2018 Burdick Reading Series

Be among the first to see the most recent works from around the country, presented in a script-in-hand workshop production in the Keating Theatre. The reading series facilitates an exciting exchange between playwright and audience. This year we have chosen plays that will spark your imagination and celebrate the new American play.

The Richard & Betty Burdick Reading Series performance schedule:

The Whole Shebang by Jason Odell Williams / Sunday, April 29 at 3:00pm
Big Scary Animals by Matt Lyle / Sunday, May 6 at 3:00pm
Wednesday's Child by Mark St. Germain / Sunday, May 13 at 3:00pm

This reading series is complimentary to attend!
To reserve your seats call the Box Office today at (941) 366-9000 or click the hyperlinks above.

Do you need a ride to the theatre? Click here to find out more about our partnership with iTN Suncoast.

The Whole Shebang by Jason Odell Williams / Sunday, April 29 @ 3:00pm
In a small town in Ohio, high school senior Kate stops attending her AP Science class after her teacher lectures about humans' responsibility for climate change. While Kate's friends try to convince her to return to class so she can graduate, a lawyer persuades Kate to sue the school, setting off chain of events on a local and national level. This play inspires questions of self-sacrifice, responsibility, and the common good.

Big Scary Animals by Matt Lyle / Sunday, May 6 @ 3:00pm
An older couple from the rural country unknowingly moves to Dallas's "gayborhood" to be closer to their granddaughter. What begins as polite dinner conversation with their gay, multi-ethnic neighbors careens out of control. A hilarious collision of race, sex, guns, and sports, Big Scary Animals examines shifting generational beliefs and how hard it is to raise a child, regardless of who you are and where you live.

Wednesday's Child by Mark St. Germain / Sunday, May 13 @ 3:00pm
The investigation into the murder of a surrogate mother explodes the lives of everyone around her. Bringing mystery and murder to life in a dramatic tale, this play challenges the distinction between "right" and "wrong."

Jason Odell Williams (The Whole Shebang) is an Emmy-nominated writer and producer as well as an award-winning playwright and novelist. Hailed as a “postmodern Clifford Odets” by the L.A. Times and “this country’s newest Eugene O’Neill” by the Santa Monica Daily Press, his latest play, Church & State, was recently nominated for “Best New Play” by the Off-Broadway Theatre Alliance as well as three L.A. Ovation Awards (Best Playwriting for an Original Play, Best Production of a Play (Intimate Theatre), and Lead Actor in a Play). After being selected as an NNPN Rolling World Premiere with productions in Los Angeles and Rochester, the play ran for over 100 performances Off-Broadway at New World Stages from March 3 - June 4, 2017. His play Handle With Care was a New York Times Critics’ Pick, ran for over 100 performances Off-Broadway starring Carol Lawrence, has been produced 21 times in the last five years in the U.S. and Canada, and recently won three Theatre Bay Area Awards (Outstanding Production, Best Ensemble, and Best Actor).

Matt Lyle (Big Scary Animals) is originally from East Texas and is a Summa Cum Laude graduate and winner of the Outstanding Theatre Graduate Award from Stephen F. Austin State University School of Theatre. He co-founded Bootstraps Comedy Theater in Dallas, Texas for which he continues to serve as Artistic Director. In 2007, The Dallas Observer named Bootstraps as “Best Small Theater Company” and Matt as “Best New Playwright.” He worked with several theaters in the DFW area as both actor and director prior to his relocation with his wife, Kim, to Chicago. Matt is a member of The Dramatists Guild and a graduate of the Sketch Writing Program at Second City. His plays have been produced in Dallas, Chicago, New York, Florida, and the University of Michigan. His award-winning play, The Boxer (a silent film on stage) had its New York premiere at the New York International Fringe Festival. In 2010, he premiered a follow-up silent film onstage, The Better Doctor, which WBEZ/NPR listed in the “Top Five Most Overlooked Shows of 2010,” which was, presumably, a compliment. He was also the head writer and the host of The City Life Supplement, a live, monthly variety show/podcast that ran for three years in Chicago. 

Mark St. Germain (Wednesday's Child)’s play Freud’s Last Session ran for two years Off-Broadway, closing July 24th, 2012. His play Becoming Dr. Ruth premiered in July 2012 at the Barrington Stage Company in the Berkshires, played at Hartford Theaterworks, and was brought to NYC to the Westside Theatre. Scott and Hem in the Garden of Allah co-premiered in the summer of 2013 at the Contemporary American Theater Festival and Barrington Stage Company. The Fabulous Lipitones, a musical comedy co-written with John Markus, premiered at the Theatrical Outfit in Atlanta in summer, 2013, and then at Goodspeed Playhouse. Mark’s other plays include Camping With Henry and Tom (Lucille Lortel and Outer Critics Circle Awards), Ears on a Beatle, The God Committee, Out of Gas on Lover’s Leap, Dancing Lessons, and Relativity (World Premiere at Florida Studio Theatre). Mark wrote the Tammy Wynette musical Stand By Your Man, which began at the Ryman Theater in Nashville. With composer Charles Strouse, he co-wrote the book for his adaption of Dreiser’s American Tragedy. With composer Randy Courts, Mark has written the perennial musical The Gifts of the Magi, as well as Johnny Pye and the Foolkiller (AT&T Award Grant) and Jack’s Holiday (Playwrights Horizons). Television work includes Writer/Creative Consultant for The Cosby Show and Dick Wolf’s Crime and Punishment. He co-wrote director Carroll Ballard’s film Duma and produced and directed the documentary My Dog, An Unconditional Love Story, with Richard Gere, Glenn Close, Edward Albee and others. Mark also wrote the award winning children’s book Three Cups. Mark is an Associate Artist of the Barrington Stage Company, a recipient of the William Inge Festival’s New Voices Award, and a member of the Dramatists Guild and the Writer’s Guild East. He is an alumnus of New Dramatists.