Every day is opening night.

David Schwimmer, John Pollono & More Join MCC Theater for Playlab Reading Series

Rick Miramontez / Scott Braun / Michael Jorgensen
rick@oandmco.com / scott@oandmco.com / Michael@oandmco.com





FOR 2014



New York, NY – MCC THEATER (Robert LuPone, Bernard Telsey, William Cantler, Artistic Directors; Blake West, Executive Director) is excited to announce the 2014 PlayLabs reading series, which will feature new works in development by playwrights Stephen Belber, John Pollono, and Will Snider.  “Friends” alum David Schwimmer, currently represented off-Broadway with his direction of the critically-acclaimed hit Sex with Strangers, is set to direct Belber’s Shut Up When You Talk to Me.  Pollono’s Lost Girls will be directed by MCC alum Jo Bonney, who also directed MCC’s hit production of Pollono’s Small Engine Repair.  Snider’s How to Use a Knife will be helmed by Kareem Fahmy.     Readings will be held on September 15th, September 29th, and October 6th, respectively, at the Lucille Lortel Theatre (121 Christopher Street).  All readings are at 7pm.  Full casting will be announced at a later date.  Tickets are $10, which include the post-reading reception.  For tickets and more info, please visit www.mcctheater.org


MCC’s PlayLabs provides audiences with: a rare first look at brand new plays by a group of notable emerging playwrights; the opportunity to participate in post-show conversations that aid in the development of the work; and a meet-n-greet wine reception with actors and the creative team following all activities.  PlayLabs works often have later life through full-scale productions at MCC and other renowned theaters regionally across the U.S., in New York, and internationally.  Among plays first read publicly in MCC’s PlayLabs are works by Pulitzer Prize finalist Adam Rapp and Tony Award® nominee Stephen Adly Guirgis, among many others. 


2014 PlayLabs Readings                                                


by John Pollono
directed by Jo Bonney
Monday, September 15 at 7pm

Lou and Maggie, divorced but now compelled to join forces when their daughter has stolen the car and disappeared into a blinding snowstorm, must confront their volatile past and come to terms with the bitter unravelling of a once promising romance.  A story of deep resentment and great love by the writer of MCC’s smash hit SMALL ENGINE REPAIR.


by Will Snider
directed by Kareem Fahmy
Monday, September 29 at 7pm


In the chaotic hustle and bustle of a popular restaurant kitchen, Steve is hiding in plain sight.  An East African immigrant, he seems to be a humble yet dignified dishwasher, but Steve has a shocking past during the bloody Rwandan ethnic cleansing, and Immigration authorities are on his trail.  Written by a young, exciting new talent, the play bursts with grinding suspense, energy and surprise.


by Stephen Belber
directed by David Schwimmer
Monday, October 6 at 7pm


From celebrated writer Stephen Belber comes a new play about the journey of friends from idealistic, exciting, “brave new world” youth to wiser but definitely sadder middle age. Drifter Mack drops into Luke’s circumscribed, boring and safe life, threatening to blow it all apart by alcoholic binges, infidelity, and family abandonment.  How far can he make Luke go to recapture the fire of their younger years?


The previously announced 2014-15 MCC Theater Main Stage Season will feature: Elizabeth Reaser, Gia Crovatin, Golden Globe nominee Callie Thorne, and Frederick Weller in the world premiere of MCC Playwright-in-Residence Neil LaBute’s new play, The Money Shot, directed by Terry Kinney.  Performances for The Money Shot (September 4 – October 12, 2014);  the New York premiere of Punk Rock, a new play by Simon Stephens, the playwright of the Broadway-bound British import The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime and directed by Trip Cullman (October 29-December 7, 2014); the New York premiere of Jennifer Haley’s The Nether, winner of the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize to be directed by Anne Kauffman (February 4-March 15, 2015); and the world premiere of Permission, the latest work by Hand to God playwright Robert Askins (April 29-June 7, 2015).


MCC Theater – founded in 1986 as Manhattan Class Company – is driven by a mission to provoke conversations that have never happened and otherwise never would.  Led by Artistic Directors Robert LuPoneBernard TelseyWilliam Cantler, and Executive Director Blake West, MCC fulfills its mission by producing new work that challenges artists and rewards audiences, and by nurturing the development of playwrights and students through a variety of literary and education programs that enable nearly 1,200 New York City high school students to find – and use – their own unique voice each year through the creation and performance of original theater pieces.  MCC currently produces its annual season at the Lucille Lortel Theatre (121 Christopher Street) and will open its own two-theater complex on West 52nd Street and 10th Avenue in 2017.  Notable productions include the recent hits Hand to God and Small Engine Repair; The Village Bike; The Other Place; Really Really; The Submission, winner of the inaugural Laurents/Hatcher Foundation Award for new American plays; The Pride; Fifty Words; Nixon's Nixon; The Grey Zone; the Tony Award-winning Frozen; the Pulitzer Prize-winning Wit; the re-imagined production of the musical Carrie; and eight plays by Playwright-in-Residence Neil LaBute, including Fat Pig, Reasons to Be Pretty and Reasons to Be Happy.


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John Pollono who wrote and co-starred in MCC’s critically acclaimed Small Engine Repair, is an actor and playwright from New England.  He won the LA Ovation and Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle (LADCC) Awards for Best Play the 2011 LA production of Small Engine Repair, for which he also received the LADCC Award for Best Writing.  As an actor, John has appeared in “Grey’s Anatomy,” “How I Met Your Mother,” “Major Crimes” and Showtime’s upcoming “Masters of Sex.”  This winter he appeared in the new series “Mob City,” written and directed by Frank Darabont.  He is a founding member of Rogue Machine Theatre in Los Angeles, which produced Small Engine Repair as well as his plays Lost and Found, Razorback and Lost Girls.  

