Middletown Arts Center Presents MAC ONE-ACTS Reading-Reading Festival


originally published: 05/26/2022

(Middletown, New Jersey) — Middletown Arts Center will present the third edition of the MAC ONE-ACTS Play-Reading Festival on Saturday, June 4 at 7:00 p.m. The festival features original one-act works by New Jersey playwrights read in theaters by local actors. The hugely successful festival started as a virtual event in 2020 and was later staged on the MAC’s marquee terrace last spring.

The MAC-ONE ACTS 2022 Selections include Flip your lid by Tracie Morrison (Newark); Leaving Earth by Alexis Kozak (Ocean Township); the last winter by Danielle Umbs (Monmouth Beach); Pizza The Cat by Eric Craft (Newark); Shoptalk by Tylie Shider (Union); and pain management by Andrew Heinze (Atlantic Highlands)

Participation in the festival is free with a suggested donation of $5. Entries must be done online or by calling the box office at 732.706.4100. Some plays contain adult content and language, so parental discretion is advised.

The Middletown Arts Center is located at 36 Church Street in Middletown, New Jersey (next to the Middletown train station). Free parking is available on site with additional free parking available in the station’s metered car park on weekday evenings after 6:00 p.m. and on weekends.

Tracie Evette Morrison resides in Newark, New Jersey. She earned her BA in English from Rutgers University, Douglass College and her MA in Counseling from Montclair State University. Tracie served 16 years as a school trustee. She is currently in her first year as a high school vice principal. His inaugural play, The prayer dancerwas performed at the George Street Playhouse in 2004 and later released in 2015. In March 2022 Dunbar Repertory Company’s ‘Sweet Potato Pie Sessions’ featured a stage reading of Tracie’s latest play, preach, preacher. His new book: PRAYER: Speak, Listen, Obey Start and strengthen conversations with God was published in November 2021. For nearly twenty years, Tracie has inspired others to empower themselves through her teaching, counseling and writing.

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Alexis Kozak studied Theater Arts and English at Rutgers University. He spent his early twenties in Los Angeles, chasing his dream. Some time later, he earned a master’s degree in playwriting from Boston University and now teaches acting at Middletown High School South, where he often writes the fall play. He published The diamond as big as the Ritz, the only current dramatic adaptation of the eponymous short story by F. Scott Fitzgerald. He also has a scene book for high school actors called The greatest of all time, carried by Eldridge Publishing. Last summer, his play Two leopards climbing a fire escape was read at the MAC and played at the NJ Rep. He loves theatre, football, reading and his family… in no particular order.

Danielle Umbs is a junior at high school in Monmouth Beach, NJ. In addition to playwriting, she is passionate about acting, singing, art and music composition. Her favorite stage credits include Gertrude in seustic and ladybug in James and the giant peach. Danielle is a 2021-22 Two River Theater Howard Aronson Metro Fellow. She plans to go to college in order to pursue a BFA in acting.

Eric Craft wrote two complete plays and a complete musical, The blank page, for which he wrote the book and lyrics and self-performed out of college. His game, And every creeping thing, is currently the subject of her residency at the New Jersey Play Lab. He has several one-act plays and monologues he developed and conducted while teaching at the Allegra School of Music and Arts in Hillsborough, New Jersey, including his plays, find the root and The fight bus. Other acts include The edge of infinitywhich was the subject of a staged reading with the Chaotic Good Collective, and Oh there, grandma, who was one of The Summit Playhouse’s 2020 Summer Bake-off star finalists. He holds a bachelor’s degree in theater studies from Montclair State University.

TyLie Shider is ArtYard’s first Playwright-in-Residence, a 2022-23 McKnight Fellow in Playwriting at the Playwrights’ Center (PWC). He is a recipient of the Liberty Live commission from Premiere Stages, two consecutive Jerome Fellowships (PWC) and an “I Am Soul” playwright in residence at the National Black Theater (NBT). Upcoming projects include the fall 2022 NJ premiere of Some Aspects of Conflict in the Black Family on the first stages, The Gospel Woman (NBT), Whittier (PWC), and his film debut sign the time. Screenwriting credits include: Truant. He holds a BA in Journalism from Delaware State University and an MFA in Playwriting from NYU. A proud member of the Dramatist Guild, he is currently a professor of playwriting at the University of Augsburg and a writer for Minnesota Playlist.

Andrew Heinze’s credits include complete plays: Shylock the first (“Top 6 Winner”, Dayton Playhouse FutureFest 2021; from The Best Men’s Stage Monologues, 2020; The Best Men’s Stage Monologues, 2022; The Best Women’s Stage Monologues, 2022); Great roles for old actresses (from Best Women’s Monologues of 2019 and The Best Women’s Monologues from New Plays, 2019); The invention of the living room (Winner, 2014 Texas NonProfit Theaters POPS! New Play Competition; runner-up, 1st runner-up, 2012 Blue Ink Playwriting Award); Moses, the author (2014 New York International Fringe Festival & Fringe Encore Selection); Hamilton – a tragedy about Alexander Hamilton and his son (Semifinalist, 2012 O’Neill, National Playwrights Conference; Finalist, 2012 T. Schreiber Studio New Works Project); and Delete dad (Winner, Texas NonProfit Theaters 2016 POPS Contest!). Andrew’s award-winning one-act plays include comedies The QF (on obscenity and cable television), published in The Best Ten-Minute Plays by Smith & Kraus, 2011, and Jesus Goldfarb’s Bar Mitzvah (Winner, “Judges’ Choice” and “Audience’s Choice”, Best Play, New York City 15-Minute Play Festival; Runner-up, 2018 National Award for Short Film Writing, Runner-up, Samuel French 2019 Off-Off Broadway Short PlayFestival); and the award-winning drama Masha: Conditions in the Holy Land (Jury Prize winner for Best Screenplay – 748 screenplays submitted – Fusion Theater Company 2012 Short Play Festival; Finalist, Samuel French 2013 Off-Off Broadway Short Play Festival). Andrew is playwright-in-residence at the American Renaissance Theater Company (NYC) and a member of the Dramatists Guild of America and PEN.

Middletown Arts Center (MAC) is an award-winning, state-of-the-art facility in Middletown, NJ that offers arts-focused performances, exhibits, classes, and camps. It is conveniently located opposite Middletown Station and its recently expanded MAC Annex is minutes from the Middletown Reformed Church Education Building. The MAC is operated by a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, the Middletown Township Cultural and Arts Council, which is dedicated to providing quality arts programming and events to Middletown and surrounding communities.

William E. Bennett