Three NNPN Rolling World Premieres Begin This Week - HERLAND, READY STEADY YETI GO, and JUMP
National New Play Network, the country's alliance of nonprofit theaters that collaborate in innovative ways to develop, produce, and extend the life of new plays, announces three new Rolling World Premiere productions opening this week. Grace McLeod's Herland concludes its Roll at Greenway Court in Los Angeles, CA (May 31 - June 23;); meanwhile, Ready Steady Yeti Go by David Jacobi also wraps up its Roll in California at Venice's Rogue Machine Theatre (June 1 - July 29). Across the country in Atlanta, GA, Jump by Charly Evon Simpson continues its Roll at Actor's Express (June 1 - June 23).
An NNPN Rolling World Premiere (RWP) models a process for developing and producing new plays that results in stronger work overall and the momentum needed for a play to join the repertoire of frequently produced new American works. Each Rolling World Premiere connects three or more NNPN Member Theaters that choose to mount the same new play within a 12-month period, allowing the playwright to develop the work with a new creative team in each theater's community. To date, NNPN has championed RWPs with over one million dollars in financial support. Alumni plays have received hundreds of subsequent productions, recognition in markets across the world, been nominated for the Pulitzer Prize, won Steinberg/ATCA, Stavis, PEN and Blackburn awards, and been adapted into feature films.
After graduating from high school, Natalie gets a summer internship working for Jean, a recently-divorced woman in her 70s who has no plans to move into a typical retirement home. Natalie helps Jean and her two best friends design an alternative: a DIY utopia where they can live out the next chapter of their lives. They plot the future together inside Jean's garage, where relics of Jean's ex-husband (and his locally famous Bruce Springsteen cover band) still linger. Herland is a play about women growing up, growing old, and rocking out to the beat of their own drums.
Grace McLeod is a playwright and screenwriter based in Chicago and New York. She has developed her full-length plays with First Floor Theater, Greenhouse Theater Center, The New Colony, and Commission Theatre, and has had the pleasure of writing short plays for Chimera Ensemble, American Blues Theater, and the Victory Gardens College Night series, among others. Grace was the recipient of the University of Chicago's 2018 Olga and Paul Menn Foundation Prize for Playwriting and a 2017-2018 playwright-in-residence at the Greenhouse Theater Center as part of the Trellis Residency Initiative, where she developed her play HERLAND, which will have its National New Play Network Rolling World Premiere this season at MOXIE Theatre in San Diego, Redtwist Theatre in Chicago, and Greenway Court Theatre in Los Angeles. She was a 2013-2014 Tribeca Film Fellow and wrote and directed the short film UNDER THE TABLE, which premiered during the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival, and co-wrote and produced LOCAL/EXPRESS, an experimental short film that screened across Times Square as part of the Midnight Moment Series, the world's largest, longest-running digital art exhibition. Grace is a recent graduate of the University of Chicago. She is represented by Evan Morse at the Gersh Agency.
Greenway Court was initially built by Fairfax High School students in 1939 as a class project and used as a Social Hall by both students and faculty. It sat virtually unused for many years until it was finally renovated into a professional 99-seat theatre by Greenway Arts Alliance in 2000, to benefit both the school and the surrounding community. Greenway believes in the power of the arts to inspire and stimulate; it commits to passing on knowledge and experience to the next generation; it seeks a genuine, deep engagement with its community by producing and presenting theatre, spoken word, media arts and dance performances that represent and reflect the unheard voices and rich diversity of Los Angeles. greenwaycourt.org
READY STEADY YETI GO
In the aftermath of a hate crime, Junior High pariah Goon befriends one of the victims, Carly, the only black girl in school. While the town plans a rally "to destroy racism forever," a youthful romance blossoms and the two must navigate the pitfalls of falling in love while dealing with the town's prying eyes, especially those of Wikipedia Jones, the crime-solving son of the Chief of Police. Passive-aggressive antics, bad parental advice, and ill-informed gestures of kindness create a "White Guilt Perfect Storm" that threatens to make the course of true love a rocky road indeed.
