Theatre @ Boston Court

The Theatre @ Boston Court announces PLAY/ground, the annual New Play Festival December 10-11, 2011 at Boston Court Performing Arts Center in Pasadena, CA. Literary Managers Aaron Henne and Emilie Beck, in concert with Artistic Directors Jessica Kubzansky and Michael Michetti, have selected five plays to be presented as staged readings in the Marjorie Branson Performance Space.

The Theatre @ Boston Court's play festival presents plays that are in keeping with Boston Court's mission, which urges artists to fearlessly and passionately pursue their unique voice and vision. Play selection encompasses a wide variety of genres, with a special emphasis on nurturing playwrights and new play development, which are inherently theatrical, textually rich, and visually arresting.

This year's lineup includes "Everything You Touch" by Sheila Callaghan, "Egyptian Song" by James Christy Jr., "The Golden Dragon" by Roland Schimmelpfennig, "Cassiopeia" by David Wiener and "Seven Spots on the Sun" by Martin Zimmerman.

Callaghan's "Everything You Touch," directed by Jessica Kubzansky, will be read Saturday, December 11 at 11am. Victor is a haute couture fashion designer in the 1970s teetering at the top of his game. Esme, his dramatic protege and muse, is pushed aside when an ordinary woman with ordinary tastes upends their haute partnership. A generation later, Jess, a woman struggling with a healthy dose of self-loathing, must wrestle her own fashion demons to find her way through a world that wouldn't give her a second look, much less make clothing in her size. Skipping back and forth in time, this is a viciously funny look at the struggle to seek a self that goes beyond skin deep.

Christy's "Egyptian Song," directed by Scott Smith, will be read Saturday, December 11 at 2:30pm. A profound look inside the ways in which a society forms its rules for conducts of behavior, and traces the steps by which a social code can overwhelm familial love. This moving and urgent play follows the adolescence of an Egyptian brother and sister between the world wars. While the gifted young Zahia tries to sing her way to personal liberation following the example of Josephine Baker, her brother Nahal falls in with a group of radicals bent on liberating Egypt from foreign influence. Two actors play almost a dozen characters in this very theatrical story of filial love betrayed by world views colliding.

Schimmelpfennig's "The Golden Dragon," directed by Michael Michetti, will be read Saturday, December 11 at 5pm. Against a background of powerful theatrical imagery, we witness moments from the lives of 15 people, played by an ensemble of 5 actors, who live and work in a modern multi-ethnic community. At the center of the story is "The Golden Dragon," an Asian restaurant, and a young Chinese man suffering from a serious toothache. Built around this is a mosaic of intersecting lives whose common denominator is the silent cry of contemporary society: "I wish I was someone else."

Wiener's "Cassiopeia," directed by Emilie Beck, will be read Sunday, December 11 at 11am. "Cassiopeia" is about the curious business of remembering. Quiet, a mathematical prodigy in his later years, and Odetta, a maid from the rural south in the middle of her life, are voices in the wilderness of a society that doesn't quite fit them. As they recount the stories of their disparate but parallel lives, they are united in their common isolation, and their passionate theories about time, space, longing, and desire. Their stories unfold in a delicate tracery of their invisible struggles to find connection, their silent triumphs, and their serendipitous collision in the moment of breaking free.

Zimmerman's "Seven Spots on the Sun," directed by Dan Bonnell, will be read Sunday, December 11 at 2pm. San Isidro has been without its doctor, Moises, since the day the army brutally took his wife away during the country's civil war. However, when a mysterious plague begins to ravage the countryside around San Isidro, the local parish priest convinces Moises to take action. Upon examining his first patient, the doctor discovers he has the miraculous power to heal with the touch of his hand. A meditation on mourning, redemption, and revenge, "Seven Spots on the Sun" follows different characters' attempts to come to terms with the extraordinary loss they have both suffered and inflicted, and the miracles they have witnessed.

The free readings are open to the public and reservations can be made by calling (626) 683-6883. The audience is invited to attend an artist reception following the final reading, at 4:30 on Sunday, December 11.