Wyoming Theater Festival 2019 Season Announced

Plans are underway for Wyoming Theater Festival (WyoTF) to return for a 2019 summer season - and beyond - continuing its commitment to "New Plays in the New West," artistic director DannyLee Hodnett announced. Building on a tradition that began in 2015, the 2019 Wyoming Theater Festival will take place Aug. 8-18, 2019 in Sheridan, WY. Artists, titles and venues will be announced at a later date.

WyoTF invites playwrights, actors and other theater artists from around the state, region and country, producing developmental workshops and readings of new American plays and musicals. A not-for-profit organization, its mission is "connecting theater and community by fostering the development of new and revitalized theatrical works." Starting in 2019, WyoTF will be an annual event following the current 2018 hiatus.

"A lot has been learned over the last few years," artistic director Hodnett said. "WyoTF is taking a break from production this summer in order to put what it has learned into practice. We're gathering facts about our past seasons and listening to the community here in Sheridan and in our wide family of supporters and artists. We're working to grow Wyoming Theater Festival so that it not only resumes in 2019 but continues annually without interruption from that point on."

As in past seasons, WyoTF 2019 is expected to feature a combination of fully produced public "development" productions of new plays and musicals as well as public script-in-hand readings of new works, offering audiences a glimpse into the theater-making process.

Special events such as talkbacks, after-show parties, lectures and discussions will again be part of the mix in 2019 and beyond, allowing Sheridan residents and visitors to interact with professional actors, writers, designers and directors from around the nation. WyoTF's relationship with Actors' Equity Association and with prominent American regional theater companies will also continue.

In addition to its artistic mission to help enrich the cultural landscape of the West, WyoTF exists to bolster the local economy and state economy. It is estimated that over $200,000 in economic activity resulted from the theater festival's activities in 2017. Many of these dollars came from cultural tourists who traveled to Sheridan and attended festival events. In 2017 alone, 23% of WyoTF attendees were from out of town. The festival plans to grow this percentage over future seasons, thereby increasing its economic impact.

Last season, in 2017, three new works were developed in full workshop stagings: Another Roll of the Dice, a new musical by Mark Saltzman, produced in by special arrangement with the Frank Loesser and Damon Runyon estates; Hollywood, Nebraska by Kenneth Jones; and The Resolute by Gabrielle Sinclair. Dice was further developed at the Boston Conservatory Theater earlier this summer and will receive its world premiere at California's North Coast Rep in July 2019.

In association with New York City's Roundabout Theatre Company, playwrights Jenny Rachel Weiner and Victor Lesniewski were given a WyoTF residency in 2017, providing writing time and readings of their new plays jason&julia and Tentative City, respectively. Also in 2017: Rachel Bublitz heard her play Let's Fix Andy! in a reading, musician-writer twins Jack and Benny Lipson presented a reading of their musical Miranda, Please!, and Stephanie Fagan's The Witch Cage had a reading.

Discussions are currently being held with theater companies and talents from around the nation. Once solidified, the 2019 season will be announced at the newly refreshed website wyomingtheaterfestival.com, which contains a wealth of information about the festival.

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