The plays include
The Old Ship of Zion by Natalia Naman
Directed by Peter Hardy
A warm, touching play about the members of a small African-American church, struggling to keep its doors open and adapt to changing times. Mama Gwen is a beloved elder who feels the burden of others who depend on the strength of her faith, and Quincy is a young man who loves his church but is beginning to realize that he’s gay. A Professional World Premiere about people searching for a spiritual life in trying times. With lots of music!
Lillian Likes It by Joshua Mikel
Directed by Shannon Eubanks
A young woman thinks she may have found the perfect guy – unfortunately, he’s dead, but does that really matter if she can still chat with him online? (There’s an app for that.) A provocative comedy about the search for human connection in a time where we rarely meet face to face anymore. The World Premiere of the Winner of the 2015 Essential Theatre Playwriting Award.
The Bare Essentials Play Reading series will also take place in August, featuring staged readings and discussions of additional new plays.
Aug. 4: Deli by Diane Dexter, directed by Joan McElroy
Managing change at the family-run deli is a struggle, no matter how you slice it.
Aug. 10: The Wayfarers by Hillary Simpson Bolle, directed by Elin Rose Hill
Reality mixes with passionate remembrances to spin a tale of seven extraordinary characters, filled with love, manipulation and an intricate web of human relationships.
Aug. 18: Wash, Dry, Fold by Nedra Pezold Roberts, directed by Barbara Hawkins-Scott
Themes of loss and family secrets unfold in a laundromat run by two sisters as a bad loan threatens their livelihood
For more information and details, visit EssentialTheatre.com.