METLab 2016 Line-up


2016 LINE-UP


Jeffery Keilholtz_headshot1 (1)BAD FICTION

by Jeffery Keilholtz

On the eve of a historic political election, an internal affairs officer and a campaign manager surround a forensics investigator and her bloody mangled face. Once joined by a powerful attorney- and over the course of one night- these four unlikely souls must endure epic consequences in the exposure of a major crime. Bad Fiction headlined the NewTACTics reading series, produced by The Actors Company Theatre (TACT) in New York City, in June 2016.



The following three  scripts were chosen from amongst this year’s submissions (over 100) to be featured in our staged-reading series. Following each staged reading, there will be a guided talk-back with the audience in which the playwright will receive feedback, reactions, and suggestions. The playwrights will then have the opportunity to implement rewrites and changes to their script before regrouping with their cast and crew for a second staged-reading. After the second staged reading, there will be an additional audience talk back(post-show discussion) in which the playwright can see how their changes to the script were received by the audience.


by Michael Perrie

 A surrealist dark comedy, about the power of art, the influence of government, and the plague of censorship, “11 days…” is about a Writer who is given an ultimatum; create a piece of pro-government art in the next couple days, or face the consequences. Yet outside the Writer’s apartment a genocide of the arts begins to explode across the country, and no one has any answers. As the Writer writes, the Director directs, the Officer taunts and the Investigator watches, an Actor appears and changes everything. When truth and fiction collide, it’s up to The Writer to determine what is real and what is not. Despite burgeoning neuroses, writer’s block, guns and pens, can an artist create under such pressures and circumstances? Would a government censor their own people through murder? Where is everyone and why won’t the door lock? The Writer must make a choice: write what’s real or what they want?



by DC Cathro

Gail’s dress shop falls on hard times after a tragedy in the community. She and her daughter Abby try to deal with the repercussions but things spiral downward and come to a head when Gail discovers that Abby may have unwittingly caused it all.



by M. G. Stephens

Dorina’s Story takes place during a Sunday brunch in North London. Dorina has the brunch to celebrate the publication of her first story in English. Her very odd and unusual friends come to the house for the celebration. But then Sarah, her boss, appears, and everything goes haywire. The play ends in a mythical woods outside of London, as Dorina and her brother Lucian search for their friends and their own identities. This is a play about immigrants and outsiders in a place like London. It is also a love story, using stock characters from the commedia dell’arte, while contrasting this with both the Dionysian and the more contemporary notion of sobriety. Dorina is a singular young woman determined to succeed in her adopted city, no matter what.


The following selected works were chosen for one-night-only public readings. No tickets necessary. All are welcome!


by Natalie Piegari

Three young women deal with the weight and impossible depth of loss after an ex, a first love, a lover and a friend takes his own life. They grapple with a forward-spinning world when death halts life in its tracks — and are forced to reckon with their relationships with the living. What happens when words aren’t enough?


by David Nice

Two employees from the same corporation are assigned to investigate a harassment claim at one of their divisional locations. After spending a day and half together doing their duty, Peter and Amy, are ready to fly home, but a snowstorm grounds their plans. These two coworkers wind up sharing a hotel room,giving them plenty of opportunity for discussing the harassment case, as well as exploring their own views of the rules we create for each other at work and in life.


by William Allen

The year is 1911, and the Mona Lisa is about to be stolen from the Louvre. Eduardo De Valfierno and Mathilde Chaudron have hatched a scheme to sell fake Mona Lisa’s to rich Americans once the news of the theft is out. They have recruited a pleasant but seemingly not too bright Italian immigrant, Vincenzo Peruggia, to steal the painting. Peruggia agrees to perform the theft only after he has fallen in love and planned to marry the disreputable Mathilde. Act I tells the story of the planning and stealing of the painting, while Act II revolves around Vincenzo’s revenge for his unrequited loves–his love for Mathilde and his love for Mona Lisa.


AllenWilliam Allen (The Art of the Smile) is an award wining playwright, comes to us from Homer, New York with a bachelors degree in English from University of Northern Colorado and a masters in humanities from Excelsior College. He took his craft and knowledge in those subjects and established a career for himself in the Homer High School English Department from 1975-2005, then moved on to TC3 English Department from 2007-2008. Allen had nine shows premiered or showcased with his most recent being “Psychic Wars,” which was performed on Chain Theatre’s stage in 2013. He has won titles in the Ogleby Institute Towngate Theater Playwriting Competition; Theater Unbounded Playwriting Competition; Robert J. Pickering Award for Playwriting Excellence; Open Book Playwriting Competition;  and the Palm Springs International Playwriting Festival, Pittsburgh New Play.

