She's also way too young for this shit. A nostalgic exploration of youth and small-town royalty, wherein idols are shattered and archetypes stripped bare.

Thursday (8/1) Profiles -written by Joe Waechter *Winner of the AracaWorks Graduate Playwriting Award/ directed by Margot Bordelon/ Cast: Mark Blum, Stephen Plunkett, Lucas Kavner

About Profiles:It's just another night of popcorn and Jeopardy, when Mr. and Mrs. Hopkins receive a phone call that changes their lives forever. Through turns both harrowing and humorous, Profiles explores how an unthinkable act of violence echoes through the lives of the perpetrator's family, as they struggle to find relief and forgiveness in a rapidly disintegrating world.

Playwrights' Bios:
Duncan Macmillan is an award-winning playwright and director. His play Lungs was produced in a rolling world premiere at the Studio Theatre, Washington DC (nominated as Outstanding New Play at the Helen Hayes Awards) and Paines Plough/Sheffield Theatres in the UK (winner of Best New Play at the ‘Off West End Awards’ and nominated for Best New Play at the Theatre UK Awards). The play has had many productions in the US and Internationally, with productions scheduled in Stockholm, Buenos Aires, Toronto, Copenhagen, Palma, Sydney and at the Schaubuhne in Berlin.

Other work includes:
Nineteen Eighty Four adapt. George Orwell (Headlong/Almeida/Nottingham Playhouse), Every Brilliant Thing (Paines Plough/Pentabus), Reise Durch Die Nacht adapt. Friederike Mayröcker (created with Katie Mitchell and Lyndsey Turner, Schauspielhaus Köln, selected for Theatertreffen 50 and the Avignon Festival); Don Juan Comes Back from the War adapt. Ödön von Horváth (Finborough Theatre/National Theatre Studio); Monster (Royal Exchange/Manchester International Festival – winner of two Bruntwood Prizes for Playwriting); The Most Humane Way to Kill a Lobster (Theatre 503); Sleeve Notes (Various), Eugene Onegin, The Forbidden, I Wish to Apologise for My Part in the Apocalypse, So Say All of Us and Family Tree (all BBC Radio). Formerly Writer-in Residence at Paines Plough and Manchester Royal Exchange, Duncan is currently on attachment at Soho Theatre and is under commission to the Royal National Theatre and the Vienna Burgtheater. He is also writing new plays for BBC Radio 3 and 4 and a film for BBC.

Randall Colburn's plays include HESPERIA, VERSE CHORUS VERSE, PRETTY PENNY, and THE IMPROV PLAY. Randall Colburn has seen his plays produced at such theaters as Writers’ Theatre, InFusion Theatre Company, The Mammals Theatre Company, Barefoot Theater Company , and The Right Brain Project, who dedicated their 2010 season to his work. He is the recipient of an Individual Artist Grant from the Illinois Arts Council and a former finalist for the 2013 Laurents-Hatcher Foundation Award, the 2013 JAW Festival, the 2011 O’Neill National Playwrights Conference, the Alliance’s 2009 Kendeda Graduate Playwright Competition, and the 2009 New York Summer Play Fest. Colburn has been commissioned by InFusion Theatre Company and Writers’ Theatre and has developed plays with companies including Playwright's Horizons, the Public Theatre, the Alliance Theatre, Stage Left Theatre Company and Chicago Dramatists, where he is also a resident playwright. A scholar of bad movies, Randall is also featured in the hit documentary BEST WORST MOVIE.

Joe Waechter’s plays include PROFILES, Lake Untersee, Good Ol’ Boys, The Hidden People, and The Strangler. His work has been developed or produced by Playwrights Horizons, Ars Nova, American Repertory Theatre, McCarter Theatre, Trinity Repertory Theatre, The Kennedy Center, PlayPenn, The Amoralists, The Hangar Theatre, Portland Stage, The Source, Inkwell, and The 25¢ Opera of San Francisco.

Awards include the McKnight Advancement Grant and two Jerome Fellowships at the Playwrights’ Center, a Lucille Lortel Playwriting Fellowship, and a Jerome Emerging Artist Residency at Tofte Lake Center. In 2009, Joe received a travel grant to develop The Hidden People, a three-part epic mash-up of Icelandic folklore, Norse mythology, and The Bible.

