Left to Right: Susan Daniels, Darcie Champagne, Chris Daftsios, Sandra Blaney, Paul Melendy, Eric Henry Sanders
New Century Theatre kicked off its new summer play-reading series last Friday, June 13, with a splash! Maybe, Probably, local playwright Eric Henry Sanders’ new comedy, follows two couples as they struggle, laugh, worry, and delight both in parenthood and in anticipation of it. Eric Henry Sanders is also a novelist, screenwriter, and professor at Hampshire College where he recently taught a writing class called “The Good Story: How Narratives Work.”
Friday night’s reading was the first time Maybe, Probably was performed in front of a public audience after table readings at the Lark Playwrights Development Project in New York. The reading was directed by Mount Holyoke professor Susan Daniels and starred actors Sandra Blaney, Paul Melendy, Darcie Champagne, and Chris Daftsios. This reading didn’t have a talk back afterwards, but play-readings in the future likely will.
When asked about the revival of the play-reading series, New Century Theatre Producing Director Sam Rush said, “We used to do a new play series back in the 1990s but stopped because the work of doing [it] was getting in the way of our mainstage season.” Luckily for the community, that doesn’t appear to be a problem this summer. Sam Rush elaborated on his vision for the series:
“I like new plays and enjoy giving playwrights -especially local writers a chance to develop their scripts by having some audience feedback.”
If you missed out on this (free and open to the public) community event, don’t despair: The play-reading series will continue August 4th with a rendition of Life Isn’t Short Enough cowritten by the late Phil Kilbourne and his wife Marysue Moses.
Can't wait until August? Check out New Century Theatre's summer season, starting with Neil Simon's Laughter on the 23rd Floor June 19-28.
Photo Credit: Zoë Crabtree