Staged Reading in Berkeley, CA
THE MECCA TALES
by Rohina Malik
Directed by Jon Tracy
Friday December 11th at 2pm
Pacific School of Religion & Graduate Theological Union
room MUDD 100
1798 Scenic Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94709
Five Muslim women meet for the first time at the pilgrimage in Mecca known as the Hajj. Grace, the group’s leader, requires each of the pilgrims to reveal her unique and personal reason for making this journey. The women must choose whether to reveal themselves and go forward, or to guard their stories and stay behind. Poetic and transporting, The Mecca Tales explores the power of ritual and redemption. Commissioned and developed at the Goodman Theater.
World Premiere was in March 2015 at Chicago Dramatists.
The Mecca Tales received a Jeff Citation for Best New Play!
"Witty and poignant play" - Hedy Weiss, Chicago Sun-Times
"A hit! A palpable hit!...It's amazing what just listening-to dialogue as carefully wrought as Malik's can do. See this play!"--Kelly Kleiman & Johnathan Abarbanel--Dueling Critics
"Subtle and beautiful play" - Chloe Riley, The Reader
"Malik manages to take a religion and its customs...and convey its beauty...in a subtle but powerful way." Brian Hieggelke -- New City
Ariana Burks sings Stephen Cole and Todd Ellison's song One Night from the Black and White Ball on Windy City Live!
Watch the fabulous Ariana Burks sing Stephen Cole and Todd Ellison's song One Night from the Black and White Ball!
CHATHAM SINGER SHINES WITH 'ONE NIGHT' FROM 'THE BLACK AND WHITE BALL'
(click above to watch)
The Black and White Ball(Book & Lyrics by Stephen Cole; Music by Todd Ellison)
It’s 1966. Summer in New York City. America is a country in transition. Racial tensions are coming to a head. Black Power is a new catch-phrase in all the daily papers. The country is divided over the Vietnam War. Protests and violence are everywhere. The classes are ready to clash!And best selling In Cold Blood novelist Truman Capote announces he will host a Black and White Ball for five hundred of his closest friends at New York’s elite Plaza Hotel. In the depths of Brooklyn, Emma, a pretty orphaned teenage black girl whose mother taught her to read the society columns and to reach for the sky, longs to go to Truman’s Black and White Ball, thinking that it will really be a black and white ball, a party to bring the races together.When no invitation arrives in Emma’s mailbox, she and her next door neighbor, the smitten and artistic Mikey, decide to take the subway to Manhattan, find and stalk Truman Capote and get him to give her a deserved invite.When Truman meets the lovely, innocent and very unique Emma, he decides to make her his latest project. To groom her as Henry Higgins groomed Eliza Doolittle so that she will fit in at his Black and White Ball. He will make her the subject of his a new story. Another step into the world of the non-fiction novel that he has pioneered. But this time Truman will control and create his subject. How Truman and his Swans (fabled rich beauties who fawn over Capote) come up against Emma and her stepbrothers (Emma, who do you think you are? You’re Black!) is the story of The Black and White Ball.
Step Up Productions' 3rd Annual HoliDaze
November 20 – December 20, 2015
Original works by Mia McCullough, Steven Simoncic, MT Cozzola, Steven Peterson, Joshua Rollins and Jake Carr.
Temperance vs Tolerence by Mia McCullough
When Sabrina, who is 5 months sober, asks her historically considerate family to do Thanksgiving dinner sans alcohol she discovers that the family's tolerance for change does not extend to their drinking habits.
Mia’s plays have been produced at theatres around the country including Steppenwolf, Chicago Dramatists, and Stage Left (Chicago), The Old Globe and Mo’olelo Performing Arts Company (San Diego), InterAct (Philadelphia), SIS Productions (Seattle), and the Red Fern Theatre (New York). Last season the Goodman Theatre commissioned Mia to write a new play, Wisdom From Everything, as part of the Playwrights Unit. Most recently, her Squirrels Plays received a developmental reading in New York with Red Fern Theatre company. Mia’s plays have been published by Broadway Play Publishing, Smith & Kraus, and Chicago Dramatists. She also writes screenplays and dabbles in stand-up comedy. She lives just outside Chicago with her husband, son, and more pets than she would like. You can find her on Twitter at @brazenhussyrant.
Later in the Strange by Steven Simoncic
Later in the Strange is the story of those fierce, invisible women who are committed to holding our families, our traditions, and our lives together. No matter what.
Steven Simoncic’s plays have been produced and developed at The Goodman, Victory Gardens, The Second City, 16th Street, Stageplays NY, and Soho Theatre London. Steven’s play Heat Wave received a critically acclaimed production at Steppenwolf Theatre’s 2015 Garage Rep and Once Upon a Time in Detroit was a semi-finalist for the O’Neill National Playwrights Conference. Ghost Gardens, was a semi-finalist for the 2015 Global Age Project at Aurora Theatre, and Broken Fences was selected as a finalist for the 2015 Woodward/Newman Drama Award. His play, Toxic Donut, recently won the NAAA Playwriting Festival at The London Central School for Dramatics.
