Our 2017 Detroit New Works Festival Winner!

Unsportsmanlike Conduct

by Jeff Stolzer | New York, New York



After spending a drunken night with NFL quarterback Noah Woodward, cocktail waitress Kaylie Robbins rebuffs his sexual advances the following morning and discovers that his romantic pillow talk was manipulative and insincere. Upset by his deceit and lies, she leaves. But they will meet again – first in her attorney’s conference room and then in a court of law – after she accuses him of date rape.

Meet the playwright

Jjeffstolzereff Stolzer’s full-length plays include SURVIVORS (Arts Club of Washington National Playwriting Award; O’Neill Playwrights Conference semifinalist; Princess Grace Award semifinalist), UNSPORTSMANLIKE CONDUCT (Woodward/Newman Drama Award finalist; Last Frontier Theater Conference; Blank Theatre Living Room Series); STORAGE LOCKER (IATI Theater Mainstage; Pickering Award for Playwriting Excellence third prize); and PARALYZED (Ohio State-Newark New Play Contest third prize; O’Neill Playwrights Conference semifinalist; McLaren Memorial Comedy Playwriting Competition semi-finalist).

His short plays have been produced at festivals in New York City and around the country. EMERGENCY ROOM, a darkly comedic one-act about our dysfunctional health care system, received the Upstage Playwright Award from Houston’s Upstage Theatre.

Jeff was a writer for ABC’s WHO WANTS TO BE A MILLIONAIRE and Fox’s SPORTS GENIUSES. He was also the sole writer of more than 400 episodes for the syndicated radio program LITTLE KNOWN LEGENDS OF SPORTS.

BA, Brown University. MFA, University of Southern California. Member: Dramatists Guild of America; Writers Guild of America, East; and PEN America.

Weekend schedule…

Saturday, April 22

2:30PM – Switching Tracks
5:00PM – The Major, The Minor, The Living, The Dead
7:30PM – That’s Him

Sunday, April 23

12:00PM – The One Difference
2:30PM – Unsportsmanlike Conduct
5PM – Winner announced

Our playwrights at the festival!

L to R: Michelle Jane Wilson, Matthew Buckley Smith, Lewis J. Morrow, Jeff Stolzer

2017 Detroit New Works Festival Finalists!

Switching Tracks

by Matt Thompson

A divorced couple, Michael and Rebecca, haven’t seen each other in over ten years. After a chance encounter at Grand Central Station, both of them find new connections with each other as they comb through the bevy of old emotions as they strive to move forward.

Featuring Jeremy St. Martin as Michael and Diana Turner as Rebecca

The Major, The Minor, The Living, The Dead

by Matthew Buckley Smith

Lately shows up at Harlan’s door, after years of silence, asking for a favor. Her partner is publishing a book that includes a passage plagiarized from Harlan’s original work, and she needs Harlan to give his blessing. Lately has slowly built a career in the arts, turning challenges due to race and gender into opportunities whenever possible. Harlan, who has long since given up, resentfully attributes much of Lately’s success to the very cultural prejudices she has had to overcome. The two poets also share a pupil, Cassie, whose life in the arts has also been touched by cultural prejudice. Her great struggle, though, has been with a history of abuse and a debilitating mental illness. All three characters seek redemption for their suffering in love, and all three make shattering choices for their own survival.

Featuring Krystle Delahue as Lately, Allison Megroet as Cassie, and Jeremy St. Martin as Harlan

The One Difference

by Lewis J. Morrow

An interracial couple, Gregory and Noelle, have made a good life with one another. However, Gregory has some very contradicting ideas about interracial relationships which are exposed when his younger sister finds herself dating a white man herself. On a day where they were all supposed to have a friendly get together, hypocrisy and naivete plus the addition of two especially opinionated friends, bring to light the fact that race still appears to be an issue and there is an absolute difference between simply accepting our differences and embracing them.

