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Theater Festival at the Sheen Center July 8-9 Features Six Short Works by Catholic Playwrights

The Sheen Center for Thought and Culture will showcase the thought-provoking and socially relevant work of six emerging artists at the first Sheen Center Theater Festival: Readings of New Short Plays by Catholic Playwrights.

On Saturday and Sunday, July 8 and 9, the Sheen Center’s Black Box welcomes six Catholic playwrights, representing a diverse range of voices and styles, including the works of four women and two men, including a Jesuit brother.

The program consists of 10-minute readings from Daniel Damiano, Kelley Nicole Girod, Laura Pittenger, Emily C.A. Snyder, Kimberley Kalaja and Brother Joe Hoover, S.J. These artists explore the themes of recovery, romance, technology and the activism of Dorothy Day, weaving a contemporary journey through the Catholic imagination with stories that speak to the spirit of the times and hearts of the American people.

“We are proud to give these six playwrights a platform to display their talents,” William Spencer Reilly, executive director of The Sheen Center for Thought and Culture.

The program will include the following plays:

“The Lepers” by Daniel Damiano

At the dawn of a new year, Vin and Vanessa get together after their AA meeting in an attempt to bond while in the early stages of their recovery.

“Miss Ruby” by Kelley Nicole Girod

Two respectable white women in the South share a secret they can't face.

“The Drill” by Laura Pittenger

City Hall Park in Manhattan on June 15, 1955, the day of the state’s annual Operation Alert civil defense drill, conducted in case of a nuclear attack. Dorothy Day, noted Catholic anarchist, leads a protest against the drills and, in the process, meets a young stranger.

“More Human” by Emily C.A. Snyder

In the near future, an Android turns itself in to the police, claiming to have allowed its owner to die. But can a human die if they never really lived?

“The Shooter” by Kimberly Kalaja

Convinced that God has abandoned her, and overwhelmed by the violence that has become the “new normal” across America, a young woman buys a gun to protect herself. But will fighting back be enough to give her the comfort and connection she needs to cope in a changing world?


“Amends” by Br. Joe Hoover, S.J.

A comedy about a man and woman having an illicit relationship and the qualms of conscience that lead to a surprising announcement.

The Sheen Center is located at 18 Bleecker St. in Lower Manhattan. Admission to the festival is free. Information: sheencenter.org

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