Tennessee Playwrights Studio

Developing Fresh Voices for the 21st Century

Developing Fresh Voices for the 21st Century

Developing Fresh Voices for the 21st CenturyDeveloping Fresh Voices for the 21st Century

2019 reading festival @ the darkhorse theatre chapel

LIQUID SMOKED by Arabelle Pollick / Dec. 9 @ 7:30 p.m

Directed by Ibby Cizmar

Cast: Ibby Cizmar, Obadiah Ewing-Roush, Sam Kell, Ra'Shaun Simon

Big Jim, Lil Jim and Saki are hungover and holed up in a Tennessee bar as the pending White Lives Matter protest brews beyond the door. They struggle to piece together the screwed-up-ness of the previous night, fogging reality. Racket and cidadas emerge.

Arabelle Pollick is a choreographer, actress and devoted theatre lover who hails from Pittsburgh, PA. She moved south to Tennessee nearly six years ago after a stint in Madrid, Spain, where she studied migratory movement, women’s studies and art history at Universidad Antonio de Nebrija. She is the current representative for the Dramatists Guild of America -- Tennessee Chapter. In 2017, she directed the Tennessee production of BANNED TOGETHER: A CENSORSHIP CABARET as part of a National project for the Dramatists Guild Legal Defense Fund.

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FREE AND PUBLIC CITIZEN by Alicia Haymer / Dec. 10 @ 7:30 p.m.

Directed by Shawn Whitsell

Cast: Doug Allen, Percy Bell, Ethan H. Jones, Stella Reed-Patterson, Francine Berk

A Black family lives across from a pork processing plant; the plant’s waste has contaminated the neighborhood's water system, and the matriarch of the family is terminally ill due to exposure to the pollution.  Drama ensues as the oldest son in the family pickets outside the plant, the grandson of the family comes home from medical school for the summer, and another son returns unexpectedly from prison.   

Alicia Haymer, a Nashville native and Fisk University alum, is honored to work with Tennessee Playwrights Studio as she develops her second full-length play.  In the 20+ years that Alicia has been on stage in Nashville, she has worked with Nashville Children's Theater, Amun Ra Theater, SistaStyle Productions, Tennessee Women’s Theater Project, Destiny Theater Experience and Nashville Repertory Theater, among other wonderful organizations. She has also had the pleasure of directing with Actor's Bridge Ensemble and Street Theatre. She is thankful for yet another opportunity to express herself through the written word. 

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SHOPGIRLS by Jessica Suchon / Dec. 12 @ 7:30 p.m.

Directed by Nikki Staggs

Cast: Prenda Mercado, Lexi Nimmo, Nikki Staggs, Halee Ventri, Becky Wahlstrom

A comedy-drama that follows four young women working at a women’s clothing store in a busy mall. Over the course of a year, each of them faces an internal battle between her unyielding ambition and desire for comfort. Their relationships to one another and the world around them change as they confront issues of class, race, education, upward mobility, and gender against a high-energy backdrop of colorful dresses, uncomfortable shoes, and whimsical clientele.

Jessica Lynn Suchon is the author of SCAVENGER, winner of the 2018 Vinyl 45 Chapbook Contest and forthcoming from YesYes Books in 2019. She received her MFA from Southern Illinois University and has received honors from the Academy of American Poets, as well as an Aspen Words Emerging Writer Fellowship. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Copper Nickel, Willow Springs, Ninth Letter, Yemassee, Muzzle Magazine and RHINO Poetry, among others. Her librettos have appeared or are forthcoming in works by Stephanie Ann Boyd for the Eureka Ensemble, EKMELES vocal ensemble, Æpex Contemporary Performance with the Dark Sky Project.

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SUNSHINE MADNESS by Lori Fischer / Dec. 13 @ 7:30 p.m.

Directed by David Ian Lee

Cast: Molly Breen, Lori Fischer, Ang Madaline-Johnson, Jay Rudolph, Wesley Paine

Sisters battle over the division of property of their recently deceased mother, while an unexpected visitor unexpectedly moves in and begins to wage weather war on various people and countries from their living room.

Lori Fischer received the 2008 New York University Harry Kondoleon Graduate Award in Playwriting recipient and was a 2008-09 Dramatists Guild Fellow. She received her MFA from the NYU Dramatic Writing Department in 2008. Her drama PETIE has been called a "modern day classic" and was recently produced by Theatre East in NYC. Lori co-wrote and starred in her musical, THE SPARKLEY CLEAN FUNERAL SINGERS (published by Samuel French), at Capital Repertory Theatre and Cumberland County Playhouse. Lori also wrote and starred in her Off-Broadway musical, BARBARA’S BLUE KITCHEN, also published by Samuel French. In 2017, she performed in her comedy, GREENER PASTURES, at Cumberland County Playhouse. Lori is an adjunct writing professor at both New York University and Lipscomb University. Most recently, she was selected for the Dramatists Guild Foundation’s new playwriting initiative. Find out more about Lori at www.lorifischer.net.

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BIG DRY RUN by Briana Cox / Dec. 14 @ 7:30 p.m.

Directed by Candace-Omnira 

Cast: Monique Gentry,  Beth Henderson, Josh Kiev, LaTia Lewis, Joe Mobley, Maggie Pitt, Deborah Seidel, Lane Wright


A dark comedy set in the midst of opioid-afflicted rural Tennessee, which follows Fair, Lonnie, and Gina on a surreal and meandering quest through their trailer park to find Fair’s drug addicted and disappeared mother before things get a helluva lot worse. 

Briana Cox was born and raised in Tullahoma, TN — a town inexplicably found on state maps. She is the oldest of seven children, a first-generation academic, and a recent graduate from Swarthmore College, where she studied cognitive science and Japanese. As a twenty-something emerging author, she doesn’t have many published pieces under her belt, but a few smatterings of prose and short fiction can be found in the Decades Review, the Swarthmore Review, and the YoungArts Writers’ Anthology. When she isn’t writing, she spends her time brushing up on Japanese to maybe one day be more literate than a Japanese middleschooler.

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