Theater to produce premiere of play

NAUGATUCK — The Phoenix Stage Company has been selected to participate in the inaugural AACTNewPlayFest. 

The AACTNewPlayFest is an initiative by the Texas-based, nonprofit American Association of Community Theatre as a way to address what the organization described as a “critical need” for new, high-quality plays for community theatre audiences around the globe.

Playwrights submit scripts for plays that have never had a full production to the organization. The winning playwrights get their plays published in an anthology by Dramatic Publishing Company and their plays receive full productions by established theaters.

More than two-dozen theaters across the country applied to be a producing theater in the inaugural AACTNewPlayFest. Phoenix Stage Company is one of only six theaters in the nation chosen to participate in the festival. Each theater received $4,000 to aid in the producing and marketing of the new plays, according to a news release.

“It is a high honor to have been selected,” AACT Executive Director Julie Crawford said in a press release.

The Phoenix Stage Company will be producing the play Jellofish written by Jim Henry. Jellofish will open on May 2 and run through May 11 at the theater, 686 Rubber Ave.

Jellofish focuses on four World War II veterans who have been playing a monthly game of poker since 1945 and putting aside 5 percent from every pot for a “side pot,” which has grown to a sizable fortune.

An opening night reception will be held Friday at Jesse Camille’s Restaurant, 615 North Church St., from 6 to 7 p.m. There will also be a coffee reception and an opportunity to meet the playwright following the performance. Guests are asked to call the theater at (203) 632-8546 to RSVP for the reception.

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