ITHACA NY: The vitality of the theater depends on a community of working theatre artists: writers, actors and designers. The Kitchen Theatre Company's KITCHEN SINK series (underwritten by First Niagara) provides a venue for emerging regional theatre artists to develop work through staged readings and informal performances of works-in-progress. This season, the Kitchen has expanded this series to include three cornerstone events: 2nd Annual 48-Hour Playwriting Marathon, Teen Extreme Playwriting Contest & Marathon, and New Play Festival. The New Play Festival includes three new plays by three talented local playwrights Marie Sirakos, George Sapio and T. Paul McCabe and will be presented in a three-week rotating repertory schedule from May 25 - June 11 with performances Wed-Sat at 8p and Sun at 4p. Produced together to create a community-wide event, this festival celebrates the art of theater and the excitement of presenting new work.

Kitchen Theatre Company Assistant Artistic Director Jesse Bush is the producer of the KITCHEN SINK series. "The New Play Festival represents the essence of the Kitchen Sink Series, with local playwrights, actors and directors joining together to present three world premieres. It is central to the Kitchen's mission that we support the creation of new work and foster the tremendous artists of this area. With the New Play Festival we are able to accomplish both of these significant goals while providing exciting, cutting edge entertainment for our audience as well." The Festival scenic design is by Norm Johnson; Festival lighting design by Solomon Weisbard.

Launching and closing the festival will be 2005 and 2006 Poet Laureate of Tompkins County, Michelle Courtney Berry with the world premiere of her newest work Labor (part of the KITCHEN COUNTER CULTURE series) which plays May 19 & 20, and June 16 & 17 at 8:00 pm.

New Play Festival

GOSSIP by Marie Sirakos (May 25; June 4, 7, 10) is a witty comedy about life in a small town and the modern post divorce world. Lousha is trying to move on with her life with her new boyfriend, but when she discovers a box of her ex husband's belongings, she finds that getting rid of it is not so easy. Directed by Addie Walsh; Performed by Holly Adams, Michelle Foytek, Miranda Libkin, Danny Makali'I Mittermeyer, Joey Steinhagen, and Kit Wainer.

Marie Sirakos is a playwright, festival director, theatre artist and performer. She has served as teaching artist for the Hangar Theatre for the past six seasons and her various theatrical projects have included work with Music's Recreation, the Johnson Museum of Art, the New York International Fringe, Third Floor Productions, and the Kitchen Theatre Company. She is the recipient of a CAP Individual Artist Grant for playwriting, supporting her recent playwriting project "12" which received a reading at the Kitchen last fall. She is the Production Coordinator for Light In Winter, a Festival Coordinator for the Fingerlakes Grassroots Festival of Music and Dance, and has served as Artistic Director for Ithaca Festival 2005, "Catch the Wind" as well as the Arts Coordinator for Ithaca Festival 2006, "Ithaculture".

AND THEY LIVED (HAPPILY) EVER AFTER by George Sapio (May 26, 28; June 3, 8) is a whimsical journey through a world of reincarnation, hospitalization, and some serious mother issues. Tybalt is a struggling artist beset on all sides by his crazy mother, a nasty teddy bear and an identity crisis that is truly mythical. Directed by Jesse Bush; Associate Director Melissa Thompson; Performed by Robert J. De Luca, Paul Hansom, Daniel J. Kiely, Camilla Schade and Casey William Sweeney.

George Sapio is a playwright, director and actor currently pursuing his MFA in Creative Writing at Goddard College. His current work And They Lived (Happily) Ever After is actually a sequel to his first play, the literary black comedy Headstrong. His last play, the historical monster (These Matters Be) Kynges Games, premiered at the Kitchen in November 2005. His play Ghosts won the 2001 Mildred and Albert Panowski Award from Northern Michigan University. He begins teaching Playwriting and Directing at TC3 in January. As a director he's responsible for both Mac--excuse me--The "Scottish play"--and The Tempest for Black Umbrella, Gasping at the Firehouse Theatre, and several excursions with the Brobdingnagian Players. Acting credits include Malvolio in Twelfth Night, Martin Dysart in Equus, and Anton Mahler in The White Rose.

GET OFF by T. Paul McCabe (May 27; June 2, 9, 11), winner of the 2005 Jean Kennedy-Smith Playwriting Award. Everyone has plans for their lives. Even a knock-around, beer chugging, real-man guy like Jack, had plans for the future. But when a fall from a tree changes everything, his life becomes a fast moving avalanche of depression and addiction. Nothing will ever be the same. With his health aide Laura's encouragement, Jack finds acceptance and a new plan for his new future. Playwright Paul McCabe brings Jack to life with ferocious anger and heart wrenching pathos. [Supported with funding by Franziska Racker Centers]. Directed by George Sapio; Performed by Jessica Flood, Peter Gray, Daniel J. Kiely, Kirsten Kollender and Jade Rothman.

T. Paul McCabe graduated from TC3 in 2002, from Ithaca College in 2004 as an English major and is currently studying English and Creative Writing in Binghamton University's Masters Program (writing a new play when time permits). He teaches Academic Writing and Literature at TC3 and IC. He wrote Get Off in 2003-04 as part of an Independent Study with Claire Gleitman of IC's English Department and was honored to have Get Off performed twice as a staged reading at IC and at SUNY Cortland in 2004. In 2005, Get Off won the Jean Kennedy Smith Playwriting Award from the Kennedy Center's American College Theatre Festival where Paul was honored to spend a week at the Kennedy Center, attending workshops and a reading of a scene from Get Off at the Center's culmination ceremony.

Tickets for all performances are $12 and may be purchased in person at the Ticket Center in the Historic Clinton House, located on 116 North Cayuga Street, or by calling 607. 273-4497 (group rates are available). There are only 73 seats in the Kitchen Theatre, so advance purchase is highly recommended.

Repertory Performance Schedule:
May 25, 2006, Thursday at 8:00 pm GOSSIP
May 26, 2006, Friday at 8:00 pm AND THEY LIVED HAPPILY EVER AFTER
May 27, 2006, Saturday at 8:00 pm GET OFF
May 28, 2006, Sunday at 4:00 pm AND THEY LIVED HAPPILY EVER AFTER

June 2, 2006, Friday at 8:00 pm GET OFF
June 3, 2006, Saturday at 8:00 pm AND THEY LIVED HAPPILY EVER AFTER
June 4, 2006, Sunday at 4:00 pm GOSSIP

June 7, 2006, Wednesday at 8:00 pm GOSSIP
June 8, 2006, Thursday at 8:00 pm AND THEY LIVED HAPPILY EVER AFTER
June 9, 2006, Friday at 8:00 pm GET OFF
June 10, 2006, Saturday at 8:00 pm GOSSIP
June 11, 2006, Sunday at 4:00 pm GET OFF