ALL SHOWS, DATES & TIMES SUBJECT TO CHANGE

BLEACHER BUMS

A STAGED READING
from our BY THE BOOK series

Conceived by Joe Mantegna and written by The Organic Theatre Company

An the bleachers at Chicago’s Wrigley Field, die hard Cub fans root for their team. The group includes a rabid cheerleader, a blind man who follows the game by transistor radio and does his own play by play, a bathing beauty, a nerd and various other bleacher denizens. As the game proceeds, they bet among themselves on every conceivable event, go out for frosty malts or beers, try to pick up the bathing beauty and, occasionally, watch the game.

This project was made possible with funding by the Arts Council of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County in our City of Arts and Innovation.

“Peppered with laughs.”-N.Y. Times

“Cheerful, boisterous and fun.”- Newsday


FREE ADMISSION!
Suggested $5 donation to Triad Softball League.

RESERVATIONS RECOMMENDED by visiting Brown Paper Tickets

Performance:
Friday, June 1, 2012 at 8 pm

TAKING MY TURN

A STAGED READING/MUSICAL
from our BY THE BOOK series

A benefit for the Shepard’s Center of Greater Winston-Salem

Book by Robert H. Livingston
Lyrics by Will Holt
Music by Gary William Friedman

Winner of the 1984 Outer Critic’s Circle Award for Best Lyrics/Music!

Taking My Turn is the award-winning, critically acclaimed musical by the same team that collaborated on the hit show The Me Nobody Knows. Taking My Turn was one of the first musicals to deal with aging. The spoken words were collected from interviews with people “in their prime”, which became the basis for the non-linear book.

This project was made possible with funding by the Arts Council of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County in our City of Arts and Innovation.

“Irrepressibly young at heart. A life-enhancing musical evening!” — Mel Gussow, The New York Times

“A lovely, exultant show… I had a great time!” — Clive Barnes, The New York Post

Taking my Turn left me walking on air!” — Rex Reed

TICKETS: $16

Performances:

Saturday, August 18, 2012 at 8 pm
Sunday, August 19, 2012 at 2 pm

WHO’S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF?

A STAGED READING
from our BY THE BOOK series

by Edward Albee

Winner of the 1963 Tony Award for Best Play

In this classic American play, George, a professor at a small college, and his wife, Martha, have just returned home, drunk from a Saturday night party. Martha announces, amidst general profanity, that she has invited a young couple — ”an opportunistic new professor at the college and his shatteringly naive new bride” — to stop by for a nightcap. When they arrive the charade begins. The drinks flow and suddenly inhibitions melt. It becomes clear that Martha is determined to seduce the young professor, and George couldn’t care less. But underneath the edgy banter, which is crossfired between both couples, lurks an undercurrent of tragedy and despair. George and Martha’s inhuman bitterness toward one another is provoked by the enormous personal sadness that they have pledged to keep to themselves: a secret that has seemingly been the foundation for their relationship.

This project was made possible with funding by the Arts Council of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County in our City of Arts and Innovation.

Performance:
Friday, August 31, 2012 at 8 pm

THE MOUND BUILDERS

A STAGED READING
from our BY THE BOOK series

by Lanford Wilson

At an archeological dig in the Midwest, a party of university scientists are unearthing vestiges of a lost Indian civilization. Heading the group is Dr. Howe, accompanied by his wife and daughter, and by a younger associate and his wife. They are all joined by Dr. Howe’s sister, a famous and jaded novelist, who is “drying out” after many years of dissipation in remote parts of the world. There is also an outsider, the acquisitive son of a local landowner, who wants the digging site to be turned into a commercialized tourist trap. Interweaving past and present through the use of slides, the action of the play probes into the lives-and conflicts-of these disparate people. Their story evokes resonances that illuminate what we are and will surely become, and which underscore the irony of our collective blindness to the disturbing lessons that a close study of the past must inevitably reveal.

Winner of the Obie Award for distinguished playwriting.

This project was made possible with funding by the Arts Council of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County in our City of Arts and Innovation.

“…. there is fabulous beauty in the play’s writing.” – NY Post.

The Mound Builders is among the five or ten most significant American plays of the decade.” – Village Voice.

Performance:
Friday, October 5, 2012 at 8 pm

LONE STAR
LAUNDRY & BOURBON

Two one-act comedies
A STAGED READING
from our BY THE BOOK series

by James McLure

ADMISSION: Free/Donation to the Samaritan Ministries Penny Campaign

LONE STAR: Conceived as a companion piece to Laundry & Bourbon, the play takes place in the cluttered backyard of a small-town Texas bar. Roy, a brawny, macho type who had once been a local high-school hero, is back in town after a hitch in Vietnam and trying to reestablish his position in the community. Joined by his younger brother, Ray (who worships him), Roy sets about consuming a case of beer while regaling Ray with tales of his military and amorous exploits. Apparently Roy cherishes three things above all; his country, his sexy young wife, and his 1959 pink Thunderbird. With the arrival of Cletis, the fatuous, newlywed son of the local hardware store owner, the underpinnings of Roy’s world begin to collapse.

Lone Star is an uproarious comedy about two bawdily rambunctious Texas brothers peppered with the playwright’s own special brand of cascading, spontaneous wit.” – NY Times.

