Next Act!

theREP’s 10th Anniversary Celebration of the Next Act! New Play Summit continues: will take September 16-19, 2021 (virtually) – and we couldn’t be more excited to continue our new play development work! Audiences will be able to see readings of AMERICAN FAST by Kareem Fahmy, EXTREME HOME MAKEOVER by Makasha Copeland and SECRET HOUR by Jenny Stafford Suggested donation of $25.00 per reading.

Mark your calendars … !!!

September 16, 2021 at 5pm
(all September shows will run through end of day September 19, 2021)

AMERICAN FAST by Kareem Fahmy
College basketball phenom Khady Salama is about to compete in the NCAA Women’s Championships. But this year’s March Madness coincides with Ramadan, and Khady’s devout mother expects her to fast. No food, no water, no anger, not even on game days. The ambitious Khady sees only one way forward: lie and pretend to follow Ramadan. Little does Khady know her mother will go public with the story of her fast, portraying Khady as a heroine for young Muslim women everywhere. As the championship game draws near, the media spotlight threatens to expose Khady’s deception. Forced to cover her tracks with more lies, Khady gambles with the trust of the people she loves most—her coach, her boyfriend, and her mother—in the name of winning at all costs.

Every year, thousands of families apply for a reality TV sho that promises a rags-to-riches transformation for America’s most deserving citizens. With such steep competition, the Vega family must fight to make their video application stand out. Makasha Copelan’s earnest satire begs the question – in a world where so many receive so little, how much do miracles cost?

SECRET HOUR by Jenny Stafford
Tune in for the first of the three-way-tie-winning plays from the 2021 Summit, Jenny Stafford’s play SECRET HOUR and watch as a married couple having trouble communicating plays their game “secret hour” in which they must tell each other the truth, no matter what. 


June Events:

June 7, 2021 at 5pmMeridith Friendman’s THE LUCKIEST PEOPLE TRILOGY will begin airing. All three shows will be available from June 7 at 5pm through 10pm on June 10th. The Trilogy includes: Play 1 – “The Luckiest People”; Play 2 – “Your Best One” (which received its East Coast Premiere on theREP’s Stage in 2020); and Play 3 – “I Can Go”

June 8, 2021 at 5pm – ATTENTION PLAYWRIGHTS: sign up for this one hour SYNOPSIS CLINIC and learn from Dramatist Guild Member, Professional Playwright and College Professor, Aoise Stratford on how to craft the “perfect” synopsis of your play.

June 10, 2021 at 5pm – Tune in for a Summit Favorite – THE FIRST 15, where the first 15 minutes of four scripts will be read aloud. The First 15 will air from 5pm on June 10th until 10pm June 11th.

June 10, 2021 at 7pm – Tune in for the Summit’s Second STAGE2SCREEN Event, curated with Poorductions and Frosted Lens Entertainment, where we dive into the world of taking a stage play and turning it into a screen play. This year’s event features Mark Rigney’s EVERYTHING MUST GO. Stage2Screen will air from 7pm on June 10th until 10pm June 11th.

June 11, 2021 at 5pm – You don’t want to miss NEW VOICES: THE YOUNG PLAYWRIGHT CONTEST WINNING SCRIPTS. This event features the four winning scripts from the 2021 Young Playwright Contest – and will air from 5pm on June 11th through 10pm on June 12th.

“Dream Escape” by Leanne Airhienbuwa & Amita Ganeshkumar (Guilderland High School

“The Flower” by Seamus Madden (Loudonville Christian School)

“Broken Glass” by Isabella Libby & Maxine Alpart (Guilderland High School)

“Oh My God!” by Meghan Cenci & Merryn Rositzke (Coxsackie-Athens High School)

Readings of Extreme Home Makeover, American Fast and Secret Hour.

One more reminder that all of the 2021 Next Act! New Play Summit programming is virtual!