Upcoming projects include a site-specific commission from Woodshed Collective and SPACE at Ryder Farm, and next summer, Joe will be an artist-in-residence with The Arctic Circle, developing work aboard an ice-class sailing vessel while travelling through the Arctic Ocean. MFA Playwriting, Brown University.

AracaWorks December 2012

Monday: Days of Rage – written by Steven Levenson/directed by Adrienne Campbell-Holt.
Cast:Louisa Krause, Finn Wittrock, Cameron Scoggins, Phoebe Strole, and Jordyn DiNatle

About Days of Rage:December, 1969. As the summer of love darkens into a long and bitter winter, a dedicated group of young activists makes its plans for the Revolution from a remote and dilapidated farmhouse in upstate New York, but Jenny, a college dropout and a daughter of privilege, has begun to have second thoughts about her role in the movement. When Peggy, a young girl with a mysterious past, appears in their midst, trouble soon follows, and the outside world begins to encroach perilously upon the insular collective. As the war outside rages, the war within intensifies, and Jenny must choose between following the dictates of her heart and following a Revolution that may never come.

Thursday: Stockton - written by Mike Lew *Winner of the AracaWorks Graduate Playwriting Award
Cast: Halley Gross, Maite Alina, Allie Galleranie, and Desmin Borges

About Stockton: Meet Fitz, EB, and Marie: three of the most fun, least motivated girls you'll ever see. They live in Stockton, California: birthplace of the art world darling Kara Walker and the graffitist Neck Face, home to an ok-but-not-great farmers’ market, and also the largest city in America ever to declare bankruptcy. Watch Fitz being haunted by Kara Walker’s maniacal talking silhouette! Watch EB reform the Stockton school system! Watch Marie follow Neck Face down a trail of graffiti that ends in wet paint…

Playwrights' Bios:
Steven Levenson's Bio:Steven Levenson's plays include The Language of Trees (Roundabout Underground), Seven Minutes in Heaven (HERE Arts Center; Emerging America Festival/Huntington Theater Company), Retreat (Edinburgh Fringe Festival), Almost Stuck, and Girls Day. His play The Unavoidable Disappearance of Tom Durnin will have its world premiere at Roundabout’s Laura Pels Theatre in 2013. His work has been seen and developed by Roundabout, Lincoln Center Theater, Manhattan Theatre Club, Atlantic Theater Company, MCC Theater, Ars Nova, Hartford Stage, Ensemble Studio Theatre, Berkshire Theatre Festival, and Oregon Shakespeare Festival. His plays are published by Dramatists Play Service and Playscripts. A graduate of Brown University and the 2010 Artist in Residence at Ars Nova, Steven has received new play commissions from Roundabout, Lincoln Center, MCC, and Ars Nova. He is a member of the MCC Playwrights' Coalition, an alumnus of Ars Nova’s Play Group, and a founding member of Colt Coeur. Steven is currently writing for the new CBS series Vegas. Other current projects include the book for an original musical with Benj Pasek and Justin Paul.

Mike Lew's Bio: Mike Lew’s plays include Bike America (Alliance, Atlanta; Juilliard and Lark workshops, NYC; Kennedy Center workshop, DC), microcrisis (Ma-Yi, NYC; InterAct, Philly; Next Act, Milwaukee); Stockton (Ensemble Studio Theatre workshop, NYC); and People’s Park (Victory Gardens Ignition Festival). His shorts include Tenure (24 Hour Plays on Broadway), In Paris You will Find Many Baguettes but Only One True Love and Roanoke (both at Humana). He is a resident writer for Blue Man Group and winner of the Kendeda Graduate Playwriting Competition, the Heideman Award, and the Battle of the Bards. Along with his wife Rehana Lew Mirza, he is co-director of the Ma-Yi Writers’ Lab, the largest collective of Asian-American playwrights in the country. Training: Juilliard (2013), Yale (2003). Check out his website at

AracaWorks May 2012 - A Reading Series of New Plays

Monday: Sister Sister – written by Barbara Blumenthal-Ehrlich/directed by Mark Brokaw. Cast: Marin Ireland and Ari Graynor.
Cast: Marin Ireland and Heidi Schreck

About Sister Sister: For Dirdra and Janice, mom's dead and it's a great day. There's going to be a celebration, and hopefully nothing will go flying out the window – including one of them. A viciously comic and tense 20-year reunion between two sisters on the day of their mother’s unforgettable death.

