As part of Performance Network's continued dedication to support and provide a voice for new and emerging playwrights, the Fireside Festival of New Works will be held February 12 - 15, 2012. This twice-yearly festival of staged readings, which is to be held at Performance Network Theatre, will feature brand new works by four playwrights.
Each reading will be followed by a post-show discussion with the playwright and director, during which audience members are encouraged to share their thoughts on the pieces that they have seen.
Sunday, February 12, 2012 at 7pm "Bronzeville Gold," by Anetria Cole
Set in 1933 Chicago, this powerful family saga revolves around a "gambling numbers wheel," and a young Mississippi newcomer as he and the entire African American community chase the ever elusive American dream. Willie Jenkins a 22-year-old sharecropper knows that living in Tupelo, Mississippi will not afford him many opportunities. When he meets a street numbers runner from south side Chicago named Cleveland, who promises him the "good-life," Willie jumps on what he feels is his only escape from the south. Will he walk on "streets of gold" as Cleveland has promised him? Is Bronzeville really the land flowing with milk and honey? Or is it all just a dream?
Monday, February 13, 2012 at 7pm "Lines," by Jeffrey Allen Steiger
A first for Performance Network! Lines was featured in the 2010 Fireside Festival, and is being brought back after significant script changes were instituted thanks to the festival. Sara, a new university grievance investigator, is assigned a case that proves to be far more complicated than it appears. When a professor with a very unique expertise is accused of sexual harassment, tables turn as the investigation becomes less about "he said/she said," and more about Sara. Lines explores the division between thoughts, feelings, and action, and whether those borders are definitive or frighteningly blurry. Directed by Jeffrey Allen Steiger, featuring Chelsea Sadler ("Marie Antoinette: The Color of Flesh"), Loren Bass ("Rosencrantz and Guildenstern...") and Kevin Young
Tuesday, February 14, 2012 at 7pm "Look Away," by Robert Ford
After being accused of raping two white women, black teenagers Matty and Alonzo flee to a plantation home to escape a growing lynch mob. Convinced that the home's sympathetic owners will help them avert danger, these cautious but hopeful boys revisit their past and plan their future as they await the morning sun that will bring with it their fate.
Wednesday, February 15, 2012 at 7pm "Brill," by David Wells with music by Frank Allison
Set in Manhattan's Brill Building during the summer of 1959, an aging Tin Pan Alley songwriter is forced to confront the inevitability of rock and roll when a young woman -- with a guitar and aspirations of her own -- shares his office. Directed by Carla Milarch ("The Drowsy Chaperone"), featuring Phil Powers ("God of Carnage"), Sarah Leahy ("Circle Mirror Transformation") and R. MacKenzie Lewis on piano ("Ain't Misbehavin'").
Tickets are pay-what-you-can (suggested donation $10) and can be ordered at the Performance Network Box Office at 734-663-0681, online at www.performancenetwork.org or by coming to the Performance Network Theatre (120 East Huron St., Ann Arbor, 48104) Monday-Saturday 11-6 or one hour before a performance.