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Theatre Lab at FAU

If you love new works in American theatre, now there is Theatre Lab, the new professional resident company of Florida Atlantic University, with Lou Tyrrell, artistic director and Dorothy F. Schmidt Visiting Eminent Scholar in the Arts, located on FAU's Boca Raton campus. Theatre Lab at FAU features riveting new plays and astonishing new musicals. Fine wine and light dinner fare complete your theatre experience at Theatre Lab Cafe. Theatre Lab is generously funded by the Heckscher Foundation for Children.
Founding Season Benefactors: Edith and Martin Stein.

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May 11 - 16

Five days. Six playwrights. One electrifying experiment.

Join Theatre Lab as we explore the freshest and most exciting work in American Theatre! This jam-packed festival welcomes some of the nation’s most prominent playwrights as they present readings of their newest work before it lands on stages across the country. Each reading is accompanied by a post-show discussion, an opportunity to interact with the playwrights themselves, where they will discuss the process, inspiration, and plans for future development.


Wednesday, May 11, 7:30 p.m.

A Subtle Bent on Destruction by Cliff Burgess

After a two year absence Jack's son returns to his father's home. The plan is to attend the burial of Jack's nephews who were killed during a botched bank robbery. But his son has other plans. Jack learns that sins of the past always rise to the surface. His wife learns that secrets brushed under the rug are embedded in the fabric. And Jack's stepdaughter is reminded that bad habits aren't easily broken. 

Playwright’s Bio
Cliff Burgess is a professional actor who has based himself in the South Florida Theatre community. He received his MFA in Theatre from Florida Atlantic University and earned his Actors' Equity Card in 2010 after appearing in Christopher Demos Brown's world premiere play When the Sun Shone Brighter at Florida Stage. Some of his theatrical acting credits include: The History Boys, Buried Child, The Lion in Winter, Of Mice and Men, Dancing at Lughnasa, The Fantasticks, Proof, All My Sons, Candida, Private Lives (Palm Beach Dramaworks), Glenngarry Glen Ross, Other Desert Cities (Maltz Jupiter Theatre), Casa Valentina (Gablestage), Unnecessary Farce, The Tin Woman (Actors Playhouse), Curtains (The Wick), Lungs (Arts Garage), Clybourne Park, The Voysey Inheritance (Caldwell Theatre Company), As You Like It, The Glass Menagerie (New Theatre). Cliff is a four time Carbonell nominee. His film The Last Ditch Effort awarded him Best Director in the 2010 Voices of Local Film of the Palm Beach International Film Festival. He is the producer, director and co-creator of the alternative comedy webseries Gang of Babies featured on YouTube and Funny or Die. A Subtle Bent on Destruction is an indirect sequel to his first play Psycho and Dummy. And he is now writing a third titled Ming's Dynasty.


Thursday, May 12, 7:30 p.m.

Spin Moves by Ken Weitzman

In 1996, the inaugural year of the WNBA, Maja dreams of playing basketball.  But having escaped to the U.S. from Bosnia, panic attacks, as well as her fiercely protective mother, prevent her from playing.  That is, until a new coach mysteriously appears at her high school.

Playwright’s Bio
Ken Weitzman is an award-winning playwright whose plays have been produced nationally and internationally.  His plays include, The Catch, produced at the Denver Center Theatre Company, Fire in the Garden produced by Indiana Repertory Theatre, The As If Body Loop produced at Humana Festival for New American Plays, Arrangements produced by the Atlantic Theatre Company, Hominid produced by Out of Hand Theatre at the Oerol International Festival in the Netherlands.  His plays have been selected multiple times for the National Playwrights Conference at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre Center. 

National Awards include The L. Arnold Weissberger Awardfor Arrangements, TCG Edgerton Foundation New American Play Award for The Catch, the Fratti/Newman Political Play Contest Award for Fire in the Garden, and the Elizabeth George Commission for an Outstanding Emerging Playwright.

Commissions have included by Arena Stage, South Coast Repertory Theatre, the Alliance Theatre, Actors Theatre of Louisville, and Theatre Emory.

Ken is a Core Writer at the Playwrights Center and on the board of the New Harmony Project.

Ken received his MFA from the University of California, San Diego and has taught at Indiana University (head of the MFA playwriting program), UCSD, Emory University and, currently, at Stony Brook University.


Friday, May 13, 7:30 p.m.

Sing the Body Electric by Michael Hollinger

It’s 1980, and Mount St. Helens just blew up, succumbing to subterranean pressures.  Meanwhile, in a Florida town, two teens and their parents are drawn inexorably together by equally powerful physical forces.  A play about lightning, love, and sex -- the positive and negative charges that control our destinies.

