Stir Up the Hornets’ Nest on Nov. 10

Geva’s nationally recognized program of thought-provoking theatre begins Monday, November 10.

Few experiences can ignite a great conversation like a thrilling night in the theatre. The Hornets’ Nest series has theatre-goers itching for that conversation.

The Hornets’ Nest series of script-in-hand readings with professional actors and directors returns with three plays investigating the most difficult and controversial questions of today. Following each reading, audience members will have the opportunity to engage in open discussion with key figures from the Rochester community. Since its inception in 2007, the Hornets’ Nest series of readings has become nationally recognized and lauded as one of the most innovative theatrical initiatives in the country.

The 2014-2015 series opens on November 10 with Hit-Story by Carter W. Lewis. The first Hornets’ Nest of the year is the story of Harry, who suffers from bouts of “furies,” his name for an uncontrollable arm flailing so forceful and unpredictable that he has moved permanently into a boxing ring. Is it a disease of rage, or is it a cure for a country in decline? How do we combat the fear, cynicism and anger that are the typical responses to news today? How do we mend the political divides an election cycle often results in? The reading of the play will be followed by a conversation about these questions.

Playwright Carter W. Lewis’ published works include Art Control, A Geometric Digression of the Species, No Preying, Soft Click Of A Switch, An Asian Jockey In Our Midst and The One-Eyed Man Is King. Other plays by Carter W. Lewis include; Golf With Alan Shepard, Picasso Does My Maps, Longevity Abbreviated For Those Who Don’t Have Time, Women Who Steal, Men on the Take, American Storm by Integrity Out of Molly Brown, Kid Peculiar, Ordinary Nation, Civil Disobedience, Evie’s Waltz, The Storytelling Ability of a Boy, The Cha Cha of a Camel Spider, Hit-Story, The Americans Across the Street, Camden & Lilly, The Hummingbird Wars, Prayer for the Gun Bug, and Echo Location. His plays have been produced at theatres around the country. Mr Lewis currently teaches Introduction to Playwriting, Advanced Playwriting and Dramaturgy at Washington University in St. Louis. Prior to that, he was Resident Dramaturg & Playwright-in-Residence for Geva Theatre Center. Carter was also co-founder and Resident Playwright for Upstart Stage in Berkeley, California. He is the winner of several national playwriting awards including: The Julie Harris – Playwriting Award, The State Theatre – Best New American Play, The Cincinnati Playhouse Rosenthal New Play Prize (’96 & 2001), New Dramatist Arnold Weissberger Playwriting Award, Playwright’s Center Jerome Residency, The Kevin Kline Award for Best New Play of 2009 and he is a two time nominee for the American Theatre Critics Award. For his play, While We Were Bowling, Carter was the recipient of an NEA/TCG Residency Grant for Playwriting, and The Blanche and Irving Laurie Foundation Award for Best New American Play.

The reading features cast members Skip Greer, Brigitt Markusfeld, Sean Patrick Reilly, Peggy Cosgrave and Lara Hillier and is directed by Ralph Meranto. Following the reading of Hit-Story, audience members will have the opportunity to discuss the questions that the play poses with a panel of members of the community brought together specifically for this event: Rod Frohman, theologian and retired minister at Third Presbyterian and Dr. Eric Caine, Chair in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Rochester Medical Center.

The play reading is at 7:00pm in the Fielding Nextstage. Tickets are free and, due to the popularity of this series, are limited to two per person. Reservations are recommended. Due to anticipated demand, all unclaimed tickets will be released at 6:45pm on the day of performance. Patron discretion is advised: plays deal with adult subject matter. To reserve tickets phone the Box Office: (585) 232-Geva (4382) or reserve online at

Leadership support for the Hornet’s Nest is provided by The Mary S. Mulligan Charitable Trust, New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, and the Dramatists Guild Fund.

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