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Emerging Writers Group Spotlight Series

Shiva Theater

May 31 - June 26

All performances are free with a ticket reservation.*

*Tickets must be picked up 30 minutes before the performance. If you wish to attend a sold-out performance, you can add your name to the standby line in person at the box office in the lobby of The Public Theater starting at 2PM on the day of the performance. Any unclaimed reservations will be released 30 minutes prior to curtain, at which point we will seat people off of the standby line. 

The Emerging Writers Group Spotlight Series presents free staged readings of new plays by The Public's Emerging Writers Group. The Emerging Writers Group, now in its seventh year, is an important part of The Public’s commitment and long legacy of supporting current and future generations of our country’s most important writers.

This year’s Spotlight Series will present readings of a full-length play by each writer of the 2016-17 Emerging Writers Group: Liza Birkenmeier, Hammaad Chaudry, Phillip Howze, Monet Hurst-Mendoza, Geraldine Inoa, Jeremy J. Kamps, MJ Kaufman, Stav Palti-Negev, and Celine Song. These evenings are directed and performed by experienced artists from the theatrical community.

ROCKET PARK by Liza Birkenmeier, Wednesday, May 31

In some small American town in 1979, Marlene in concerned that her new neighbor is listening to her through the shared wall of their apartments. Her queer, Christian experience of the Cold War leads to a bizarre accident. As she copes in the aftermath, she begins to wonder:  is she being watched? 

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NARWHALS: UNICORNS OF THE SEA by MJ Kaufman, Thursday, June 1

Directed by Will Davis

Max is a trans guy who recently transitioned. The men in his family are so supportive they throw him a big Super Bowl party to celebrate! But what if the guys in his family aren’t the kind of men he wants to be?

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THE UNBEARABLE WHITENESS OF BEING by Jeremy J. Kamps, Wednesday, June 7

Signey Mooney is a woker-than-woke white ally — until the going gets tough and her privilege sabotages her intentions. What does it mean to be an ally for racial justice? And what happens when an ally fails to be an ally?

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ELSEWHERE: A PLAY FOR AN AUDIENCE OF ONE by Stav Palti-Negev, Thursday, June 8

One at a time, we witness the stories of refugees from Syria, Palestine, Bosnia and beyond as they share their stories of displacement. ELSEWHERE takes each of us on an individual journey to meet the people who live in the margins of our society.

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ENDLINGS by Celine Song, Tuesday, June 13

On the island of Man-Jae in Korea, three elderly women spend their dying days diving into the ocean to harvest seafood with nothing but a rusty knife. They are “haenyeos”— “sea women” —and there are no heiresses to their millennium-old tradition. ENDLINGS is a real estate lesson from the last three remaining “haenyeos” in the world: don’t live on an island. Unless it’s the island of Manhattan…

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DESSERT by Phillip Howze, Thursday, June 15

Directed by Tina Landau

To break the silence of perpetual mourning, a small community stages an epic intervention. But when the past and present collide, the fates of a forgotten few become the destiny of a nation.

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UNTITLED PLAY by Hammaad Chaudry, Monday, June 19

Why do the values of the United States get to set the benchmark of what a successful culture is?  And who gets to define what those values are in the first place?  

Through a kaleidoscopic lens, join us for UNTITLED PLAY, as we embark upon an uncharted adventure through Muslim America.

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RECKONING: FURIES FROM A NEW QUEER NATION by Geraldine Inoa, Thursday, June 22

2015: a year when the Supreme Court's landmark ruling on marriage equality coincided with a record number of trans women being murdered. Reckoning: Furies from a New Queer Nation examines the most pressing issues affecting Queer America today: gay white male privilege, homelessness, and racism. It follows the parallel lives of characters sharing one city and one community—yet experiencing opposing realities. Because when a Supreme Court ruling like marriage equality passes, we must ask: what did we accomplish and who did we leave behind?

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TORERA by Monet Hurst-Mendoza, Monday, June 26

Childhood friends Elena and Tanok come from different worlds, but they share one dream: to become matadors in Mexico's bullfighting circuit. Though class and gender divide them, they are determined ascend to the top of this cutthroat sport. Who will rise, and who will fall?

3pm - Get tickets
7pm - Get tickets 

*Tickets must be picked up 30 minutes before the performance. If you wish to attend a sold-out performance, you can add your name to the standby line in person at the box office in the lobby of The Public Theater starting at 2PM on the day of the performance. Any unclaimed reservations will be released 30 minutes prior to curtain, at which point we will seat people off of the standby line. 

Time Warner is the Founding Sponsor of the Emerging Writers Group, and provides continued program support through the Time Warner Foundation