Local Playwrights among Festival Finalists

Plattsburgh, a finalist in the Aery 20/20 Festival was directed by Elaine Hartel and written by Evelyn Mertens.

River Journal Education Roundup editor Evelyn Mertens of Briarcliff Manor was recently among four finalists in the annual Aery 20/20 Festival at the Philipstown Depot Theatre in Garrison for her play, Plattsburgh. The festival is a popular event drawing crowds from Westchester and Putnam to see 20 short plays selected by Aery Founder Pat Lennon and Artistic Director Richard Knipe. The audience votes their favorites to the semifinals and then chooses four finalists.

Plattsburgh was directed by Ossining’s Elaine Hartel and starred Maria Oppedisano of Harrison – who won for best actress – and Philip Cutrone of Yorktown Heights. Evelyn’s play was developed through workshops at Axial Theatre of Pleasantville and Westchester Collaborative Theater (WCT) in Ossining.

L-R The crew from Viable, a finalist in the Aery 20/20 Festival, includes Henry Fulton Winship, Stephen Hersh (playwright), Rachel Brill, Nathan Flower (director) and Emma Welch.

Stephen Hersh of Ossining was an Aery 20/20 finalist for his play Viable, directed by Ossining’s Nathan Flower. Stephen’s play featured Henry Fulton Winship, Rachel Brill, and Emma Welch – Henry and Emma have studied with Nathan, a member of the faculty at NYU Tisch School of the Arts’ drama department. Viable was developed through the lab process at WCT.

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