Legit fest to feature new plays by Grimm, Giardina, Lee

SOUTHBURY, Conn. — Brian Murray, Ming-Na, Annalee Jefferies, Danny Pintauro and Julyana Soelistyo will perform in public readings of new plays by Anthony Giardina, David Grimm, John Kolvenbach and Shinho Lee during Hartford Stage Co.’s fourth Brand: NEW Festival of New Works Friday through Sunday.

Directed by Tracy Brigden, Grimm’s “Once in Elysium” will be offered at 8 p.m. Friday. Kolvenbach’s “Giozmo Love,” directed by Shelley Butler, will be performed at 5:30 p.m. Saturday with Pintauro among its cast. Murray and Jefferies will be in Giardina’s “Lightly Built Bridges” at 8 p.m. Saturday, directed by Doug Hughes. And Ming-Na and Soelistyo will be in Shinho Lee’s “Dream of No Words” at 5:30 p.m. on Sunday, directed by Victor Maog as part of Hartford Stage’s Voices! Series of New Works by Artists of Color. It will be the first time this series has featured a work by an Asian writer.

Also part of the fest is “Culture Clash,” at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, made up of the eight winning entries of the 2003 Write On! Teenage Playwrights Competition. Eight story ideas from 80 teenagers from Connecticut, Massachusetts and New York were chosen to be developed into 10-minute plays featuring professional actors, with the guidance of playwright Edwin Sanchez, whose new play “Diosa” is receiving its premiere production at Hartford Stage.

All of the performances will be in Hartford Stage’s rehearsal studios and will be free, though a $5 donation per reading is suggested.

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