True Home by Cass Morgan
Wednesday, October 23 @ 7:00p
Broadway veteran and writer Cass Morgan experiments with the forms of music and storytelling as she searches for her roots in True Home. “When I first started working on what would become True Home, it was a random bunch of stories, and then songs written from those stories, derived from unresolved issues in my life, and memories that wouldn't let go of me,” she commented. “I didn't know what the piece was, or what I was trying to say. I went through early childhood, through college and marriages, motherhood, into my first Broadway show (Hair), and back to lonely old me, trying to let go of the past with love, and move forward. There were two other actors with me, and a band. Some of it worked, but mostly I found it unsatisfying. I put it away and thought I was through with it. Then, two years ago my mother died, and True Home began haunting me again. I knew I wanted to bring my home town of Rochester into the story more, and that I wanted to tuck everything into one magical story of my first trip to Ireland. I cut the other actors and decided to try using two musicians who could sing and be part of the action with me. I cut some songs and wrote some new ones, and now here I am, trying it out for the first time.”
A Conversation with Nora Cole
Friday, October 25 @ 7:00p
Writer/performer Nora Cole (Fences, Voices of the Spirits in my Soul) lets us in on her process and inspirations for a new work, as yet untitled, about her ancestors, inspired by letters sent between her grandfather, a World War II Tuskegee Airman, and her grandmother. As a resident artist at Geva, funded by the Fox Foundation Actor Fellowship, she has researched her family’s stories and will be in residence during the Festival, writing a performance piece inspired by her discoveries. This event will feature excerpts of her writing and a conversation facilitated by Geva’s Literary Director, Jenni Werner.
Theatre in Progress: Excerpts of New Plays
Monday, October 28 @ 8pm
Five of the writers of new plays in Geva’s 2013-2014 Season share their newest works with you. What new ideas are being explored by Greg Kotis (All Your Questions Answered), John Cariani (Last Gas), Deborah Zoe Laufer (Informed Consent), Eric Coble (Stranded on Earth) and Mat Smart (Tinker to Evers to Chance)? The only way to find out is to attend this evening of excerpts from each of this season’s Geva writers.
Galileo’s by Bill Capossere
Tuesday, October 29 @ 7pm
One of two plays featured in last spring’s Regional Writers Showcase at Geva, Galileo’s was written by Rochester author Bill Capossere. In this comedy about parents, children, and our place in the universe, one afternoon brings about cosmic shifts for the regular denizens of Margie’s Deli, and the stressed-out stranger in their midst. “I’ve spent the past few years working on Galileo’s in the narrow confines of my brain,” said Bill Capossere. “Now, thanks to Geva, I’ve been able to hear the play outside my head for the first time, both directly via the actors’ interpretations and indirectly via the audience and director feedback. This has let me take a step back, see the play in a different light, from different angles and led to a push-pull kind of landscaping process. On the one hand, I’m cutting back the underbrush (or taking down entire trees—two characters so far have fallen to the axe), trying to open up the play so some of its features become more visible. On the other hand, even as I’m cutting, I’m also adding lines and scenes in an attempt to sharpen, clarify, and highlight aspects of character and theme that I want to bring forward, aspects that might have been clear or complete in my own head, but once outside on their own in front of an audience appeared muddy or not fully matured.”
Love/Sick by John Cariani
Wednesday, October 30 @ 7pm
John Cariani (Almost, Maine and Last Gas) returns to the short form storytelling that inspired Almost, Maine in Love/Sick, a play about love and marriage, set in an alternate suburban reality. “The play has had one major production and three developmental productions,” said John Cariani. These developmental productions have been so valuable, because they are allowing me to do the work I need to do. My goal right now is to make the play not feel like an anthology, but like a complete evening. It chronicles the life-cycle of a relationship--from meeting through falling in love through marriage and into the difficulties long-married couples experience...through to divorce...and into starting over. So there's an arc. And there's a recurring theme, which hopefully overarches. There are so many little discoveries I hope to make during FONT--elements that will continue to weave the pieces together. So it feels whole.”
Rochester “Bake-Off”: New Play Excerpts
Wednesday, October 3 @ 9pm
This is a creative experiment, the outcome of which cannot be predicted! Inspired by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Paula Vogel, Geva will present a challenge to five writers: John Cariani (Last Gas), Nora Cole (Fences, Voices of the Spirits in my Soul), Deborah Zoe Laufer (Informed Consent), Eric Coble (Stranded on Earth) and Mat Smart (Tinker to Evers to Chance). When they arrive in Rochester on October 26, they’ll be given four days to write something, anything, inspired by Rochester, and including three common elements (like a camera, a reference to a ghost or a change in fortune). The pieces, which could be scenes, songs, monologues, etc., will be read at 9pm on October 30th. Audience members may be asked to participate in scenes, or the writers may read the scenes themselves. Will it be exciting and entertaining to see what these writers cook up in four days? All signs point to yes.
Young Writers Showcase: New Plays in Performance
Saturday, November 2 @ 2:30pm
Sunday, November 3 @ 2:30pm
In the spring, Geva presented staged readings of several short plays written by Rochester area writers, ages 13-18. Those plays were then given to local theatre companies, who have rehearsed over the summer for presentation in the festival. By offering this opportunity to the young writer, we expand their understanding of the process of moving a play from page to stage. By participating in a full production, by aligning with local artists, and by having the chance to rewrite their work after hearing a reading for an audience, the writer is able to learn more about the attributes of his/her script and about the collaborative creative process. The five plays which will be presented in this fall showcase are: Girls with Bite by Abby Johnson, Mankind’s Benefactor by Karlie O’Gara, Tree Climbers by Angela Rollins, Intertextuality by Hannah MacLagger, and The Housepainter by Jessica Zeidman.