1st Stage Festival works announced by Florida Stage

Want to see plays before anyone else? Florida Stage has announced its fifth annual 1st Stage New Works Festival for Feb. 3-6 of staged readings of works-in-progress.

In the past, the playwrights have taken the lessons learned from the readings and made changes that resulted in the upcoming seasons at Florida Stage and other regional theaters across the nation.

This year, the festival will feature:

Beverley by Israel Horovitz ‘(last season’s Sins of the Mother and The Indian Wants The Bronx): A love triangle among three septuagenarians ‘– Beverley, who came to America from England as a war-bride; Zelly, her fisherman-husband, and Archie, the Brit she jilted 53 years earlier. A romantic comedy set in Gloucester, Massachusetts.

Leveling Up by Deborah Zoe Laufer (End Days, The Gulf of Westchester, The Last Schwartz): How do you straddle the fuzzy line between reality and virtual reality when you’re playing video games 20 hours a day?’ Ian, Zan, and Chuck are two years out of college when the government comes looking for expert gamers to launch remote missiles.

Poet by Kew Henry (the pen name of visual artist Kathleen Holmes): two muses, assigned to Edgar Allan Poe at his birth, compete for his talent and imagination.’ Throughout his life, these artistic demons, one the poet muse, the other the prose, haunt him to write through the power of their conflicting inspirations.

The Americans Across the Street by Carter W. Lewis (last season’s The Storytelling Ability of a Boy and this season’s The Cha-Cha of a Camel Spider). Derek has a Pulitzer Prize, but he’s tired of the world and all that inhabit it. His only source of pleasure is lurking alone on his porch, sipping scotch and accosting his neighbors with articulate rants. Then his distant sister arrives with her perplexing daughter in tow. A year later, there’s cupcakes, a cannon or two, a dead fat lady, and an all encompassing moon.

Brilliant Corners by Andrew Rosendorf (Cane, which was developed at last year’s festival): Marshall is divorced, poor, and alone, except for his jazz music. He’s paying alimony to an unsympathetic ex-wife, Carol. His son, Eli, returns home asking for tuition for college and his unstable daughter, Sarah, is demanding money she believes she is owed.

Captiva by Christopher Demos Brown (last season’s When the Sun Shone Brighter): When a woman invites her family to their traditional island getaway to meet her fianc’, she hopes to renew old ties and find the imagined comfort of her youth.’ Instead, when everyone is trapped by a late season hurricane, their pent-up secrets and frustrations get loose in this dark comedy.

Tiempo de Amor by John Herrera (an actor in last season’s When The Sun Shone Brighter): Set in Havana and Tampa in the 1920s.’ A young woman is torn between her mad passion for an older man newly arrived from Spain and loyalty to her controlling mother.

1st Stage Festival passes are available as well as individual tickets for individual events by calling 561-585-3433 or going online at floridastage.org.

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