National New Play Network Announces Lineup for 11th Annual National Showcase of New Plays
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, will produce six new plays in staged reading format at its National Showcase of New Plays, hosted December 6 - 8 in San Diego, CA by San Diego REP. A committee of artistic, managing and literary leaders from across the country selected plays by Nathan Alan Davis, Diana Grisanti, Reina Hardy, James Ijames, Stephen Spotswood, and David Wells for the eleventh installment of the Showcase.
Dontrell, Who Kissed the Sea by Nathan Alan Davis, submitted by CENTERSTAGE. Eighteen-year-old Dontrell Jones the Third decides that it is his duty and destiny to venture into the Atlantic Ocean in search of an ancestor lost during the Middle Passage. But his family is not at all ready to abandon its prized son to the waters of a mysterious and haunting past. Blending poetry, humor, wordplay and ritual, Dontrell, Who Kissed the Sea explores the lengths and depths we must go in order to free ourselves from history's wrongs.
River City by Diana Grisanti, submitted by Actor's Theatre of Charlotte. Shaken by her father's death, Mary sets off to uncover three generations' worth of secrets buried in the West End of Louisville, Kentucky. River City charts Mary's discoveries, which span four decades, and investigate race, memory, and the ghosts that haunt one American family. River City will receive its world premiere production at Actor's Theatre of Charlotte in the fall of 2014.
The Claire Play by Reina Hardy, nominated from the MFA Playwrights Workshop. Claire Leverrier, a poet haunted by the death of her childhood crush, reveals the secrets of the universe using a bicycle light and puppets. The Claire Play is a romance. Or is it a metaphor? Either way, Claire might never recover once a star steps from the sky and invites her to a party.
The Most Spectacularly Lamentable Trial of Miz Martha Washington by James Ijames, submitted by PlayPenn. Christmas Eve, 1800. Martha Washington, widow to the first president, is ailing and surrounded by a group of faithful slaves who are all too aware that upon her death they will be emancipated. Drifting off into a fever dream, Martha is taken by a cross section of historical characters through America's past and into its future, played out like a three ring circus by those whose freedom depends upon her end.
Skin and the November Sky by Stephen Spotswood, submitted by Forum Theatre. Harry has spent his entire life retreating from society and immersing himself in his paintings. Gwen, his latest model, lost the use of her legs as a child. Newly arrived in the city, this is her first and possibly only chance to create an autonomous life for herself. Both are damaged and lonely, and struggling to flourish in a world that hasn't been designed with them in mind. From their disastrous last meeting to their unlikely first, this play peels back the layers of a strange and surprising friendship.
County Line by David Wells, submitted by Performance Network Theatre. County Line is the whimsical and profound story of a17-year-old's journey after the arrest of her father. Sentenced to the strict confines of a foster home run by Tanya - who owns the County Line Truck Stop & Travel Center and isn't your typical legal guardian - Lois encounters her first look at the subtle terrors one human can inflict on another, and discovers a lifeline that will ultimately save her. County Line will receive its world premiere production at Performance Network in January of 2014.
The National Showcase of New Plays is a traveling new-play festival that presents the country's best unproduced plays in staged reading format to an intimate gathering of theatre professionals. With artistic leadership from most of our 27 Core Member and 32 Associate Member Theaters in attendance, the Showcase creates a unique, invaluable opportunity for production-ready scripts to be heard by the people most willing to produce them. In addition to artistic and Managing Directors, we invite a group of 100 playwrights, literary managers, playwright agents, and other colleagues from around the country to network with us on behalf of the plays and playwrights we present. The vast majority of the scripts read at the Showcase go on to professional productions within and outside the Network.