This year, more than 65 Metropolitan area theater companies are gathering at the Kennedy Center to present a series of free readings and open rehearsals of plays and musicals in development. The occasion is the 18th annual Page-to-Stage New Play Festival, always coinciding with the Labor Day weekend.
Some performances are done with scripts in hand, while others are almost fully staged, said Lauren E. Holland, public relations coordinator (non-classical) at the Kennedy Center.
The festival is not just about audiences seeing new works; it offers an opportunity for theater artists to receive feedback and network with organizations.
Here is a listing of four participating Montgomery County theaters in this year’s Page-to-Stage Festival:
4615 Theatre Co.
“The Infinite Tales” brings Director Gregory Keng Strasser’s unique blend of lyrical text and astonishing spectacle to 4615 Theatre with his original adaptation of the Irish mythology. This spellbinding fantasy follows the journey of four cursed children transformed into swans and banished from their homes for 900 years. Their struggle to return explores resonances within the Irish diaspora, as well as with people who search for a place to call home.
There will be a special preview of “The Infinite Tales” at the festival on Aug. 31 at 4 p.m. at the Terrace Theater. It will begin running at 4615 Theatre on Dec. 6-29.
Adventure Theatre MTC
“The Velveteen Rabbit,” is an adaptation by Washington, D.C. playwright Patrick Flynn. Margery Williams’ classic toy story gets a vibrant retelling in this brand-new adaptation of “The Velveteen Rabbit.”
When the Child gets the Rabbit for Christmas, she is at first disappointed in her gift. But as the two characters adventure through her storybooks, both characters grow and care for each other, and they soon discover that love is the greatest force in the universe that can turn impossible things into reality. This show runs no more than an hour, and it is perfect for young children and families.
The Kennedy Center performance is Sept. 2, 11 a.m., on Millennium Stage South. Later performances will take place at the theater in Glen Echo Park.
Founded in 2005, ArtStream teaches communication and social skills through participation in the performing arts. It will present “Poof! The Heist at Harrington Manor.”
The play is based on the book by Elizabeth Cronin, Annie Coffman and Catlin Caplinger, with music and lyrics by Leah Kocsis. It is directed by Elizabeth Cronin.
The actors are Frank Stephens, Jenny Holden and Annie Coffman.
A priceless painting at the Harrington Manor has gone mysteriously missing, and being accused of stealing it are the servants. Renowned detective Alfred Wright comes out of retirement to solve the case and discover the whereabouts of the missing painting. In this classic British whodunit, Wright and his team investigate and reveles deep secrets and the hidden motives of the Harrington family.
The scene will be performed on Sept. 2 at 2 p.m. in the Russian Lounge.
Best Medicine Rep
The Gaithersburg theater company will present Lori Boyd’s romantic comedy “The Fifth Date,” directed by Gaithersburg resident Lynn Sharp Spears. The play is about two recently divorced people who are desperate to find the one relationship that will last a lifetime. However, before they can find love, they need to overcome their insecurities.
The reading stars Nicholas Allen, Rebecca Ellis, Rebecca A. Herron and Yuri Lomakin. It will take place in the Terrace Gallery, Sept. 2 at 3:30 p.m.
Best Medicine Rep will present a full production of the play next spring.
For additional information, visit: https://www.kennedy-center.org/calendar/series/PTS. Because performances are free, no tickets are distributed ahead of time.