Fort Worth

Stage West Presents The 2018 New Play Readings Festival

Sunday, April 22

Stage West presents the 11th Annual New Play Readings Festival on Sunday, April 22, at Stage West in Fort Worth.  Featured will be ‘Dust,’ by Nicole Oglesby, the winner of the 11th Southwest Playwriting Competition; in addition, the festival will feature readings of new works by Mat Smart (who wrote the 38th Season closer, ‘The Royal Society of Antarctica’) and Janielle Kastner, who just appeared as Karla in ‘A Funny Thing Happened….  ‘
The schedule for the readings is:

Sunday, April 22, 1:00 p.m. – ‘Kill Local by Mat Smart’ (2 acts, 10-minute intermission)
Sheila and her sister Abigail work for their mother’s small family business. Sheila’s job used to be a source of joy and exhilaration; now she’s questioning everything. But when you’re an assassin, being uninspired means getting sloppy, and getting sloppy means getting killed. Kill Local is a subversive comedy about blood-ties, revenge, and trying to get unstuck - especially when your life is dedicated to ending others’. Directed by Tina Parker.

Mat Smart’s recent world premieres include ‘Kill Local’ at the La Jolla Playhouse directed by Jackson Gay (nominated for Outstanding New Play by the San Diego Theatre Critics Circle) and ‘The Agitators at Geva’ directed by Logan Vaughn (which became the highest attended four-week run of a play in Geva’s 40+ year history). Other recent productions include The Royal Society of Antarctica at Stage West and Naperville at Theatre Wit.

Sunday, April 22, 4:30pm – 'Sweetpea' by Janielle Kastner (no intermission)
A couple moves into the same apartment. Their pet birds move into separate cages. Pecking, nesting, and mating ensue. Sweet, funny, and cozy till it’s not, Sweetpea explores the (im)possibility of intimacy and the absurdity of sharing space. Directed by Carson McCain Gray.

Janielle Kastner is a Dallas-based writer and performer. Currently, she is devising an original podcast Untitled Dad Project (Spoke Media), and working on a new play commission from the Dallas Theater Center, where she was an inaugural member of the Dallas Playwrights' Workshop with Will Power. Janielle was named Best New Playwright in “Dallas Best Of 2016” (Dallas Observer), and was awarded a 2016 Mastermind Award (Dallas Observer) for her work co-founding The Tribe, a producing and incubation collective for emerging artists. Her plays include ‘Heaven's Gates,’ ‘Hell's Flames’ (Reading: Detour Festival, WaterTower Theatre), ‘Ophelia Underwater’ (WP: The Tribe, 2015; L.I.P. Service Theatre Company, 2018), ‘Feed Me’ (WP: Stella Adler Theatre, A Light in Dark Places Festival, 2016) and ‘Sweetpea.’ Additionally, she co-runs Dallas cult classics Shakespeare in the Bar and Movies That Should be Musicals, and has performed with Stage West Theatre, Kitchen Dog Theater, Amphibian Stage Productions, The In-Laws, Theatre Three, Cara Mia Theatre, and Shakespeare Dallas. She holds a B.F.A. in Theatre and B.A. in English from Southern Methodist University.

Sunday, April 22, 7pm – ‘Dust’ by Nicole Oglesby (2 acts, 10-minute intermission)
In the shadow of a dying farm and a miraculous apricot tree, three sisters fight to stay alive in the Texas panhandle during the dust bowl. As the dark looming cloud on the horizon draws ever closer, they choose to love dangerously and question their heritage and faith. Dust is a spiritual and deeply human meditation on motherhood, heartache, and what it means to be a young woman at a precipice. Directed by Emily Scott Banks.

Nicole Oglesby is an Austin-based playwright who creates poetic and political works about women. Upon graduating from UT Austin in 2016, she founded the Heartland Theatre Collective with co-collaborator, Marian Kansas, in order to produce her play, ‘Dust.’ It received critical acclaim and was nominated for the Austin Critic’s Table’s David Mark Cohen New Play Award. In June, the Heartland Theatre Collective will premiere her newest play, ‘Little Bird.’ Also a performer, Nicole has acted professionally in the Austin area and performed at four different improv theaters. Nicole was born in Ft. Worth, Texas and is a Haltom High School alumna.

Each of the readings will feature a talk-back afterward, and both Janielle Kastner and Nicole Oglesby will be in attendance for their talk-backs. Tickets for the readings are $10 each, or $25 for all three, and free for Stage West season subscribers.  The cafe will be open prior to the first reading for drinks; a limited menu dinner will be available between the 1st and 2nd readings, with dessert served between the 2nd and 3rd readings. The price for all three readings plus dinner will be $50; subscribers may purchase a dinner pass for $25. Dinner package includes entrée, dessert, and a non-alcoholic drink with each plus gratuity. Dinner service reservations are required, and those reserving must choose an entrée at the time of the reservation.  

For more information, and tickets, visit

New Play Readings Festival 2018
Sunday, April 22
1:00pm – ‘Kill Local’ by Mat Smart
4:30pm – ‘Sweetpea’ by Janielle Kastner
7:00pm – ‘Dust’ by Nicole Oglesby
Stage West
821 W Vickery Blvd
Fort Worth, TX 76104

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