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The Treehouse reading series is a fundamental part of New Leaf's mission and season selection process. For more details on the process, read this introduction to Treehouse from New Leaf Literary Manager Josh Sobel.

The three new works selected for the Spring 2012 series - the second half of six chosen this year - address the thematic element of "Critical Mass" and will take place at New Leaf Theatre's home at the Lincoln Park Cultural Center, 2045 N. Lincoln Park West. The staged readings will be followed by a talk-back. Admission is free to all readings.

The selected plays are:

A Perfect Shade of Skyline Gray by Mark Mason
directed by Ronan Marra
Wednesday, February 29 at 7 p.m.

September, 1957: on a fog-enshrouded evening in an Illinois steel town, a headstrong female newspaper editor walks onto a bridge and disappears, leaving behind a mystery that will haunt the Midwest forever. While the clock runs out on the reckless reporter's life, a wealthy young Rackets Committee attorney named Bobby Kennedy arrives in Joliet just in time to plunge into a maelstrom of lies and violence, where he will be forced to confront his own guilt for the dark secrets of America's favorite decade. And when Kennedy weaves his way through a nightmarish maze of hot dog massacres, whipping cults, disfigured torch singers and hired killers, truth becomes maddeningly elusive, and questions of loyalty, lust and legacy get answered by the cries of passion forming a dying city's sordid soundtrack.

Radio Ghosts by Greg Romero
directed by Matthew Ozawa
Wednesday, March 28th at 7 p.m.

William Tell gives a lecture on how everything in the universe is one giant hologram. His son, in a coma, sends him holographic phone calls through a portable radio and his wife speaks to him through the waves of the Pacific Ocean. A ghost carrying a wedding band shatters the world, and a painter's body slowly and continuously falls apart from an event that happens in the future.

Using Electronic Voice Phenomenon and The Holographic Universe as inspiration, Radio Ghosts is a multi-layered work that combines live performance and recorded sound, creating a time-bending experience between live performance, electronic composition, and what is beyond our imagination.

Still Life of a Moving Picture by David Strattan White
directed by Josh Sobel
Wednesday, April 25 at 7 p.m.

Jeremy returns after fifteen years to find his father, Lloyd, suffering from dementia, and living in the now-abandoned Sky-Vue Drive-In movie theatre. Lloyd is mentally stuck in the weeks after his family was blown apart, like the Death Star on the movie screen.

Dual timelines tell the story of a family frozen in mid-explosion, and the two moments when that family is confronted with the near-impossible choice of reconciling the inability to move forward or scattering like shrapnel into space.


Mark Mason (A Perfect Shade of Skyline Gray) is a playwright and former journalist living in Joliet, Illinois. A graduate of The Theatre School at DePaul University, Mason has worked with Timeline Theatre Company, Collaboraction and Harpo Studios. His play Hurrah for the Next Who Dies, a noir-styled true crime story about the 1930 murder of Tribune reporter Jake Lingle, premiered as The Theatre School's New Playwrights Series production in 2008, where it was directed by Damon Kiely and nominated for the David Mark Cohen Playwriting Award by a representative of the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival. He's had his work performed at A Red Orchid Theatre, the Apollo Theater Studio, Chicago Dramatists, and The Den, where Walter Briggs directed Mason's 1919-Chicago-set race drama Riot Call as a part of the Fresh Meat Reading Series. Dracula: A Tragedy, Mason's new adaptation of Bram Stoker's classic horror novel, received a late-nightstaging by Redtwist Theatre in October 2010, and his short plays Make Your Visit as Inconspicuous as Possible and Intangible Assets both were produced in new-work festivals by The Inconvenience. A former columnist for the Joliet Herald-News, Mason is dedicated to creating a new, epic Chicago theatre in all its raw and gritty glory..

Greg Romero (Radio Ghosts) is a playwright/theater artist whose plays, site-specific projects and participatory live events have been presented in New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, Washington DC, Austin, Dallas, Denver, Louisville, Phoenix, New Orleans, and other awesome places. Romero's collaborations with electronic music composer Mike Vernusky have been produced live in New York, Philadelphia, Austin, and Phoenix, while also receiving airplay in Toronto, Canada and Zurich, Switzerland. Romero has been a finalist for the Heideman Award, a semi-finalist for the Princess Grace Award, nominated for the F. Otto Haas Award for an Emerging Philadelphia Theater Artist and was selected as the first-ever Resident Writer of the ArtsEdge Residency as well as one of the first three writers selected for the inaugural Philadelphia Dramatists Center/Plays & Players Playwriting Residency. His works are published by Heinemann Press and Playscripts, Inc. Romero received an MFA in Playwriting from The University of Texas-Austin where he held the James A. Michener Fellowship. Romero currently teaches at Drexel University and has also taught at the National Theater Institute. Romero is also a "Phanstormer" for the Philadelphia Phillies.

David Strattan White (Still Life of a Moving Picture) is a Philadelphia-based artist. His plays include: Simulations (Plays and Players), Nativity (Maples Repertory), Reindeer, Magnetosphere (Philadelphia Theatre Workshop's Playshop Series), Orangutans (MERGE-Wandering Rom) and An Imperfect Sonnet (Cardboard Box Collaborative). He has taught at Indiana University East, Montgomery County Community College and Temple University. He earned an MFA from Temple University in Acting, where he is currently pursuing his MFA in Playwriting, and a BA in theatre from Purdue University.

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