An integral part of Silverthorne Theater Company’s mission is to promote the development of new work, especially by Western Massachusetts and New England playwrights. In 2018, we staged the world premieres of three new works, two of which were from such writers.
2020 Theater Thursday New Play (online) Reading Series
Following up on its highly successful Theater Thursday play reading series in 2019, Silverthorne Theater Company will take advantage of the use of online streaming to bring three new plays to the Valley and beyond this summer through the 2020 Theater Thursday Play Reading Series. All three plays in this year’s series will be streamed free to Silverthorne’s Facebook page and will feature live discussions with the playwrights following the readings. The series is funded in part by the Massachusetts Cultural Council through the generous support of the Greenfield, Hadley and Buckland Cultural Councils.
Each of the readings will be streamed on on Silverthorne’s Facebook page and YouTube channel on Thursday, June 18 beginning at 7 pm EDT. There is no charge to view the reading. Viewers can visit YouTube – Silverthorne Theater Company or https://www.facebook.com/silverthornetheater/ to access the performances on the date and at the time of the performance. These will be available one time only.
Thursday, June 18 PRIDE@PREJUDICE, by Daniel Elihu Kramer. Directed by Chris Rohmann
Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy fall in love all over again — this time filtered through the world of the internet. Modern students in a FaceTime group discuss and build on this classic love story while acting it out, interjecting questions and opinions, quotes from movie versions, and even letters from Ms. Austen herself, to create a delightfully postmodern view of 19th century England. With five actors playing 22 roles, Pride@Prejudice is a unique and hilarious homage to Austen’s most beloved novel, and to our love affair with reading. Available online only on STC’s Facebook page or YouTube channel.
Following the reading, playwright Kramer will join the cast and director to talk about the play. Kramer says, “I’m excited to see Pride@Prejudice in this online setting. The internet combined with Jane Austen’s brilliance inspired this script in the first place, so it feels like Chris Rohmann and Silverthorne are bringing the play full circle.”
Thursday, July 16. SOLDIER POET, by Darcy Bruce. Directed by Danial Elihu Kramer
A co-production with the Chester Theatre Company
Direct link to the YouTube site will be posted here on Wednesday, July 15. For Facebook, go to www.facebook.com/silverthornetheater/. The reading will go live there at 7 pm.
After the reading, join us on Zoom for a POST-SHOW discussion with the playwright, director and cast members starting at 8 pm. Go to Zoom.com and enter the meeting number 868 5785 3018 – no password required.
Northampton playwright Darcy Bruce’s Soldier Poet is a prize-winning piece that was premiered by Theatre Prometheus in 2017 at the Anacostia Arts Center in Washington D.C. The play centers on a gripping and timely story. In Aleppo two American Army Rangers rescue an injured Syrian woman about to give birth. At a nearby hospital, a neonatal nurse with an unwavering sense of duty struggles to save the lives of infants as her hospital is bombed.
“Soldier Poet gets its title from the poem by Hervey Allen, and it’s the first play in a cycle I’m writing, currently titled the Piedmont Cycle. It’s important to me to shine a light on the relationship folks from small towns have with our nation. Through Soldier Poet I was able to ask: Who owns the idea of American Glory? What does it mean to serve your country? When does a direct order ask too much? Through Ben I’m able to invite an audience to view the world, in all its glory and all its conflict, through the eyes of a young kid from a small town who believes in miracles. The Piedmont Cycle continues to ask these questions and more, as I am engaging with the America I’ve grown up with specifically within the lens of being an adopted queer voice coming from a background of both small town and city. I want to add to the American Mythos with my community in mind- because I want to see my voice in the story. Identity has always been a mystery to me, and I wanted to explore every aspect of it through this cycle. I also want to give the gift of a happy ending to my community. I often wonder, what is the greatest gift we could give or receive? And over and over I realize: it’s a family. A family, and somewhere safe to live with the people you love.” Darcy Bruce, Playwright
Director Daniel Kramer says, “I love Darcy’s work, as evidenced by the fact that we commissioned her to write a play for Chester Theatre Company. I’m thrilled to have this opportunity to work with her on Soldier Poet, a play I’ve admired since I first read it.”
Thursday, August 20. DISTANT MUSIC, by James McLindon. Directed by Penney Hulten
This complex piece by Northampton playwright James McLindon is set in January 2000. On a snowy night in an Irish pub in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Connor, Maeve and Dev meet, each agonizing over an irrevocably life-changing decision. Connor, a seemingly cynical Irish-American law professor, has spent much of his life looking for something to believe in, but he’s been repeatedly disillusioned, by his faith, the law, and, finally, love. Tonight may be his last chance as he mulls over the prestigious judgeship he’s been offered and, far more importantly, the fact that the woman he has always loved, Maeve, a nun, may suddenly be available if she decides to perform a baptism for the child of two gay men in her parish. Dev, the bartender, is an unsettled Irish immigrant whose easy humor and tall tales mask his own dilemma: should he buy the local fish and chips shop with his brother and return to Ireland or admit that America is now his home? The three fight over religion and beer, whether truth exists at all, the differences between the Irish and Irish-Americans, the many failings (according to Dev) of the latter, and, finally, the capacity of stout to explain, metaphorically and metaphysically, most of life. As the evening unfolds, each is eager to tell the others exactly what they should do with their lives and equally resolved not to discuss his or her own. Ultimately, Maeve’s determination to force Connor to confront their feelings for each other, and Dev’s weakness for eavesdropping on them through the heating vent, bring all three face to face with their futures.
The play, winner of numerous awards, has been produced across the country and is published by Dramatic Publishing.
GENERAL INFORMATION FOR PLAYWRIGHTS
Guidelines for playwrights regarding the submission of unsolicited manuscripts
Silverthorne Theater Company (STC) is the resident theatre company at Hawks & Reed in downtown Greenfield, MA, and our mission is “to present adventurous thought-provoking theatrical experiences, including productions of new and classic work, for audiences of all kinds and diverse populations” (for full mission statement: https://silverthornetheater.org/mission/).
We welcome new scripts and have produced several new plays in our six years of existence, but we have some very real limitations. Please read our guidelines and requirements thoroughly before submitting your play.
At STC, we currently have two ways we work with new plays.
Last year, STC initiated a season of rehearsed readings of plays new to us that have not yet been fully produced. This program is still in its early stages, and we have great hopes for the success of our first season, which started with its first reading in March 2019. Though we give priority to regional artists, we accept submissions from playwrights across the country and abroad [in English only, please].
We have, on occasion, produced new plays as part of our main season. The determination of the suitability of a particular play for this kind of consideration is entirely at the discretion of the Literary Manager, in consultation with the Producing Artistic Director.
Our performance space is small and not a traditional theatre space [no wings, limited backstage, used for other events and must retain its multipurpose character], so we are limited in our technical abilities and unable to support major technical requirements.
Due to our limitations, we can only consider new plays that require no more than eight actors [reasonable doubling included].
Our audience is sophisticated and used to challenging and thought-provoking theatre that’s also tasteful and does not include gratuitous shock elements.
Requirements for Submission:
If you wish to submit a play to STC, please send the casting requirement and the first twenty pages of your manuscript as a single document (e-file) to the STC Literary Manager at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please also include the following information with your sample pages in a single separate document:
Playwright’s biography or resume (maximum two pages)
Production history of the play (if any)
Play synopsis and theme(s)
How you believe your play meets STC’s stated goals