Each year, Valley Players awards the Vermont Playwrights Award to authors from Vermont, Maine and New Hampshire. Since 1983, the company has given awards to 23 plays and has produced 15 of them as a full production or staged reading, and this October the Waitsfield theater is hosting a festival of staged readings of three recently awarded plays.

The festival will include readings of Napoleon au Nouveau Monde by Gordon LePage on Saturday, October 4, at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, October 5, at 1 p.m., as well as readings of Glass Closets by Marc Estes on Friday, October 10, at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, October 11, at 7:30 p.m. Readings of Mere Presence by Margot Lasher will take place Friday, October 17, at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, October 18, at 7:30 p.m.

Saturday reading of each play will include a conversation with the author after the show, providing the opportunity for each playwright to explain their play to the audience and answer any questions.

About the Plays:

Napoléon au Nouveau Monde
Written by Gordon LePage and directed by Tom Badowski

Not quite as cursed as Hamlet's father—or, then again, maybe more so—Napoléon Bonaparte is ordered to report to the Philadelphia suburbs of the 21st century, where he must adopt the profession of a youth therapist. Assigned to help young Jeremy with his family and romantic problems, the emperor attacks with a characteristic mix of zeal and disdain, with results that neither doctor nor patient had anticipated.

Glass Closets
Written by Marc Estes and directed by Shannon Pitonyak

Everyone has secrets. Some are bigger than others. Alexander "Zander" Caswell's secret is that he's gay. After moving to New York City, Zander cashes in on his talents as a playwright. He lives in an apartment with his lesbian friend, Lizzie. His neighbor, Patrick, has a never-ending crush on him. His closest friends know that he has kept his secret from his mother and they want him to finally "come out" to her, and so Lizzie invites Zander's mom, Esther, to the city as a surprise. The events that follow lead to one exciting, hilarious, suspenseful and at times touching weekend that no one will ever forget. Note: This show has graphic language and is not recommended for children.

Mere Presence
Written by Margot Lasher and directed by Henry Erickson

In Mere Presence, a young, inexperienced male psychiatrist interviews an 82-year-old woman who is eccentric and distrustful of doctors to test her for dementia. After encountering absurd misunderstandings, the two slowly begin to trust each other, and Dr. Grey sees Hannah's insights about her changing mind as a way to achieve fame with a new theory of the aging brain. Back home, in a monologue, Hannah tries to understand death through her connection to her old dog, Jake: She senses that Jake is talking to her, but she is afraid that she is losing her mind. She returns to Dr. Grey, who overcomes his ambition as they try together to understand the process of dying.