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An ongoing series where Catskill Mountain Shakespeare uses its resources to facilitate new work. We are proud to gift artists a chance to escape to the mountains to freely explore and develop. The project culminates in a donation-based reading where the community comes together with the artists to get a glimpse at the artistic process and offer their feedback.

Interested in being involved?


“Who’s the Daddy?”
By Mark Barford

Wednesday May 25th, 7:00pm at The Phoenicia Playhouse,

followed by a post-show audience and artists discussion

Pay What You Can

Simon and Alex are approaching 40 (argh!!) and they want to have a baby together (like desperately!!) but how do they even go about it? “Who's the Daddy?” is a story about a gay couple trying to navigate the world of surrogacy in the U.S. 

Who's the Daddy?

Mark Barford is an Australian born stage director, playwright, producer, and educator based in New York City. Highlights include the award-winning play Breakfast (director), Hadrian & Antinous (co-writer & director), the Croatian National Theatre production of Antidote (co-writer/director) and the multi award-winning, 5-star production of F*cking Men that played over four years at The Vaults London, Edinburgh Fringe Festival (Assembly Festival), International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival and The King's Head Theatre London (multiple sold-out seasons). Mark is founding Co-Artistic Director/ Co-Executive Producer of The Australian Theatre Festival NYC and holds an MFA in Theatre Directing from Columbia University.

The Chickens Have Come Home to Roost

“The Chickens Have Come Home to Roost”

By Ana Cristina
In collaboration with What Will The Neighbors Say

Thursday May 5th, 7:00pm at The Phoenicia Playhouse,
followed by a post-show audience and artists discussion
Pay What You Can


“The Chickens Have Come Home to Roost” is a drama told through poetry and puppetry following the inner life of a woman, Angie, as personified by a puppet Chicken, Birdie. After a sexual encounter with a man, one where the participants’ actions are questionable and difficult to judge, the relationship between pet and owner quickly morphs when Birdie gains the ability to speak. Together, Angie and Birdie are forced to look at the encounter and journey into Angie’s past to discover how they can exist in the present. This one-act psychological drama poses the question: what does consent look like?

“The Chickens Have Come Home to Roost,” tackles themes of isolation, trauma, and consent. For the performance, only a portion of the play will be shared. The performance will be on its feet and the actors will have scripts in hand. (there won't be any puppets in this iteration). The runtime will be about an hour. After the performance, there will be a discussion between the audience and the creative team. This is the audience's opportunity to ask questions, give feedback, and share what they would like to see moving forward. Anything shared will greatly inform the work ahead of the NYC Workshop Production this fall. If you do not want to speak you don't have to, you are welcome to simply listen.

An Important Note from the Author:

This piece is part of a continued effort to destigmatize survivors’ experiences, build greater understanding around how trauma functions, and initiate crucial conversations about consent. “Chickens…” challenges the audience to step out of a me vs. you dynamic and grapple with the gray area that exists within sexual encounters; actions that cross the line even when they can not be criminally categorized. These experiences are often overlooked - casually swept under the rug - yet have lasting impacts. We are asking the audience to wrestle with the gravity of these issues and bear witness to the perplexing emotional aftermath that follows.

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