Albany, NY – Capital Repertory Theatre (theREP) announces the lineup of the theatre’s 11th annual showcase of new works in NEXT ACT!

Join us – virtually – June 10-12, 2022 and in-person on Monday June 13, 2022 for a reading of the play that rose to the top of all 2022 submissions.

As theREP continues to come back into full swing post COVID, and having learned a great deal about virtual readings during the shutdown, the 2022 Summit will be done as a bit of hybrid programming, featuring a combination of virtual and live performances and workshops.

The 11th annual summit will feature readings of Three Mothers by Ajene D. Washington and Yartsy on Division by Mark Rigney; the popular First 15 Event; a synopsis clinic led by playwright Aoise Stratford; and two events featuring Young Playwrights (New Voices which features readings of the 6 Winning Plays from theREP’s annual Young Playwright Contest, and NextGen, an event curated with UAlbany).

NEXT ACT!, which is a joint venture between theREP and Proctors, seeks to highlight new works that use theatre to address injustices, inequities and cultural collisions, providing a voice for the unheard on stage, in the workplace, the Capital Region and beyond. To date, the summit has brought more than 300 theatre professionals (including playwrights, actors and directors) and 4,000+ audience members together for a series of workshops, readings and discussion.

After an intense reading process, spanning several months, gathering input from theatre professionals in the Capital Region and NYC, the field of submissions was narrowed down to a top seven. Producing Artistic Director Maggie Mancinelli-Cahill and Assistant Artistic Director Margaret E. Hall then took the reading committee’s input, along with their own, to make the ultimate decision on which pieces would be receiving further development in this year’s Summit.

Summit Highlights

Three Mothers by Ajene D. Washington

Join us at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, June 13, 2022 (in-person at theREP, ticket required) for the reading of Three Mothers by Ajene D. Washington. Three Mothers is a fictionalized story inspired by real people, real events and the 1964 photo of the three mothers, whose sons were brutally murdered during the Civil Rights upheaval in the South. After the final funeral, during shiva in Carolyn Goodman’s home on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, the three mothers come to grips with the details surrounding their sons’ deaths at the hands of Ku Klux Klan members. Through their meeting they forge an unbreakable bond and commitment to the Civil Rights movement.

Ajene D. Washington is an award-winning playwright, director, actor and set designer that resides in Bronx, New York. While he is a new playwright to the summit, he is not a new playwright to theREP. In the summer of 2014, Ajene worked as the playwright for the Summer STAR Program, helping guide the young company members (ages 13-18 years old) in the creation of a brand-new play. Together they devised and wrote Around the World in 45 Minutes – which the young company went on to perform on theREP’s stage.

Washington received his B.S. degree in Speech and Drama from Lincoln University and a M.A. from Northern Illinois University. He has directed many plays and readings, such as Adam, American Menu, Slapped, Family Night, The Old Settler, and many others. His plays have received readings and performances in New York, California, Arkansas, Missouri and Nashville, Tenn. He received the BRIO award from the Bronx Council of the Arts for playwriting in 2012 and 2020. His play, I Can See, a Raging Revolt was a finalist in the TRUSpeak festival. The Arkansas Repertory Theatre selected his play, Almost September, for its “Voices at the River” series. He received an AUDELCO Award for Best Director and Best Set Design, also a nomination as Best Actor. He received a nomination for Best Set Design by Lucille Lortel committee. Ajene is a member of AEA, SAG, SSDC, AFTRA, Black Theatre Network and The Dramatist Guild. 

Yartsy on Division, by Mark Rigney

Streaming at 5 p.m. June 10 – 10 p.m. June 13

Over the course of a two-day yard-art festival (Yart!), five neighbors square off in an ever-shifting battle for moral clarity after it becomes known that one of them attended the January 6th riot, while another relied on OnlyFans to pay the bills during the darkest days of COVID-19. Who gets to cancel whom? With Yartsy the living yard-art app as tour guide, anything can happen in this highly theatrical street-fest––and it probably will.

Rigney is not new to the Summit, though this is the first time that one of his scripts will be read in full. In 2012 (the very first summit) his script The Mombasa Pirate Kings was one of the pieces in the First 15; and last year an excerpt from his stage play Everything Must Go, as well as an excerpt from the screenplay being created from it (by Poorductions Production Company and Frosted Lens Entertainment) was featured in the summits Stage2Screen Event. (Yartsy On Division, will be available to stream starting at 5 p.m. on June 10 through 10 p.m. June 13).

