Annual Carlotta Festival showcases works by graduating playwrights

Majkin Holmquist, Genne Murphy, and Josh Wilder in Carlotta Festival poster — New Plays May 9-16
Left to right: Majkin Holmquist, Genne Murphy, and Josh Wilder.

Three works by graduating playwrights in the Yale School of Drama will be featured in the 13th annual Carlotta Festival of New Plays, which will be staged May 9-16 at the Iseman Theater, 1156 Chapel St.

The plays featured in this year’s Carlotta Festival of New Plays are “Tent Revival” by Majkin Holmquist, “The Girl Is Chained” by Genne Murphy, and “Marty and the Hands That Could” by Josh Wilder. The fully produced plays will be performed in rotating rotary: four performances of each play over eight days.

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.

Tent Revival’

Tent Revival” is set during the during the evangelical revivalist tradition of the mid-20th century. The play tells the story of Ida, a young woman on the road with her family, pitching their tent, and spreading the Word. As they travel from one small Kansas town to another, Ida wrestles with doubt, questions her father’s “gift,” and struggles to find her own voice on the wide midwestern plains. Directed by Rory Pelsue, “Tent Revival” will be staged at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, May 9, Sunday, May 13, and Tuesday, May 15; and at 2 p.m. on Saturday, May 12.

The Girl is Chained’

In “The Girl is Chained,” Deb scrupulously maintains the pristine surfaces of her 1990s white suburban life. But when her son is accused of sexual assault, guilt threatens to tear her apart. Twenty years later, Dana seems to be holding it together as a queer black woman in Trump’s America, until her past creeps into her already troubled present. Through visual metaphor and dark humor, “The Girl Is Chained” tells the story of two women and the night that both divides and connects them. Directed by Shadi Ghaheri, “The Girl is Chained” will be performed at 8 p.m. on Thursday, May 10 and Saturday, May 12; and at 2 p.m. on Monday, May 14 and Wednesday, May 16.

Marty and the Hands that Could’

Marty and the Hands That Could” tells the story of Marty, who was released from prison on the eve of his 25th birthday. Marty returns home to his family in South Philly, equipped with a handwritten manuscript and big dreams to turn his life around. But his cousin Junior has also come home with problems of his own, setting them on a collision course as they struggle to break free of the curse that has haunted their family for generations. The play asks: Can Marty put his hands to good use, or is his fate already written? Directed by Lucie Dawkins, “Marty and the Hands that Could” will be show at 8 p.m. on Friday, May 11, Monday, May 14, and Wednesday, May 16; and at 2 p.m. on Sunday, May 13.

Tickets for individual Carlotta Festival plays start at $25 ($15 for students), and 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.

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Steven Padla:, 203-432-1574