RiverArts® Brings New Voices to the Rivertowns with an Evening of Play Readings– Saturday, January 27

JANUARY 4, 2024 – DOBBS FERRY:    

RiverArts presents River Readings, a curated evening of play readings by contemporary playwrights. Three playwrights will share selected scenes from works in progress read by distinguished actors. A short talk back with the playwrights will follow the performance. 

Date – Saturday, January 27 

Venue – South Presbyterian Church; 343 Broadway, Dobbs Ferry  

Time – 7:30PM, doors open at 7:00PM 

Tickets – $25; tickets can be purchased at https://riverarts.wufoo.com/forms/river-readings 

Readings will feature scenes from Interstate by Amina Henry, Ambulette: a non emergency vehicle by Peggy Stafford and Disrupted by Melisa Tien. Interstate tells a story about family and change. In the play, Red, a single flight attendant, takes her children on a cross country road trip. This trip sets in motion events that will either destroy this family or make them stronger. Ambulette is a memory play that unfolds inside a moving non-emergency vehicle, a beach on the south side of Long Island, and a cemetery where people used to have picnics. It’s a journey of friendship, grief and remembrance. Disrupted: In the male-dominated tech arena, two women join forces to create a first-of-its-kind app—one that tracks the menstrual cycle—and form a partnership that is tested to its limits. 

RiverArts’ theater programming, produced by board member Lauren Orkus, aims to shine a light on commissioned and new works by up-and-coming playwrights. Regarding River Readings, Orkus shares, “For our theater offering this season, we are focusing on the play development process. It’s a unique opportunity to experience cutting edge scripts, ask questions of the playwrights, and chat with actors on what it’s like being part of a new work. I am eager to support these exceptional playwrights by providing time and space to hear their writing out loud. River Readings invites us to take in voices that may be new to us and expand our community. You can expect nuanced dialogue, deep themes and lively conversation.” 

Executive Director Josh Suniewick shares, “RiverArts’ mission is to bring people together through artistic experiences in all of the mediums. Being able to help bring these new works to the Rivertown audience and use this as a way to inspire creative conversations among us is a real privilege.” 

About the Playwrights: 
Amina Henry is a Brooklyn-based playwright. Productions include: The Animals, Ducklings, Hunter John and Jane and The Johnsons, all at JACK (Brooklyn, NY), P.S. produced by Ars Nova (New York, NY), Little Rapes at Long Island University (The New Group), Nothing, Nothing at HERO Theatre (Los Angeles, CA), The Great Novel at New Light Theater, Happily Ever at Brooklyn College, and Bully at Interrobang Theater (Baltimore, MD), Clubbed Thumbs 2019 Winterworks, and SUNY Purchase, among other venues. Her work has been produced, developed by and/or presented by: The New Group, Clubbed Thumb, New Georges, The Flea, Page 73, Project Y Theatre, National Black Theater, Dixon Place, The Brooklyn Generator, The Brick, Oregon Shakespeare Festival  (Ashland, OR), Kitchen Dog Theater (Dallas, TX), HERE Arts Center, and the cell. She is a 2020 recipient of the Sarah Verdone Writing Award and is an affiliate artist of New Georges.  She is a member of the Women’s Project 2022-2024 Lab. 

Peggy Stafford is a Brooklyn-based playwright. Her plays include EVERYTHING IS HERE (Clubbed Thumb/PHTS, Vineyard Reading Series),16 WORDS OR LESS (Clubbed Thumb Summerworks 2016, The Kilroy’s 2014, 2015), MOTEL CHERRY (Clubbed Thumb/New Georges, Huffington Post’s Top TenPlays of 2012), JEWEL CASKET (New Georges/Dixon Place). Her work has also been developed and produced at theatres including Soho Rep, Women’s Project, Playwrights Horizon, Two River, Page73, Bottom’s Dream, HERE, Annex Theatre, Circle X, On The Boards, and Seattle Children’s Theatre. A MacDowell Fellow and affiliated artist at New Georges and Clubbed Thumb Theatre, Peggy is chair of the Playwriting Program at SUNY Purchase. 

Melisa Tien is a playwright and librettist invested in making formally unconventional, socially relevant, and emotionally evocative work. A resident of New Dramatists, she’s the author of the plays BEST LIFE (JACK, 2021), YELLOW CARD RED CARD (ICE FACTORY, 2017), THE BOYD SHOW, and FAMILIUM VULGARE and librettist of the operas FOREVER (Washington National Opera, 2024), THE BIG SWIM (Houston Grand Opera/Asia Society Texas Center, 2024), FAMILY HEIRLOOM (Experiments in Opera, 2024), SONG OF THE NIGHTINGALE (On Site Opera/Arts Brookfield, 2023), and THE BEEHIVE (University of Northern Iowa, 2023). She’s been published in the anthologies Theater Artists Making Theatre With No Theater (Tripwire Harlot Press, 2020) and Modern Music for New Singers: 21st Century American Art Songs (North Star Music, 2021). She’s currently a librettist for the American Opera Project’s Composers & the Voice program and a member of Washington National Opera’s American Opera Initiative.  

About RiverArts: 
RiverArts inspires Hudson River communities in lower Westchester County to come together through art. RiverArts’ year-round season of programming includes our two signature free, multi-village Tours – The RiverArts Music Tour and the RiverArts Studio Tour; an annual dance concert; a three-part Chamber Music concert series; a new music concert series, Channels, theater performances; and community events such as Drink & Draw, Salon Sundays, Artist Conversations as well as a Music Education program and a multi-arts summer camp for kids of all ages.    


For over 60 years, RiverArts has been the catalyst that connects performers, musicians, and art-makers with Rivertowns audiences. We believe in the power of art to express, transform, and bring joy to our lives and our community.      


Please visit RiverArts on-line to read more about its mission, core values and programming calendar.   




About RiverArts

Celebrating and cultivating the arts in the Rivertowns for over half a century, RiverArts has been the catalyst that connects performers, musicians and art-makers with Rivertowns audiences. Motivated by a belief in the power of art to bring insight and delight, RiverArts delivers programs that have repeatedly brought us together, welcomed newcomers, and created experiences that strengthen our sense of community. The free, five-town Music Tour and Studio Tour expand our combined local and metro area audiences to 20,000. P.O. Box 60 414 Warburton Avenue Hastings-on-Hudson, NY 10706 General Information: 914.412.5120