CUMBERLAND — The Cumberland Theatre, 101 Johnson St., will present the second round of its New Play Reading Series Sept. 6 and 7 at 7 p.m.

Admission is free and no reservations are required. The works of two Maryland playwrights, Pat Montley and DC Cathro, will be featured.

“Pope Joan II” by Montley will be read on Friday. The theater offered this description: “Urged by apparitions of her namesakes Saint Joan and the apocryphal ninth century Pope Joan I, and armed with an infusion of the Life Force, Sister Joan — faster than a speeding angel, more powerful than a prayer, able to leap clerical hierarchies in a single bound — blackmails her way to becoming pope, so she can fight the never ending battle for truth, justice, gender equality, and the American way by transforming the Catholic Church into a liberal democracy and saving the world from overpopulating.”

The reading will feature Caitlin Weems, Nicole Halmos, LuAnn Lancaster, Karen Hutcheson and Ken Griggs.

Saturday will be the reading of “Chai” by Cathro, described as follows “Chai (his nickname), an African American teen, hates his real name, so his girlfriend raises the money for him to legally change it. Chai’s mother, however, is completely opposed to the idea.”

The reading will feature LJ Moses, Jayna Raines, Kim Wormack and Jim Wormack.

The New Play Reading series is part of an initiative to give new and original works exposure, with a particular emphasis on Maryland playwrights, although plays from all over the country are submitted and considered.

A reading committee makes recommendations and assists in the selection of the four plays that will receive a reading. The 2019 play reading committee consisted of Ron Growden, Morgan Witmer, Lura Thompson and Kimberli Rowley. The 2020 series is now being planned. Those interested in submitting a play, serving on the reading committee or participating in the live readings should email info@cumberlandtheatre.com.

There will be opportunity for discussion following the readings and the theatre’s bar and concession stand will be open. For more information, visit www.cumberlandtheatre.com.

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