Tuesday: Mommune - written by Dorothy Fortenberry /directed by Rebecca Taichman
Cast: Jeanine Serrales, Lynn Cohen, Marnie Schulenberg, Jennifer Lim, and Polly Noonan

About Mommune: In a not-too-distant future, where Maternal Investigators can arrest you for improper mothering, the incarcerated women of the Mommune prepare for Assessment Day -- their chance to be sent home to their children. When they aren't leading interactive workshops on infant safety and attachment theory, the mothers are battling with each other for the freedom to leave – or the chance to stay. Mommune is a frantic, funny, absurd, and violent look at what it means -- really means -- to be a bad mom.

Wednesday: Vertebrae – written by Lila Feinberg* Winner of the AracaWorks Graduate Playwriting Award
Cast: Jordan Barber, Britt Lower, Katya Campbell, Evan Enderle, and Kate Roberts

About Vertebrae: The weekend: a medical school reunion. The place: Vermont. The forecast: Hurricane Irene. Hoping to evade the storm, a group of friends finds themselves in the eye of their very own. When the premature death of one of their classmates is called into question, each is forced to examine the choices they've made, in the operating room and in the bedroom. Vertebrae takes a darkly comic look at commitment--in the face of black-outs and white-coats--when one mistake can have a turbulent aftermath.

Thursday: That Good Night– written by Andrew Dolan /directed by Daniel Aukin
Cast: Steven Pasquale, Aya Cash, Sheri Graubert, Mary Beth Hurt, Tom Bloom, Brian Dykstra, Brian Avers, and Jenny Mudge.

About That Good Night: In this dark comedy about death, James O'Dwyer's disparate children return home to euthanize their not so beloved father. What could possibly go wrong?

Friday: Ask Aunt Susan – written and directed by Seth Bockley
Cast: Sarah Saltzberg, Nina Hellman, Meg Chambers Steedle, Andrew Polk, and Erin Gann.

About Ask Aunt Susan: Ask Aunt Susan was commissioned by Goodman Theatre and will receive its world premiere in the Goodman’s 2013/2014 season. In this irreverent new comedy, a 20-something man moonlights as Aunt Susan, an online guru offering advice to women on everything from boyfriends to back problems. Ask Aunt Susan becomes the web's hottest spot for self-help, even as Aunt Susan's boss, a reckless funder, hopes to profit from the women's woes. As the website grows, so does Aunt Susan's web of deceit—and soon the Ask Aunt Susan phenomenon is much bigger than one man could have imagined.

Playwrights' Bios:
Barbara Blumenthal-Ehrlich's Bio: Her work has been produced or developed in New York at Playwrights Horizons, Second Stage, Rattlestick, Women’s Project, Ensemble Studio Theatre, New Georges, The New York International Fringe Festival, The Fringe NYC Encore Series, The Sumer Play Festival, and Six Figures; regionally at Actors Theatre of Louisville, Trinity Rep, the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art, Hangar Theatre, Victory Gardens, Boston Playwrights Theatre, LA’s Elephant Theatre, and Chicago’s Collaboraction Theatre. Her work has been published by Smith and Kraus, and she has won a Hangar Theatre Playwriting Residency, New England’s Clauder Award for Playwriting Excellence, Capital Stage’s Playwrights Revolution, Bloomington Playwrights Project, and the University of Cincinnati’s Festival of New Works. Additionally, she was a runner up in contests that include the O’Neill Theatre Conference, Sundance Playwriting Lab, Princess Grace Award, the Heideman Award, the Labyrinth Theatre Summer Intensive, and Bay Area Playwrights Festival.

