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Fiction: M. Z. Ribalow & Alethea Black

In Part 1, The Four Dollar Check by M. Z. Ribalow is read by Cotter Smith and in Part 2 Mollusk Makes a Comeback by Alethea Black is read by Anne O'Sullivan.

M. Z. Ribalow has had 24 of his plays receive some 180 productions worldwide, including at Dublin’s Abbey Theatre, at The Edinburgh Festival, and numerous times in London and NY. They have won awards in London, New York, and regionally. His work has been published, anthologized and filmed. He has also won national awards for his widely published poetry, his fiction, and musical lyrics; co-written ten children’s books; and published articles on sports, music, theatre, literature, film, travel, and chess. He is co-author of three books on sports, was film columnist for The Sciences magazine, and has appeared as a film historian on The Discovery Channel and on special feature documentaries of several DVD releases of classic films. He is Co-Founder and Artistic Director of New River Dramatists, and was Joseph Papp's Production Associate at the NY Shakespeare Festival for several years, then founded The American Repertory Company of London. He was Vice-President of The Creative Coalition (of which he was a founder) as well as International Arts Coordinator of The Global Forum, where he worked with The Dalai Lama, Robert Redford and Mikhail Gorbachev. Currently full-time Artist-in-Residence at Fordham University, he also teaches at The William Esper Studio. In 2009, six of his plays were produced in New York (and another in Estonia). In 2010, his fiction appeared in Luck: A Collection of Facts, Fiction Incantations & Verse (edited by Allison Elrod for Lorimer Press); in 2011 a collection of his poetry, Chasing Ghosts, will be published by NeoPoiesis Press, and his new play Masterpiece will be anthologized in Plays from New River 1 (McFarland Books).

The Four-Dollar Check is read by Cotter Smith, recipient of four Drama Logue Awards and two Ovation Award nominations, as well as the Broadway star of Next Fall, Wendy Wasserstein's An American Daughter, Paula Vogel's Pulitzer Prize winning How I Learned to Drive, Burn This, Charles Fuller's Pulitzer Prize winning A Soldier’s Play with Denzel Washington and Samuel Jackson, and many others. Television and film work ranges from his debut 25 years ago as Robert Kennedy in the mini-series Blood Feud, to his role as the President of the United States in the film, X2: X-Men United. He recently appeared on Barry Levinson’s HBO film You Don’t Know Jack with Al Pacino.

Alethea Black is one of America's major emerging writers. Her first story was published in 2007, and her work has since appeared in The Kenyon Review, The Antioch Review, American Literary Review, The Chattahoochee Review, The North American Review, Inkwell, Narrative, and The Saint Ann's Review. She was awarded the 2008 Arts & Letters Prize. Her debut collection of short stories, I Knew You’d Be Lovely, will be published by Broadway Books (Random House) in 2011. Ms. Black’s short fiction has been read at numerous venues around the country, and her first two plays were recently presented at Ensemble Studio Theatre in NYC.

Mollusk Makes a Comeback is read by Anne O’Sullivan, who has been featured in over 90 productions on Broadway and Off-Broadway, as well as regional theatres including The McCarter Theatre, Berkshire Festival, The Old Globe, Williamstown, Bay Street Theatre, Yale Rep, Hartford Stage and Actors Theatre of Louisville, among others. She has had roles written for her by David Ives, Jose Rivera, James Still and Keith Alan Benjamin. She will appear in the upcoming film We Need to Talk About Kevin with Tilda Swinton; her other films include 1937, with Olek Krupa; Speed, and The Mirror has Two Faces. She has had many guest roles on Law & Order (all three), Sex and the City, Third Watch, Cosby, ER, and Models, Inc., in which she was a featured regular. She is currently working on a play about Mother Jones and preparing to play Emily Dickinson in The Belle of Amherst.


New River Dramatists


A program of stories, plays, and poetry co-produced with New River Dramatists.

New River Dramatists, located in the Blue Ridge Mountains in North Carolina, is a not-for-profit project that distinguishes itself in that it is looking for writers to assist, not works to produce. Engaging writers on the strength of their individual talents instead of the potential merit of a single piece, payment of Honoraria to all participants, the absence of casting and the commitment to process first are among many factors that, taken all together, make New River Dramatists unique.