Works by graduating playwrights showcased during Yale’s annual Carlotta Festival
Three works by graduating playwrights will be staged May 5-13 at the Yale School of Drama during the 12th annual Carlotta Festival of New Plays.
The Carlotta Festival showcases three fully produced new plays by graduating playwrights, which are performed in rotating repertory: four performances of each play over eight days at the Iseman Theater, 1156 Chapel St.
The plays featured in this year’s Carlotta Festival of New Plays are “The Hour of Great Mercy” by Miranda Rose Hall, “Everything That Never Happened” by Sarah B. Mantell, and “If Pretty Hurts Ugly Must be a Muhfucka: an understanding of a West African folktale” by Tori Sampson.
The Carlotta Festival is named for Carlotta Monterey, the widow of Eugene O’Neill, who chose Yale University Press as the publisher of her late husband’s masterpiece “Long Day’s Journey into Night.” The proceeds from this publication support playwriting at Yale University.
In “The Hour of Great Mercy,” Ed, a Jesuit priest, returns to the icy and isolated community of Bethlehem, Alaska, in a last-ditch effort to reconcile with his estranged family. Upon arrival, he finds a town still shaken by a tragedy that struck five years ago. As Ed and the community test the limits of their capacity to forgive, Ed unexpectedly falls in love with a stranger beneath the starry Alaskan sky. The play is directed by Kevin Hourigan and will be performed at 8 p.m. Saturday, May 6; 2 p.m. Wednesday, May 10; 8 p.m. Thursday, May 11; and 2 p.m. Saturday, May 13.
“Everything That Never Happened” tells the story of Jessica and Lorenzo who are in love, but in order to be together they must plan an escape from her father’s house, the Venetian ghetto, and her entire culture. Taking place in the gaps between “The Merchant of Venice” and the realities of Jewish history, the play is about a father, a daughter, and everything Shakespeare left out. Directed by Jesse Rasmussen, “Everything That Never Happened” will be staged 8 p.m. Sunday, May 7; 8 p.m. Wednesday, May 10; 2 p.m. Friday, May 12; and 8 pm. Saturday, May 13.
“If Pretty Hurts Ugly Must Be a Muhfucka” is set in Affreakah-Amirrorkah, an imaginary but uncannily familiar place, where debutantes Akim, Adama, Kaya, and Massassi embody the culture’s notion of beauty in all its shades and shapes. Still, something about Akim sets her apart, and her allure makes her a target for Massassi and her pretty, jealous peers. The play weaves contemporary African and American cultures into a sweeping journey about what — and whom — we suppress in pursuit of an ideal always just beyond reach. Elizabeth Dinkova will direct “If Pretty Hurts Ugly Must Be a Muhfucka.” Performances are 8 p.m. Friday, May 5; 8 p.m. Tuesday, May 9; 2 p.m. Thursday May 11; and 8 p.m. Friday, May 12.
Tickets for individual Carlotta Festival plays start at $25; $15 for students. They are available online, by phone at 203-432-1234, and in person at the Yale Repertory Theatre box office at 1120 Chapel St. (at York Street). Patrons who purchase a ticket to all three shows will receive a $15 discount.