New Voices Play Festival returns to GVT

(Photo courtesy Greenbrier Valley Theatre)
Kelly Kemp and George Piasecki in “Ira’s Fantastical Ride Up New York 9” for the New Voices Play Festival 2016.

Greenbrier Valley Theatre (GVT) presents the 2017 New Voices Play Festival. A community event starring local talent, this festival will showcase eight 10-minute plays and will run Feb. 2-4 at 7 p.m. with a Pay-What-You-Can preview performance on Feb. 1 at 7 p.m.

Tickets are $16 for general admission, $13 for seniors and $10 for children/students. For tickets or more information, call GVT’s Box Office at 304-645-3838 or visit

For nine years GVT has produced the New Voices Play Festival. These events give local actors the opportunity to develop their skills and work alongside their peers to face new challenges. In order to make sure the participants’ hard work and courage pay off, GVT searches through hundreds of submissions, from professional and amateur playwrights alike, to find the eight plays best suited for GVT’s audience.

“New Voices [Play Festival] continues to be one of my favorite events produced by GVT. We receive hundreds of unique and beautifully written plays from across the world. After our plays are selected, we work with our talented and dedicated community actors and directors. There is a remarkable burst of creativity happening at GVT during New Voices rehearsals,” Courtney Susman, GVT’s education director, said.

Playwright in residence at Road Less Traveled Productions and a representative for the Dramatists Guild in New York, Donna Hoke’s work has been seen on five different continents. Her comedy “Survival Strategy” questions what it means to be intimate with someone.

Dan Borengasser is a playwright as well as a screenwriter. Many of his works have received staged readings, been published and been seen in theatres throughout the United States, and all over the world. “Barrage in the Garage” is the story of a man who must find the courage to face his fears.

(Photo courtesy Greenbrier Valley Theatre)
Lieselotte Heil in “Slow Dating” for the New Voices Play Festival 2016.

Dwayne Yancey, whose work has been seen on every continent except South America and Antarctica, had his play “Unopened Valentine” produced in the New Voices Play Festival in 2010. His drama “Picture Window” is about a widow who finally gets the chance to fill her husband’s final wishes and let him rest in peace.

Playwright/screenwriter Rob Burke was once an attorney before turning his attention to theater. He has always been captivated with artificial intelligence, which is the inspiration behind “a.d.a.m.,” a sci-fi drama about an android who must face death.

Margie Semilof, author of “The Magic of Niagara,” is from Boston and has had plays produced at the Playwrights Platform in Boston, as well as other theaters in Massachusetts. Semilof’s play is about a man whose regret keeps him drawn to the falls he never conquered.

The founder of 31 Plays in 31 Days, the Loud & Unladylike Festival, ambassador for the Dramatists Guild and winner of the June Baker Prize and the Emerging Playwright Award from Playground, Rachel Bublitz holds an MA in English and an MFA in creative writing from SFSU. Bublitz’s play “Lean in with Liz!” is about a woman who must confront her younger self and the goals she set as a child.

Jonathan Joy has written over 30 plays that have been seen all over the United States and overseas. His work has also been published in The New York Times, Brooklyn Publishers and Smith & Kraus, as well as many others. “Down on Sandusky Road” is a father-son drama about the dangers of passing emotional baggage on to future generations.

W.L. Newkirk holds degrees from both The Ohio State University and Harvard and is a member of the Dramatists Guild, as well as the winner of the Getchell Award, Best Play at the Tampa Bay Theatre Festival, Vigoda Award winner and Grand Prize, Emerald Theatre Company New Play Festival in Memphis. “The Nude” is about what it means to remain beautiful as time catches up with you

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