Where Playwrights Are Stars

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Brothers will play brothers when Adam and Matthew Arkin take on the roles of Joey and Kevin Colletti in the reading of Steven Drukman’s “The Prince of Atlantis”- one of five new works scheduled to be read at this year’s 14th Annual Pacific Playwrights Festival this weekend at South Coast Reptertory.

This is the first time that Adam and Matthew Arkin have appeared onstage together. Adam Arkin plays older brother Joey, who finds himself in a minimum-security prison just as the son he gave up for adoption writes to say he’d like to meet him. Matthew Arkin is Kevin, the younger brother assigned to keep the son from discovering the truth. Dámaso Rodriguez will direct the play, which will also star Michael Weston and Amy Landecker.

Shelley Butler will direct Catherine Trieschmann’s “How the World Began,” with Kirsten Potter playing a teacher who ignites a controversy with an off-hand remark in biology class. Jarrett Sleeper is the student upset by her remark, and Joe Spano is his grandfather.

David Chambers will direct “The Droll” by Meg Miroshnik, a graduate student at the Yale School of Drama. Set in a world reminiscent of Puritanical England, it imagines a theatrical troupe trying to mount a secret production of Hamlet. The players will include Tessa Auberjonois, Nathan Baesel, Matt McGrath and Laura Heisler, with other roles still to be cast.

Loretta Greco will direct “Annapurna,” Sharr White’s drama about a dying poet endeavoring to understand why his wife disappeared 20 years earlier – and why she’s suddenly come back.

And Octavio Solis will direct a musical he’s written with Adam Gwon, entitled “Cloudlands,” in which an 18-year-old embarks on a dangerous path after she learns her mother is having an affair. Courtney Stokes plays the teenager; Heather Ayers is her mother. Daniel Guzman, Ethan Le Phong and Robert Mammana round out the cast.

Anchoring the 14th annual Pacific Playwrights Festival are productions of Lauren Gunderson’s “Silent Sky,” a beautiful historical drama based on the life of turn-of-the-century astronomer Henrietta Leavitt, and Itamar Moses’ “Completeness,” a romantic comedy about two graduate students who find that love is the most complicated algorithm of all.

Since its creation in 1998, PPF has grown into one of the leading festivals of new plays in the country, devoted to showcasing some of the best new work on SCR’s radar, in hopes of generating lively conversation, future world premieres and subsequent productions for myriad playwrights.

Here’s this weekend’s schedule:



1 p.m. Reading – “The Prince of Atlantis” by Steven Drukman

3:30 p.m. Reading – “How the World Began” by Catherine Trieschmann

7:45pm Performance of “Completeness” by Itamar Moses

8:00pm Reading – “The Droll” by Meg Miroshnik
8:00pm Performance of Silent Sky by Lauren Gunderson

SATURDAY, April 30

10:30am Reading – “Annapurna” by Sharr White

2:00pm Performance of “Completeness” by Itamar Moses

2:30pm Performance of “Silent Sky” by Lauren Gunderson

2:30pm Reading – “The Droll” by Meg Miroshnik

7:45pm Performance of “Doctor Cerberus” by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa

8:00pm Reading – “The Droll” by Meg Miroshnik

8:00pm Performance of “Silent Sky” by Lauren Gunderson


10:30am Reading – “Cloudlands,” book by Octavio Solis, music by Adam Gwon, lyrics by Octavio Solis and Adam Gwon

2:00pm Performance of “Completeness” by Itamar Moses

2:30pm Performance of “Silent Sky” by Lauren Gunderson

7:30pm Performance of “Silent Sky” by Lauren Gunderson

7:45pm Performance of “Completeness” by Itamar Moses


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