Williams Street Repertory is excited to announce the 2017-2018 LAB Series season. The new work staged reading series is dedicated to showcasing new scripts and emerging playwrights. WSRep’s LAB Series strives to offer a public forum that brings audiences and theatre artists together to share and discuss a wide range of exciting new work. All readings are followed by a facilitated Q&A session designed to support the playwright in the next stage of their process.
“Regional theatres have taken up the mantle of producing new work across the country in the past decade,” says director and LAB Series producer, Michele Vazquez. “No one is really doing this in our area. In Chicago, yes, but we are a small regional theatre about 50 miles out of the city in a small community that has stories to tell, too. We’re excited for this opportunity to showcase new work from playwrights based all over the country. It is deeply satisfying to see our tremendously talented local artists engaging with our audiences in such an intimate and immediate way.”
Open submissions for the third season of WSRep’s LAB Series began in June, with the theatre company receiving new work from over 50 playwrights. Each script was read by a minimum of two readers from a reading committee composed of local theatre artists and supporters. All scripts were read as a blind submission, meaning the playwright’s personal information was omitted.
The third season of WSRep’s LAB Series kicks off with a historical thriller on October 16, 2017. In Germaine Shames’ “The Degenerates,” when Adolf Hitler declares war on Europe’s avant-garde, a jaded Paris art dealer and a high-minded Berlin art student play a deadly game of bait-and-switch to save the life of a condemned Jewish artist.
The 2017-2018 LAB Series season continues with a trial of good and evil on November 20, 2017. Donna Latham’s “Suffer A Witch” follows Grace, an independent, tart-tongued, unorthodox herbalist-healer who sticks out like a witch’s teat in a God-fearing community. When the court orders a trial by water, Grace is dunked into the waters of Lynnhaven River. Will Grace sink or float? Is she innocent or guilty?
LAB Series enters the New Year with “Miss Expanding Universe” by Conor McShane on February 12, 2018. In this comedic family drama, 17-year-old runaway Amber shows up at her uncle David’s apartment with no job, no money and no plan. David, a struggling writer and recovering alcoholic, tries to get Amber to open up about why she ran away and the two self-proclaimed misfits forge a deeper, unexpected connection.
The season continues with “Group” by Alex Rubin on May 7, 2018. In this drama of friendship and healing set in a quiet New Jersey beach town, four women are about to have a very unusual reunion. Kari, Rachel, Janet and Joy are the 1988 graduates of Deena Boyd’s Home for Disturbed Young Women, a center for teenagers with eating disorders. 30 years later, the women are back at the house to speak to the current residents about life in remission… but there is still one secret that unites them.
Join WSRep for a fanciful history of a remarkable woman on June 18, 2018. Ian August’s “The Excavation of Mary Anning” tells the story of a 19th-century fossil hunter, Mary Anning, as she moves to tear down a system desperate to keep her anonymous.
WSRep closes the 2017-2018 LAB Series season with “Snowfall” by Robin Brooks on July 30, 2018. In this poignant family drama, artist Li seeks peace with her boyfriend in a secluded cabin in the woods, but a snowstorm and a trio of uninvited guests quickly strains their relationship, and the secrets pile as high as the snow drifts.
WSRep’s LAB Series readings are held select Mondays at 7 p.m. at Raue Center For The Arts. Admission is FREE! Come for the reading and stay for a discussion afterward. The LAB Series reading of today may become the mainstage production of tomorrow!