Next Act! Is an expansion of Capital Repertory Theatre’s (theREP) commitment to the development of new work and directly reflects the theatre’s mission, “to create meaningful theatre generated from an authentic link to the community.” At the same time, the weekend-long summit is designed to complement the Upper Hudson Valley’s rich diverse populations, and has been doing that for the past 10-years!

Next Act! New Play Summit, a joint venture between Capital Repertory Theatre and Proctors, is an annual showcase of new plays designed to shed light on new play development.

The summit brings playwrights, directors, actors, and audience members together for a series of workshops and readings, where multiple new full-length plays are given readings.

The Summit was founded on the goal to find a play that theREP wants to produce – furthering the theatre’s commitment to the development of new work. To date, theREP has selected one play to produce as a World Premiere from every single Next Act! New play Summit.

The public is invited to attend and provide feedback during all events.

Officially formed in the fall of 2012, the Next Act! New Play Summit is made possible by a generous legacy gift from Samson O.A. Ulmann – a professor of English at Union College (from 1957-92).

Among a variety of additional events are:
theREP’s New Voices: Young Playwright Contest Reading, that features readings of six or more ten-minute plays by Capital Region Playwrights aged 13-19.

The NextGen Reading, an event that includes two or more short (15-30minute plays) by writers aged 19-25. theREP works in collaboration with UAlbany and their Fresh Acts Festival for this event.

The First 15: Be a Literary Manager, a popular event where the audience acts as literary manager to assess a submission using the same criteria theREP’s actual reading committee uses.

A Synopsis Clinic, hosted by Dramatist Guild Member, Aoise Stratford, this clinic aims to provide playwrights with the most effective way to write a synopsis of their play so that Literary Manager, Artistic Directors and Agents WANT to read the play.

Stage2Screen, an event curate with two Capital Region Film Companies, Poorductions and Frosted Lens, Stage2Screen shows how some plays progress – or have another life – by becoming screenplays.

Thank you for your interest in theREP’s Next Act! New Play Summit! 

Please note that the submission process for the 2021 Summit is now open through end of day January 31, 2021. 

For Full Submission Guidelines click HERE.

*If you are looking for theREP’s Young Playwright Contest please visit our School Page HERE

theREP looks for scripts that use theatre to address injustices, inequities, and cultural collisions, providing a voice for the unheard on stage, in the workplace, the Capital Region and beyond. Scripts that engage art and social justice. Submission documents must be void of playwright’s name and contact information. Several plays will be selected from this submission process. to have virtual readings (with an eye towards a potential future production) during the annual summit in June 2021.

September Events:

American Fast by Kareen Fahmy

Extreme Home Makeover by Makasha Copeland

Secret Hour by Jenny Stafford

NEXTGEN Playwright(s) TBA

June Events:

2021 Next Act! New Play Summit Full-Length Readings
The Luckiest People Trilogy by Meridith Friedman
Secret Hour by Jenny Stafford

The 2021 New Voices: Young Playwright Contest Winners
An Artist’s Hand by Grace Bombard (Loudonville Christian School)
Our New Colossus by Maya TerryStein (Shaker High School)
The Flower by Seamus Madden (Loudonville Christian School)
Dream Escape by Amita Ganeshkumar & Leanne Airhienbuwa (Guilderland High School)
Broken Glass by Isabella Libby & Maxine Alpart (Guilderland High School)
Oh My God! by Meghan Cenci & Merryn Rositzke (Coxsackie-Athens High School)

The 2021 First 15

Christin Eve Cato, Jordan Ramire Puckett, Michael Hilton and Peter Snoad



Summit Cast List

American Fast by Kareem Fahmy
Directed by Reginald Douglas
Stage Managed by Margaret E. Hall*

Cast (in alpha order):

Coach – Erin Cherry*
Khady Salama – Amira Danan*
Stage Directions – Benjamin Farha
Suzan – Rula Gardenier*
Gabe – Brandon Gill*

