Theater Review: New Voices Playwrights

Ben Miles

New Voices Playwrights is a non-profit theater group located in Orange County, which nurtures and produces original plays by member playwrights. Not only is New Voices affirming of theatrical creativity—in its various guises, such as music, acting, directing, costuming, scenic, lighting and sound design, and, of course, script writing—it also functions as a critique group for writers and a testing ground for play production.

Founded in 1997, New Voices Theatre, in addition to offering staged readings of original plays, regularly stages the plays of its members. For example, during this holiday season New Voices, has staged a bill of six seasonally themed one act plays. The program is titled “Holiday Plays” and the stagings come in two acts.

Act One includes first, “Blue Hair &Rap,” with a plot revolving around generational tastes and cultural differences, by Lillian Nader, and directed by Van David Hudson. Second, “Transitions,” is a situational drama, by Michael Buss and co-directed by Autumn Browne and Michael Buss. Ms. Browne also acts in this four character scenario—along with Philip Bushell, Paige Woehler and the charming child performer, Hassan Varela. “Transitions” addresses familial changes, framing seasonal changes as a means of coming to terms with developmental changes. Third, “Black Friday Blue, by John Bolen and directed by David Rusiecki, is about expectant first-time parents awaiting the doors to open in order to begin there discount shopping spree.

After a fifteen-minute intermission Act Two commences with a delightful comedy titled “Pish Posh,” by Lynn Bolen and directed by Geoffrey Gread;. It’s about a plumber and his customer (Philip Bushell and Karen Wray) trying to make the best of his being stranded at her place due to a snowstorm. Next in the line-up is “Happy Holidays,” by Joanne Freeman and directed by Geoffrey Gread, which is centered in an office break room as employees make plans for the office’s holiday reception. Last is “Concerto for Violin,” a drama— by Ann V. Grob and directed by Laura Lejuwaan— set in the time of the NAZI rampage known as Kristallnacht.

Though these New Voices productions ended their short run on December 15, other productions, readings and showcases will be held throughout the coming year. For those interested in the New Voices schedule of events and opportunities visit


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