Stepping Out

Annual play festival is in the 'Works'

TheatreWorks Silicon Valley has scheduled its annual New Works Festival Friday through Aug. 18 at the Lucie Stern Theatre in Palo Alto.

The event consists of the readings of several plays and musicals in their early stages of creation, as well as a Q&A “Meet the Artists” session with the creators of the works.

The festival begins with the musical “Revival” by Chris Miller and Nathan Tysen, slated 8 p.m. Saturday and Aug. 14 and noon Aug. 17. Directed by Kent Nicholson, the musical explores the tale of a New England socialite drawn to a fiddler in 19th-century Nebraska.

The next musical is “Iron John, an American Ghost Story” by Rebecca Hart and Jacinth Greywoode, set for 7 p.m. Sunday, 8 p.m. Aug. 15 and 7 p.m. Aug. 18. Directed by Ken Savage, the musical embraces themes of racism through the story of a white debutante who befriends her mixed-race neighbor.

The first play reading is “Nan and the Lower Body (the pap smear play),” written by Jessica Dickey and directed by Giovanna Sardelli, scheduled 3 p.m. Sunday and 8 p.m. Aug. 17. The play is about Dr. George Papanicolaou, who, through the invention of the pap smear, encounters and creates many moral dilemmas.

Next up is “The Imperialists,” written by Lynn Rosen and directed by Christian Parker, debuting 8 p.m. Tuesday and 4 p.m. Aug. 17. The play tells the story of a daughter desperately trying to rescue her father from his colonial memories.

The last play in the lineup is “Father/Daughter," written by Kait Kerrigan and directed by Jessica Bird Beza, set for 8 p.m. Aug. 16 and 3 p.m. Aug. 18. “Father/Daughter” confronts the fragile bonds between fathers and daughters through two characters playing very different generations in the same family.

The festival concludes with its “Meet the Artists” Q&A discussion, scheduled noon Aug. 18. Playwrights and composers will share about the creation of their works. Additionally, the event will include a presentation by the winners of 1440 Countdown, TheatreWorks Education Department’s playwriting festival for high school students.

Festival passes are $65. Season subscribers may purchase tickets for $49. Single-event tickets are $20.

For tickets and more information, call 463-1960 or visit

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