The Eugene O’Neill Theater Center has announced full casting and creative teams for the 2023 National Playwrights Conference, which will feature six readings of plays in development: bogfriends by Jose Sebastian Alberdi, Pluck by Jan Rosenberg, Love I Awethu Further by A.K. Payne, Chinese Republicans by Alex Lin, Natural History by Collin Van Son, and The Matriarchs by Liba Vaynberg.
The series of readings will begin with Jose Sebastian Alberdi's bogfriends, starring Michael Benz and Jon Norman Schneider (The Coast Starlight). Featuring direction by Joshua Kahan Brody (Where the Mountain Meets the Sea) and dramaturgy by Charles Haugland, the play follows two Americans in Ireland working in a museum as they try to preserve dead things. bogfriends will be performed June 21 and 23.
Next, Jan Rosenberg's Pluck will star Heidi Armbruster, Jess Gabor, Sky Lakota-Lynch (Dear Evan Hansen), Brigette Lundy-Paine, and Neil Tyrone Pritchard, with direction by Adrienne Campbell-Holt (founding artistic director of Colt Coeur) with dramaturgy by Carrie Chapter. The dark coming-of-age play follows 14-year-old twins Cleo and Bea—Cleo can't stop running away from womanhood, and Bea can't stop running away in general. Pluck will be performed June 22 and 24.
A.K. Payne's Love I Awethu Further will star Whitney Andrews, Ngozi Anyanwu, Rosalyn Coleman (To Kill a Mockingbird), Abigail Onwunali, Alicia Pilgrim (cullud wattah, I’m Revolting), Cristina Pitter, Madeline Seidman, and N’yomi Stewart. Featuring direction by Yale Rep Resident Director Tamilla Woodard and dramaturgy by Abigail Jean-Baptiste (King Lear, Jagged Little Pill), Payne's adaption of Julius Caesar follows seven people planning a revolt in the Antebellum South. Performances will be June 28 and 30.
Alex Lin's Chinese Republicans will star Christine Toy Johnson (The Music Man), Vanessa Kai, Ben Langhorst, Jully Lee (KPOP), and Jeena Yi (Network). Chay Yew ( The Light in the Piazza) directs the play following high-flying finance it-girl Katie Liu endeavors to make a labor union out of her Republican work aunties after losing a promotion to her nepo-baby colleague. Dramaturgy is by Zeina Salame. Chinese Republicans will be performed June 29 and July 1.
Collin Van Son’s Natural History will star Adam Langdon, Russell Jones, and Emilia Suarez, with direction by Jackson Gay and dramaturgy by Chelsea Radigan. Set over 100 years in the future, environmental activists Jane and Clyde embark on mission to steal the last bison from the American Museum of Natural History as a wildfire rages on. Natural History will be performed July 5 and 7.
Liba Vaynberg's The Matriarchs will close out the series, starring Rachel Botchan, Molly Carden, Rebecca S’Manga Frank, and Anna O’Donoghue, with additional casting to be announced shortly. Featuring direction by Hartford Stage Company Artistic Director Melia Bensussen and dramaturgy by Kristin Leahey, the play loosely based on the women of the Torah follows six teenage girls as they squabble over snacks, sex, the Sabbath, and everything in between. The Matriarchs will be performed July 6 and 8.
Casting is by Dave Caparelliotis Casting. For more information, visit TheONeill.org.