Stepping Out

TheatreWorks' annual New Works Festival runs through Sunday at Lucie Stern Theatre

Jonas Gustavsson/
Special to the Town Crier Lynn Rosen’s “The Imperialists” is part of TheatreWorks’ New Works Festival.

TheatreWorks Silicon Valley’s annual New Works Festival opened last week and is slated to run through Sunday 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 kicked off with the musical “Revival” by Chris Miller and Nathan Tysen, with remaining performances set for 8 p.m. today and noon Saturday. Directed by Kent Nicholson, the musical explores the tale of a New England socialite drawn to a fiddler in 19th-century Nebraska.

Another musical, “Iron John, an American Ghost Story,” is scheduled 8 p.m. Thursday and 7 p.m. Sunday. Written by Rebecca Hart and Jacinth Greywoode and directed by Ken Savage, the musical embraces themes of racism through the story of a white debutante who befriends her mixed-race neighbor.

A reading of the play “Nan and the Lower Body (the pap smear play),” written by Jessica Dickey and directed by Giovanna Sardelli, is slated 8 p.m. Saturday. It is about Dr. George Papanicolaou, who, through the invention of the pap smear, encounters and creates many moral dilemmas.

A reading of “The Imperialists,” written by Lynn Rosen and directed by Christian Parker, is scheduled 4 p.m. Saturday. The play tells the story of a daughter desperately trying to rescue her dad from his colonial memories.

Readings of “Father/Daughter,” written by Kait Kerrigan and directed by Jessica Bird Beza, are set for 8 p.m. Friday and 3 p.m. Sunday. “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 Sunday. Playwrights and composers will share their insight about the creation of their works. Additionally, the event will include a presentation by the winners of 1440 Countdown, the TheatreWorks Education Department’s playwriting festival for high school students.

Single-event tickets are $20.

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

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