Playwright’s Bio
Michael Hollinger’s plays include Opus, Under the Skin, Ghost-Writer, Tooth and Claw, Red Herring, Incorruptible, and An Empty Plate in the Café Du Grand Boeuf, all of which premiered at Philadelphia’s Arden Theatre Company, and which have subsequently been produced around the country, in New York (Primary Stages and Ensemble Studio Theatre) and abroad (London, Paris, Tokyo, Athens).  Plays premiered elsewhere include: Hope and Gravity at Pittsburgh’s City Theatre; Cyrano (translated, and co-adapted with Aaron Posner) at Washington’s Folger Theatre; and A Wonderful Noise (co-authored with Vance Lehmkuhl) at Creede Rep. Awards include an ATCA/Steinberg New Play Citation, an L.A. Drama Critics Circle Award, a Mid-Atlantic Emmy, four Barrymore Awards, nominations for Lucille Lortel and John Gassner awards, and multiple fellowships from the Independence Foundation and Pennsylvania Council on the Arts.  Michael is an Associate Professor of Theatre at Villanova University and a proud alumnus of New Dramatists.


Saturday, May 14, 3  p.m.

22 Seconds by Michele Lowe

22 SECONDS is the story of two sprinters, friends since college, who are now in competition for Olympic gold.  Who can they trust to train them and how much can they depend on those they love? A dramatic story set against the high stakes world of track and field where the difference being a winner and a loser can be a millisecond.

Playwright’s Bio
Michele’s work is widely produced across the country and around the world. She received the Francesca Primus Prize for her play Inana and was a finalist for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize. Both Inana and Victoria Musica were finalists for the American Theater Critic’s Association/Steinberg New Play Award, which markedthe first time in the ACTA’s 33-year history that a playwright was nominated for two plays in one season. 

Michele is the author of The Smell of the Kill (Broadway debut), String of Pearls (Outer Critics nomination), Map of Heaven, 22 Seconds, Mezzulah 1946, Backsliding in the Promised Land, and the original one-act musical A Thousand Words Come to Mind, which she co-wrote with composer Scott Davenport Richards.

She has received commissions from Transport Group, Signature Theater, Denver Center Theatre, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Geva Theatre, Premieres: Inner Voices and Wind Dancer Productions. Her plays have been produced/developed by Primary Stages, Vineyard Theatre, Le Pepiniere (Paris), San Jose Rep, Williamstown Theater Festival, New York Stage and Film, O’Neill National Music Theater Conference, Lark Play Development Center, Colorado New Play Summit, City Theater, New Harmony Project, PlayLabs, and Hedgebrook.  Samuel French, Dramatic Publishing, and Smith and Knaus publish her work.           

Michele iscurrently at work on the play It Goes Without Saying for the 2016 Keen Company Playwrights Lab, and two new musicals, The Proxy Marriage with composer Adam Gwon and The Break with Richards.  She’s the creator of two TV series: Clay and Giraffe.

Michele is a graduate of Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. She is a member of The Dramatist Guild and ASCAP, and serves on the board of trustees for the Usdan Center for the Creative and Performing Arts.Michele lives in New York and teaches students all over the country.  www.michelelowe.net


Saturday, May 14, 7:30 p.m.

The Three Sisters of Weehawken by Deborah Zoe Laufer

Olga, Masha and Irina have dreamt of returning to their childhood home of Manhattan all their lives. There It lies, gleaming, a mere ferry ride away from their provincial home in Weehawken, New Jersey.  Though their sister-in-law, Natasha, tries valiantly to help them realize their dream with offers of work, tickets, maps, guidebooks, even anti-depressants, old patterns are hard to break. And that fifteen-minute ferry ride may as well be a mission to Mars. As they remain, decade after decade stretching into old age, the walls of their world move in tighter and tighter, until it becomes nearly impossible to move at all.

Borrowing as much from Becket as Checkov, The Three Sisters of Weehawken, wonders at the forces that keep us from following our dreams, and begs the question -- how little can one live, and still have lived “a life”?

Playwright’s Bio
Deborah Zoe Laufer is thrilled and grateful to be back at Theatre Lab after their wonderful reading of her new play Fulfillment Center last month! Deb’s plays have been produced at Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Cleveland Playhouse, Geva Theatre Center, Actor’s Theatre of Louisville, Portland Stage, Florida Stage and eighty other theaters around the country, in Germany, Russia and Canada. Her play, Informed Consent, opened in NYC at the Duke on 42nd Street in 2015. End Days premiered at Florida Stage, directed by Lou Tyrrell, and was awarded The ATCA Steinberg citation and an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Grant. It received an NNPN rolling world premiere and over 50 productions after that. Other plays include Leveling Up, Sirens, Out of Sterno, The Last Schwartz, Meta, Fortune, The Gulf of Westchester, Miniatures, and Random Acts. Deb is a recipient of the Helen Merrill Playwriting Award and the Lilly Award and grants and commissions from The Edgerton Foundation, the NEA and NNPN. She is a graduate of The Juilliard School and a member of The Dramatists Guild.


