Thursday, September 23, 2010

Meet the Playwrights

The Humble Play: New Play Festival of Appalachia Ohio invites you to its opening reception on Monday, October 4, 2010 at 7:00 PM. The reception will feature Appalachian cuisine, the music of Charlie and Celia Lewis, and a lecture on 'How New Plays Get Done' presented by Veronica Bainbridge. All Humble Play performances and activities are held at ARTS/West, located at 132 W. State St. in Athens, Ohio.

Veronica R. Bainbridge is a fundraising consultant and producer in New York City. Most recently, she was Director of Development at LAByrinth Theater Company (under Artistic Directors Philip Seymour Hoffman & John Ortiz) for four years, where she produced a wide range of special events and raised more than $500,000 in contributed income annually towards new plays. She was also Business Manager at The Directors Company (Michael Parva, Artistic/Producing Director) for four years. Her producing credits include projects at the Midlands Arts Centre, in the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and the New York Fringe Festival, as well as the short film Nothing Happened which is now featuring in its 17th festival.

The schedule for the festival is as follows:

  • Oct. 4, 2010 7:00pm- Opening reception with home cooked Appalachian cuisine, music from Charlie and Celia Lewis and a lecture on "How New Plays Get Done" presented by Veronica Bainbridge.
  • Oct. 5, 2010-7:00pm- Table reading of The Dying Words of Edison Strange by Nicholas Gray from Wilmington, NC produced by The Corporation for the Performing Arts and The Brick Monkey Theater Ensemble
  • Oct. 6, 2010- 7:00PM-Staged Reading Fuel House by Linda Felton Steinbaum from Encino CA produced by ABC Players
  • Oct. 7, 2010- 7:00pm- Staged Reading Born Lucky by Chris Pomeroy from Chicago, IL produced by The Brick Monkey Theater Ensemble
  • Oct. 8, 2010- 7:00pm- Staged Reading Her Summer Fling by Merri Biechler, Stuart, OH produced by The Corporation for the Performing Arts
  • Oct. 9, 2010- 7:00pm- Staged Reading Quit the Road Jack by Jerry Polner, Brooklyn, NY and Last Call and Squirrelly by James McLindon, Northampton, MA produced by The Lost Flamingo Company and A/W intern company
"But Emily, who are all of these playwrights and why haven't I heard of any of these plays?"

Well, they are new plays, babies fresh out of the nest! You get to come and here it here first (or, maybe or second or third, new play development is a long process) and here are their bios!

Humble Play Festival

Playwright Bios

Nicholas Gray- “The Dying Words of Edison Strange” presented 10/5 @7:00pm

Nicholas Gray is an alumnus of the Emerson College Honors Program. His first venture as a writer was Pedestrian, the feature script that has since partnered him with Southern Gothic Productions. Pedestrian is currently in preproduction. His union with Southern Gothic ( has afforded him the great opportunities of drafting a graphic novel, creating the web pilot Friendship Union Community Theater, and helming the short film the true-love tale of Boyfriend and Girlfriend. His first play, Population: 8, world premiered at the 13th Annual New York International Fringe Festival. The Dying Words of Edison Strange is his second play.

Linda Felton Steinbaum- “Fuel House” presented 10/6 @7:00pm

Linda Felton Steinbaum is an award winning, produced and published Los Angeles playwright. In 2007, her drama MUSTANG SALLY, published by Samuel French, was performed at The Whitefire Theatre in Los Angeles. Her play FAT CHANCE has been produced in North Hollywood as well as Sierra Madre, California where it was extended. Her award winning one-act play SHIFTING GEARS has been produced in various theatres in California, as well as Maryland and Oregon. In December of 2008, Linda received a fellowship award for her play, FUEL HOUSE. She is a member of ALAP, the Dramatists Guild, and WGA, West.

Chris Pomeroy- “Born Lucky” presented 10/7 @7:00pm

Chris Pomeroy is an actor and writer, based in Chicago. His plays include Courting the Wild Man, My Affair with Lady Macbeth, and Born Lucky. Favorite recent projects include playing Wotan in a six-hour adaptation of Richard Wagner’s The Ring Cycle (The Building Stage), and a short film called Faster, which will premiere at the Chicago International Film Festival in October 2010. He can be seen onstage until Oct. 30 in a new play called The Franklin Expedition at The Building Stage in Chicago. Much love to Melissa.

Merri Biechler- “Her Summer Fling” presented 10/8 @7:00pm

Merri Biechler’s plays include Bombs, Babes and Bingo (New Orleans Fringe Festival, November 2010) and Confessions of a Reluctant Caregiver (Princess Grace Playwriting Award finalist; WordBRIDGE Playwrights Laboratory participant). Merri acted Off-Broadway in “Tony ‘n Tina’s Wedding,” and on “E.R.,” “Judging Amy,” “Murphy Brown,” and in the film “Trailerpark.”

Jerry Polner- “Quit the Road Jack” presented 10/9 @7:00pm

Jerry’s full-length play FIX NUMBER SIX was chosen by the Boomerang Theatre Company for its First Flight reading series in 2009. His short plays FLORENCE FAREWELL, GONE WITH THE MASHA, and THANK YOU FOR APPLYING were produced by the Brooklyn Playwrights Collective at Manhattan Theatre Source, Brecht Forum, and Galapogos Artspace. Included in his full-length plays are HALF BAKED, produced by the Story People, MAN OVERBOARD, produced by High Five Productions, and WEATHERMAN, published by Samuel French and produced by high schools around the country. His political comedy sketches, and still more, are at

James McLindon- “Squirrelly” & “Last Call” (2 10 minute plays) presented 10/9 following "Quit the Road Jack"

James McLindon’s play, Comes a Faery, was developed this summer at the 2010 O’Neill National Playwrights Conference. He is currently in residence at CAP21 in New York developing his play, Salvation, which will be produced at the Hudson Stage Company in October. His other plays have been developed and/or produced at theaters such as the Abingdon, hotINK Festival, Irish Repertory, Lark Play Development Center, the Estrogenius Festival, Penguin Repertory, Emerging Artists Theatre, and Love Creek Productions; Crossing the Divide Festival in the West End of London; Victory Gardens in Chicago; Lyric Stage and Boston Playwrights Theatre in Boston; Colony Theatre, Theatricum Botanicum, Grove Theatre Center, and Circus Theatricals in Los Angeles; PlayPenn Conference, Telluride Playwrights Conference and the Arkansas Rep in Little Rock.

Each selected play will be presented as a reading. A reading is defined as actors presenting the words of a script, using scripts-in-hand. Each reading will be kept extremely simple so that the playwright's words may be the focus of the event. All readings will be followed by a moderated talk back session where audience members are invited to give their feed-back on the plays.

All events are free and open to the public and begin at 7:00 PM. Donations are encouraged.

Many thanks to the The Ohio Arts Council and the Humble Play Committee for making this festival possible.