Theater Alliance’s Annual ‘Hothouse Reading Series’ Schedule April 14-27th

APRIL 14-27, 2014 SCHEDULE

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Hothouse New Play Reading Series is an incubator for ideas and new work in playwriting and storytelling. Drawing on the principles of greenhouse convection we are focusing on cultivating three playwrights and creating a space for their work to grow. Join us over the course of April as we feature the reading of a different play four times over the month as well as joining us for some exciting workshops along the way!

All readings are free, donations accepted.


Hothouse Readings

Psalmayene 24, Liz Maestri, and Lee August Praley

After our two Bake-offs, our playwrights were asked to choose one of their pieces for a week-long rehearsal and development process. They each chose pieces created at our second Bake-off, and each of these new pieces will receive a staged reading during the month of April.


THE SCHEDULE 4/14-27/14

Sinner Man
by Liz Maestri
Directed by Clementine Thomas
April 14, 2014 | 8:00 PM
Mead Theatre Lab at Flashpoint
916 G ST NW

Josh Adams
Sara Barker
Cate Brewer
Danny Gavigan
Colin Hovde
Steve Isaac
Dylan Morrison Myers


Meet Dorian. Beautiful, young, beloved. He’s perfect. And highly impressionable. Consumed by his own vanity and ego, can Dorian live up to the world’s expectations of him, or will he be corrupted? Rendered in a world of visual artistry, Liz Maestri’s striking adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray offers a modern, female take on the classic story of the darkness of man.

Pecan Park
by Lee August Praley
Directed by Jess Jung
April 19, 2014 | 2:00 PM


Welcome to Pecan Park! See the beautiful, centuries old trees, the captivating wildlife, and the majesty of the mountains watching over the land. But don’t get comfortable. In exactly 5 hours, the park will be closed forever to make way for a state-of-the-art tourist destination. Poignant, absurd, and whimsical, Praley’s Pecan Park sheds new light on the notion of urban development, deforestation, and the simple story of humanity convening with nature.

Dream of a Disenfranchised Black Man
by Psalmayene 24
Directed by Colin Hovde
April 26, 2014 | 2:00 PM


Did you ever wake up feeling like someone else? What about dreaming that you were someone else? Three men experience the trials and tribulations of living life as someone else. But will their experiences alter their perceptions? Exploring ideas of class and racial perceptions, this surreal play by Psalmayene24 takes a hard look at how we see others and forces us to rethink our assumptions.

Theater of the Oppressed | RESERVATIONS
Lead By: Annalisa Dias-Mandoly

“Theatre is a form of knowledge; it should and can also be a means of transforming society. Theatre can help us build our future, rather than just waiting for it.”- Augusto Boal

Spend a weekend exploring Theater of the Oppressed through Language and Power, Ethics Building, Newspaper Theater, Forum Theater, and more.

April 12th and 13th 11:00AM-3:00PM
The Fridge | 516 8th Street SE (Rear alley)

Building a Physical Ensemble | RESERVATIONS
Lead By: Nathaniel Mendez

An ensemble of artists will explore physical exercises to get out of their heads and into their bodies. Learn to trust the creative physical impulses within one another and allowing oneself to go further. Become aware of the power of ensemble storytelling and the pit falls of the over-active actors’ ego.

April 23rd and 24th 7:00PM-10:00PM

Anacostia Playhouse | 2020 Shannon Place SE

Lead By: Katie Ryan and Kat White

Do you have what it takes to be our next Bake-off playwright? Are you curious about our playwrights’ process? Come join us for a “mini bake-off.” You will only have a few hours to put the ingredients given into a delicious short play! These pieces will be read for friends and family at our Hot House Wrap-Up Party.

