Salon Reading Series: History

The Salon Reading Series was developed by Angels Theatre Company, under the direction of founding Artistic Director Judy Hart.  The series was intended to serve the playwrights in the Playwriting Collective by exposing the members to different forms or dramatic writing and by exploring the dramaturgy of the selected works.  The reading format was a convenient way for the playwrights to gather and listen to the style, construction, dialogue and execution of each script and discuss the way the play achieved its goals through specific techniques used by the playwright.  The readings became popular among the playwrights, and as other members of the ATC community started attending readings on a regular basis, the readings were marketed publicly for others to attend.  Play readings were always followed by a moderated discussion, which became the backbone of the readings in public performance.

Initial readings, beginning in 2014, were ad hoc and scheduled based on availability.  Initial readings took place in a large conference room at FireSpring in Lincoln and included only the playwrights.  

In Fall of 2015, the readings were scheduled in advance and took on a thematic structure to guide the members of the Playwriting Collective in specific areas of dramaturgy and writing.  The 2015-16 season was organized around women writers and included plays by contemporary women playwrights in plays that explored different forms and formats.  The readings also outgrew the conference room setup, and the 2016-17 season was planned for the Rock Island Social Club in Lincoln.

In Fall of 2016, the Salon Reading Series was marketed publicly at the Rock Island Social Club and the focus moved to providing a reading series that served both the playwrights in the Playwriting Collective, and the public at-large.  These readings were presented to engage the public audience in a different form of theatre performance, focused on the written word and the characters created by the playwright.  The discussions continued and encouraged a wide-range discussion of the reading as well as the themes raised within the play.  

In 2017-18, the Reading Series moved again to the IronTail Gallery in central Lincoln, due to the closure of the Rock Island Social Club.  The gallery space proved and inviting format and the reading series stayed at the IronTail Gallery until its closure in the spring of 2019. 

In the fall of 2019, the reading series moved again to its current location at the Resonator Gallery in Turbine Flats. 

Beginning with the 2019-20 season, a season shortened by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Salon Reading Series shifted its focus to living playwrights and relatively new plays.  In 2020-21, the series was shortened to three works and presented over Zoom, due to  the pandemic.  In 2021-22, the series embraced the change of focus for Angels Theatre Company as a whole, and shifted its focus to new works.            

Past Seasons

2022-2023 Salon Reading Series: Peripeteia

Seeking Nietzsche
By Marcia Eppich-Harris
Directed by Timothy W Scholl
Friedrich Nietzsche: Joel Egger
Elisabeth Förster-Nietzsche: Deanna Walz
Lou  Salomé: Brenna Thompson
Wagner/Doctor/Hitler: Stephen Buhler

The Refugees
By Brent Askari
Directed by Mark Mesarch
Yates: Brandon Schuman
Poppy: Lindsay Masin
Wynn: Christian Novotny
Barry: Scott Glen
Salma: Deirdre Barney
Samir: Walter McDowell III
Stage Directions: Kathy Disney

By Lisa Sanaye Dring
Directed by Brenna Thompson
Gina: Katy Morehouse
David: Scott Shomaker

A Poison Squad of Whispering Women
By Kelly McBurnette-Andronicos
Directed by Cec Burkhart
Sylvia Otis:             Brenna Thompson
Opal Hightower:  Jessie Poskochil
Pearline Hightower:   Deanna Walz
Dell Guffey:            Barb Keating
Eula Roman:          Karen Freimund Wills
Adolphus Beck:    Randy Hawthorne
Stage Directions,
KKK radio voice:  Mark Mesarch

Clyt; or The Bathtub Play
by Elisabeth Giffin Speckman
Directed by Laura Lippman 
Clytemnestra:  Megan Lee Fangmeyer
A Chorus of Greeks, who portray among others:
Agamemnon:  Scott Shomaker
Helen:  Calli Mah
Polydeuces:  Melissa Wilson
Iphigenia/Cassandra/Castor:Amelia Roth
Menelaus:  Tim Anderson
Aegistus/Achilles/Paris:  Jean-Paul D. Zuhur
Stage Directions:  Katie Hoppe

by Desireé York
Directed by Ann Marie Pollard
Molly:      Shay Jowers
Shayna:   Teish Ngoi
Mother:   Gretchen Foley
Shayna’s Mother/Justine/Nurse:  Kristine Kaputska
Stage Directions:  Danielle Stolze  

Abraham’s Daughters
by Emma Goldman-Sherman
Directed by Ann Marie Pollard

Abraham:  John Burkhart
Maxine: Katy Morehouse
Huda: Maribel Cruz
Racie: Emily Raine Blythe
Amel: Alex Vega
Stage Directions:  Adian Upton
Arabic consultant: Alba Hassan
Hebrew consultant: Sara Miller

