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Emerging Writers Group Spotlight Series

April 7 - May 26

Sheen Center Black Box

The Sheen Center is located at 18 Bleecker Street.

Tickets may be picked up beginning 1/2 hour before the performance, at the Sheen Center. Unclaimed reservations may be released to the standby line beginning 15 minutes before the performance.

The Spotlight Series presents free staged readings of new plays by The Public's Emerging Writers Group. Now in its seventh year, the Emerging Writers Group is an important part of The Public’s commitment and long legacy of supporting current and future generations of our country’s most important writers. 

This year’s Spotlight Series will present readings of a full-length play by each writer of the 2014-15 Emerging Writers Group: Kevin Artigue, Damon Chua, Keli Goff, Ricardo Pérez González, Glenn Gordon, Elizabeth Irwin, Paola Lázaro-Muñoz, Patricia Ione Lloyd, Jiehae Park, and Sarah Sander. These evenings are directed and performed by experienced artists from the theatrical community.

All readings in the Spotlight Series will take place at The Sheen Center Black Box Theater, 18 Bleecker Street.

IN THE MIDWEST, by Sarah Sander: April 7

Directed by Lucie Tiberghien


The Jacobs live a seemingly average American life in suburbia: Celia is a cheerleader, Henry is a star student, Louise grows tomatoes and David teaches college. However, when John Keller and his mother Jocelyn move in across the street, the Jacobs’ wholesome façade begins to crack. In the Midwest is a play about sex, sibling rivalry and the importance of neighbors.


3pm - Get tickets
7pm - Get tickets

THE FORCINGS, by Kevin Artigue: April 13

Directed by Lileana Blain-Cruz 


Company man Ernie Ledezma is the public face of Exxon in Mexico. As his family gathers at his vacation home in coastal North Carolina, seventeen anti-fracking activists remain missing in Mexico. The truth behind their disappearance will set off a chain of events with shocking repercussions for Ernie and his entire family. A contemporary riff on Arthur Miller’s All My Sons, The Forcings depicts a tragedy of power, self-delusion and civilization barreling towards extinction.


3pm - Get tickets
7pm - Get tickets 

THE BLACK FRIEND, by Keli Goff: April 14

Directed by Leah C. Gardiner


Shortly after accepting her dream job as the first African American executive at a cosmetics company owned by a lifelong friend, Erica Reynolds discovers that the company and her friend are being sued for racial discrimination. The revelation places Erica firmly in the crossfire of the debates taking place among her family and friends and the nation at large in the Obama era.


3pm - Get tickets
7pm - Get tickets

SEPARATE & EQUAL, by Ricardo Pérez González: April 16

Directed by Jessica Blank


It's an old-fashioned love story set in a pair of racially segregated gay bars in 1950s Houston, Texas. And Tom and Russ are a pair of old-fashioned lovers--one white, one black--risking their lives in an old-fashioned world that would rather see them dead than together.


3pm - Get tickets
7pm - Get tickets 

GETTING OVER, by Elizabeth Irwin: April 27

Directed by Kip Fagan 


Give a working class kid from desolate-ass Holyoke a dollar, he might buy a scratch ticket or a few looseys; give him a free prestigious liberal arts college education in the bucolic town next door, he'll turn that dollar into a million working at an elite investment banking firm and get down on his knees and thank you every day. Right?


3pm - Get tickets
7pm - Get tickets 

OPTIMISM, by Damon Chua: April 28

Directed by Rebecca Bayla Taichman


What does the 1964 World’s Fair in Flushing Meadows have to do with Wall Street in the 1980s? Quite a lot according to Larry Yang, a true optimist who grows up in Flushing and becomes a junk bond salesman during the Reagan years. Optimism simultaneously tells the story of an inter-racial romance between Larry’s mom and a black man in the sixties and Larry’s financial misadventures in the eighties, showing how Space Age boosterism and capitalistic exuberance is often at the expense of minority rights.


3pm - Get tickets
7pm - Get tickets 

SYNCING INK, by Glenn Gordon: April 30

Directed by Niegel Smith 


“When I'm alone in my room/sometimes I stare at the wall/and in the back of my mind I hear my conscience call” telling me I have a hidden gift I need to tap/could it be...this suburban teen is destined to rap?


3pm - Get tickets
7pm - Get tickets

LA GEMA, by Paola Lázaro-Muñoz: May 4

Directed by Jose Zayas 


You're in Puerto Rico. Old San Juan. You're a tourist, you walk down the stairs of this beautiful old fort built by the Spaniards. When you reach the bottom, you realize you're in the hole, a slum. Welcome to La Gema, the barrio and the underbelly that lies under the tourism and behind the fort walls. You spend three days there, you don't want to leave. Oh no, you're addicted to the beauty, the women and the drugs.


3pm - Get tickets
7pm - Get tickets 

PRETTY HUNGER, by Patricia Ione Lloyd: May 19

Directed by Robert O'Hara


Leah, a biracial seven year old girl with an epic imagination, takes us on a journey of growing up as she realizes that her babysitter is actually her father and that she is actually Black. Guided by her imaginary friend Bette Davis, Leah explores what it means to be a woman of color and how to come to terms with both of her parents and the baggage they carry with them.


3pm - Get tickets
7pm - Get tickets 

THE GOOD ONES, by Jiehae Park: May 26

Directed by Eric Ting 


Education is broken. Jenna, Karol, and Matt want to fix it. Shouldn’t be too hard, right? A story of what happens when idealism meets reality (and a robot named Bob).


3pm - Get tickets
7pm - Get tickets 


Time Warner is the Founding Sponsor of the Emerging Writers Group, and provides continued program support through the Time Warner Foundation.