NEW VOICES: Young Playwright Contest Reading

Streaming 5 p.m. June 10– 10 p.m. June 13

NEW VOICES features readings of the six winning plays from theREP’s 2022 Young Playwright Contest. These 10-minute plays are written by young playwrights – all of whom are from the greater Capital Region, and all in middle or high school. Winning scripts are: Unexpected Love by Jordan Moses (of Loudonville Christian School), The Yellow Notebook by Emma Pelton, Amara Mitchell & Hannah Richards, Ghost Writers by Samantha Gallagher, Before It Falls by Jack Bruno & Noelle Abushqeir, Crystal Gazer by Chiara Cenci & Reese Taylor, and The Church by Sylvia Mattraw-Johnston, Nicholas Vanhoesen & Samuel Mozzillo (all of Coxsackie-Athens High School – a banner year for students at Coxsackie-Athens Central School District). These playwrights will see their plays fully produced on theREP’s stage, performed by the Summer Stage Young Acting Company this coming July.

THE FIRST 15: Be a Literary Manager

Streaming 5 p.m. June 10– 10 p.m. June 13

THE FIRST 15 features excerpts from 5 of the Top 10 plays. Scripts included: Group by Susan P. Spain, Brown Bodies on a Blue Earth by Cris Eli Blak, The Nonessentials by Lynda Crawford, Come Again by Lisa Dellagiarino, and Power of Babel by Rich Rubin. (First 15, will be available to stream starting at 5pm on June 10 through 10pm June 13).


Streaming 5 p.m. June 10– 10 p.m. June 13

NEXTGEN is an event done in collaboration with UAlbany’s Theatre Department (through playwriting professor Kate Walat) and will feature a reading of Aleteia by MJ Johnson. Set in a futuristic world one has the option to have a surgical implant installed that will then manage one’s memories (clearing the clutter and allowing for a more productive life – which may or may not be warranted when people are living to 150+ years old).

The NEXT ACT! New Play Summit 11 is made possible in part by a legacy gift from Samson O.A. Ullmann, professor of English at Union College, 1957-1992

The Summit is a four-day event that features a combination of virtual and live performances and workshops dedicated to the development of new work in the American Theatre. NEXT ACT! is a fundraiser for theREP’s new play development work with all donations going directly to the development of new work from young and underrepresented voices in the American Theatre. To date, theREP has produced (World and or East Coast Premieres) eight plays from NEXT ACT!, several of which have garnered numerous productions at other theatres throughout the country.

Suggested donation for each reading is $25.00.

How to watch:

  • theREP’s Facebook page
  • Proctors Collaborative YouTube
  • On AppleTV, Amazon Fire TV and Roku – search and download the Collaborative Studios app
  • Open Stage Media On-Demand Channel

For information on the summit or to make a donation visit the website at




  • 7:30 p.m. June 13, 2022 – THREE MOTHERS by Ajene D. Washington (this is a ticketed reading)
  • Streaming 5 p.m. June 10 – 10 p.m. June 13 – YARTSY ON DIVISION by Mark Rigney
  • 6 p.m., Saturday June 11, 2022 – SYNOPSIS CLINIC *Registration Required* (a brief workshop on writing an effective synopsis by Aoise Stratford)
  • Streaming 5 p.m. June 10– 10 p.m. June 13 – FIRST FIFTEEN (excerpts of 5 of the plays that rose to the top of the reading circles)
  • Streaming 5 p.m. June 10 – 10 p.m. June 13- NEXTGEN: ALETHEIA by MJ Johnson
  • Streaming 5 p.m. June 10– 10 p.m. June 13 – NEW VOICES: Young Playwright Contest Reading (six 10-minute plays by Young Playwrights ages 13-19)



Monday, June 13

  • 7:30 p.m. THREE MOTHERS at Capital Repertory Theatre (251 North Pearl Street, Tickets required)


Saturday, June 10, 2022

Friday – Monday, June 10-13, 2022 (via all Proctors Collaborative Streaming Platforms)

  • FIRST 15


  • theREP’s Facebook page
  • Proctors Collaborative YouTube
  • On AppleTV, Amazon Fire TV and Roku – search and download the Collaborative Studios app
  • Open Stage Media On-Demand Channel


Tickets $15.00

Tickets are available through the box office, in person or via phone at 518-346-6204 Monday-Friday 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. or online at

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