Christmas Eve Eve by MT Cozzola
Shay is anxious to make good at her new job, but she didn’t bargain for colleague Tyna’s massive holiday spirit—especially on the day before Christmas Eve. Both women learn the hard way that work families can be as complicated as the other kind, especially when gifts are involved.
MT Cozzola is a resident playwright at Chicago Dramatists, where she’s preparing for a workshop of her play Dance for Beginners. Her work has been called “haunting” (Time Out Chicago), “gleefully camp” (Revelation Perth International Film Festival), and “Scooby Doo camp meets Wes Anderson irony” (Hell’s Half Mile), and her play St. George on the Bus won the 2015 New Plays from the Heartland Festival. Her play Twin Set, which won an Illinois Arts Council Award, premiered at The Side Project in October 2015. She is represented by The Robert A. Freedman Dramatic Agency.
Someplace Warm by Steven Peterson
Carrie and Ted face another Chicago holiday season: cold, snow, ice, misery, arguments over family, arguments over gifts, and arguments over arguments. How can they get to someplace warm?
Steven Peterson's recent productions include Affluence (Theatre 40, Los Angeles), The Invasion of Skokie (Chicago Dramatists, revived by Shpiel Theatre), A Couple of Nobodies (The Artistic Home, revival at Step Up Productions), and the workshop production of Lydia Lindstrom (Raven Theatre). His plays have appeared at the new play festivals of Cleveland Play House, Utah Shakespeare Festival, the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center Theatre, Centre Stage (Greenville SC), and Theatre Ariel (Philadelphia). Steve is a two-time winner of the Julie Harris Playwright Award, a resident playwright at Chicago Dramatists, a member of the Dramatists Guild of America, and a survivor of a lifetime of Chicago winters
This Is That Moment by Joshua Rollins
Life changes in a moment. On Christmas Eve, two women confront the reality of their relationship and it’s future. A play about popcorn strings, time travel, and life changing in an instant.
Joshua Rollins' play, Concealed Carry was selected for the 2013 Seven Devils’ Playwrighting Conference with ID Theatre. His play A GIRL WITH SUN IN HER EYES debuted in Chicago in 2011 with Pine Box Theater Company. Other works include AMERICAN REX, which premiered with Chicago Street Theatre and was a finalist for the Eugene O’Neill Playwrights Conference and 25 SAINTS, which completed a run at Victory Garden’s Greenhouse Theatre in Chicago in 2013 and a sold-out run with Azeotrope Theatre in Seattle. Darlin' debuted in 2014 with StepUp Productions in Chicago, Il. And his latest, Hot Sauce Jesus was a finalist for the 2015 Eugene O’Neill Playwrights Conference. He currently has film and television projects in development in Los Angeles. He is repped by Paradigm Agency and Nicholas Bogner at Affirmative Entertainment.
Your Better Half by Jake Carr
Two young wives backpacking through Europe board an airport-bound train on Christmas morning. Confronted by a major turning point in their marriage, they become reluctant acquaintances with an older, eccentric British couple sitting opposite them. Bottled together in this small space, each pair examines how they communicate--or don't--amidst the frenzied pace and rigorous expectations of the holiday season.
Jake has long worked as an ensemble deviser and writer, frequently with Genesis, a Chicago-based collection of interdisciplinary artists. Several of his pieces have been featured by GayCo Productions, a sketch and improv company where "gay" is the given instead of the punchline. His short horror film Cheap Plastic Mask (Screenwriter, Co-Producer) is set to hit festivals in 2016. This is based on his radioplay of the same name which was a finalist in WildClaw Theatre's annual Deathscribe festival. Jake is an Artistic Associate of Step Up, and has been seen on stage with the company in Darlin' and the inaugural production of Holidaze. He is proud to be an instructor with Black Box Acting.
Don't forget to bring whole grain cereal or toothpaste for our collection for Lakeview Pantry
Pop-up Kid by MT Cozzola
Directed by Emmi Hilger
Chris is a lonely professional who is completely unprepared to get the promotion of her dreams. Plagued by an elusive visitor who seems to think she’s Chris’s daughter, a repeating voicemail message of doom from her late mom, and an awkward romance with the office loser, Chris tries to cope by embracing her newfound success.
Rusty Schwimmer*, Amy Jean Johnson, Doug MacKechnie*, Maura Kidwell
Andy Lutz, Ashley Honore*, Stephenie Park*, Patrick Kenney*
About the Saturday Series
Every Saturday afternoon at 2:00 PM (except for holiday weekends), Chicago Dramatists hosts a Saturday Series event in our theatre. Most Saturday Series events are public readings of plays-in-progress.
All plays read in the Saturday Series are directed, rehearsed, and presented with minimal staging. After each reading, the audience members are invited to fill out written response sheets and to join in a moderated post-reading discussion.
November, 7th 2pm at Chicago Dramatists
Robert A. Freedman Dramatic Agency, Inc.
Representing writers since 1928.