Dorothy Fortenberry's Bio: Dorothy Fortenberry is a Los Angeles-based playwright, originally from Washington, DC. Her plays include GOOD EGG, CAITLIN AND THE SWAN, SPECIES NATIVE TO CALIFORNIA, and the play with music STATUS UPDATE, which will receive its world premiere at Center Rep in Walnut Creek, CA this fall. Her work has been developed at Arena Stage, Ars Nova, Geva Theatre, and Oregon Shakespeare Festival, among others, and produced by Chalk Rep, Red Fern Theatre, and The Management. She is a winner of the Helen Merrill Award for Emerging Playwrights and the ASCAP Cole Porter Prize in Playwriting from the Yale School of Drama. She has received an EST/Sloan commission, a fellowship to the MacDowell Colony, a residency at the Djerassi Program, and a Walter E. Dakin Fellowship at the Sewanee Writers’ Conference. Dorothy is an alumna of Youngblood and a member of the Playwrights Union. MFA, Yale School of Drama.

Lila Feinberg's Bio: Lila Feinberg received her MFA in Dramatic Writing at Columbia University in May. Vertebrae, her thesis play, had a workshop production at New York Theatre Workshop, mentored by Craig Lucas and directed by Kristjan Thor. Last summer, her commissioned play Night Float premiered at Playwrights Horizon’s Peter J. Sharp Theatre, a process that was featured in the Wall Street Journal and the documentary Medicine As a Relational Act. Other workshops include: Monkey Bowl (Manhattan Theatre Club studio, produced by Columbia Arts Initiative); Heirloom (“Audience Award” at the Emerging Female Playwrights Voices Fest); Burnt Orange (Miller Theatre); The Stone Fidelity (mentored by Joe Kraemer and Julia Jordan); Me and Julio (Anne Bogart’s Collaboration); and an upcoming piece in The Flea’s #Serials. An excerpt from her play Perched (Cherry Lane studio) was published in the anthology What We Brought Back, and she was the contributing writer of a popular YA novel published by Random House. Last year, she was the recipient of the Gatsby Charitable Fund Grant and the Interdisciplinary Arts Council Grant. Currently, she is developing a film adaptation of a short story, a TV pilot, and a new play with Pulitzer Prize winning poet Mark Strand. Lila is a summa cum laude graduate of Barnard College.

Andrew Dolan's Bio: Andrew Dolan’s first play, That Good Night, was read at NY Stage & Film with a cast that included Reg Rogers, Marin Ireland and Bruce Norris. It was also a finalist for the O'Neill Playwrights Conference. He is the recipient of the 2011 David Calicchio emerging Playwright Award at Marin Theatre Company. The Many Mistresses of Martin Luther King, developed at Playwrights Horizons, Clubbed Thumb and Berkshire Playwrights Lab, premiered at Ensemble Studio Theatre/LA in 2012. His 10 minute baseball play '04: A Muse of Fire premiered at Mile Square Theatre's 7th Inning Stretch. His screenplay Gale was selected for IFP's emerging Narrative Program. His is the co-writer of the award winning short film Weekend Getaway. Other plays have been developed with Playwrights Horizons, Clubbed Thumb and EST/West. His acting credits include American Daughter (Broadway), Strictly Dishonorable (Vineyard), Pink, Ted Kaczynski (SPF), What Then (Clubbed Thumb), Measure for Measure (Target Margin) UK: Edmond (National Theatre). The Woods (National Studio), Boy from the Book (English Touring Theatre). Regional: Mamba's Daughters (Spoleto Festival), Burn This, Marco Millions, Cyrano, 12th Night, Hapgood (ACT), Substance of Fire. Savage/Love (Magic Theatre), Loot, Amadeus (Arizona Theatre Co.). TV/Film: House of Cards, Handsome Harry (Tribeca ’09) Unstoppable, Partners in Crime, 28 Days, Ash Tuesday. Deal Breakers (Sundance ’07), Being Human, David Letterman. All Law & Orders, Conviction, Return of Jezebel James, Guiding Light. Training: Bowdoin College (AB English), American Conservatory Theatre (MFA Acting).

