2017 Theatre Grant/ SLAC

The 2017 Davey Foundation Grant, awarded to Rae Binstock for her play, A LAND OF NO MERCY receives a staged reading JULY 31, 7pm at Salt Lake Acting Company

Ms. Binstock’s play was selected from nearly 40 script submissions received from around the country as the recipient of a grant that will provide a weeklong professional workshop of her script as well as her housing and travel to Salt Lake City. Culminating in a free public reading on July 31, 2017 at 7pm at Salt Lake Acting Company (168 W. 500 N.), this workshop will provide Ms. Binstock a professional team of actors and designers as well as director Jamie Rocha Allan.

The team includes:

Cast – Flo Bravo, Gordon Dunn, Louis Hillegass IV, Natalie Keezer, Ali Kinkade, Heidi Mendez, Ashley Marian Ramos, and Ryon Sharette
Dramaturg – Sydney Cheek O’Donnell
Stage Manager – Ash Crystal
Designers – Martin C. Alcocer, Cara Pomeroy

Playwright Rae Binstock says: “LAND OF NO MERCY is a play about making a home in America, and it doesn’t speak only to immigrants. Whether home-grown or foreign-born, we are all interwoven with the unbroken thread of hope that runs from our country’s past to our present. I could not be more grateful for the opportunity to sit down and explore this play with talented individuals with their own fascinating histories. This is my chance to hear my work come alive, and to learn how it speaks to Americans of all shapes and sizes.”

Director Jamie Rocha Allan says: “I’m really excited to be working on this project. SLAC continue their mission of bringing new and important work to the stage, Rae Binstock articulates in her play a message that while reflecting on America’s history, is also vital in the current political climate.”

ABOUT THE PLAY

The apartment sits on the corner of Monroe and Clinton, tucked away in Manhattan’s Lower East Side. It’s a cozy little place, just big enough for two—but which two? Yetta and Solomon, the Jewish immigrants from 1915, business owners fighting to get through each day and hold on to a world thousands of miles away, while they worry about starting a family in the Land of Opportunity? Or Maria and Alex, the millennial oddballs of the present who sweep into the neighborhood on a tide of gentrification, struggling to keep their college relationship viable in the face of new stressors, new ambitions, and new neighbors? A century apart but close enough to touch, two couples inhabit the same cramped apartment. Their stories weave together, contrasted throughout history, a collage of youth, hope, and uncertainty in what Tony Kushner calls “the melting pot where nothing melted.”

Rae Binstock (Playwright) was raised in Cambridge, MA and earned her BA from Columbia University, where she was mentored by Ellen McLaughlin and David Henry Hwang. Her full-length plays include WATCH ME BURN (LezPlay – Pride Films & Plays, Idle Muse Theatre’s Athena Festival, The Fresh Fruit Festival), EXPEDITION (Monster Piece Theatre Collective, National Theater for Student Artists, Seymour Brick Memorial Prize for Playwriting), WE ARE THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD (Red Theater’s National Playwriting Prize, winner of the 84th National Writer’s Digest Writing Competition) and THE SNOWSTORM (2016 Historic Elitch Theatre New Works Festival, Harold Clurman Playwright’ Division Pick). Rae is a member of New Perspective Theatre’s Short Play Lab, a contributing writer at Slate.com, and a co-creator of the web-series Rejected. She is an O’Neill Conference semifinalist and the recipient of a 2017 artistic residency with The Helene Wurlitzer Foundation of New Mexico. Rae lives in Brooklyn, NY.

Past Winners are:

2016 – Brynne Frauenhoffer for her play SYNCHRONICITY. Read more about her here.
Finalists: CHILL by Eleanor Burgess, SINNER-MAN by Liz Maestri, and PASSING TIME IN ANIMAL TOWN by Ryan Oliveira.

2015 – Katherine Vondy for her play THE FERMI PARADOX. Read about her here.

The grant is awarded to a playwright 35 years of age or younger for a week-long rehearsal and development process of a new work, culminating in a free, public staged reading.

Last year’s winner, Brynne Frauenhoffer said about her experience:  “No one has ever trusted me this deeply as a writer.  I’ve never had such a talented cast and director or a more welcoming company.  This chance came to me at just the right moment, while I was wondering whether to keep writing, whether I can really do this. You have given me the encouragement and experience I so desperately needed, and this has begun a new part of my career.”

Salt Lake Acting Company (SLAC)’s mission is to engage and enrich community through brave contemporary theatre. Founded in 1970, SLAC is a not-for-profit 501(c)3 professional theatre dedicated to producing, commissioning, and developing new works and to supporting a community of professional artists. SLAC has been nationally recognized by the Shubert Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Pew Charitable Trusts, and the Edgerton Foundation, among others. SLAC operates under a STP Actors Equity Association contract and is a Constituent Member of Theatre Communications Group (a national organization for non-profit professional regional theatres), and the National New Play Network (a national alliance of non-profit professional theatres that champions the development, production, and continued life of new plays).