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WHAT:  Reading of J.R. Spaulding Jr.'s The Cutthroat Game WHEN:  Monday, June 8th at 7PM WHERE:  The Warren Artist Habitat
SYNOPSIS:  The St. Juliana brothers.  They’re Union, they’re Italian, and they’re brothers.  Everything about them suggests a steadfast loyalty to one another.  That’s why when the youngest, Angelo, gets fired from his job at Scarborough Construction and falls prey to his own alcoholic anger, he calls on his brothers, Johnny and Butch, to clean up the mess he’s made.  The question is, how far are they willing to go when it comes to protecting their family?   As a visceral and unrepentant story of vengeance, The Cutthroat Game explores the dynamics between the blue-collar working class and the privileged companies for whom they work.  It picks apart the anger that has risen from the growing problem of America’s inequitable distribution of wealth, and the consequential results of feeling trapped in a helpless, long-suffering life. ABOUT THE PLAYWRIGHT:  J.R. Spaulding Jr. grew up in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.  He received a B.A. in English Education and an M.A. in theatre history from Michigan State University.  As a theatre artist, he has worked as an actor, director, technical director, guest instructor, and playwright at theatres in Alaska, Maine, and various locations in between.  In 2007 he founded the Underground Theatre in his hometown and remains its artistic director to this day.  As a playwright, Spaulding’s short works have been workshopped and performed through the Scioto Society of Chillicothe, Ohio; the Michigan Interscholastic Forensics Association; the Mid- American Theatre Conference; and with the #NexGen one-minute play festival in Brooklyn.  His play, Wall: A Product of Resourcefulness and Efficiency in America’s Never- Ending Battle for Absolute Supremacy and General All-Around Kick-Assedness, was a finalist for the North American Actor’s Association London playreading festival, was selected for the staged reading festival at Detroit’s Magenta Giraffe theatre, and was produced at the Madlab theatre in Columbus Ohio where reviewers from the Columbus Underground called it “brilliantly written” and ranked it as one of the city’s 20 best productions for 2013.  In 2014, The Cutthroat Game was selected for the Panndora’s Box staged reading festival where Eric Marchese of the Orange County Register called it “...as combustible and heart-stopping as anything by Puzo.”  His monologue The Colonel, was published in the anthology InterJACtions: Monologues at the Heart of Human Nature, Volume III.  He currently lives in Michigan with his one dazzling wife, two loveable stepchildren, and his anxiety-ridden pitbull, Medea. The reading is directed by our Artistic Director of Main Stage Productions, Richard Jackson, and features the talents of David Coral, Stephen Frethem, Dwight Gunderson, Bethany Hummel, Richard jackson, Joel Raney, Jeremiah Stich, and Lauren Wills.  There will be a discussion of the play with the playwright, Eli Effinger-Weintraub, immediately following the reading.  This discussion will be moderated by our playwright in residence, Matthew A. Everett
September's reading of Conlan Carter's The Fractal Pattern - Pictured: Matthew A. Everett, Steven Lewer, Briana Patnode, Michael Renner, Bethany Simmons, Kristina Rodby, Bethany Hummel