Le Chat Noir's annual New Plays Festival continued its concept of stringing together short works by contest participants. This year's winners featured some new faces. Jamie Wax offered the most engaging and stark piece, "The Scutley Papers," about a woman whose creativity and independence pose an implicit threat to her abusive husband. Actress Clare Moncrief handled the solo piece nicely. Wax and Vernel Bagneris worked together on two pieces that also stood out. Bud Faust's "To Hell and Back (Somewhat)" (pictured) was a humorous scene between a movie producer (Wax, right), who prefers to hold business meetings in strip clubs, and a city official (Bagneris), who is concerned about how a film will depict the city. They appeared again in Mindy Mayer's "Water Business," a sentimental piece about a young, aspiring musician and an older man who had always been a jazz fan. Also notable was Mary Louise Wilson's "Lost" and R.J. Tsarov's swear like a sailor, think like a cook (excerpt from a longer work) "Cheffing."