Sunday, May 15, 3 p.m.

The Day Before Yesterday by Israel Horovitz

Playwright’s Bio
Horovitz’s plays have been translated and performed in more than 30 languages, worldwide.  His 70+ plays include Line (now in 39th year of continuous performance, off-Broadway, at 13th St. Repertory Theatre), The Indian Wants The Bronx, Rats, Morning, The Primary English Class, The Wakefield Plays, The Widow’s Blind Date, Today I Am A Fountain Pen, Park Your Car In Harvard Yard, North Shore Fish, Fighting Over Beverley, Lebensraum, My Old Lady, and his newest play Gloucester Blue.  Screenplays include Author! Author!, The Strawberry Statement (Prix du Jury, Cannes Film Festival), Sunshine (European Academy Award – Best Screenplay), New York, I Love You, EMMY and Golden Globe-nominated James Dean, and the movie version of My Old Lady, which he also directed starring Maggie Smith, Kevin Klein, Kristin Scott Thomas.  Horovitz wrote, directed and performed the award-winning documentary 3 Weeks After Paradise.  Awards include the OBIE (twice), the Prix de Plaisir du Théâtre, The Prix Italia (for radio plays), The Sony Radio Academy Award (for Man In Snow), The Writers Guild of Canada Best Screenwriter Award, The Christopher Award, The Drama Desk Award, an Award in Literature of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, The Elliot Norton Prize, a Lifetime Achievement Award from B’Nai Brith, The Literature Prize of Washington College, an honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters from Salem (Massachusetts) State College, Boston Public Library’s Literary Lights Award, The Walker Hancock Prize, and many others.  Horovitz is Founding Artistic Director of Gloucester Stage Company (Gloucester, Massachusetts), and is active Artistic Director of the New York Playwrights Lab.  He teaches a master class in screenwriting at Columbia University and La Fèmis, France’s national film school, and a playwriting master class at University of St. Andrews, Scotland.  Horovitz visits France, frequently, where he often directs French-language productions of his plays.  He is the most-produced American playwright in French theatre history, and has recently been decorated as Commandeur de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, France’s highest honor for foreign artists. His memoires Un New-Yorkais a Paris have recently been published in France by Grasset. He also works frequently in Italy, where he is co-Artistic Director of Compagnia Horovitz-Paciotto. The 70/70 Horovitz Project, created by NYC’s Barefoot Theatre, began on Horovitz’s 70th birthday. During the year between 31 March 2009 and 31 March 2010, 70 of Horovitz’s plays were given productions and/or readings by theatres in more than 20 countries around the globe.


Tickets: $15 for each show


 $70 All-Access Festival Pass
Access to all readings and receptions


For tickets call 561-297-6124 or visit www.fauevents.com


Wyndham Hotel in Boca Raton is offering Play Festival Patrons the preferred rate of $89. Just request the FAU rate. Free shuttle service to FAU. Call 888-404-6880 or visit www.wyndhamboca.com



For tickets visit www.fauevents.com or call 561-297-6124.

Tickets available at the door upon availability. All student tickets $5 at the door.

For more info, e-mail theatrelab@fau.edu or call 561-297-4784.

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Directions from Interstate 95:
  • Travelling east on Glades Road, continue past the main campus entrance that is on 10th avenue. 
  • Turn left into the secondary campus entrance at NW 13th Street, where there is a traffic light (once in the campus, it will be called E. University Drive).
  • Make the second left onto Arts Avenue
  • Continue along Arts Avenue to the parking garage on your left side
  • Once parked, exit the Parking Garage on the South side, and walk to the West Side of Parliament Hall. There you will see the entrance to Theatre Lab.
Theatre Lab patrons MUST park in Parking Garage 2. 
Parking elsewhere may result in being ticketed.

Thank You.


Theatre Lab's commitment to dynamic new work in American Theatre is complimented by their highly successful educational outreach program: The Future PAGES Project. Our program is committed to the development of Future Playwrights, Artists, & Generations of Exciting Storytellers by providing students in grades 3-12 the opportunity to share their voices and stories with the world. The program focuses on dramatic writing, each session
centering on a theme from one of Theatre Lab's productions. Students are provided with two writing workshops (PARTS OF A STORY and ELEMENTS OF A MONOLOGUE) and are also invited to a live-theatrical performance at Theatre Lab.
Afterwards, students are asked to submit original pieces of writing based on the themes from the productions they attend. After a review process, a select number of students from all our partner schools are asked to join in a Six-Week Intensive Program to further develop their writing.  The program culminates with a live-performance of the students' original material as a part of our New Play Festival.
The Future PAGES Project seeks to foster the development of the next generation of artists and writers and to encourage every student to share their unique voice with the world. Because of generous funding, the workshops and performances are presented at NO COST to students.  







 Last Modified 5/3/16