February's Staged Community Playreading | Events

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February's Staged Community Playreading
February's Staged Community Playreading


A play that explores family and racial tensions,

in celebration of African-American History Month

Opera House Arts (OHA) is proud to offer performances of a staged community reading of Branden Jacobs-Jenkin’s drama Appropriate at the Stonington Opera House Tuesday, February 24 at 7 p.m. and Wednesday, February 25 at 7 p.m. The performance will be directed by Linda Nelson, OHA’s Producing Artistic Director, and include visiting artist David Mason in addition to talented area community members. The first read through of the play, open to all interested, will be on Friday, February 13, at 7 p.m.

“This is a perfect play for creating dialogue in white communities around the everyday, familial nature of racism,” said Linda Nelson, OHA’s Producing Artistic Director. “The dynamics of the (white) Lafayette family are both painfully funny and heartbreaking.”

The 2014 play by award winning Jacob-Jenkins (Neighbors, An Octoroon) focuses on the reunion of the Lafayette siblings and their families, drawn together again following the death of their father. Complicated relationships and long-standing family dysfunctions make this gathering difficult and darkly humorous from the start--and the discovery of a photo album filled with lynching victims quickly has all family members questioning their heritage and legacy.

Visiting artist DAVID MASON was last seen in the 2011 ALL SHORTS Festival at the Stonington Opera House. David has been seen on TV in THE LEFTOVERS (HBO), HOUSE OF CARDS (Netflix), and ALL MY CHILDREN. Other regional stage credits include: New Century Theatre, Cape Playhouse, Geva Theatre Center, Syracuse Stage, TheatreSquared, Portland Stage, The Public Theater, Shadowland Theatre, Foothills Theatre, Summer Theatre at Mt. Holyoke. New York City credits include:  Impact Theatre Festival, Red Fern Theatre, Circle East, Chip Deffaa Invitational, Ensemble Studio Theatre, Civilian Studios, Primary Stages, Present Company, NativeAliens.

Branden Jacobs-Jenkins' plays include Neighbors (The Public Theater), Appropriate (Actors Theatre of Louisville, Victory Gardens Theater, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, and Signature Theatre in New York, Spring 2014), An Octoroon (Soho Rep, Spring 2014), and War. He is currently a Residency Five playwright at Signature Theatre and a Lila Acheson Wallace Fellow at The Juilliard School. Additionally, his work has been or will be seen at the Vineyard Theatre, The Matrix Theatre in Los Angeles, Company One in Boston, and the HighTide Festival in the United Kingdom. He has taught at New York University and Queens University of Charlotte, and his honors include a Paula Vogel Award, a Helen Merrill Award, and the inaugural Sundance Theater Festival Tennessee Williams Award. He holds an M.A. in Performance Studies.

OHA’s “Our Own” Community Playreading Series is in its 15th year and the staged readings have been expanded to five productions, all of which include guest directors and artists. In November, the Opera House showcased Peter Matthiessen’s Men’s Lives. Upcoming titles to be presented include Eugene O’Neill’s classic tale of a seafaring community and lives, Anna Christie; Columbinus, featuring a large student cast; and Dylan Thomas’s famed Under Milkwood. Everyone, regardless of experience, is encouraged to participate in the “Our Own” staged playreadings, which require only 15 hours of rehearsal time and no memorization. The series presents an excellent opportunity to read new plays, often with their writers present; and to explore issues, drama, direction, and performance through scripts and alongside visiting artists. If interested in participating in this or any of the future presentations, please email Producing Artistic Director Linda Nelson at lnelson@operahousearts.org.

Tickets for this special performance are only $8 and available at the door the night of the performance. Island Students Free. For more information please go to www.operahousearts.org.