Will Snider was born and raised in the suburbs of Washington, DC. His plays include EXTINCTION, SUNDOWNERS, THE OLD MAN IS DEAD, and HOW TO USE A KNIFE and have been produced at Ensemble Studio Theatre, #serials@theflea, FringeNYC, Columbia University, and Wabash College. He has been a semi-finalist for the Princess Grace Award and the Page 73 Fellowship and is an MFA Playwriting Candidate at UCSD and member of the Obie Award-winning playwrights group Youngblood at EST. He studied African history at Columbia and spent three years working in agricultural development in East Africa.

Stephen Belber’s plays have been produced on Broadway and in over 25 countries.  His plays include The Power Of Duff, Match, Tape, Don’t Go Gentle, Dusk Rings a Bell, McReele, A Small, Melodramatic Story, Geometry of Fire, Fault Lines, One Million Butterflies, Finally, The Muscles In Our Toes, The Transparency Of Val, and Carol Mulroney.  He was an Associate Writer on The Laramie Project, and co-writer on The Laramie Project: Ten Years Later.  Movies include Tape, The Laramie Project (Associate Writer), Drifting Elegant, Management and Match, the last two of which he also directed, starring Jennifer Aniston and Patrick Stewart, respectively.  Television credits include Rescue Me, Law & Order SVU, and pilots for HBO and F/X.


Jo Bonney (Director). Culture Clash’s American Night (Oregon Shakespeare Festival); Darci Picoult’s Lil’s 90th (Long Wharf Theatre); Suzan-Lori Parks’ Father Comes Home from the Wars (Public Theatre Lab); Naomi Wallace’s The Hard Weather Boating Party (The Humana Festival) and Fever Chart (Public Theatre Lab); Michael Weller’s Beast (New York Theatre Workshop); Alan Ball's All that I Will Ever Be (NYTW); Eric Bogosian's subUrbia; Charles Fuller's A Soldier's Play and Lisa Loomer's Living Out (Second Stage, NY); Will Power's The Seven (NYTW & La Jolla Playhouse) (L. Lortel Best Musical); Neil LaBute's Fat Pig (MCC Theater & Geffen Playhouse); Some Girl(s) (MCC Theater); Carol Churchill's Top Girls (Williamstown Theatre Festival); Christopher Shinn's On the Mountain (Playwrights Horizons); Nilo Cruz's Anna in the Tropics (Arena Stage); Universes' Slanguage (NYTW/ Mark Taper Forum); Lanford Wilson's Fifth of July (Signature Theatre) (L. Lortel Best Revival); Jose Rivera's Adoration of the Old Woman (La Jolla Playhouse) and References to Salvador Dali Make Me Hot (The Public Theater); Diana Son's Stop Kiss and Anna Deavere Smith's House Arrest (The Public Theater); Jessica Goldberg's Good Thing (The New Group); John Osborne's Look Back in Anger (CSC,NY); Danny Hoch's Some People and Jails, Hospitals & Hip-Hop (USA/Britain); Dael Orlandersmith’s Stoop Stories (Studio Theatre, Washington & The Goodman Theatre); numerous solos Sex, Drugs, Rock & Roll; Pounding Nails in the Floor with My Forehead by Eric Bogosian (USA/Britain). Recipient of a 1998 Obie Award for Sustained Excellence of Direction and editor of Extreme Exposure: An Anthology of Solo Performance Texts from the Twentieth Century (TCG).

Kareem Fahmy is a Canadian-born director of Egyptian descent. He’s worked extensively in new play development with companies including New York Theatre Workshop, Second Stage, Soho Rep, Berkeley Rep, Ensemble Studio Theatre, Sundance Institute Theatre, Partial Comfort Productions, and Noor Theatre. He is an alumnus of the Soho Rep Writer/Director Lab, Lincoln Center Directors Lab, the Van Lier Directing Fellowship, the Drama League’s Classical Directing Fellowship and NTYW’s Emerging Artist Fellowship. Kareem has assisted Tony Award-winners Michael Mayer (The Illusion, Signature Theatre) and John Tiffany (Once, NYTW). In Montreal he directed the Canadian premieres of Suzan-Lori Parks’ Venus and Naomi Iizuka’s Language of Angels. Kareem is a founding member of |the claque|, a member of Rising Circle Theater Collective and is an NYTW Usual Suspect. MFA: Columbia. www.KareemFahmy.com

DAVID SCHWIMMER (Director) is co-founder of the Lookingglass Theatre Company of Chicago, where he has acted in and directed many productions for Lookingglass including Big Lake Big City, Trust, Our Town, West, The Master and Margarita,The Jungle, Eye of the Beholder, The Odyssey, The Idiot, Of One Blood and his adaptation of Studs Terkel's book, Race. Other directing credits include Sex with Strangers at Second Stage.  He starred in the premieres of D Girl andTurnaround in Los Angeles, Glimmer Brothers in Williamstown, Some Girls in London, the revival of The Caine Mutiny Court Martial on Broadway, and Detroit at Playwrights Horizons.  Schwimmer's notable television and film credits include The Iceman, Nothing But The Truth, Madagascar I, II, & III, Duane Hopwood, Big Nothing, Band of Brothers, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Six Days Seven Nights, Apt Pupil, The Pallbearer and the hit comedy series “Friends,” for which he received an Emmy Award nomination. Television directing includes “Friends,” the HBO series “Little Britain USA,” and NBC's “Growing Up Fisher.”  Film directing includes Since You've Been Gone, Run Fat Boy Run and Trust starring Clive Owen, Catherine Keener and Viola Davis.