Off Broadway play reading series begins Sept. 10

Provocative, relevant, intelligent New York Theatre is coming to Middlebury.
In staged readings of four plays “The Cutting Edge” will share the bold, clever work of some of the most dynamic young writers to hit the New York scene in the last five to 10 years. Each play enjoyed a successful run in a boundary-pushing Off-Broadway theater. Each play speaks to our contemporary moment.
This play reading series will be directed by Rebecca “Becky” Strum, a newcomer to the Vermont theater scene, with a distinguished history of directing and teaching theater in the New York Metro area. “The collaborative nature of theatre provides opportunities learn about ourselves, each other and our world and that through this work we almost always grow in the process,” said Strum.
Memorable collaborations for Strum include directing the New Jersey professional premiers of David Mamet’s Oleanna and Paula Vogel’s “How I Learned to Drive” at Summmerfest Theatre, directing Wendy Wasserstein’s “The Heidi Chronicles” at William Paterson University and serving as founder/artistic director of The Academy for Visual and Performing Arts (a New Jersey Model School of the Arts) in Hackensack where she directed young actors in works as diverse as “Twelfth Night” and “42nd Street.”
Kicking off this new play reading series is Jordan Harrison’s “Marjorie Prime,” coming to the Town Hall Theater on Sunday, Sept. 10.
All four plays in “The Cutting Edge” will be rehearsed and performed by Vermont actors. Shows will be held at various Middlebury venues on Sundays at 4 p.m., with refreshments and discussion for those interested. These events are free, but donations are encouraged. For more info visit middleburyactors.org or call (802) 233-5255.
“Marjorie Prime” — by Jordan Harrison
Town Hall Theater
Sunday, Sept. 10, 4 p.m.
Sometime in the future, 85-year-old Marjorie — a jumble of fading memories — has a handsome new companion who’s programmed to feed the story of her life back to her.  What would we remember and what would we forget, if given the chance? In this 2015 Pulitzer Prize finalist Jordan Harrison explores the mysteries of human identity and the limits — if any — of what technology can replace.
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“The Nether” — by Jennifer Haley
Vermont Coffee Company Playhouse
Sunday, Nov. 5, 4 p.m. 
The Nether is a virtual wonderland that provides total sensory immersion. Just log-in, choose an identity and indulge your every desire. But when a young detective uncovers a disturbing brand of entertainment, she triggers an interrogation into the darkest corners of the imagination. (Content warning, not appropriate for children under 16)
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“Sex With Strangers” — by Laura Eason
Sunday, Feb. 25, 4 p.m.
Town Hall Theater
When 20-something prodigy sex blogger Ethan tracks down his idol, the gifted but unsung 40-ish novelist Olivia, he finds they each crave what the other has. As attraction turns to sex, and they inch closer to getting what they want, both confront the dark side of ambition and the trouble of reinventing oneself when the past is only a click away. (Language warning)
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“The Big Meal” — by Dan LeFranc
Sunday, June 3, 4 p.m.
Stonecutter Spirits
Somewhere in America, in a typical suburban restaurant on a typical night, Sam and Nicole first meet. Sparks fly. And so begins an expansive tale that traverses five generations of a modern family, from first kiss to final goodbye. A stunning, big-hearted play that spans nearly 80 years in roughly 90 minutes, “The Big Meal” tells the extraordinary story of an ordinary family.

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