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Ernst C. Stiefel Reading Series

Manhattan Theatre Club’s Ernst C. Stiefel Reading Series, formerly known as 7@7, is an annual series of rehearsed play readings dedicated to the support and development of innovative new work. Since 1999, plays developed through these readings have gone on to full productions at MTC, elsewhere in New York and around the country.

All announcements about the series will be made by email and on the MTC website. If you would like to be added to our email list, please click here.

All readings are free and take place on Mondays at New York City Center, Stage I at 131 West 55th Street. Seating is limited and reservations are required.

CLICK HERE to RSVP for the 2014 reading series.


  • March 24 at 4pm: I'M GONNA PRAY FOR YOU SO HARD, by Halley Feiffer, directed by Trip Cullman

    Ella is a precocious actress whose sole aim in life is making her famous playwright father proud. But after seeking his approval her whole life, she must learn that the only way to make her dreams a reality is to finally strike out on her own. A dark and bitingly funny drama about fathers and daughters and the powerful draw of making art.

    Halley Feiffer is a playwright and actress whose play How to Make Friends and Then Kill Them premiered last Fall at Rattlestick Playwrights Theater. She is currently writing an MTC commission, which will be developed this summer at the Kenyon College Playwrights Conference.

  • March 31 at 4pm: THE FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR, by Joshua Harmon, directed by Stephen Brackett

    Jordan’s always been there for his trio of best girlfriends as they stumble through the pratfalls of dating in New York City. But as singles’ nights turn into bachelorette parties for Kiki, Vanessa and Laura, he’s no longer the only man in their lives. A coming of age story about what we do when one feels like the loneliest number.

    Joshua Harmon’s play Bad Jews was produced by Roundabout Underground before transferring to Roundabout’s Laura Pels Theatre last Fall. He is currently in the playwright’s program at Juilliard and under commission from Roundabout Theatre Company and Lincoln Center Theater.

  • April 7 at 11am: THE CHINESE ROOM, by Michael West, directed by James MacDonald

    Frank has dedicated his life to the development of Artificial Intelligence. When his company decides to dispense with his services – and his research, the line between his life’s work and his life turns out to be blurrier than it appears. A moving and complex thriller about love and just how far we will go to keep it alive. The Chinese Room was commissioned by MTC through the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

    Michael West has written many plays in collaboration with The Corn Exchange, the acclaimed Dublin-based theatre company. This spring the Abbey Theatre will premiere his play Conservatory.

  • April 7 at 4pm: HAPPY PLACE, by Joe Tracz, directed by Carolyn Cantor

    Caroline is determined to plan the best trip possible for her family vacation to Disney World. When she hires a disabled woman to help them cut the lines, she sets into motion a series of events that none of them could have anticipated. A compelling drama about the questions and complexities behind the Happiest Place on Earth.

    Joe Tracz’s plays have been developed at Second Stage, Roundabout, Ars Nova, and the Flea. His musical adaptation of the first book in the popular Percy Jackson series The Lightning Thief will premiere at the Lortel Theatre this summer.


    7@7 2013:
    The Who & The What 
    by Ayad Akhtar
    Odyssey Room
     by Greg Pierce
    The Morning the Sun Fell Down 
    by Jonathan Caren
    by Ethan Lipton
    by Ben Ockrent
    Mrs. Hughes 
    Book by Janine Nabers, Music & Lyrics by Sharon Kenny
    Five Mile Lake by Rachel Bonds

    7@7 2012:
    Death of the Author 
    by Steven Drukman
     by Adam Bock
    Important Hats of the Twentieth Century 
    by Nick Jones
    The Village Bike 
    by Penelope Skinner
    Seven Homeless Mammoths Wander New England 
    by Madeleine George
    The Seduction Community 
    by Greg Keller
    Donny’s Brain by Rona Munro

    7@7 2011:
    Reverberation by Matthew Lopez
    Carl’s Sister by Alfred Uhry
    The Recommendation by Jonathan Caren
    Tender by Kelly Younger
    The Chooky Brae by D.C. Jackson
    A Lasting Mark by Michael Elyanow
    The Great Immensity written and directed by Steven Cosson

