Thursday, January 11, 2007

Youngblood 2006: A Year in Review (May – August)

Today we continue our three-part review of Youngblood’s accomplishments in 2006 with a look back at those sizzling summer months.

Qui Nguyen has his second production of the year, this time at Center Stage with his own company Vampire Cowboys. Living Dead in Denmark, an action-adventure / horror sequel to Hamlet in which Shakespeare’s feistiest heroines battle the undead, is directed by Robert Ross Parker and stars Carlo Alban, Jason Liebman, Maggie Macdonald, Tom Myers, Melissa Paladino, Jason Schumacher, Maureen Sebastian, Andrea Marie Smith, Temar Underwood, & Amy Kim Waschke. Living Dead in Denmark goes on to win the New York Innovative Theater Award for Best Choreography (Marius Hanford).

The Youngblood Sunday Brunch comes to an end as Glory Days at Jesus High and Sexmento reach their finales. On the first Sunday of every month for the last eight months, the scribes of Youngblood slaved backstage to cook bacon and pancakes for their hungry audiences, while on stage the actors performed their serialized episodes of the mysterious Sexmento and the sacrilegious Jesus High. The cast of Sexmento includes Diana Ruppe, Dawn Evans, Emily Mostyn-Brown, R.J. Tolan, Graeme Gillis, and J.J. Kandell. Jesus High stars Julie Leedes, Anna Stumpf, Steve Sanpietro, Gregg Mozgala, and Josh Haness

Over at the 31st Annual Samuel French Off-Off Broadway Original Short Play Festival, Sharyn Rothstein’s RelationTrip wins First Prize. This tale of couples coming together and falling apart over the course of a train ride is directed by Catherine Ward and stars Will Harper and Youngblood alum Zakiyyah Alexander. The play will be published later this year.

Also on the publishing front, Kevin Christopher Snipes’ Virgin Rock is published as part of The Best Plays of the Strawberry One-Act Festival, Volume 3. The one-act previously won Best Play during the Summer 2005 Strawberry One-Act Festival at the Producers Club.

Youngblood sells their artistic vision, their playwriting, and their very souls - to the highest bidder as part of the Brick Theater’s $ellout Festival. In early April, Youngblood ran an eBay auction to dramatize the true-life story of the highest bidder. Tom Ritchford wins and his life of wild parties, terminally-ill parents and (possibly) underage sex become fodder for playwrights Qui Nguyen, Michael Lew, Courtney Lauria, Daria Polatin, Emily Conbere, Edith L. Freni, Sharyn Rothstein and Annie Baker who pen The True Life Story of Tom Richford. R.J. Tolan directs a cast including Lucia Brizzi, Helen Coxe, David Gelles-Hurwitz, Debbie Jaffe, Moira Lael MacDonald, Gregg Mozgala and Steven Sanpietro.

Over at Ars Nova, Elizabeth Meriwether has a reading of her new play Bobby, starring Josh Hamilton and Tony-nominee Jayne Houdyshell.

And last but not least, Time Out New York lists the ten most promising playwrights in New York City. Two Youngblooders make the list: Qui Nguyen and Elizebeth Meriwether.

Needing to refuel their creative sprits, Youngblood heads to Lexington for their annual Summer Retreat. Much merriment is had despite the thunderstorms.

Still refueling, Youngblood goes on hiatus.

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After all that refueling, you’re probably curious what amazing things Youngblood did when it returned in the fall. The only way to find out is to check back in a few days when we present the third and final chapter of Youngblood 2006: A Year in Review.

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