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2015-2016 Play Reading Series

Jan McArt announces her 2015-16 new play reading series. What is her mission with this play reading program?  To develop new commercially entertaining plays by Florida playwrights. This upcoming season she will present four brand new, never before seen-or-heard works (currently still being written and rewritten) in the beautiful Keith C. and Elaine Johnson Wold Performing Arts Center at Lynn University.

“A number of years before ‘A CHORUS LINE’ I remember Joe Papp telling me how important the workshop process is, in that it allows the playwright to hear the language and receive feedback from a director, actors, and an audience,” says Wayne Rudisill, resident director of ‘Jan McArt‘s New Play Reading Series.’ “It’s the first step in shifting the play from inside the playwright’s head to the stage. But this play reading series at Lynn is much more ambitious, giving playwrights the chance to bring in a new play and work with a cast and a director for six days – rehearsing, re-writing, rehearsing, rewriting. Then, at the end of the six days, they present their new, polished, reworked play to the public, in performance 

“If there’s one thing I love, it’s making things happen,” McArt says. “I’m working as hard as I ever did.” She started the Royal Palm Dinner Theatre in Boca Raton, the first professional theater in South Florida to run year-round, in 1977. That theater, and its spin-offs (Jan’s Rooftop Cabaret Theatre and The Little Palm Children’s Theatre in Boca Raton, the Marco Polo Theatre in Miami Beach, the Key West Theatre in Key West, the Library Theatre in Fort Lauderdale), ran for 25 years. Now in charge of theater development at Lynn, she says “I love it because it’s creative and I’m making things happen.”    

        The four new works that will be presented in the 2015/16 Season are:

* Nov. 2, 2015 – ‘THE VIVIAN VANCE STORY’ – a new play with music by Eric H. Weinberger, directed by John Tolly.  Known the world over as Ethel Mertz, Lucy’s sidekick in ‘I LOVE LUCY,’ this play tells the story of a difficult, complicated live, from her humble roots in Kansas to the lofty heights she reached as the most famous second banana in television history.

* Jan. 11, 2016 – ‘THE GOLDBERG VARIATIONS’ – a new play by Stuart Meltzer, directed by Margaret M. Ledford.  In a time of crisis a family is forced to come together, after several years, to deal with the present, the future and ultimately let go of the past.  Told through the lens of each character, is a whimsical, hysterical look at a family breaking apart.

* Mar. 7, 2016 – ‘MIDDLETOWN’ – a new play by Dan Clancy, directed by Peter Pileski.  Two couples, Don & Dottie Abrams and Tom & Peg Hogan, from Middletown, New Jersey, reminisce about their friendship of thirty-seven years, their marriages, the birth of their children and grandchildren, their disappointments and their great joys.

* Apr. 4, 2016 – ‘WAVE YOUR FLAG!’ – a new play with music by Tony Finstrom, starring Jan McArt, directed by Wayne Rudisill.  Time: the fall of 1942.  Place: a legendary train, the Super Chief, as it races from Los Angeles to the nation’s capitol filled with movie stars selling war bonds along the way, and promoting their new film about Betsy Ross that will premiere at their final destination.  … With a Nazi spy among them? 

Tickets to these four new staged readings are now on sale at the Four-Play Series Discounted Price of $30 (a savings of $10 when individual tickets for each play go on sale at the cost of $10 each), and may be purchased at the Lynn University box office online at, or by calling 561-237-9000.