MONMOUTH — Theater at Monmouth’s “Roar! Year of the Woman” season closes Sunday, Aug. 19, but TAM’s not done yet. As the curtain falls on the summer season of classic plays, TAM will be right back at it with the second annual What’s Next Fest: Making Old Things New and New Things Classic.

Every night at 7:30 p.m. from Tuesday through Friday, Aug. 21-24, TAM will present staged readings of adaptations of classic literature, new works and more.

What’s Next Fest came about for two reasons, one being that people needed something to do at the end of the season.

“Every year, people from near and far drop into the box office the day after the last performance of the summer rep and ask, ‘What’s up next?'” explains Dawn McAndrews, producing artistic director. “We thought it was about time to give them something.” The other reason is more artistic; TAM annually receives submissions of new works and adaptations of classic plays, and extends the season with a cornucopia of offerings.

From veteran company member Mark S. Cartier celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Beatles’ “White Album,” to staged readings of adaptations of classic literature, to new plays about bugs and toasters, the week is destined to have something for everyone.

2018 What’s Next Fest schedule of events:

It was 50 Years Ago Today: The Making of The “White Album” — 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 21. The year 1968 was a tumultuous one for the Beatles, as well as the world at large. Influences as diverse as Yoko Ono, the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, folksinger Donovan Leitch and Mike Love of the Beach Boys all contributed to the most eclectic batch of new recordings the group would ever produce, resulting in the astonishing double album simply titled “The Beatles.” Five months in the studio, Ringo quits, Eric Clapton sits in, solo careers begin and one of the greatest singles of all time — all this and more as Mark S. Cartier takes an in-depth look at the “White Album” on its 50th anniversary.

Staged reading of “Buttering Toast” by Ryan Vincent Anderson — 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 22. Bob is depressed. His dad died. His job sucks. He’s been wait-listed for grad school. His relationship is crashing down. His weight is creeping up. His mom won’t stop bugging him. And he is fighting thoughts of suicide. But … at least his toaster loves him. So there’s that. “Buttering Toast” — a not so serious look at a serious matter.

Staged reading of “Tendrils … a play about transformations and bugs” by Catia Cunha — 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 23. Ro is writing a play about love. Except it’s never that easy. Her play is becoming a solo piece. Her bug buddy is experiencing the teenage rebellion phase of her metamorphosis full force. She’s plagued by depression manifesting as wandering wombs. She’s falling in love with what she’s pretty sure is a hallucination. Oh, and, on top of all that, she may or may not be turning into a plant.

Staged reading of “Howards End,” adapted by Caroline Hewitt and Autumn Dornfeld — 7:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 24; directed by Linsay Firman. Margaret and Helen Schlegel value poetry, romanticism and emotion. Henry Wilcox wants more money and more power. Leonard Bast aspires to something above the bleak poverty he is stuck inside. When the four characters meet, the sisters’ relationship to each other, themselves and the way they see the world, changes forever. Four actors play 20 characters in this adaptation of E.M. Forster’s 1910 novel which poses questions that seem more urgent now than ever: How can we connect with people who aren’t like us? Can relationships endure changed values? And, what do we owe each other?

What’s Next Fest single tickets can be purchased for a suggested donation of $10.

For more info and reservations, please contact the TAM Box Office at 207.933.9999 or visit

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