After receiving over 700 plays, Austin Playhouse has chosen three incredible plays for its inaugural Festival of New American Plays: Low Hanging Stars by local playwright Sarah Saltwick will kick off the festival on Friday, May 5 at 8 pm, Capital Crime! by Carson Kreitzer will follow up on Saturday, May 6 at 8 pm, and Flying by Sheila Cowley will conclude the lineup on Sunday, May 7 at 7 pm. Staged readings will feature professional Austin Playhouse directors and performers, including Babs George, Huck Huckaby, Jess Hughes, Samuel Knowlton, Stephen Mercantel, Andrea Osborn Ginder, Tom Parker, Lara Toner Haddock, and Laura Walberg.
Low Hanging Stars
Directed by Cyndi Williams
This intimate new play by Austinite Sarah Saltwick uses a supernatural twist to reveal the devastating cracks in a mother-daughter relationship. Young starlet Gillian Rhodes has been taken to a small town in Massachusetts where her mother spent a summer as a young girl. Ostensibly to take time off from a hectic schedule, the real reason for Gillian's isolation is exposed through a chance encounter with the ghost of a troubled young man.
Directed by Lara Toner Haddock
In 1906, model and actress Evelyn Nesbit's husband killed her wealthy benefactor, launching a tabloid sensation. The event was branded the "Show Girl Murder" and Evelyn became known as "The Girl in the Red Velvet Swing." This whimsical, rock and roll inspired play takes on the aftermath of the murder when a movie company produces a film about the event. Connecting the exploitation of Nesbit to contemporary exploitation of young women, Carson Kreitzer’s Capital Crime! is an original, irreverent, and very fun look at the dark side of America's obsession with youth.
Directed by Ben Wolfe
During World War II women aviators supported the war effort by flying training missions and taking on the dangerous job of flying planes in need of repairs or on their way to the junkyard. After the war, these women were often grounded as jobs were reclaimed by men. Flying introduces us to Susan, a former WASP now working to keep her husband's airfield and repair shop operational until her husband, Bob, returns home. When a former colleague of Bob's arrives at the airfield looking for work, it exposes all the vulnerabilities of Susan's current position and the hypocrisy from her past. Sheila Cowley’s beautiful new play looks at the contributions of women to the war effort and the difficulties of getting back to "normal" life.
The Festival of New American Plays will be produced in Austin Playhouse's theatre at ACC's Highland Mall campus. Enter Highland Mall via Highland Mall Blvd and proceed to the South Entrance. Just keep Highland Mall on your right as you drive around and you'll reach the South Entrance!