Ithaca, N.Y. — Ithaca’s Kitchen Theatre Company unveiled its 2015-2016 season in an event held Wednesday morning and attended by dozens of theater-goers and supporters.


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At the event, Kitchen Theatre Company Artistic Director Rachel Lampert talked about her work picking plays for the theater for almost 20 years. “How do I keep finding great plays with small casts to continue to satisfy our very discriminating audience?,” she asked.

The theater, she noted, is tasked with “creating a season that addresses the issues of our times opens our hearts to others … gives forms to our aspirations and dreams and challenges theatrical norms through experimentation.”

Photo courtesy of Kitchen Theatre Company’s Facebook page
Photo courtesy of Kitchen Theatre Company’s Facebook page

How does that get done?

Here’s the process detailed by Lampert:

— Lampert reads about 50 to 100 plays during her own reading season, as well as reviews from all over the country.

— The theater’s interns read new plays and make suggestions.

— Lampert then creates a short-list of about 20.

— “Then I do some magical budgeting,” Lampert says, as other staff works to find the play and get the rights for it.

— Then at some point “I am awakened by a nightmare that transforms into an epiphany,” Lampert says, leading to the selection of the final play

Here are the plays revealed for the upcoming season:

1 — “Buyer and Cellar”
by Jonathan Tollins
A “hilarious play about celebrity and staying true to yourself”

2 — “The Mountaintop”
by Katori Hall
About Martin Luther King’s last day alive.

3 — “I and you”
by Lauren Gunderson

4 — “The Soup Comes Last”
by Rachel Lampert

5 — “Peter and the Starcatcher”
By Rick Elice

6 — “Dancing Lessons”
By Mark St. Germain

7 — “Grand Concourse”
By Heidi Schreck

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Jeff Stein

Jeff Stein is the founder and former editor of the Ithaca Voice.