April 27th 11:00AM-5:00PM

The Fridge | 516 8th Street SE (Rear alley)


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Theater Alliance Presents the 2nd Annual Hothouse Reading Series:
Four New Works in Development and Artist Workshops

 Readings of New Plays and Artist Workshops Exploring Living and Creating Art in Washington DC began April 4th and runs through
April 27th


Theater Alliance presents the second annual Hothouse Reading Series, a developmental new play project featuring three DC Metro area playwrights and a new devised work-in-progress by local artists. Producing Artistic Director Colin Hovde introduces these new works at various venues in the District throughout the month of April that highlight the experience of living, working, and creating in the District of Columbia.

A multi-faceted project, The Hothouse allows playwrights to work in collaboration with Theater Alliance’s artistic staff as well as professional theatre artists from the DC area to create strong, engaging, and exciting new work that speaks to the ideas and concerns of DC communities. Playwrights Liz Maestri, Lee August Praley, and Psalmeyene24 will work with a creative team of theater professionals to refine and further develop these works generated through the Hothouse process.

Theater Alliance will also present excerpts from a new devised piece entitled I Love DC, a physical and emotional exploration of what it means to live our lives in our city. A group of 6 local performers, designers, directors, and writers have gathered to devise a new theatre piece through an exploration of DC’s history and culture. The process includes the rehearsal of movement and music, extensive research about the District’s history, and interviews with a diverse cross-section of DC residents. The first presentation of this work in progress will be August 4 and 5 at the Capitol Hill Arts Workshop.

“The Hothouse process serves as an incubator for ideas and new voices in playwriting,” says Theater Alliance Producing Artistic Director Colin Hovde. “Drawing on the principles used to grow new plants in a greenhouse, Hothouse provides playwrights and theater artists a space for their work to grow. We plant the seeds of new works through a series of play writing exercises called Bake Offs, providing the writers with ingredients to inspire and incorporate into the new work. The ingredients this year came from our work on I Love DC and give the works a recognizable DC flavor. We then provide the writers with a director and actors to refine the work over an intensive weeklong experience, culminating a staged reading presented to the public.”

In addition to the presentation of these four works, Theater Alliance will host three workshops for theater artists. These workshops are focused on tools and techniques for exploring and creating new works as an individual, ensemble or with community.

Theater Alliance’s mission is to develop, produce and present socially conscious, thought-provoking work that fully engages our community in active dialogue.  This month long event serves as an invitation to join in that dialogue. Advanced reservations can be made for the readings and the workshops here.

Some readings contain material not suitable for children; recommended for mature audiences.

Hothouse is funded in part by the DC Commission on the Arts & Humanities, an agency supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts.


MaestriLiz Maestri’s full-length plays include HOUSE BEAUTIFUL, FALLBEIL (DC Commission on the Arts & Humanities YAP Award), CONDO CONDO CONDOLAND, SOMERSAULTING, and OWL MOON (Original Works Publishing). Her work has been commissioned, produced, and developed at The Artists’ Bloc, CENTERSTAGE 50Fest, E.M.P. Collective, Capital Fringe Festival, Field Trip Theatre, Forum Theatre, Glass Mind Theatre Company, Great Plains Theatre Conference, One-Minute Play Festival, The Kennedy Center’s Page-to-Stage Festival, Source Festival, Taffety Punk Theatre Company, Theater Alliance, and Theater J. Liz was a founding core member of The Anthropologists, a physical-theater ensemble in NYC, and her extensive production work experience includes projects at the Contemporary American Theatre Festival, Ensemble Studio Theatre, 78th Street Theater Lab, and The Kennedy Center (Sondheim Festival), among others. Liz studied playwriting with the 24 With 5 Collective at New Dramatists, and is a proud member of The Playwrights’ Center and The Dramatists Guild of America.