David's plays have been performed and developed throughout the U.S. and in China, including Sideshow Theatre, Ojai Playwrights Conference, Portland Center Stage's JAW Festival, RISK IS THIS, Great Plains Theatre Conference, Kennedy Center MFA Playwright's Workshop, SLC Playwrights Lab and PlayPenn. He is a winner of the Holland New Voices Award, Kennedy Center Theatre for Young Audiences Award, and Relentless Award semifinalist. David's play Ready Steady Yeti Go is currently receiving a Rolling World Premiere through NNPN. David was the 2015 Shank Fellow at Pig Iron Theatre Company and is currently an Interact Core Writer and commissioned by EST/Sloan and South Coast Rep. He received a BFA in Dramatic Writing from Purchase College and an MFA from UC San Diego. davidjacobi.net
Rogue Machine Theatre was founded in 2008 as a performing arts organization to serve the greater Los Angeles community in developing and nurturing emerging playwrights, introducing important contemporary works to Southern California and engaging diverse audiences by presenting vital, invigorating productions. Rogue Machine only produces world premieres of new plays, primarily by Los Angeles based playwrights, and plays new to Los Angeles, including American, West Coast, and Regional premieres of significant contemporary theatrical works. Rogue Machine seeks to be a theatre of ideas and imagination, a theatre which mirrors and examines contemporary culture, a theatre which nurtures contemporary playwrights, and a theatre whose work continually engages the community and creates a dialogue which resonates after the curtain closes. Rogue Machine also considers building an audience for the future to be an important part of its mission and seeks to attract and serve a younger, more diverse Los Angeles adult audience. roguemachinetheatre.net
A bridge that spans a deep gorge draws tourists, joggers, and more than a few wandering souls. Reeling from the death of her mother, twenty-something Fay comes to the bridge looking for solace and a good place to vape, but what she finds is a journey of self-discovery. In the whimsically theatrical world of Jump, lights flicker, hearts heal - and you never know what surprises will literally fall from the sky.
Charly Evon Simpson's plays include Behind the Sheet (NYTimes Critic's Pick; Nominated for the OCC's John Gassner Award), Jump, Scratching the Surface, form of a girl unknown, it's not a trip it's a journey, and more. Her work has been seen and/or developed with Ensemble Studio Theatre, Ars Nova, The Lark, P73, PlayMakers Repertory Company, Chautauqua Theater Company, Salt Lake Acting Company, Milagro, and others. Jump is in the process of receiving a NNPN Rolling World Premiere with productions at Actor's Express (Atlanta) and Shrewd Productions (Austin) still to come in 2019. form of a girl unknown will be having its world premiere this fall at Salt Lake Acting Company. Charly is currently a member of WP Theater's 2018-2020 Lab, The New Georges Jam, Primary Stages' Dorothy Strelsin New American Writers Group, and she's The Pack's current playwright-in-residence. She has received commissions from Ensemble Studio Theatre/Sloan, Manhattan Theatre Club/Sloan, The Flea, and others. Charly is a former member of SPACE on Ryder Farm's The Working Farm, Clubbed Thumb's Early Career Writers' Group, Ensemble Studio Theatre's Youngblood, and Pipeline Theatre Company's PlayLab. She is currently an adjunct lecturer at SUNY Purchase. She received her BA from Brown University, a master's in Women's Studies from University of Oxford, New College, and her MFA in Playwriting from Hunter College. www.charlyevonsimpson.com
Actor's Express challenges and reflects contemporary human experiences in an inclusive environment. They seek to jumpstart individual transformations through the shared adventure of live performances, which range from daringly provocative to audaciously hilarious. Founded in 1988, The Express has proven itself the most adventurous producing theater in Atlanta, with work that creates emotional connections between audience and artist, catalyzing discussion on the complex issues of the contemporary human experience. actors-express.com