Carlotta Festival showcases works by graduating playwrights

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Three works by graduating playwrights at the Yale School of Drama will be staged May 6-14 during the eighth annual Carlotta Festival of New Plays.

There will be 12 performances of the plays over nine days at the Iseman Theater, 1156 Chapel St. The plays will be presented in repertory, making it possible for the audience to see all three works within a two-day span.

The plays featured in the festival are “House Beast” by Justin Taylor, “Lottie in the Late Afternoon” by Amelia Roper, and “Sagittarius Ponderosa” by M.J. Kaufman.

Descriptions of the plays follow:

House Beast

Directed by Jack Tamburri, the play is set in 1992 in the barren California suburbs, where “young lust and exploding Dr. Pepper fuel a lost weekend for three teenage boys,” write the organizers of the festival.

Performances of the play will take place on Monday, May 6 at 8 p.m.; Friday, May 10 at 2 p.m.; Saturday, May 11 at 8 p.m.; and Monday, May 13 at 8 p.m.

Lottie in the Late Afternoon

Of the main character in the play the organizers write: “Lottie is trying to be a good person. Lottie is trying to be a good friend. She is trying to cook good food, trying to buy nice gifts, trying to enjoy the seaside, because everyone loves vacations and everybody loves Lottie, don’t they?”

Directed by Ethan Heard, the show will be staged Tuesday, May 7 at 8 p.m.; Friday, May 10 at 8 p.m.; Sunday, May 12 at 2 p.m.; and Tuesday, May 14 at 2 p.m.

Sagittarius Ponderosa

“Archer (still Angela to his family) returns home to the forests of eastern Oregon to care for his dying father,” write the festival organizers in their description of Kaufman’s work, “As Archer says goodbye to his father he discovers the power of names and the histories they make and mask.”

The play, directed by Margot Bordelon, will be staged on Wednesday, May 8 at 8 p.m.; Saturday, May 11 at 2 p.m.; Sunday, May 12 at 8 p.m.; and Tuesday, May 14 at 8 p.m.

Tickets to individual plays start at $13; $10 for students. Tickets may be purchased online <>, by calling 203-432-1234, or in person at the Yale Repertory Theatre box office, 1120 Chapel St. (at York Street). 

In conjunction with the festival, there will be a panel discussion titled “Playwrights on Playwriting” on Saturday, May 11 at 10:30 a.m. in the University Theatre, 222 York St. Speakers will include Jeanie O’Hare, chair of playwriting; Sarah Ruhl, faculty member at the Yale School of Drama and a commissioned artist at the Yale Repertory Theatre; Polly Stenham, author of “That Face” and “No Quarter”; and the playwrights whose works are featured in the festival.


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