World Premieres by Jose Cruz Gonzalez, Matthew Lopez & Lauren Yee Headline 2018 Colorado New Play Summit
The Theatre Company at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts (DCPA) has announced playwrights, dates and details for the 2018 Colorado New Play Summit.
The 13th annual festival will take place over two weekends, February 17-18 and February 23-25, and feature readings of new works by Sigrid Gilmer, David Jacobi, Kemp Powers, and Barbara Seyda, alongside World Premiere productions by José Cruz González, Matthew Lopez, and Lauren Yee.
The Colorado New Play Summit is the DCPA's signature festival dedicated to supporting playwrights and developing new work. Participating playwrights, including many commissioned by the Theatre Company, are given two weeks with professional directors, actors, and dramaturgs to workshop new plays. Industry professionals and the public are invited to experience them as non-staged readings.
Since its founding, the Summit has introduced 53 new plays, over half of which returned to the stage as full Theatre Company productions. Recent Summit World Premieres include Lauren Gunderson's The Book of Will, Tanya Saracho's FADE, Matthew Lopez's The Legend of Georgia McBride, Samuel D. Hunter's The Whale, Theresa Rebeck's The Nest, Marcus Gardley's black odyssey, Karen Zacarias's Just Like Us, Jeffrey Haddow and Neal Hampton's Sense and Sensibility The Musical, and Dick Scanlan's reimagined version of The Unsinkable Molly Brown.
THE NEW PLAYS AND PLAYWRIGHTS:
Mama Metallica by Sigrid Gilmer
Budding playwright Sterling Milburn has always been overshadowed by her fabulous mother Louise. Even when she's holed up in a care facility with Parkinson's, Louise finds a way to steal the spotlight. But with the overly critical eyes of Eugene O'Neill and Tennessee Williams to fuel her rebellion and the frenetic energy of Metallica to help find her voice, Sterling sets out to write a story that is finally her own. As unfortunate histories mesh with hilarious interludes, Sterling must face the truth: her pain, her joys and her life will forever be shaped by and linked to the woman who raised her. Sigrid Gilmer's "wonderfully impudent sense of humor" (USA Today) shines in this joyfully irreverent black comedy that entwines issues of identity with pop culture icons for a truly unique (and head-banging) experience.
American Mariachi by José Cruz González
Directed by James Vásquez
Produced in association with The Old Globe
DCPA Theatre Company Commission developed at the 2016 Colorado New Play Summit
Lucha and Boli are ready to start their own all-female mariachi band, but they'll have to fight a male-dominated music genre and pressure from their families to get it done. This humorous, heartwarming story about music's power to heal and connect includes gorgeous live mariachi music.
The Couches by David Jacobi
DCPA Theatre Company Commission
Ethan Couch has lived in a bubble of pampered privilege for his entire life, so when he's convicted of killing four people while driving drunk, he and his mother Tonya flee to a resort in Mexico rather than face the consequences. In this self-imposed state of limbo, Ethan pays hotel clerk Daniel $1000 to be his friend and help maintain the facade of his prior life. But as the unlikely pair drink, sing, and stumble through the night, delusions of how the world works melt away as quickly as their cash flow. David Jacobi draws from the infamous 2013 "affluenza" court case to weave a surreal story of recklessness and reflection.
Zoey's Perfect Wedding by Matthew Lopez
Directed by Mike Donahue
Disaster after disaster follow one unfortunate bride down the aisle, from brutally honest boozy speeches to a totally incompetent wedding planner. Watch in awe as this wildly funny fiasco destroys her expectations with the realities of commitment, fidelity and growing up.
Christa McAuliffe's Eyes Were Blue by Kemp Powers
DCPA Theatre Company Commission
Even though they share the same DNA, twins Steven and Bernard have lived drastically different lives. The big reason? One is plagued by racism because of his dark skin while the other passes as white. Steven spent his childhood fitting in with fellow classmates and is now a successful attorney. Though he was an extraordinarily bright student who had his eyes on outer space, Bernard's future is as dismal as the Challenger Space Shuttle that once inspired him. As he prepares for trial and potential jail time, Bernard must face his childhood bully behind the judge's bench and confront his brother's advantages. Following his DCPA audience favorite One Night in Miami..., Kemp Powers' piercing meditation on race and privilege targets the circumstances that can change a child's destiny.
Celia, A Slave by Barbara Seyda
In 1855, 19-year-old African American slave Celia was convicted of killing her master and hanged. Her story became known as a notorious failure of justice in American history, but to truly understand its significance, look to the people of Calloway County who experienced it all. Using oral histories and official records as her guide, playwright Barbara Seyda investigates the event with a tapestry of interviews with the dead. This stunningly evocative play illuminates the brutal realities of female slave life in the pre-Civil War South as it resurrects a panorama of real people on stage. The piece won the Yale Drama Series playwriting competition in its current form.
The Great Leap by Lauren Yee
World Premiere directed by Eric Ting
Produced in association with Seattle Repertory Theatre
DCPA Theatre Company Commission developed at the 2017 Colorado New Play Summit
When an American college basketball team travels to Beijing for an exhibition game in 1989, the drama on the court goes deeper than the strain between their countries. Tensions rise right up to the final buzzer as history collides with the action in the stadium.
The 13th Annual Colorado New Play Summit. Dates: Launch Weekend - February 17-18, 2018; Festival Weekend - February 23-25, 2018. All-inclusive Festival Weekend packages including all 4 readings, 3 World Premieres, plus meals and special events are on sale now. Launch weekend events will go on sale in January 2018. Details and packages available at www.denvercenter.org/events/colorado-new-play-summit.
The Denver Center for the Performing Arts (DCPA) is the largest non-profit theatre organization in the nation, presenting Broadway tours and producing theatre, cabaret, musicals, and innovative, multimedia plays. Last season the DCPA engaged with more than 1.2 million visitors, generating a $150 million economic impact in ticket sales alone. Additionally, DCPA Education serves more than 105,000 students of all ages and skill levels through classes, in-school programs, matinees and audience engagement opportunities. Follow the DCPA on social media @DenverCenter and through the Denver Center for the Performing Arts News Center.