DC_CathroDC Cathro (Reason for Return) is a playwright, actor, and director in the Washington DC metropolitan area. His musical “Till,” written with award-winning composer Leo Schwartz, is one of three winners in the 2016 Main Street Musicals Festival, and will receive readings throughout the year in the U.S. and Canada. In 2014, he became the only playwright to have two shows in the Pride Films and Plays Festival in Chicago, IL; “Pen, A Musical” (also written with Schwartz) and “Family Holiday,” which was in last year’s MetLab Festival and will receive its first production here at Maryland Ensemble Theatre in their upcoming season.

Jeffery Keilholtz_headshot1 (1)Jeffery Keilholtz (Bad FictionBAD FICTION marks the second full length play authored by Jeffery Keilholtz – and the second to garner considerable industry attention, headling the NewTACTics reading series, produced by The Actors Company Theatre (TACT) in New York City, in June 2016. His first play, NIGHTSWIMMING, was produced by At Hand Theater Company at Access Theater in New York City. NIGHTSWIMMING was subsequently work-shopped with Millennium Talent Group at the famed Off-Broadway house, Manhattan Ensemble Theatre. NIGHTSWIMMING was also optioned as screenplay by L.I.F.T. Productions (William Friedkin’s, BUG) and later by Louisiana Film Consultants (THE MIST). Keilholtz’s original, based-on-a-true-story screenplay, the currently UNTITLED MARSHALL KILDUFF PROJECT – the account of the San Francisco Chronicle Reporter who exposed Reverend Jim Jones and Peoples Temple Church – is also optioned and in feature film development.

David NiceDavid Nice (Investigation) is a founding member of the Lancaster Dramatists’ Platform. He has participated in a number of workshops sponsored by PlayPenn in Philadelphia, including classes led by Jacqueline Goldfinger, Stefanie Zadravec, Lee Blessing, Craig Lucas and Erik Ehn. He is a graduate of Franklin and Marshall College and Saint Joseph’s University (Philadelphia).David was an actor and theater student in his youth. He returned to theater in his 50s, after a “lifetime” as a husband, father, business guy, and political activist.

PerrieMichael Perrie Jr. (11 days of Bloody Bloody Carnage) is a New York based Actor/Playwright/Composer and graduate of Baltimore’s Towson University (Acting). As a writer he has completed over 30 plays, 2 screenplays, 2 TV pilots and 4 musicals (book/music/lyrics) which have been seen all over the East Coast and sometimes out West, recently: La Crescita (The Pantry Development Workshop), Big Red Button (H&H Workshop), and more. Last year he was at MET with a reading of Lenny Was Here. As an actor, he’s been seen in Theatre all over the country NYC and the East Coast. Most recently as: Buddy Holly in Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story (National B’way Tour), Charles Lomax in Major Barbara (Industry Showcase Reading), Lars in Down Among the Vultures (GHTC @ Cincinnati Fringe), and more. He is always and forever grateful for friends, family, Lacy and MET for supporting his work!

PlegariNatalie Ann Piegari (The Funeral of Casey B. Collinsis a DC-based playwright, arts administrator and actor with a BA in Theatre from the University of Maryland. Plays she has written include Safe as Houses, The Funeral of Casey B. Collins, Left/Right, Sunday at St. Jude’s, Trash, the Knight’s Tale in Pointless Theatre Company’s production of Canterbury, Monster Match in Rorschach Theatre’s Fall 2014 Klecksography: Haunting Monsters, and Unbound as part of University of Maryland’s Alumni Commissioning Project at the NextNOW Festival. Her plays have been performed, workshopped and read at the University of Maryland, the Kennedy Center, and Mobtown Players in Baltimore. She founded and facilitates Bridge Club: A Writer’s Collective, a writer’s group that meets monthly. Upcoming: Normal/Magic, a fantastical double-feature, at this year’s Capital Fringe Festival. @nataliepiegari

StephenM.G. Stephens (Dorina’s Story) has had his plays produced in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and London, among other places, and his play Our Father ran on Theatre Row (42nd Street in New York) for over five years. He has also published nineteen books, including the novel The Brooklyn Book of the Dead; the memoir Lost in Seoul; and the essay collection Green Dreams. A graduate of the Yale School of Drama, he also has a doctorate in Literature, Film and Theatre Studies from Essex University in England. Stephens was born in Washington, D.C., and lived in Maryland when younger.








Maryland Ensemble Theatre