Plays by School of the Arts (SOA) alumni Kenny Finkle, SOA '99, and Gordon Dahlquist, SOA '92, have been selected from more than 1,000 submissions for the second-annual Summer Play Festival at the Theatre Row Complex on 42 nd Street in New York City.
The festival, which is founded and produced by renowned Broadway producer Arielle Tepper, promotes emerging playwrights by producing their works by professionals from all areas of theater.
"The Summer Play Festival has great people working on it and is a great place to showcase your work in New York City," says Finkle, whose play, Indoor/Outdoor, is a romantic comedy of sorts, inspired by his cat. The play features Samantha, a cat who has lived a life of safety and comfort indoors, but yearns to live outdoors after an encounter with an alley cat.
As Finkle began writing the play, he says, "I realized I was writing about relationships and how you survive in a committed relationship while still maintaining your independence."
Indoor/Outdoor premiered last summer at the Hangar Theatre in Ithaca, NY, and has productions this summer at the Colony Theatre in Burbank, Calif., and Trinity Repertory in Providence, R.I. Lily Hung, SOA'99 and a classmate of Finkle's, is producing the Summer Play Festival run at Theatre Row/Kirk Theatre 410 W. 42 nd St., July 12 -- 17.
Finkle will also participate in the New York City Fringe Festival in August, with the play Bridezilla Strikes Back. This summer he also will workshop a new play at the Hangar Theatre and he is under commission at the Ford Theatre.
Dahlquist's Messalina incorporates references to 4 th century Rome into a contemporary New York City dinner party honoring an Italian actress. The play opens just before the dinner party guests arrive and concludes after the guests leave. The play runs July 19 -- 24.
Messalina had its world premiere at the Evidence Room in Los Angeles in the fall of 2003. Among Dahlquist's other works are: Babylon is Everywhere: A Court Masque, at CINE, Schaeberle Theatre at Pace University and published in Theatre Magazine; Delerium Palace, Evidence Room, published in Breaking Ground; The Secret Machine, Twilight Theatre Company and Soho Rep, both in New York City, and Vortex du Plaisir, Ice Factory '99 Festival at the Ohio Theatre.
Dahlquist also has written and directed several experimental films, including Boise and Beyond (San Francisco International Film Festival), Requiem (Seattle International Film Festival) and the feature-length Rope of Blood (Northwest Film and Video Festival). In addition to playwriting and filmmaking, Dahlquist works in the research and development department of Columbia's Academic Information Systems.
Besides plays by Finkle and Dahlquist, Thom Clay, SOA '96, is the festival's general manager and students Rhonda Picou, SOA '07, and Molly Eustis, SOA '07, are stage management interns. Picou is working on two plays, Temp Odyssey and Split Wide Open and Eustis is assisting with The Map Maker's Sorrow.
During the inaugural production of the Summer Play Festival last summer, SOA alumni Rogelio Martinez and Heather Lynn MacDonald and faculty member Kelly Stuart each had works produced.
The Summer Play Festival runs through July 31 at Theatre Row/Kirk Theatre 410 W. 42 nd St. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit http://www.spfnyc.com/.