Colorado New Play Summit Announces Record-Breaking Attendance
Representatives from 23 states flocked to the Mile High City to attend a marathon of new plays at the 8th Annual Colorado New Play Summit, presented by the Denver Center Theatre Company (DCTC) February 8 - 10, 2013. With a stunning representation of today's top American Playwrights, DCTC demonstrated its commitment to new work and solidified its position as one of the nation's top tier new play festivals. This year's Summit hosted artistic directors, literary managers, and dramaturgs representing 31 theatre organizations from across the country, plus media, playwrights, directors, and members of the public, all eager to discover "the next Great American Play." The 2013 Colorado New Play Summit took place at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts, 14th and Curtis Streets, in downtown Denver, February 8 - 10, 2013.
The Colorado New Play Summit is the showcase for the Denver Center Theatre Company's new play development program, now in its 8th year under the direction of Producing Artistic Director Kent Thompson and Director of New Play Development Bruce K. Sevy, with Literary Manager Douglas Langworthy. The stature of the Summit has grown in recent years and is receiving consistent recognition as one the nation's leading new play festivals. Members of the public were invited to join with theatre leaders and media representatives, who traveled from across the country to view the latest works by both well-established and exciting new voices in American theatre.
In addition to works-in-progress, Summit audiences saw two world premieres receiving full main stage productions (both hits from last winter's Summit). ED, DOWNLOADED by Michael Mitnick, is an arresting comic drama, equal parts live action and feature film, telling the story of a dying man given immortality by downloading his brain - and the survivors who fight over which memories he chooses to save. GRACE, OR THE ART OF CLIMBING by Lauren Feldman offers up a captivating tale of a young women struggling with doubt as she trains mind, body, and spirit for a world rock climbing competition. The Summit also included the popular Playwrights' Slam, a late night gathering where invited playwrights read excerpts from their latest in-progress works.
Included in the Summit line-up of play readings: Shelley Butler directed THE MOST DESERVING by Edgerton New Play Award-winner Catherine Trieschmann, with Tom Bryant acting as dramaturg. The cast featured Hawthorne James, seen in films including Speed, The Color Purple, and Amistad;, and Steven Caffrey, who has worked in television and regional theatre, as well as in films including Longtime Companion and The Babe.
THE LEGEND OF GEORGIA MCBRIDE by rising star Matthew Lopez (The Whipping Man) was directed by Mike Donahue, with Alex Barron acting as dramaturg. The cast included Matt McGrath, seen in the films Boys Don't Cry, The Notorious Bettie Page, The Broken Hearts Club: A Romantic Comedy, and The Impostors, on Broadway in Peter Pan, Working, A Streetcar Named Desire, and as the Emcee in the Roundabout Theatre Company's Cabaret, as well as on television, and in regional theatres across the country. Also in the cast was Quincy Dunn-Baker, seen in numerous television series including Nurse Jackie, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, and CSI: NY, as well as regional theatre productions.
Directing THE VAST IN-BETWEEN by Chicago Jeff Award winner Laura Eason was Liesl Tommy, with DCTC Literary Manager Douglas Langworthy acting as dramaturg. DCTC Artistic Director Kent Thompson directed Karen Zacarías' JUST LIKE US (based on the best-seller by Helen Thorpe), with DCTC company member Kathleen McCall most recently seen in Romeo & Juliet.
Finally, Obie Award winner Chay Yew directed BLACK ODYSSEY by multiple award winning poet/playwright Marcus Gardley. The cast for that reading featured Obie and Drama Desk award winning, Tony nominated actor André De Shields, seen on Broadway in The Full Monty, Ain't Misbehavin', Play On!, and The Wiz among others; and Kim Staunton, a favorite among DCTC audiences for her many leading roles in plays such as Fences, A Streetcar Named Desire, and Ruined, as well as her work in television (Army Wives) and film (Changing Lanes).