Featuring Miles Boucher as Macklin, Breon Canady as Durrah, Jillian Craighead as Vita, Lester Finley as Gregory, Christina Swanson as Noelle, and Demonte Thomas as Eddie

That’s Him

by Michelle Jane Wilson

Following the sudden death of her husband, Joyce arranges a get together with her adult children to plan the funeral. Everett, her eldest and only drug addled child, fails to show up but middle child, son Aaron and daughter Melissa do. Her children are disgusted to find that though the father has just died they are focusing on Everett and his myriad of problems again, as usual.

When they drive to the family home they discover that Everett is there and has broken in, Joyce is stunned to find even the neediest of her children talking as though she were incapable of taking care of herself. She realizes she has to assert herself, most importantly in regards to Everett, whom she has been bailing out for years, so she can focus on getting herself through this huge change in her life.

Featuring Jean Pilon as Mother, Pete Podolski as Aaron, Bethany Robertson as Melissa, Jeremy St. Martin as Everett, and Diana Turner as Waitress

Meet the Playwrights

matthewbuckleysmithfrom Carborro, North Carolina

Matthew Buckley Smith is the author of Dirge for an Imaginary World. His plays have been performed in Washington, DC, New York, and London. His poetry has appeared in The Best American Poetry.

lewisjmorrowfrom Kansas City, Kansas

Lewis Morrow is a playwright and actor from Kansas City. He has written several works, including shorts and full length plays that have been produced in Kansas, Missouri, New York and California is various festivals. His works infuse realistic dialogue with humor and drama to create stories that highlight the oft-unacknowledged perspectives dealing with race and diversity. Other works include “Ain’t No Such Thing as Midnight Black”, “The Freedom We Fear” and “Enraged the Distance.”

mattthompsonfrom San Diego, California

Matt Thompson is a playwright born in Los Angeles and raised in San Diego. He received his bachelor’s degree from San Diego State University, his MA in Theatre from San Diego State University and his MFA in Creative Writing with a double emphasis in fiction and playwriting from UC Riverside.

He has been commissioned by The San Diego Repertory Theatre (Star Crossed), North Coast Repertory Theatre (The Little Mermaid, The Perfectly Preposterous Pirate Adventure of Solana Beach, Ted Williams: A Tip of the Cap, Mistletoe, Music & Mayhem!), Compass Theatre (9066, The 146 Point Flame), New Fortune Theatre (Cellar Door, Switching Tracks), Coronado Playhouse (If the Shoe Fits, A Roman Holiday), The Road Theatre (Who’s on Alpha?), and Point Loma Playhouse (The Complete History of Theatre (abridged), A Christmas Carol: The Classic Radio Drama).

His play, Who’s Afraid of Me, Myself and Edward Albee? was conceived of and mentored by Edward Albee himself over the course of several years.

In 2016 Mr. Thompson worked with La Mama Experimental Theatre Group in Umbria, Italy with resident master playwright Mac Wellman in the development of his comedy The Complete History of Theatre (abridged) and the revision of The 146 Point Flame.

Grants include the MiraStar Playwright Award and Direct to Arts Award from the city of Solana Beach.

His plays have been published through Dramatic Publishing, Heuer Publishing, Eldridge Publishing, Brooklyn Publishing and Norman Maine Publishing. His non fiction is published through Arcadia Publishing.

michellejwilsonfrom St. Paul, Minnesota

Michelle Jane Wilson is has published poetry and short stories, and her play from Zero to Almost 1% was researched and written while a Playwright in Residence with the Playwright’s Center in Minneapolis and was produced during the Center’s Open Season. Her play The Bridge Over the Ocean was produced by the St. Paul History Theatre as part of their Living History Project. The one act version of her play That’s Him has had staged readings at numerous one act festivals and was produced at Stage Door Theatre’s One Act Play Festival. She dwells in St. Paul, Minnesota and loves winter as long as there is snow.

Congrats to the seven semifinalists; we wish we could have all your plays read!

Girls With Bodies by Kirsten Easton | Greeley, Colorado

Death House by Jason Karasev | West Hollywood, California

Bethnal by Thom May | Austin, Texas

Gray Areas by Sean Paraventi | Redford, Michigan

Until We Get It Right by Natalie Sacks | New York, New York

The Algebra Lesson by Norman Simon | Lincoln, Nebraska

After the Darkness by Joe Starzyk | Troy, New York

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