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All Systems Go

Mission to (dit)Mars is thrilled to announce All Systems Go: Mission 5 as the culminating event for the LAUNCH PAD Reading Series this year.   This free play reading will be held at the Astoria Performing Arts Center at 30-34 Crescent Street in Astoria, Queens on Monday, June 19th at 7pm.

ALL SYSTEMS GO: MISSION 5 is an evening of excerpts from nine brand new plays by the Queens based writers group The Propulsion Lab.   The evening is presented by Mission to (dit)Mars co-founders Kari Bentley-Quinn, Don Nguyen, Meredith Packer, and Laura Pestronk.  It is made possible (in part) by the Queens Council on the Arts with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.   

“Our writers have adeptly responded to the social and political issues happening right now with a diverse and stirring array of plays that examine so many aspects of our world today: sexuality, loneliness, race, class, religion and, above all, the importance of human connection.” said co-founder Kari Bentley-Quinn

Participating playwrights for this event are Jonathan Alexandratos, Mrinalini Kamath, Lisa Huberman, Kristine M. Reyes, Scott Casper, Tyler Rivenbark, Jason Tseng, Nat Cassidy, and Ray Yamanouchi.  

Laura Pestronk adds “This year’s Propulsion Lab dives headfirst into the deep end, grappling with strong, scary subjects with grace and fearlessness and even hilarity. I’m proud of what is looking to be our no holds barred boldest All Systems Go yet!”

The cast includes Shaun Fauntleroy, Eston Fung, Lindsley Howard, Brian McCormick, Karsten Otto, Stu Richel, Samantha Rosentrater, David Shih, Brendan Sokler, Sara Thigpen and more.

The evening is directed by Meredith Packer, Laura Pestronk, and Christine Zagrobelny.  Stage Management by Sarah Lahue.

“I can’t believe we are at All Systems Go! year five. This is by far the most diverse and exciting grouping of excerpts we have been given to present and I am so excited to share it with our theater community here in Queens.” said co-founder Meredith Packer

All Systems Go! Mission 5 will include excerpts from the following eleven new plays:

PARENT/TEACHER by Jonathan Alexandratos

On Parent/Teacher Conference Night at small, Southern elementary school, a parent, a teacher, and a really fucked up voice on the intercom clash over who has suffered the greatest pain.

MARY by Nat Cassidy

“You’ve seen her before: the shy, quiet older woman making her way through life, doing her best to blend into the background. But Mary is about to learn there’s something special inside her; something that will have horrifying, deadly consequences for anyone who crosses her path.  MARY is a serialized audioplay told over twelve half-hour episodes.”

EARL: A SUICIDE by Tyler Rivenbark

In the Summer of 1985 Tyler was born. Less than a year later in the Spring of 1986 his grandfather killed himself. In the Spring of 2016 Tyler started writing Earl: A Suicide – a meta exploration of the thirty silent years in between.

EMPTY SECTS by Scott Casper

Our relationships degraded by the internet age, with connection masking isolation and isolation masking connection.  

AIRBNB by Jason Tseng

Kelvin and Victor’s lives are turned upside down when Victor’s mother, June, makes an unannounced visit. Victor isn’t out yet, so they rent an apartment on AirBnB from Tristan in order to stage it as Victor’s apartment. Familial tensions flare as flames, new and old, threaten Kelvin and Victor’s relationship. Meanwhile, June grapples with her own secrets.

UNPACKING JOB by Lisa Huberman

An artist embarks on a project to commemorate the anniversary grandmother’s death, and is forced to grapple with her own emotional inheritance.  A meditation on vintage clothes,  family guilt, and Old Testament angst.  

LIFE AFTER BIRTH by Kristine M. Reyes

Long days, sleepless nights, spit-up and poop and so many tears. This is Karyn and James’ new life as parents…will they survive it with their sense of selves intact?

