Works by Jen Silverman, Stephen Belber & More Set for PlayPenn's 10th New Play Conference

Works by Jen Silverman, Stephen Belber & More Set for PlayPenn's 10th New Play Conference

PlayPenn, Philadelphia's nationally recognized professional new play development organization, will hold its 10th annual New Play Development Conference from July 6 - July 27 at the Adrienne Theater (2030 Sansom Street) in Philadelphia. The Conference, including three weeks of intensive work on six works-in-progress, will offer staged readings open to the public. The six selected playwrights and their plays are:

Stephen Belber, The Dizzy Little Dance of Russell DiFinaldi
Anne Marie Cammarato, A Scar
Emily Schwend, Behind the Motel
Jen Silverman, Wild Blue
Davey Strattan White, Cattle Barn, Hoochie Coo
Rob Zellers, Mr. Wheeler's

Over a period of five months, a field of 600 plays was narrowed by PlayPenn staff and a cadre of nearly 80 readers from the Philadelphia professional theatre community to a list of 30 semi-finalists. Semi-finalist plays and playwrights were narrowed further through an elaborate evaluation process by a group of artistic leaders, literary managers, and dramaturgs from across the country. This year's Conference finalists numbered 13.

"I'm proud that in our tenth year of developing new plays we had a record number of submissions, again demonstrating the need for playwrights to find a supportive environment to develop their work," says Paul Meshejian, founder and Artistic Director of PlayPenn. "The plays developed during our annual Conference have gone on to nearly 200 professional productions across the country and around the world, and we are thrilled to add six more great works to the repertory this summer."

The chosen playwrights will bring their works-in-progress to Philadelphia for in-depth work with a professional director of their choice, dramaturgical and design assistance, and collaboration with professional actors from the Philadelphia theatre community. Prior to the three-week rehearsal period, PlayPenn hosts a three-day retreat for conference playwrights, directors, and dramaturgs, which contributes to the camaraderie and festive atmosphere of what has become Philadelphia's hottest theatrical event each summer. The Conference includes a series of free public staged readings, which routinely command an extensive waiting list. A complete schedule of readings will be released in May at www.playpenn.org and reservations will open to the general public on July 1.

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