Special to 1812Blockhouse

The Renaissance Theatre proudly announces the upcoming 2023-2024 Emerging Artists Festival, featuring an exciting lineup of never-before-seen plays that promise to captivate audiences with their compelling narratives and fresh perspectives. Under the direction of Renaissance Artistic Director Michael Thomas, the Emerging Artists Program at Theatre 166 has diligently nurtured and championed aspiring artists, cultivating an environment of self-expression, risk-taking, and collaboration. This festival marks the realization of a longstanding dream for the Renaissance Theatre and embodies the program’s commitment to fostering groundbreaking new works.

The festival will showcase public readings of three remarkable plays on consecutive Fridays: September 15th, 22nd, and 29th. Each reading will begin at 7:30 PM and will be held at Theatre 166 (166 Park Avenue West, Mansfield, Ohio). Tickets for each reading are priced at $10, offering audiences a rare opportunity to witness the birth of thought-provoking narratives that push the boundaries of storytelling.

The selected plays and their respective authors are as follows:

September 15th: “i loved a certain person ardently” by Scott Carter Cooper

When tragedy strikes, a young man is faced with an agonizing decision that could either mend or tear apart his family. Cooper’s intimate exploration of grief and sacrifice promises to resonate with audiences seeking profound connections.

September 22nd: “Merchant of Stratford” by Maury Zeff

Set against the backdrop of plague-ridden Stratford, Maury Zeff’s play delves into the life of iconic playwright William Shakespeare. As he grapples with personal loss and strives to create his magnum opus, Zeff’s narrative offers a fresh perspective on Shakespeare’s struggles.

September 29th: “Arbor” by Catherine Epstein

Catherine Epstein’s “Arbor” unfolds in the tranquil setting of an arboretum, intertwining the lives of its characters as they seek solace and confront their own complexities. The arboretum becomes a symbol of refuge and challenge, reflecting the multifaceted nature of the human experience.

These remarkable works were selected from over 250 submissions from around the world, making them the grand prize winners of the Renaissance Theatre’s annual playwriting event. Artistic Director Michael Thomas expressed his excitement about the festival, stating, “These three plays capture the essence of the human experience with humor and vulnerability. We are privileged to collaborate with these talented playwrights as we bring their unique visions to life on stage.”

The Emerging Artists Festival promises to be a celebration of creativity and originality, showcasing the transformative power of theater to convey universal truths and evoke profound emotions. Don’t miss this exceptional opportunity to witness the birth of theatrical masterpieces that are destined to leave an indelible mark on the world of performing arts.

For more information about the festival, including ticket reservations, please visit www.rentickets.org or contact the Renaissance Theatre box office at [email protected].

Source, Photos: Renaissance Performing Arts Association

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