Extreme Home Makeover by Makasha Copeland
Directed by Dr. Maria Patrice Amon
Stage Managed by Margaret E. Hall*

Cast (in alpha order):

David – Paul Araujo
Valentina – Vivia Font*
Stage Directions – Ariana Papaleo
Marco – Freddy Mauricio
Lupe – Laura Odette Sandoval
Guadalupe – VIVIS*

Secret Hour by Jennifer Stafford
Directed by Yvonne Perry
Stage Managed by Margaret E. Hall*

Cast (in alpha order):
Ben – Ben Katagiri
Kate – Vivia Font*
Leaf – Pun Bandu*

*denotes member of AEA




June Events Cast List

The Luckiest People Trilogy by Meridith Friedman

Directed by Gordon Greenberg

Stage Managed by Conway Hahne
Cast (in alpha order)
Laura – Jill Abramovitz*
Stage Directions – Gabby Franco Ferro
Matt – William Poon *
Nancy – Barbara Robertson*
David – Michael McCory Rose*
Josh – Justin Sturgis
Richard – Jeremy Webb*
Oscar – Lenny Wolpe*


First 15
Directed by Duane Boutté
Stage Managed by Margaret E. Hall*

Apartness by Michael Hilton
Stage Directions – Alexis Papaleo
Judith – Eileen Schuyler*
Caroline – Messeret Stroman Wheeler*

Sanchocho by Christin Eve Cato
Renata De Jesús-Perez – Daniela Malavé*
Caridad De Jesús – Elise Hernandez Santora*
Stage Directions – Eileen Schuyler*

Las Pajaritas by Jordan Ramirez Puckett
Stage Direction – Victoria Benkoski*
Anita –Daniela Malavé*
Taylor – Alexis Papaleo
Lita – Elise Hernandez Santora*

Seeing Violet by Peter Snoad
Imani – Victoria Benkoski*
John – David Girard*
Stage Directions – Messeret Stroman Wheeler*
Betsy – Yvonne Perry*

New Voices YPC
Directed & Stage Managed by Margaret E. Hall

Dream Escape by Leanne Airhienbuwa & Amita Ganeshkumar
The Flower by Seamus Madden
Broken Glass by Isabella Libby & Maxine Alpart
Oh My God! by Meghan Cenci & Merryn Rositzke

Cast (full New Voices Company)
(in alpha order)
Aaliyah Al-Fuhaid
Lucas Aurelio
Gabby Franco Ferro
Ellen Cribbs*
David Kenner*
Antonio Lacy
Eddie Maldonado*
Kevin McGuire*
Celena Vera Morgan
Alexis Papaleo
Justin Sturgis

Stage2Screen: “Everything Must Go” by Mark Rigney
Stage Play Directed by Tyaela Nieves
Screen Play Directed by Nick Dwarika
Stage Directions – Ben Katagiri

Cast (in alpha order)
Zach – Lucas Aurelio
Shelby – Emily Curro
Maureen/Eileen – Adrian Kiser*
Harold – John Romeo*
Denelle/Abby – Sandra Seoane-Seri*

Synopsis Clinic – Live Via Zoom; June 8 at 5pm – Aoise Stratford

September 2021

Extreme Home Makeover by Makasha Copeland
American Fast by Kareem Fahmy
NextGen Reading (Script[s] TBD)

*Denotes a member of AEA









There are a few different ways to tune in to enjoy the Next Act! New Play Summit: 

1. theREP’s Facebook Page

2. Proctors Collaborative YouTube

3. On Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV and Roku – search and download the Collaborative Studios app.

4. Open Stage Media On-Demand Channel


Like last June, the 2021 Next Act! Summit is a fundraiser for the theatre’s new play development, with a suggested donation of $25.00 per reading.

Text NEXTACT to 41444  or click here to make a donation.


(Pictured: AEA Actor, Joshua Redfield and local actress Emily Curro.)