Seth Bockley's Bio: Plays include February House (book) (Public Theater); The Twins Would Like To Say (Dog & Pony); Laika’s Coffin, Winter Pageant 2010, Boneyard Prayer (Redmoon). Adaptations: Jon and CommComm from short stories by George Saunders. Directing credits: Failure: A Love Story by Philip Dawkins (Victory Gardens, upcoming); The Ugly One by Marius von Mayenburg (Sideshow Theater); Civilization (all you can eat) by Jason Grote (Clubbed Thumb); 1001 by Jason Grote; Jon, winner of the 2008 Jeff Citation for Best New Adaptation (Collaboraction). He is a recipient of Theater Communication Group’s “New Generations” and “On The Road” grants, and teaches at the University of Chicago.

AracaWorks Winter 2011

Edgar and Annabel
Written by Sam Holcroft/directed by Raz Shaw
Cast: Matt Dellapina, Celia-Keenan Bolger, Ryan King, Sean Martin Hingston, Betty Gilpin, Kathleen McFarlane, Brad Koed

Written by Jacquelyn Reingold/directed by John Rando
Cast: Tony Shalhoub, Mia Barrow, Richard Kind, Colman Domingo, Leslie Kritzer, Linda Lavin

Warrior Class
Written by Kenneth Lin /directed by John Doyle
Cast: Joel de la Fuente, Reed Birney, and Susan Pourfar

Written by Eli Clark/directed by Adrienne Campbell-Holt
Cast: Timothée Chalamet, Colleen Werthmann, Jonathan Fielding, Sami Gayle, Jenny Mudge, Joe Tippett

The Vaults
Written by Caroline V. McGraw/directed by Sarah Benson
Cast: Brett Dalton, Halley Feiffer, Maite Alina, Michael Zegen, Michele Ragusa, Brian O’Neill, Kelsey Nash, Alexandra Henrickson, Andi Alhadeff
• Winner of the AracaWorks December 2011 Graduate Playwriting Award

For questions, please email

AracaWorks May 2011

Ars Nova

C.O.A.L. (Confessions of a Liar)
Written by David Brian Colbert, Directed by Jeremy Dobrish
Cast: Molly Ephraim, Curtis Hollbrook, Ian Kahn, Christiane Noll

The Spectacular Spinsters of Shoreditch
Written by Lucy Kirkwood, Directed by Evan Cabnet
Cast: Lizbeth McKay, Condola Rashad, Cameron Scoggins, Carole Shelley

The Extraordinary New Bible
Written by Emily Chadick Weiss, Directed by Dylan McCullough
Cast: Tracee Chimo, Diane Davis, Stephen Ellis, Richmond Hoxie, Jason Liebman, Mary Jo Mecca, Janet Zarish

The Minotaur
Written by Anna Ziegler/directed by Sarna Lapine,
Cast: Emily Bergle, Chad Jennings, Leslie Kritzer, Lucas Near-Verbrugghe, John Rothman, Aaron Serotsky, Jeremy Webb

AracaWorks Winter 2010

The Black Box Theatre in the Harold and Miriam Steinberg Center for Theatre

Written/Directed by Greg Kotis
Cast: Betty Gilpin, Matthew Maher, Michael McGrath, Michael Park, Lusia Strus

Suicide, Incorporated
Written by Andrew Hinderaker, Directed by Doug Hughes
Cast: Bobby Cannavale, Josh Charles, TR Knight, Tobias Segal, I.N. Sierros, Aaron Tveit

How the World Began
Written by Catherine Trieschmann, Directed by Sheryl Kaller
Cast: Aaron Simon Gross, Kevin Kilner, Kerry O’Malley

My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys
Written by Robert Zander Norman, Directed by Lucie Tiberghien
Cast: Chris Coffey, Kally Duling, Jake O’Connor, Jennifer Laura Thompson

Written by Ayad Akhtar, Directed by Will Frears
Cast: Bill Camp, Eisa Davis, Aasif Mandvi, Annie Parisse    

2013 Pulitzer Prize for Drama winner Disgraced makes its Broadway debut this fall at the Lyceum Theater. Disgraced made its New York premiere at the inaugural AracaWorks.

The cast of Suicide, Incorporated at AracaWorks