Presenting the six Finalist plays for FutureFest 2016:
Fully Staged Plays:
Memories of the Game – Audience Favorite
Synopsis: Memories of the Game centers on the McIntosh household, an African-American family of four, who must struggle with the father’s progressing Alzheimer’s disease, while grappling with their own demons and strained family dynamics.
Directed by Robb Willoughby
Kenneth McIntosh – Franklin Johnson
Karen McIntosh – Marva Williams
Sharon Evans – Nabachwa Ssensalo
Michael McIntosh – Andre Reece Tomlinson
Synopsis: Frances Oldham Kelsey saved an estimated 20,000 American children from crippling deformities by battling the William S. Merrell Company over the release of thalidomide in the United States from September 1960 to November 1961. Merrell’s brand of thalidomide, called Kevadon, was one of the first two drugs Dr. Kelsey was given upon starting her career at the FDA. Despite constant threats and intimidation, Dr. Kelsey stubbornly refused to approve the drug because she had concerns about its possible effect on the fetus. When the story broke that thalidomide had caused a world-wide epidemic of infant deformities and death, Dr. Kelsey learned that Merrell had been distributing the drug without approval through a sham investigational study. The fall-out from this revelation combined with the heroism of Dr. Kelsey’s actions caused the United States to reform its regulation of prescription drugs.
Directed by Cynthia Karns
Dr. Frances Oldham Kelsey – Jennifer Lockwood
Dr. Raymond Stehle/Dr. Joseph Murray – Ted Eltzroth
John – Jon Edward Cox
Betty – Anna Masla
Dr. Raymind Pogge – Chuck Larkowski
Gertrude – Renee Reed
Mary – Jennie Hawley
Dr. Eugene Gelling/Dr. Ray Nulsen – Mark Anderson
Synopsis: Set in rural Georgia in the late 1930s, The Griots focuses on an elderly African-American woman (Ada) who grew up in slavery, a young woman who is the descendant of the plantation owner’s family (Lizzie), and a young white man from Ohio (John) who has been sent to the South to interview ex-slaves as a part of the WPA Writers’ Project. As John gains Ada’s trust over a period of several weeks, her stories turn from quaint tales of happy field hands, to brutal accounts of violence and intolerance. And when her tales contradict Lizzie’s family legends, exposing the truth may have too great a cost.
Directed by Fran Pesch
Lizzie Dupree – Annie Pesch
John Holt – David E. Brandt
Ada Coalson – Judi Earley
Shepherd’s Bush – Festival Winner
Synopsis: England, 1930: renowned man-of-letters E. M. Forster, 52, meets and falls in love with 28 year old policeman, Bob Buckingham. Their secret romance blossoms until police scrutiny inspired Bob to court and eventually marry May, a young nurse. Jealousy and rivalry evolves into a lifelong friendship with surprising consequences.
Directed by Michael Boyd
Bob Buckingham – Scott Knisely
May Buckingham – Ella Wylie
E. M. Forster – David Shough
J. R. Ackley – Brian Sharp
Lily Forster – Bonnie Froelich
Synopsis: “N” explores both the personal relationship and the working relationship from the opening of The Emperor Jones in 1920 through the last major revival of the play of African-American actor Charles S. Gilpin and playwright Eugene O’Neill, 1926.
Directed by Cara Hinh
Charles Gilpin – Shawn Diggs
Florence Gilpin – Shyra Thomas
Eugene O’Neil – Sean Gunther
The Violin Maker
Synopsis: The Violin Maker is the story of Karl Mosel, who after his father’s death, tries to learn from his grandfather the family trade of Violin making. Ultimately he must decide whether he will continue the 300 year old family tradition or let the family legacy go.
Directed by Saul Caplan
Wilhelm – Dave Nickel
Karl – Jess MaGill
Angela – Bryana Bentley