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Although American Theater Nexus is only a few months old, this monthly BRIC Studio series is quickly establishing itself as a showcase for new, experimental theater and emerging playwrights.

These days, serious theater is hard to find. It is overshadowed by the big-budget Broadway extravaganzas and under-produced by cash-strapped community theaters. That BRIC Studio has taken this bold step is a sign that the organization wants to be a major player in Brooklyn’s cultural life.

The series is curated by DUMBO Theater Exchange (DTX), a Brooklyn-based theater company headed by Luke Leonard, who is also an actor and director. Leonard is assisted by co-curator and DTX member, S. Melinda Dunlap.

The series was created for "people looking for something new and engaging," Dunlap told GO Brooklyn. "Something that is not going to patronize them, but will appeal intellectually as well as emotionally."

Both Leonard and Dunlap have already had plays produced at BRIC Studio - Dunlap’s "The Woman She Declined to Become," in October, and "Totemic Compulsion," in November; and Leonard’s "Performance Record 1," in January.

"We’re looking for plays that have to be put on stage, plays that couldn’t be shown on television or on film," said Dunlap. "They’re not melodramas where people come in and work out their problems. They’re plays that challenge the audience by making people figure them out."

In addition to plays by emerging playwrights, last December, BRIC Studio presented three plays by Sam Shepherd, directed by Leonard and his wife, Natalie. Last February, American Theater Nexus presented several original plays. On March 27, the program will include 10-minute plays by Brooklyn-based playwrights B. Walker Sampson, Barbara Cassidy, Young Jean Lee, Jonathan Bernstein and Douglas Green.

The BRIC Studio theater has a flexible black-box stage and seats 75 cabaret style - which means members of the audience can have a drink, watch the show and share the experience with a friend.

The March 27 performance begins at 7:30 pm. Tickets are $10, $8 students with valid ID. A discount book of four admissions (which includes all other BRIC Studio shows) is $32. BRIC Studio is located at 57 Rockwell Place, second floor, between Fulton Street and DeKalb Avenue. For reservations, call (718 0855-7882, ext. 53, or visit

- Paulanne Simmons

Updated 4:00 pm, November 10, 2010
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