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{Play Reading} Hazardous Materials by Beth Kander (2020)

Hazardous Materials Playbill
Hazardous Materials Cocktail
Hazardous Materials Press Release
Hazardous Materials Live Chat Transcript

Every Thursday New Stage will release a Virtual Play Reading or a New Stage Dialogue. The plays will be original new works presented as part of the Eudora Welty New Plays Series or Mississippi themed plays for the Mississippi Play Series. The New Stage Dialogue will include conversations with New Stage artists and community partners on a variety of topics in relation to New Stage productions. The virtual series continues New Stage’s mission to develop original, and Mississippi themed work, and enables the theatre to keep employing artists. These online experiences are a project of the new Thursday Night Plays, Conversations & Cocktails with New Stage Theatre Series that debuts in September! We’ll also share a signature cocktail recipe that connects to the evening’s play or topic. These will all be ONLINE events. To register for these FREE (donations welcome!) events, simply click to our Box Office. Registration is Required. Receive a direct link to that night’s online experience after registration. Let’s gather together!

Coming September 17, 2020 @ 7 p.m.
Hazardous Materials by Beth Kander
A Virtual Play Reading

New Stage Theatre continues Thursday Nights Virtual Plays, Conversations, and Cocktails with a reading of Beth Kander’s Hazardous Materials on Thursday, September 17 at 7:00 p.m. The virtual series continues New Stage’s mission to develop original, and Mississippi themed work, and enables the theatre to keep employing artists.

Artistic Director Francine Thomas Reynolds says, “It is wonderful to have a new play by Beth Kander to read. We have a long relationship with Beth as an actor and playwright. Her plays Running Mates, See Jane Quit, and Unshelved were finalists in past Eudora Welty New Plays Series competitions and both Running Mates and See Jane Quit were produced at our Warehouse Theatre. Hazardous Materials is another great play Beth has created with humor, emotion and lovely characters.”

Hazardous Materials will be presented in the Mississippi New Play Series as part of the Eudora Welty New Play Series.

One apartment. Two different eras. Each creating unlikely friendships. In 2015, reluctant coworkers Hal and Cassie are investigating a sad hoarder mess, sifting through the belongings of an elderly and mysterious “Jane Doe.” In 1955, two strangers from different worlds, Esther and Lynley, spark an uneasy friendship, exploring their blossoming connection against all odds. Developed through the Ashland New Play Festival and the Headwaters New Play Festival, Hazardous Materials digs deep into truths long buried under decades of emotional detritus. How much do we bury in a place, and within ourselves?


Beth Kander is a novelist and playwright. She grew up in the small-town Midwest and spent more than a decade in the Deep South, always collecting stories. Playwriting honors include the Henry Award for Best New Play or Musical, Headwaters New Play Award, Equity Library Theatre Showcase, Ashland New Plays Festival, Eudora Welty New Play Awards, and the Charles M. Getchell New Play Award, among others. Her dystopian trilogy Original Syn was picked up in 2017 by Owl House Books and quickly became the imprint’s bestseller, also winning a 2018 MIAL nomination and a 2019 Foreword INDIES Award. Her ghost story 13 Jericho Lane was a 2019 Pitch Wars selection currently pending publication, and she’s excited to continue exploring “newish Jewish folklore” in her current work-in-progress, a Southern Gothic golem story tentatively titled Clay Heart. Beth is represented by Allison Hellegers at Stimola Literary Studio, and several of her plays are available through Stage Rights. She lives in Chicago with her favorite characters (her quirky little family).

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