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New Plays Are Born at Nouveau 47's Second New Works Fest, Starting This Week

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With its second festival of new plays starting Thursday, Nouveau 47 can now call it an "annual" event. The theater company in Margo Jones' old space at the Magnolia Lounge, Fair Park, regards their outfit as a "gym for playwrights," with special focus on developing and polishing scripts for production on their stage and elsewhere. Last year's new works festival brought success to several writers, including Kevin Kautzman for his play Coyote, which had a dandy run at Nouveau earlier this year. Kautzman returns this year with If You Start a Fire [Be Prepared to Burn]. The 2011 fest also generated a book deal for another writer and brought interest from beyond DFW for several scripts.

The 2012 New Works Festival runs April 26-May 6, bringing playwrights from all over the country to Dallas to hear their work performed in staged readings and to receive feedback from audiences and panels of critics, directors and educators. Scripts were selected from more than 200 submissions, says festival director Lacy Lalene Lynch.

"Connecting" is the theme of this year's fest. "All of the work explores the act of exchanging in an age of technology, sobriety, social lubricants, stoners, sexting, web cams, sci-fi, and our fracked-up families," says Lynch.

Here's the schedule:

• Festival opens at 8 p.m., Thursday, April 26. Readings of six 10-minute plays, followed by a party. Plays are: Mondays at 2:15 by Mike Moroz; The Divine Visitation of Joe Pickleseimer by Micah McCoy; The Last Time Cooper Took Midge Fishing by Vicki Cheatwood; Mother, mother by Lacy Lynch; Perfect Love by Jonathan Kravetz; and You Meet Such Interesting People In The Library by Brad Kramer. • Universal Robots by Mac Rogers, 8 p.m., Friday, April 27. Freely adapted from Czech playwright Karel Capek's seminal 1921 play R.U.R.If You Start a Fire [Be Prepared to Burn] by Kevin Kautzman, 8 p.m., Saturday, April 28. Directed by Kitchen Dog's Michael Federico. An Internet sex comedy. • The Hundredth Monkey Effect by Christina Cigala, 8 p.m., Thursday, May 3. Directed by Drew Wall. Mad scientists. They've got some songs to sing and stories to tell. • Messages from the Bottle by Jim Kuenzer, 8 p.m., Friday, May 4. Directed by Jonathan Taylor. In the style of David Sedaris or Spalding Gray, Jim shares the true tale of one man's journey from alcoholism through the perils of recovery and onto the dream of becoming a nice guy. • Orphan Echoes by Bezachin Jifar, 8 p.m., Saturday, May 5. Jade is about to leave for work when her husband calls to tell her he's stuck in a cave on top of the Half-Dome in Yosemite. • Freezing Point by Yuliya Tsukerman, 5 p.m., Sunday, May 6. Stars father-daughter Dallas actors Barry and Barrett Nash. Directed by Matt Tomlanovich. In the home of her estranged father, Winnie finds a woman locked in a menagerie of domestic objects and a secret hidden in the ashes of the family dog. • Sketch Comedy with FTP Comedy, 7 p.m., Sunday, May 6.

All performances at the festival are pay-what-you-can at the door. It's a small space, so get there early. Magnolia Lounge is inside Fair Park, east of the Music Hall next to the Old Mill restaurant. For more info, go here.

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