THE AMERICAN TRADITION by Ray Yamanouchi

In Antebellum America, Eleanor—cross-dressing as a white planter—and her husband, Bill—pretending to be her loyal servant—attempt to escape to the free state of Pennsylvania.  In hot pursuit of them is Walsh, a drunk planter and member of the Not All Slavers movement.

LET THERE BE LOVE by Mrinalini Kamath

DeeDee, “The Goddess of Love,” an online dating and algorithm hater, runs a matchmaking agency with her son, Eric. A mash up of Sons and Lovers, the myth of Eros and Psyche and the dating app wars.

To attend the reading, please make a reservation on our website.

Astoria Performing Arts Center at

Good Shepherd United Methodist Church

30-34 Crescent St. (at 30th Rd)

Astoria, NY 11102

Directions: Take the N/Q to 30th Avenue. Walk down 30th Ave toward the Trade Fair Supermarket, continue past Mt. Sinai Hospital of Queens. Turn left on Crescent Street, then right on 30th Rd. The entrance is the second set of red doors on your left.

About the Launch Pad Reading Series

The Launch Pad is a free reading series of new plays by Queens playwrights.  The mission objective of The Launch Pad is to serve as a testing ground for Queens based playwrights who need to hear their plays out loud.  Because Mission to (dit)Mars was co-founded by playwrights and directors, we understand implicitly how to answer those needs.  Through this program, the utmost care is taken to foster a safe and productive environment in order to propel the play forward.

PRESS CONTACT: Don Nguyen, 718-839-0424, missiontoditmars@gmail.com

This reading is made possible (in part) by the Queens Council on the Arts with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

Mission to (dit)Mars is thrilled to announce All Systems Go: Mission 4 as the final event for the LAUNCH PAD Reading Series this year.   This free play reading will be held at the Astoria Performing Arts Center at 30-34 Crescent Street in Astoria, Queens on Monday, June 20th at 7pm.  To attend the reading, please make a reservation.

Click here to view the program

Click here to view photos from the event

Photo Jun 20, 9 45 53 PM

ALL SYSTEMS GO: MISSION 4 is an evening of excerpts from eleven brand new plays by the Queens based writers group The Propulsion Lab.  Participating playwrights for this event are Kari Bentley-Quinn, Amy Witting, Mac Rogers, Jonathan Alexandratos, Mrinalini Kamath, Elizabeth Seldin, Lisa Huberman, Kristine M. Reyes, Scott Casper, Tori Keenan-Zelt and Tyler Rivenbark.  The evening is presented by Mission to (dit)Mars co-founders Kari Bentley-Quinn, Don Nguyen, Meredith Packer, and Laura Pestronk.  

The cast includes Jim Nugent, Susan Ferrara, David Shih, Daniel Isaac, Esther Chen, Brian McCormick, Alisha Spielmann, Alex Wilson, Mariana Newhard, Leemore Malka, Matthew Nichols, Elizabeth Seldin, Julia McLaughlin, Nat Cassidy, and James Edward Becton.

The evening is directed by Meredith Packer, Laura Pestronk, Kristin McCarthy Parker, and Dev Bondarin.  Stage Management by Jodi Witherell.

In talking about this year’s lineup, Meredith Packer says “With eleven pieces, this is our biggest undertaking yet! I am so proud to be a part of the creation process and the presentation of our writers work to the Queens community. As our group grows so does our collective voice and that voice is strong and full of heart. 

“It’s especially exciting this year to watch many of our returning playwrights grow and develop such a varied body of work. The Queens theater community has become a force to be reckoned with!” adds co-founder Laura Pestronk.

Going into its fourth season of presenting new works in Queens, the small company takes a moment to reflect on the growth and changes over the past several years.  “I am beyond proud of our fourth season – not only are our playwrights diverse and talented – but their plays have really shown huge range and depth this year.” reflects Kari Bentley-Quinn.  “A lot of risks have been taken, and the payoff has been these enormously inspiring plays that will no doubt see a huge life after the Lab.”