LAUNDRY & BOURBON: Conceived as a companion piece to Lone Star, the setting is the front porch of Roy and Elizabeth’s home in Maynard, Texas, on a hot summer afternoon. Elizabeth and her friend Hattie are whiling away the time folding laundry, watching TV, sipping bourbon and Coke, and gossiping about the many open secrets which are so much a part of small-town life. They are joined by the self-righteous Amy Lee who, among other tidbits, can’t resist blurting out that Roy has been seen around town with another woman.

This project was made possible with funding by the Arts Council of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County in our City of Arts and Innovation.

Performance:
Friday, November 9, 2012 at 8 pm

ELEPHANT’S GRAVEYARD

A STAGED READING
from our BY THE BOOK series

by George Brant

ADMISSION: Free/Donation to the Forsyth County Humane Society

Winner of the 2008 Keene Prize for Literature
Winner of the 2008 David Mark Cohen National Playwriting Award

This unique play explores the true tale of the tragic collision of a struggling circus and a tiny town in Tennessee, which resulted in the only known lynching of an elephant. Set in September of 1916, the play combines historical fact and legend, exploring the deep-seated American craving for spectacle, violence and revenge.

This project was made possible with funding by the Arts Council of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County in our City of Arts and Innovation.

“The script-based on a true story about a traveling circus that, in 1916, stumbled into gory disaster in a muddy Tennessee town-is, like the best art, microscopically specific with echoes that radiate outward across time. It conjures a world with its own atmosphere and terrible internal logic. It’s mesmerizing… symphonic in its emotional variations on a tragic theme. Elephant’s Graveyard buzzes with truth about the consequences of misunderstanding, the invisible but enormous gap between artists and their audiences, and the infernal beauty of vaudeville.” – The Stranger, Seattle

“A theatrical masterpiece.” – Columbia City Paper

Performances:

Friday, January 11, 2013, at 8 pm
Saturday, January 12, 2013 at 8 pm

GOD OF CARNAGE

A STAGED READING
from our BY THE BOOK series

by Yasmina Reza

Winner of the 2009 Tony Award!

A playground altercation between eleven-year-old boys brings together two sets of Brooklyn parents for a meeting to resolve the matter. At first, diplomatic niceties are observed, but as the meeting progresses, and the rum flows, tensions emerge and the gloves come off, leaving the couples with more than just their liberal principles in tatters.

This project was made possible with funding by the Arts Council of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County in our City of Arts and Innovation.

[A] streamlined anatomy of the human animal.delivers the cathartic release of watching other people’s marriages go boom. A study in the tension between civilized surface and savage instinct, this play is itself a satisfyingly primitive entertainment.” – NY Times.

“Elegant, acerbic and entertainingly fueled on pure bile. It’s Reza’s sharpest work since ‘Art’.” – Variety.

Performance:
Friday, March 1, 2013 at 8 pm

THE EXONERATED

A STAGED READING
from our BY THE BOOK series

Winner 2003 Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards!

Culled from interviews, letters, transcripts, case files and the public record, The Exonerated tells the true stories of six wrongfully convicted survivors of death row in their own words.

We meet Kerry, a sensitive Texan brutalized on death row for twenty-two years before being exonerated by DNA evidence; we meet Gary, a Midwestern organic farmer condemned for the murder of his own parents and later exonerated when two motorcycle-gang members confess. We meet Robert, an African-American horse groomer who spent seven years on death row for the murder of a white woman before evidence emerges that the victim was found clutching hair from a Caucasian attacker. We hear from David, a shy man with aspirations to the ministry, bullied into confessing at eighteen to a robbery/murder he had nothing to do with, scarred from a youth spent in prison and struggling to regain his faith; and from Sunny, a bright-spirited hippie who, along with her husband, spent seventeen years in prison for the murder of two police officers-while another man confessed and was ignored by the courts. And we meet Delbert, a poet who serves as the play’s center, convicted of a rape/murder in the Deep South of the 1970s and later freed when evidence surfaced showing that he was not even in the town when the crime occurred.

Moving between first-person monologues and scenes set in courtrooms and prisons, the six interwoven stories paint a picture of an American criminal justice system gone horribly wrong-and of six brave souls who persevered to survive it.

This project was made possible with funding by the Arts Council of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County in our City of Arts and Innovation.

Performance:
Saturday, April 13, 2013 at 8 pm

LADIES AT THE ALAMO

A STAGED READING
from our BY THE BOOK series

The setting is the lavish reception room of the new multi-million-dollar Alamo Theatre, a regional theatre complex that has grown from a small operation in a converted church to one of the glories of Texas culture. As the action begins we learn that the leadership of Dede Cooper, founder and artistic director of the Alamo, is being challenged, and the Chairman of the Board, a lady of great wealth and lust for power, is scheming to replace Dede with a fading Hollywood star. As the hour of the decisive board meeting nears, Dede and her supporters maneuver to outflank the opposition, and as the crisis point is reached the verbal battles and shocking revelations build to fever pitch.

This project was made possible with funding by the Arts Council of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County in our City of Arts and Innovation.

Performance:
Friday, May 24, 2013 at 8 pm