CCTP Zora

JASON ZEREN

“Bust—an Afro-Currentist Play” by Zora Howard, is among the new plays that will be performed as virtual staged readings this summer by the Cape Cod Theatre Project.

The 2020 Season of the Cape Cod Theatre Project will feature staged readings of new work by Zora Howard, Michele Lowe, Edith Freni and Kevin Artigue in two live stream readings utilizing a Zoom-style format.

Artistic director Hal Brooks said the aim of the project this season is to find a way to bring some much-needed creativity and some normalcy “to our audiences and to our artists.” The benefits of live streaming for the theater project include being a viable way that it can carry on with its mission and also being able to reach beyond Cape Cod. “With livestreaming, we will attempt to bring the spirit of the Cape Cod experience to the whole American theater community,” Mr. Brooks said.

Founding artistic director Andrew Polk will return to the Cape to work on Michele Lowe’s piece, “Moses.” Narrated by a mysterious stranger, “Moses” tells the story of an Orthodox man who suffers a profound loss, leaves his community, and seeks redemption.

Andrew Polk founded the institution in 1995. This is his first time returning since he handed the reins to Mr. Brooks. Mr. Polk has appeared in episodes of the “Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” “Billions” and “Instinct.” Michele Lowe made her Broadway debut with “The Smell of the Kill,” which has been produced worldwide. “Moses” will be directed by Rattlestick Theater artistic director Daniella Topol. Performances are Friday, July 3, and Sunday, July 5.

Edith Freni will be working to develop “The Hystericals,” a bittersweet comedy about a support group for women with autoimmune diseases. When a mysterious newcomer shows up unannounced, each woman must decide for herself whether to stay or go. Ms. Freni, who holds a master of fine arts degree from New York University, has been produced and developed nationally, including by Steppenwolf Theatre Company and the Williamstown Theatre Festival. “The Hystericals” was a finalist for the 2019 O’Neill Playwrights Conference. Staged readings of “The Hystericals” will be directed by Jessica Holt and are scheduled for Thursday, July 9, and Saturday, July 11.

Zora Howard, a Harlem-bred writer and performer, recently had her New York premiere of “Stew,” produced by Page 73 Productions. Ms. Howard’s feature film “Premature,” which she co-wrote and starred in, had its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival. This season at the Cape Cod Theater Project Ms. Howard will present her new play “Bust—an Afro-Currentist Play.” A couple are enjoying their usual evening on the porch when their longtime neighbor is pulled over by the police. Everything goes as you might expect until the unexpected happens. When the incident is posted online, it’s not only hell that breaks loose. Staged readings of “Bust” will take place on Thursday, July 16, and Saturday, July 18.

Kevin Artigue’s “I, My Ruination,” will close the season. The play explores Elia Kazan’s decision to name names. Three months after appearing before the House Un-American Activities Committee and refusing to call out communists, Mr. Kazan is summoned back to Washington. On the eve of his testimony he is visited by Arthur Miller, who persuades Kazan to face his accusers and call them out on the truth. Mr. Kazan and his wife, Molly, must decide between confronting his accusers or betraying his ideals. Artistic director Hal Brooks will direct the stage readings of “I, My Ruination.” They will be presented on Thursday, July 23, and Saturday, July 25.

The season will also welcome two artists-in-residence who will be announced at a later date.

All presentations of staged readings will take place at 7 PM. Each play will be live streamed on the day of the performance only and will not be available on demand. All-access passes are currently available for donations above $100. Individual tickets for students and adults may be purchased online after Wednesday, June 10.

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