National New Play Network Launches 42nd Rolling World Premiere: Robert Caisley's LUCKY ME
The NATIONAL NEW PLAY NETWORK (NNPN), the country's alliance of non-profit theatres that champions the development, production, and continued life of new plays, announces its 42nd Rolling World Premiere: Robert Caisley's Lucky Me will receive four productions through the Network's Continued Life of New Plays Fund in the 2014/15 season. Lucky Me will begin its Rolling World Premiere at Core Member New Jersey Repertory Company (Long Branch, NJ, today, August 2 - 31, 2014), followed by performances at Core Member Curious Theatre (Denver, CO, dates TBA), Core Member Riverside Theatre (Iowa City, IA, January 24 -February 15, 2015), and Associate Member 6th Street Playhouse (Santa Rosa, CA January 30-February 15, 2015).
Sara Fine's having a bad week. Really bad! The light bulbs in her apartment keep burning out; there's yet another leak in the roof; the aquarium is perpetually full of dead fish; the cat's gone AWOL, again, and her blind, elderly father -- who chased off her last beau -- is immediately suspicious of Tom, their new neighbor, a TSA agent who just brought Sara home from the emergency room on New Year's Eve with a fractured 5th meta-tarsal. As Tom's attraction to Sara increases, he learns of a truly bizarre streak of bad luck that's been haunting Sara for 22 years. Lucky Me is a very funny and whimsical comedy about love, aging, bad luck, and airport security.
Robert Caisley is Associate Professor of Theatre & Film, and Head of the Dramatic Writing Program at the University of Idaho. He was named the 2011 Blaine Quarnstrom Visiting Playwright at the University of Southern Mississippi. His play Happy was an NNPN Rolling World Premiere in 2013/14 after being presented at the 2011 National New Play Network Annual Showcase of New Plays. His other plays include Kissing (New Theatre, Coral Gables, FL), The Lake (Walnut Street Theatre, Philadelphia), Good Clean Fun (Montana Actors Theatre, Missoula), The 22-Day Adagio (Mill Mountain Theatre, Roanoke, VA), Front (Sundance Playwright's Lab), Kite's Book (6th Street Playhouse, Santa Rosa, CA), Letters to an Alien (Mad Horse Theatre, Portland, ME), Santa Fe (StageWorks/Hudson, New York, Finalist for the Heideman Award) and Winter which received its World Premiere at New Theatre in January, 2012. His play Front will be published later this summer by Samuel French, Inc.
NNPN's flagship program, the Continued Life of New Plays Fund supports three or more theatres which choose to mount the same new play within a twelve-month period. The result is a Rolling World Premiere through which the playwright develops a new work with multiple creative teams, for multiple communities of patrons, ensuring the resulting play is of the highest possible quality. And with a minimum of three productions in a single year, the play attains the momentum it needs to join the repertoire of frequently-produced new American works. NNPN provides grants of $7,000 to the first three participating theatres in each Rolling World Premiere; to date, NNPN has championed the continued life of 41 new plays in over 100 productions, with nearly one million dollars in grants.
The New Jersey Repertory Company was founded in 1997. Its mission is to develop and produce new plays and to make a lasting contribution to the American stage. Since it opened its doors 15 years ago, the theatre has produced 62 world premieres and has presented over 350 developmental readings of new works.
Curious Theatre Company was founded by a group of artists who met 16 years ago while mounting Tony Kushner's Angels in America (produced by Hunger Artists) in the 19th-century church the theatre still calls home, a few blocks south of the Denver Art Museum and State Capitol. Known for bringing provocative new shows to Denver, Curious has received many awards over the years, including the 2011 Denver Post Ovation Award for Best Year by a Theatre Company, 5280 Magazine 2011 Top of the Town Editor's Choice for Best Theatre Company, and Westword's Reader's Choice for Best Theatre in 2012. Under the artistic leadership of Producing Artistic Director Chip Walton, Curious produces up to five mainstage shows per season, the award-winning Curious New Voices education program, the fun and innovative Denver Stories (honoring area luminaries) and myriad of events and interactions that extend and enrich the experience of our audiences.
Now in its 33rd season, Iowa City's Riverside Theatre is one of only three professional, Equity affiliated theatre companies in Iowa. Its year-round programming includes an indoor season of mostly contemporary works, an outdoor summer season of classic works, and education and outreach programs for all ages. A proud Core Member of NNPN since 2011, the theatre's long-time commitment to developing new work has resulted in over 20 premieres of original scripts.
In 2004, a new partnership reunited the Santa Rosa Players and Actors Theatre under one board of directors. Together they renovated the 107-year-old Del Monte cannery into the 6th Street Playhouse, which houses a 185-seat mainstage (The G. K. Hardt Theatre) and a 99-seat black box theatre (The Studio Theatre). 6th Street Playhouse is a performing arts organization that produces live theatre and provides education programs of the highest quality that engage, delight, and inspire the diverse communities of the North Bay region. 6th Street Playhouse is the central hub of the Sonoma County arts scene. It is known throughout the region for its high level of artistry, its professionalism, its inclusive educational opportunities and the bravery of its approach to work both new and old. In its 2011-2012 Season, under the new direction of Artistic Director, Craig Miller, and Managing Director, Michael Fontaine, the 6th Street Playhouse was named "Best Theatre Troupe" and "2012 Theatre of the Year" by the North Bay Bohemian and BroadwayWorld.com San Francisco.
The National New Play Network (NNPN) is the country's alliance of non-profit professional theatres that champions the development, production, and continued life of new plays. Since its founding in 1998, NNPN has commissioned eighteen playwrights, provided nearly twenty MFA graduates with paid residencies, and supported over 100 productions nationwide through its innovative Continued Life of New Plays Fund, which creates "Rolling World Premieres" of new plays. Hundreds of artists have gained employment through these efforts all over the country where NNPN Member Theatres are located. In addition to The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, NNPN receives support from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, the Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust, the Shubert Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts. The Network is comprised of a relatively small group of Core Members, who pioneer and implement collaborative new play strategies, and a growing group of Associate Members, who disseminate the Network's programs and strategies nationwide. Visit www.nnpn.org.
NNPN's Core Member theatres are: Actor's Express Theatre (Atlanta), Actor's Theatre of Charlotte (Charlotte, NC), Borderlands Theater (Tucson), Contemporary American Theater Festival (Shepherdstown, WV), Curious Theatre Company (Denver), Florida Studio Theatre (Sarasota), Fountain Theatre (LA), Horizon Theatre Company (Atlanta), InterAct Theatre Company (Philadelphia), Kitchen Dog Theater (Dallas), Magic Theatre (San Francisco), Marin Theatre Company (Mill Valley, CA), Mixed Blood Theatre Company (Minneapolis), New Jersey Repertory Company (Long Branch), New Repertory Theatre (Watertown, MA), New Theatre (Coral Gables, FL), Orlando Shakespeare Theater (Orlando), Performance Network Theatre (Ann Arbor, MI), Phoenix Theatre (Indianapolis), Playwright's Theatre of New Jersey (Madison), Prop Thtr Group (Chicago), Riverside Theatre (Iowa City, IA), Salt Lake Acting Company (Salt Lake City), San Diego REP (San Diego), Southern Rep (New Orleans), Unicorn Theatre (Kansas City, MO), and Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company (Washington, DC).