Manhattan Theatre Club, Friday Evening

Tonight were Reg and Tom’s readings, both of which went well.

Tom’s play ‘Fatherland’: In this heart-stopping play, what starts as an innocent evening of ice cream and DVDs rapidly derails into much more dangerous territory. ‘Fatherland’ is a complex examination of the destructive cycle of desire and betrayed trust between a father who goes too far, and a daughter struggling to cope. It is a play about love. About how we can destroy it and about how it can tear us apart.

And Reg’s play ‘The Dammed’ – about 200 miles apart, two 16 year-old school girls, Kylie and Natasha, walk into separate police stations to make a confession. A confession of a crime so unimaginable and confounding, the full extent of what they are saying only slowly dawns on the police. And in their hometown, nothing will ever be the same again. What drives two teenage girls to commit a crime that shakes their hometown to the core and shocks the entire country? ‘The Damned’ attempts to dissect the unpalatable truth at the heart of this ‘thrill kill.’ Set in the fictional coal mining town of Rainbow, we follow the journey of our two young protagonists from awkward schoolgirl attraction to unholy alliance and murder.

Reg thought “The Readings at Manhattan Theatre Club were exactly what I needed to finish this trip with. We all had to be on our toes as our rehearsal time was minimal, but the castings were fantastic. All the readings had a raw, edgy quality about them and I loved hearing my work, (a difficult play) reinvented by American actors. It felt fresh again!”

And Tom thought “The great thing that comes from not getting much time with actors before a reading is spontaneity. Sometimes I think this style of reading captures something better than when you have a few days to prepare. Both my actors, Jessica Love and Rocco Sisto, went with their instincts in the read, which resulted in some really wonderful choices being made by them.”

And each playwright’s highlight from their week in New York?

Max: “New Dramatists are incredible – the spaces, the support, the attention to personal development needs – I wish we had a home like that for playwrights in Australia.”

Tom (in research for a new play): “Getting taken around the 9/11 memorial by two people that had lost family members in the tragedy. It was just me, the two of them and this immense, empty memorial site. And all while the sun went down on a cold winter’s day. It was amazing.”

Lally: “It was so inspiring to meet with the New Dramatists and hear about their commitment to new writing. I also had a fantastic meeting with the Literary Manger of MCC Theatre NY, who spent almost two hours talking to me about my work and where it might fit in New York. He gave me such wise and helpful advice on my life as a writer and how that could work both in Australia and New York. It was a conversation that will end up playing a big part in my future.”

Reg: “I loved our session with New Dramatists. Anybody that welcomes playwrights to their bosom is a friend of mine! They made me see the possibilities of being a working playwright in a city like NY. It felt a little less daunting after talking with them. Really enjoyed our lunch with J.T Rogers. Loved hearing anecdotes and stories of life from a real working playwright in NY. And I saw ‘Matilda’. What’s NY without a great musical up your sleeve!”

And Inscription Director, Marcus West: “New York, with all its wonderful energy and opportunity. While we only skimmed the surface, there were still a raft of great meetings and connections to be made. I was really pleased with the way the guys not only made the most of establishing relationships and executing their reads beautifully, but also arranged further meetings in and around an already hectic schedule.”

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