On the returning playwrights, co-founder Don Nguyen adds “Carving out a space in Queens to allow our playwrights’ voices to evolve and witnessing first hand the challenging new works that have come out of the lab and seeing it shared not only across the country but in fact all over the world has been an extreme source of pride for Mission to (dit)Mars.”

All Systems Go! Mission 4 will include excerpts from the following eleven new plays: 

Click here to view the program

Click here to view photos from the event

Photo Jun 20, 9 45 53 PM

WE SEE WHAT HAPPEN by Jonathan Alexandratos
Jonathan wants to perform his solo play about his grandmother’s immigration to the U.S. from Greece in 1951.  WE SEE WHAT HAPPEN is what happens when Jonathan’s grandmother and his old superhero action figures decide they’d better tell that story themselves.

JESUS PLAYS BASKETBALL ON A HOT NIGHT IN IRAQ by Tyler Rivenbark
Mom and Dad’s son committed suicide. Mom and Dad may or may not go to Dollywood.

ALARM by Scott Casper
A Groundhog Day social commentary, where everyday obstacles to equality are examined as the inescapable cycles of violence they really are.

SHADOWS by Elizabeth Seldin.
An exploration of the Peter Pan story as told by his Shadow and the untold story of his grief that makes the magic of Neverland possible.

THE NEW ISRAEL PLAY by Lisa Huberman
When Yael took a position at a small Midwestern Jewish Community after her Israeli army service, she had no idea what to expect.  As she struggles to fit into a very different version of Judaism than she is accustomed to, Yael forms an emotional bond with Tommy, the Native American IT guy at the JCC, who is wrestling with identity issues of his own.  

BORN & RAISED by Kristine M. Reyes
Paul was adopted as a baby boy by a loving, caring, well-meaning white couple who raised him to be connected to his Chinese roots. Turns out, they were the wrong roots.

AIR (working title) by Amy Witting
Jo is stuck inside her one bedroom Sunnyside apartment with Pneumonia.  Expecting a grocery delivery she opens the door only to find surprise guests who refuse to leave.

[nbd] by Tori Keenan-Zelt
In conversation with MUCH ADO, [nbd] asks whether well-matched love can survive a world ruled by gender lines, high school hockey, and Internet selves.

LUCENT by Mac Rogers
Joan and Griffin’s relationship is treading water: no kids, bored with sex, bored with their jobs, borderline roommates. Until the day Joan steals a terrifying new technology from her employer that turns their slacker lives into a battleground of the unseen.

STUFF by Mrinalini Kamath
Elena’s late mother was left a lot of money by a man who died alone, and is apparently no relation.  Julius cleans out the apartments of dead people by day while trying to connect with live people at night.  Inspired by a NY Times article, STUFF looks at what it is we really want.

THE WORST MOTHER IN THE WORLD by Kari Bentley-Quinn
Nina is a new mom with an infant son, battling crippling anxiety attacks that are keeping her from being the mother she wants to be. When she decides to seek therapy, she makes an unexpected friend in the pregnant daughter of her therapist, who may or may not be a pathological liar.  

To attend the reading, please make a reservation.

Astoria Performing Arts Center at

Good Shepherd United Methodist Church

30-34 Crescent St. (at 30th Rd)

Astoria, NY 11102

Directions: Take the N/Q to 30th Avenue. Walk down 30th Ave toward the Trade Fair Supermarket, continue past Mt. Sinai Hospital of Queens. Turn left on Crescent Street, then right on 30th Rd. The entrance is the second set of red doors on your left.

 

This reading is made possible (in part) by the Queens Council on the Arts with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

QCA-Logo

About the Launch Pad Reading Series

The Launch Pad is a free reading series of new plays by Queens playwrights.  The mission objective of The Launch Pad is to serve as a testing ground for Queens based playwrights who need to hear their plays out loud.  Because Mission to (dit)Mars was co-founded by playwrights and directors, we understand implicitly how to answer those needs.  Through this program, the utmost care is taken to foster a safe and productive environment in order to propel the play forward.