    7@7 2010:
    Retreat by Steven Levenson
    Nocturama by Anne Baker
    Pieces of Vincent by David Watson
    There Are No More Big Secrets by Heidi Shreck
    Stunt Girl Book and Lyrics by Peter Kellog
    How the World Began by Catherine Trieschmann
    Oblivion by Carly Mensch

    7@7 2009:
    Dreams of Violence by Stella Feehily
    Night for Day by Nicholas Kazan
    Magic Forest Farm by Zayd Dohrn
    Recall by Eliza Clark
    Close Up Space by Molly Smith Metzler
    The Color of Desire written and directed by Nilo Cruz
    Funked Up Fairytales Book, Music & Lyrics by Kirsten Childs

    7@7 2008:
    Shoe Story by Ben Snyder
    Calvin Berger Book, Music & Lyrics by Barry Wyner
    Wisdom by Simon Vinncombe
    Willing by Amy Herzog
    The Imprisonment of the Eye by Sam Marks
    Fake by Eric Simonson
    Kissing the Floor by Ellen McLaughln

    6@6 2007:
    Horse Latitudes by Hillary Fannin
    Stunning by David Adjmi
    A Sleeping Country by Melanie Marnich
    The Front Music & Lyrics by Paul Gordon & Jay Gruska, Book by Seth Friedman
    The Last Best Place by Bathsheba Doran
    Human Voices by Sarah Treem

    6@6 2006:
    Men of Tortuga by Jason Wells
    Strike-Slip by Naomi IIzuka
    Good Boys and True by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa
    The Little Flower of East Orange by Stephen Adly Guirgis
    Fallout by Shelagh Stephenson
    The Girl in the Frame Book, Music and Lyrics by Jeremy Desmon

    6@6 2005:
    Based on a Totally True Story by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa
    Durango by Julia Cho
    American Klepto by Allison Moore
    Edible Oils and Fats by Phil Porter
    Story of My Life, Music and Lyrics by Neil Bartram, Book by Brian Hill
    The Hopper Collection by Mat Smart

    6@6 2004:
    The Ugly American written and performed by Mike Daisey
    Red Light Winter written and directed by Adam Rapp
    The Scene by Theresa Rebeck
    A Likely Story written and performed by David Cale
    The Adventures of Barrio Grrrl! by Quiara Alegria Hudes
    Dance the Holy Ghost: A Play on Memory by Marcus Gardley

    6@6 2003:
    Not Waving by Ellen Melaver
    The Dreams of Sarah Breedlove by Regina Taylor
    Dissonance by Damian Lanigan
    Chrysalis words and music by Gilles Chiasson
    Drug Buddy by David Folwell
    Bay Windows and Shakes by Joe Hortua

    6@6 2002:
    40 Years in the Sunshine by Annie Weisman
    Motherhouse by Victor Lodato
    Coming Up Next, Music and Lyrics by Norman Noll, Book by Itamar Moses
    Pro Bono Publico by Peter Morris
    Jump/Cut by Neena Beber
    Eyolf by John Belluso

    6@6 2001:
    Slag Heap by Anton Dudley
    Preserve by Courtney Baron
    Placement by Blair Singer
    Carol Mulroney by Stephen Belber
    3 1⁄2 Catholics by Julia Jordan
    Joe! Book, Music and Lyrics by Dan Lipton and David Rossmer

    6@6 2000:
    97 Orchard Street, Music by Frederick Freyer, Book and Lyrics by Patrick Cook
    Jerusalem by Seth Greenland
    Crazy Jane on God by Dan O’Brien
    Underneath the Lintel by Glen Berger
    Suicide Weather by Jeff Whitty
    Illuminating Veronica by Rogelio Martinez
    The Tulip Craze by Jay Reiss

    6@6 1999:
    Innocence is a Sin by Lucy Thurber
    Intrigue With Faye by Kate Robin
    Peaking by Eric Winick
    A Hole in the Dark by Hilly Hicks
    Proof by David Auburn
    Musical of Musicals, Music by Eric Rockwell, Lyrics by Joanne Bogart