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New Playwrights Festival 2017

 Adults $15; Students $10 Click here to buy tickets online


St. Thomas, VI -- Virgin Islands playwrights are getting a chance to feature their original drama and comedy plays at theater's third annual festival.  Pistarckle Theater will present the plays of three new playwrights at its 2017 New Playwrights Festival on Saturday, May 20 at 7:00pm.  Earlier this year, Pistarckle issued a call for new never-produced or staged plays resulting in 9 entries that were reviewed by the Festival committee.  Three were selected amongst the entries. 

Nicola Emerich, Founder/Artistic Producer, said “Pistarckle Theater’s goal for the New Playwrights Festival is to provide an opportunity for up and coming playwrights to present their original work on a professional community stage.  We are thrilled that as a result of finding these great talents, over the years, two of the Festival's plays have been added to our regular theater season.  Catch and Keep is an original play that was featured last year at our Festival and it will be opening this week at Pistarckle.” Two Catch & Keep performances remain: Friday and Saturday, May 12 and 13 – 8 p.m. The 2017 plays to be presented on May 20 are Matthew Hamilton-Kraft’s Alternative Facts, Stacey A. Bryan’s Bone is for Dog: Meat is for Man, and Dr. Gillian Royes’ How to be an ImmigrantStacey A. Bryan was also featured in the 2015 Festival and her play, Sad Mangoes, was included in Pistarckle's 2016 theater season.

Frank Bartolucci is directing the plays and each playwright is getting involved with casting and technical support.  To purchase the family-friendly-priced tickets ($15.00), call Pistarckle Theater at (340) 775-7877 or visit

The Pistarckle Theater 2017 New Playwrights Festival is being sponsored by the Prior Family Fund, Vento Charitable Trust and Virgin Islands Council on the Arts, and Discover Fund Management, LLLP. Thank you to this year's Sponsors: Virgin Islands Council on the Arts, Prior Family Foundation, Vento Charitable Trust, and Discover Fund Management, LLLP

Matthew Hamilton-Kraft (Alternative Facts) is an eight time produced playwright and life long writer. In 1999 Matt won an ACTF/Kennedy Center New Playwright Award for his debut play, "Just Getting Even", a drama about male and female relationships transitioning from high school to college. Matt won a Festival of The Lakes Playwright Award in 2001 for the romantic comedy, "Getting Out: Lost in Adirondackia". In 2004, he was awarded a Robert H. Jackson Fellow Award for the educational drama, "My Daddy Says", which highlighted racial tensions when minority children move into a rural white suburb. Other original plays that Matt has penned include: The romantic comedy, "The Giraffe Who Came To Dinner", (original production 2001), a satirical farce, "The Truth Isn't Out There (original production 2002), The Metaphysics of Poetry, a dramatization of the poems and fairy tales of Oscar Wilde, (original production 2003), Tax Cut, a political comedy (original production 2004) and in 2002, Matt collaborated with notable Western New York author Paul Leone to adapt the historical fiction book, "if nothing happens", into a stage play.  

In addition to playwright credits, Matt has over 30 professional acting and directing credits. Favorite roles include Estragon in Waiting For Godot, John Worthing in The Importance of Being Earnest, Jerry in The Zoo Story and Charlie Baker in The Foreigner. Notable directing credits include, The Miracle Worker, The Diary of Anne Frank and The Dirty Old Man. 

In 2006 Matt "retired" from theater to join responsible society and work in education and anti-poverty while being a dad to young boys and a husband to a dedicated teacher. Matt moved to St. Thomas in August of 2017 with his wife Katrina and boys Nolan and Lliam. Pistarckle and Nolan has slowly coaxed him back into theater. 

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Stacey A. Bryan (Bone is for Dog; Meat is for Man) is a multi-generational St. Thomian.  She attended Peace Corps Elementary School and graduated from Sts Peter and Paul High School.  Stacey also attended the InterAmerican University in San German, Puerto Rico. She wrote the play, Sad Mangoes that was produced at Pistarckle Theater in 2016.  Stacey loves stories and tales from the Caribbean. Stacey sincerely thanks her beloved family and friends for their wonderful inspirations and she is so proud to be chosen as a participant of the Pistarckle Theater’s New Playwrights Festival.  Stacey A. Bryan dedicates this play to the life of her Granny, Ann Josephine Ledee, the beautiful pink rose with thorns.

Gillian Royes, PhD (How to be an Immigrant) Born in Jamaica, Gillian Royes furthered her education in the United States, completing a doctorate in Communications at Emory University and ending her teaching career at the University of the Virgin Islands. The author of a cozy mystery series published by Simon and Schuster, Gillian has also written two plays, HOW TO BE AN IMMIGRANT and THE MAN WHO TURNED BOTH CHEEKS. She wrote the screen play for the film Preciosa, shot in St. Croix by director Peter Sagnia (2016), and is working on a pilot for a TV series based on her books.

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