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Performing Art
Arts and Entertainment Friday, Oct. 30, 2015 3 years ago

Urbanite Theatre announces new play reading series

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In conjunction with its current winter theatrical season, the Urbanite Theatre will do readings of three new plays for potential future productions.
by: Nick Reichert Arts & Entertainment Editor

Second time is the charm for the Urbanite Theatre. The theater just began its second season and is midway through its sold-out and extended run of "Freak" by Anna Jordan. This is the Urbanite Theatre's fourth production in a row that has sold out its entire run. Seeing Sarasota's evident appetite for challenging new works by relatively unknown playwrights, the Urbanite Theatre is launching a new program to not only present new plays that deserve a second look, but also let the audience be a part of the young theater's programming process.

The Urbanite's play reading series will present some of the works and shows that the artistic staff have discovered and have intrigued them, but aren't sure how Sarasota audiences will react to them.

Taking place on Tuesday nights throughout the season, the reading series will be a casual affair with audiences enjoying wine and refreshments while local actors perform dramatic readings of new plays. Immediately following each reading, the cast and Urbanite Theatre staff will hold a talkback to get audience feedback on difficult sections of each work. 

"We want this to further our development of new plays and also engagement with our audience," says Brendan Ragan, co-founding artistic director of the Urbanite Theatre, "The best thing about Urbanite is that we’re always going to be searching for new voices in theater and this is a sneak preview of what we’ve found."

Ragan says that he hopes to continue the play reading series into 2016 during the regular season. Tickets for the readings are $15 for adults and $5 for students and available at urbanitetheatre.com. 

The plays being presented in the first round of readings include:

"A Bright New Boise" by Samuel D. Hunter (8pm on Nov. 10)

"In the bleak, corporate break room of a craft store in Idaho, someone is summoning The Rapture. Will, who has fled his rural hometown after a scandal at his Evangelical church, comes to the Hobby Lobby, not only for employment, but also to rekindle a relationship with Alex, his brooding teenage son, whom he gave up for adoption several years ago."

"Unseen" by Mona Mansour (8pm on Dec. 8)

"Conflict photographer Mia wakes up in the Istanbul apartment of her on-again, off-again girlfriend after being found unconscious at the scene of a massacre she was photographing."

"Abraham Lincoln was a F****t" by Bixby Elliot (8 p.m. on Dec. 15) 

"17 year old Cal, eager to understand his own sexuality in the context of his community, world and history, embarks on a journey to prove that Abraham Lincoln was gay. The play, juxtaposing the story of Cal, his family and friends of today and the life of one our most beloved presidents, is structured around an oral report that Cal is to present at Ford's Theatre where Lincoln met his untimely end in Washington D.C."

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