New Play Summit marks 5 years as festival of new works at Capital Repertory Theatre and Proctors

NEXT ACT! New Play Summit 5, a joint venture between Capital Repertory Theatre and Proctors, will feature readings of two contest winning works and a new musical, as well as a Second Look at a piece from 2014’s First 15 event.

Celebrating its fifth anniversary, NEXT ACT! has become a world premiere machine, with MainStage productions of Suzanne Bradbeer’s The God Game and Naked Influence; Sherry Kramer’s How Water Behaves; and Bob Morris’ Assisted Loving: Dating With My Dad rising out of the festival’s first four years.

“It’s interesting that every year the reading committee unearths a prevailing theme,” says theREP’s Assistant to the Artistic Director Margaret Hall. “One year there was a surprising number of submissions incorporating robots; another, everyone seemed to be writing about their aging parents. This year, however, among the 450 plus entries, issue plays rose to the top—discussions of topics such as race, gender and politics were definitely at the forefront.”

Steven Peterson’s Paris Time—a probing look at anti-Semitism in modern France—receives a full Second Look reading for NEXT ACT! 2016, 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 21, at theREP, 111 N. Pearl St., Albany.

Plan B, with book by Michael Barakiva and Emily Mikesell, and music & lyrics by Michael Hicks, is at theREP 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 22. In this comic cabaret style performance, Hicks and Mikesell—a N. Pearl Street mainstay—tackle what it means to have a ‘plan b’ in life.

In Honor Student, by Michael Erickson, freedom of speech and censorship collide with personal safety on a college campus, making a professor fear for her life. 5 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 23, GE Theatre at Proctors, 432 State St., Schenectady.

In Joe Breen’s The Hands That Hold Us, a family that has been dealt its fair share of blows begins to question what it means to truly live when a 25-year old daughter’s cancer returns. 7:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 24, at theREP.

In addition to the above readings, the four-day summit includes daytime events designed to shed light on new play development, including a reprise of New Voices, which introduces short works written by younger playwrights (2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 22 at theREP), and The First 15, a much-loved 15-minute reading and discussion of final round winners (12 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 23 at the GE Theatre).

Complimentary refreshments will be available at all events.

Day passes, $10 (students $5 with valid ID), are available at Proctors and Capital Repertory Theatre Box Offices; by phone at 445-SHOW (518.445.7469); and online at

The NEXT ACT! New Play Summit 5 is made possible in part by a legacy gift from Samson O.A. Ullmann, professor of English at Union College, 1957-1992.