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The Best New Playwrights 2009 written by Lawrence Harbison

 

The Best New Playwrights 2009 written by Lawrence Harbison

Overview:

Editor Lawrence Harbison handpicks some of the finest plays by new American Playwrights from the 2008-2009 theatrical season

The selection includes Animals Out of Paper by Rajiv Joseph whose play Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo has been nominated for a 2010 Pulitzer Prize

AMERICAN HWANGAP—Lloyd Suh
It's dear old Dad's 60th birthday. Although he deserted his family years ago, they are holding a traditional Korean 60th birthday celebration (a hwangap) anyway
He comes back to the U.S. for his hwangap, and what ensues is funny and often quite poignant
"Suh strikes just the right balance between humor and deeply felt emotion"—Theatremania

ANIMALS OUT OF PAPER—Rajiv Joseph
A high school teacher and Origami enthusiast is a big fan of the work of an origami artist. He asks her to tutor a gifted young student of his, who might just be the Tiger Woods of Origami!

BEACHWOOD DRIVE—Steven Leigh Morris
This compelling drama centers on a Ukrainian woman working as a prostitute in Los Angeles and a LAPD detective determined to bust the gangsters with whom she is involved
"A police case study that is a truly chilling cautionary tale"—Backstage

CROOKED—Catherine Trieschmann
Laney, a teenaged girl with a crooked spine, has moved to a new town with her mother. There, she meets another girl named Maribel, who changes her life
"The themes - mother-daughter tensions, adolescence itself and religion as a refuge - emerge naturally from the fluent, often funny and sometimes fearlessly cruel dialogue"—NY Times

END DAYS—Deborah Zoe Laufer
The Steins are one strange American Family ...
Dad, Arthur, a World Trade Center survivor, suffers from terminal depression
Their daughter, Rachel, is an alienated goth chick, and Mom, Sylvia, thinks the Rapture is imminent. Neighbor Nelson, who dresses in Elvis' white jumpsuit, is an incorrigible optimist who loves Rachel and physics, and slowly but surely he straightens out the Stein family
And two of the characters, are none other than Jesus Christ and Stephen Hawking!
"Enormously funny, warm and uplifting"—Curtain Up

FARRAGUT NORTH—Beau Willimon
This compelling drama is about skullduggery on the campaign trail
"Beau Willimon's juicy and timely drama is a potent reminder that, like Hollywood, politics is a high-stakes game where one wrong liaison can finish you off. It's a place where friendships and loyalties are only as deep as the next cocktail or quick jump in the sack"—NY Daily News

JESUS HATES ME—Wayne Lemon
This hilarious comedy premiered at the Denver Center and has gone on to several other productions around the country
Set in W. Texas, it takes place at a run-down mini-golf track with a religious theme. It's called "Blood of the Lamb" and its trademark is a crucified Christ
"It disarms the audience with pointed one-liners and thoughtful existential observations. The audience laughs and hoots"—Variety

Synopsis:

Editor Lawrence Harbison handpicks some of the finest plays by new American Playwrights from the 2008-2009 theatrical season

The selection includes Animals Out of Paper by Rajiv Joseph whose play Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo has been nominated for a 2010 Pulitzer Prize

AMERICAN HWANGAP—Lloyd Suh
It's dear old Dad's 60th birthday. Although he deserted his family years ago, they are holding a traditional Korean 60th birthday celebration (a hwangap) anyway
He comes back to the U.S. for his hwangap, and what ensues is funny and often quite poignant
"Suh strikes just the right balance between humor and deeply felt emotion"—Theatremania

ANIMALS OUT OF PAPER—Rajiv Joseph
A high school teacher and Origami enthusiast is a big fan of the work of an origami artist. He asks her to tutor a gifted young student of his, who might just be the Tiger Woods of Origami!

BEACHWOOD DRIVE—Steven Leigh Morris
This compelling drama centers on a Ukrainian woman working as a prostitute in Los Angeles and a LAPD detective determined to bust the gangsters with whom she is involved
"A police case study that is a truly chilling cautionary tale"—Backstage

CROOKED—Catherine Trieschmann
Laney, a teenaged girl with a crooked spine, has moved to a new town with her mother. There, she meets another girl named Maribel, who changes her life
"The themes - mother-daughter tensions, adolescence itself and religion as a refuge - emerge naturally from the fluent, often funny and sometimes fearlessly cruel dialogue"—NY Times

END DAYS—Deborah Zoe Laufer
The Steins are one strange American Family ...
Dad, Arthur, a World Trade Center survivor, suffers from terminal depression
Their daughter, Rachel, is an alienated goth chick, and Mom, Sylvia, thinks the Rapture is imminent. Neighbor Nelson, who dresses in Elvis' white jumpsuit, is an incorrigible optimist who loves Rachel and physics, and slowly but surely he straightens out the Stein family
And two of the characters, are none other than Jesus Christ and Stephen Hawking!
"Enormously funny, warm and uplifting"—Curtain Up

FARRAGUT NORTH—Beau Willimon
This compelling drama is about skullduggery on the campaign trail
"Beau Willimon's juicy and timely drama is a potent reminder that, like Hollywood, politics is a high-stakes game where one wrong liaison can finish you off. It's a place where friendships and loyalties are only as deep as the next cocktail or quick jump in the sack"—NY Daily News

JESUS HATES ME—Wayne Lemon
This hilarious comedy premiered at the Denver Center and has gone on to several other productions around the country
Set in W. Texas, it takes place at a run-down mini-golf track with a religious theme. It's called "Blood of the Lamb" and its trademark is a crucified Christ
"It disarms the audience with pointed one-liners and thoughtful existential observations. The audience laughs and hoots"—Variety

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