2021-2022 Salon Reading Series: Anagnorisis

by Vince Gatton
Directed by Timothy W Scholl
DAN: Dustin Witte
ERIC: Christian Novotny
TERRELL: Dale Hayes Jr
ESME: Brannon Evans
CHARLIE: Mason Morrill
Stage Directions: Stephanie Kahler

by Daryl Lisa Fazio
Directed by Jamie Bullins
Chris Dove            Ann-Marie Pollard
Xenia Dove            Kay Siebler
Val Croley              Shay Jowers
Stage Directions   Mar Hermosillo

by Peter Mercurio
Directed by Laura Lippman
Florence     Cec Burkhart
Edward       John Burkhart
Kayla          Amelia Roth
Bobby         Scott Shomaker
James        Randy Hawthorne
Stage Directions   Katie Hoppe

by Nate Eppler
Directed by Patrick Lambrecht
Mia: Megan Fangmeyer
Oz/Ozee: Ryan Searle
Liz: Katie Otten
Ruthie: Elizabeth Govaerts
Mr.Jangly Bones/Ozee: Eric Moyer
Boy/Ozee: Jackson Doele

by Fly Jamerson
Directed by Brenna Thompson
Tay: Wes Staley
Terra: Andira Evelyn Losh
Herman: Luca Wolf

by Lauren M. Gunderson
Directed by Timothy W. Scholl
Lauren: Lauren Phillips
Actor: John Burkhart
Banjo: Brad Anderson

2022-2023 Salon Reading Series:
Three Characters in Search of a Reading

Brilliant Works of Art
by Donna Hoke
Directed by Megan Fangmeyer
Abby: Liz Martelli
Grant Parrish: Patrick Lambrecht
James Gould: Carter Fangmeyer
Stage Directions: Megan Fangmeyer

Image Credit: “Torso of Adèle”, 1882, bronze: Auguste Rodin

Knowing Cairo
by Andrea Stolowitz
Directed by Timothy W. Scholl
Rose: Maribel Cruz
Lydia: Katy Morehouse
Winsome: Myeisha Essex
Stage Directions: Timothy Scholl

Delicate Particle Logic
by Jennifer Blackmer
Directed by Timothy W Scholl
Edith: Cece Burkhart
Lise: LauraLee Woodruff
Otto: Mark Mesarch
Male Chorus #1: Brian Foley
Male Chorus #2: Mason Gustafson
Stage Directions: Timothy Scholl

Illustration of Lise Meitner from Women in Science: 50 Fearless Pioneers Who Changed the World by Rachel Ignotofsky 

Salon Reading Series
Archived Reading History by Season

2023-2024 Season: Should I Stay or Should I Go
We Are Blood by Ryan Bernsten
Eminent Domain by Laura Leininger-Campbell
Romeo & Her Sister by Jillian Blevins
Old Bat by Ellen Struve
The Gentle Life-Changing Magic of Burning it All Down to the Ground by Heather Beasley
Man & Wife by Emma Goldman-Sherman
1000 Miles by Vanessa Garcia

2022-2023 Season: Peripeteia (Reversal)
Abraham’s Daughters by Emma Goldman-Sherman
HUMAN(E) by Desireé York
CLYT; or, The Bathtub Play by Elisabeth Giffin Speckman
A Poison Squad of Whispering Women by Kelly McBurnette-Andronicos
Kairos By Lisa Sanaye Dring
The Refugees by Brent Askari
Seeking Nietzsche by  Marcia Eppich-Harris

2021 – 2022 Season: Anagnorisis (Recognition)
The Heath by Lauren Gunderson
Frozen Fluid by Fly Jamerson
Primary User by Nate Eppler
Hatch by Peter Mercurio
Safety Net by Daryl Lisa Fazio
WAKE! by Vince Gatton
The Magnolia Ballet by Terry Guest

2020 – 2021 Season: Three Characters in Search of a Reading
*Season shortened due to COVID-19
Delicate Particle Logic by Jennifer Blackmer
Knowing Cairo by Andrea Stolowitz
Brilliant Works of Art by Donna Hoke

2019 – 2020 Season: Breaking Boundaries
The Feast by Celine Song
Blacktop Sky by Christina Anderson
PigCat by Steven Bogart
Looking for Normal by Jane Anderson
Grounded by George Brandt
Delicate Particle Logic by Jennifer Blackmer  (Rescheduled due to COVID-19)
Coyote on a Fence by Bruce Graham  (Canceled due to COVID-19)

2018 – 2019 Season: Wild Women
Hedda Gabler by Henrik Ibsen
How I Learned to Drive by Paula Vogel
Hecuba by Marina Carr
Stage Kiss by Sarah Ruhl
One Flea Spare by Naomi Wallace
Belle of Belfast City by Christina Reid
Anna Bella Eema by Lisa D’Amour

2017 – 2018 Season: Coming to Terms with the Past
Sedition by David Wiltse
A Lesson from Aloes by Athol Fugard
Other Desert Cities by Jon Robin Baitz
The Women of Lockerbie by Deborah Brevoort
Copenhagen by Michael Frayn
Appropriate by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins

2016 – 2017 Season: Adaptation
Everyman by Carol Ann Duffy
Metamorphoses by Mary Zimmerman
Eurydice by Sarah Ruhl
Translations by Brian Friel
Travesties by Tom Stoppard
boom by Peter Sinn Nachtrieb

2015 – 2016 Season: Women Writers
4000 Miles by Ann Herzog
Lunch Hour by Jean Kerr
Clean House by Sarah Ruhl
Silent Sky by Lauren Gunderson
Approaching Zanzibar by Tina Howe
Human Terrain by Jennifer Blackmer