praleyLee August Praley is an award-winning writer, director and producer. His films include “NOTHING IS FUN ANYMORE”, “HELLO, OLD FRIEND”, “WHAT COLOR IS YOUR TUESDAY?” and the upcoming feature directing debut “THE HITCHING POST” Praley’s work in theatre has been seen across the world in cities including Chicago, Washington, DC, New York and Tbilisi, Georgia. His play “EUPHORIA: SOMETHING BETTER IS COMING” had its world Premiere at the Rustavelli Theatre in Georgia as a co-production with the US State Department. Most recently, his play “THANKSGIVING AT CHEKOV’S” was a finalist in the Eugene O’Neill National Playwright’s Conference. As an actor he has worked with Forum Theatre (bobrauschenbergamerica), No Rules (YOU’RE A GOOD MAN CHARLIE BROWN), dog & pony DC (COURAGE) and starred in the film “A GIRL NAMED CLYDE”. For the theatre he has directed “BAT BOY,” “IS THERE LIFE AFTER HIGH SCHOOL,” “IT’S A SMALL WORLD,” “RESURRECTION” and “MACBETH.” Praley studied Theatre and Performance Studies at the University of Chicago and received his MFA in Dramatic Writing at NYU’S Tisch School of the Arts.


download (9)(a.k.a. Gregory Morrison) is a playwright, actor, director, and master teaching artist. Originally from Brooklyn, New York, he currently resides in Silver Spring, Maryland with his wife, Diana, and cat, Brando. He has received playwriting commissions from The African Continuum Theater Company, Arena Stage and Imagination Stage. His one man play, Free Jujube Brown! is recognized as a seminal work in Hip-Hop Theater and is published in the first Hip-Hop Theater anthology, Plays from the Boom-Box Galaxy: Theater from the Hip-Hop Generation (TCG). He was the co-writer and co-performer of The Hip-Hop Nightmares of Jujube Brown (Helen Hayes nomination, Outstanding Actor in a Resident Musical). His play Journey to the Door of No Return… has received workshops and readings at Arena Stage and PenumbraTheater and was selected to be a part of the Black Women Playwrights’ Group’s Cyber Narrative Project in partnership with M.I.T. and George Mason University. Psalm wrote and directed Zomo the Rabbit: A Hip-Hop Creation Myth (2010 Helen Hayes nomination, Outstanding Production for Young Audiences), the first play in his Hip-Hop Children’s Trilogy that explores the past, present, and future of Hip-Hop culture. Zomo… premiered at Imagination Stage (Bethesda, MD) in 2009 and toured to New York City with the Hip-Hop Theater Festival. Psalm wrote, directed, and acted in the second play in the trilogy, P.Nokio: A Hip-Hop Musical (supported in part by a $25,000 development grant from The National Endowment for the Arts). P.Nokio also premiered at Imagination Stage, toured to The New Jersey Performing Arts Center and was subsequently remounted at Imagination Stage, opening their 2012/13 season. The final installment in the trilogy, Cinderella: The Remix, will premiere at Imagination Stage during their 2013/14 season. Mr. 24 is the recipient of a 2012 Individual Artist Award in Playwriting from the Maryland State Arts Council. He has also received grants from the DC Commission on the Arts & Humanities, and the Boomerang Fund for Artists Inc., an organization that offers unsolicited grants to artists who demonstrate their talent and commitment to a life in the arts. He has sat on numerous panels and has facilitated hundreds of theater related workshops. He is currently the Master Teaching Artist at Arena Stage in Washington, DC.


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Theater Alliance develops, produces, and presents socially conscious, thought-provoking work that fully engages our community in active dialogue. Theater Alliance was founded in 1993 with the distinct goal of producing work that would illuminate the experiences, philosophies and interests of DC’s diverse populations. Each season, we produce three to four plays including world, American and Washington DC premieres. Our productions highlight the eclectic work of renowned playwrights such as Salmon Rushdie, Daniel MacIvor, Toni Morrison, Rebecca Gilman, Adam Bock, Victor Lodato and Seamus Heaney, among others. Theater Alliance has been recognized for its artistry with 23 Helen Hayes nominations. Theater Alliance is a member of the League of Washington Theaters, The Cultural Alliance of Greater Washington, CHAMPS (Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce), Cultural Tourism DC, and is an Associate Member of The National New Play Network.


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