Tech week for New Ideas Festival: It all comes together now…

The 26th annual New Ideas Festival opens March 12, and Tech week starts tonight!  Each of the 12 plays in the Festival’s weekly program get a 2-hr slot in which to work out their lighting and sound cues, and crucial timing issues (entrances, exits, props, etc.).   It’s kinda like the Fringe, except this is part of Alumnae Theatre Company’s season, not  independent productions.

The magic happens courtesy of the Festival’s Technical Director Bill Scott and the lighting operators – Alia Koster (for Week 1) and Armand Baksh (for Weeks 2 and 3).  Sound cues like music, ringing phones or doorbells, etc. are created by the individual shows, and operated by that show’s stage manager.

The whole thing is scheduled and overseen for Alumnae Theatre Company by the Co-Artistic Directors & Producers of the New Ideas Festival, Pat McCarthy, Jennifer McKinley, and Carolyn Zapf, with Associate Producer June Rogers.

The 12 short plays in the weekly program have 6 performances each:  Wed – Sat at 8pm, plus Saturday and Sunday matinees at 2:30.  Each night (or matinee), your ticket admits you to ALL FOUR short plays scheduled on that night (or matinee).  So you may come to New Ideas  especially to see your son/sister/spouse/friend’s play, but will also see three others – and you’ll be their first audience, because every script considered for New Ideas is a world premiere.

In addition to the weekly lineup, there are also three longer plays (around 60 mins each) that receive one staged reading – at noon on each of the Saturdays.   In Week One (Sat March 15), the reading is Royal Seasons  by Norma Crawford, directed by Nina Kaye.  It’s a look at the fateful romance between King Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn.  The Week Two (Sat March 22) reading is Charles Hayter’s Radical – another inspired-by-true-events play (directed by Darcy Stoop) about a dedicated clinician in the 1940’s and her efforts which led to the revolution of treatment for breast cancer.  Week Three’s reading (Sat March 29) is Rotating Thunderstorm by Taylor Marie Graham, directed by Jill Harper, in which a modern family in Huron County survive a tornado’s aftermath.

New Ideas Festival 2014

New Ideas Festival 2014

Visit our website for more info, synopses of everything, and bios of the writers and directors.  You can also purchase tickets or passes online for the weekly programs.  No online purchases or reservations for the staged readings, which are Pay-What-You-Can at the Box Office (cash only) unless you have a Festival Pass.

For breaking news, progress reports, anecdotal tidbits and photos, check out the Facebook event New Ideas Festival 2014 ( and follow us on Twitter @alumnaetheatre.  Search for #NIF2014.

See you in the Studio, March 12 – 30!


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Filed under 2013/14 Season, New Ideas Festival 2014

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