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Big Bridge Theatre Consortium Commissions Arlene Hutton As Inaugural Playwright

Big Bridge Theatre Consortium Commissions Arlene Hutton As Inaugural Playwright

The Big Bridge Theatre Consortium (BBTC), a group of 12 university theatre departments dedicated to peace and interfaith dialogue have joined together to commission Arlene Hutton as their inaugural playwright.

In July of 2017, the consortium commissioned Arlene Hutton, best known as the author of The Nibroc Trilogy to write its first play dealing with interfaith issues as they pertain to peace and justice on a global scale. BBTC will host Hutton on the campus of George Fox University (Newberg, OR) in June of 2018 to work through the first draft with professional actors. The weeklong workshop will give Hutton the opportunity to work intensely on the play for a full week with a team of professional artists dedicated to new play development.

Hutton will then have another full year to finish her final draft of the play. At that point, all 12 consortium members will have a year to produce the play on their campuses before the play is released to theatres across the country for production.

In addition to The Nibroc Trilogy, Hutton is a playwright whose plays have been presented at FringeNYC, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Off- and Off-Off-Broadway and at theatres across the U.S., in London and throughout the world. Her works include Letters to Sala, I Dream Before I Take the Stand, As It Is In Heaven, The Three Sisters Brontë and Happy Worst Day Ever, commissioned by Cincinnati Playhouse and winner of the 2010 Macy's New Play Prize.

A member of Ensemble Studio Theatre, an alumna of New Dramatists and a resident playwright at Access Theatre, Hutton is a three-time winner of the Samuel French Short Play Festival, an eight-time finalist for the Heideman Award, a finalist for the Francesca Primus Prize, and recipient of the Lippman and Calloway Awards, an EST Sloan Commission and a NYFA grant. Her residencies include the Australian National Playwrights Conference, New Harmony Project, Blue Mountain Center, MacDowell Colony and Yaddo. Hutton's scripts are published by Dramatists Play Service, Samuel French, Playscripts and Overlook Press. She is on the faculty for the Sewanee School of Letters and teaches playwriting at The Barrow Group in New York City.

Rhett Luedtke, BBTC's artistic director and a professor at George Fox said, "I'm really excited that Arlene Hutton has accepted our first commission. We often ask our theatre students, 'How are you going to use your gifts to make a difference in this world?' Hutton's career as a playwright and her willingness to tackle difficult subject matter with grace and nuance is a great example of how to do just that."

"Imagine 12 universities across the country producing the same play and inviting their communities to engage the difficult issues within the play with thoughtfulness and empathy. I'm thrilled that Arlene Hutton is our first playwright, and that we are off to a great start."

In addition to George Fox, participating schools include Carroll College (Helena, Montana), Earlham College (Richmond, Indiana), Gonzaga University (Spokane, Washington), Hope College (Holland, Michigan), North Park University (Chicago), Point Loma Nazarene University (San Diego), Samford University (Homewood, Alabama), Seattle Pacific University (Seattle), Sioux Falls University (Sioux Falls, South Dakota), the University of Notre Dame (North Bend, Indiana) and the University of Portland (Portland, Oregon).

Consortium members have committed to the development of three plays, each written from different points of view within the three major Abrahamic traditions: Christian, Jewish and Muslim. As Hutton hails from the Christian tradition, BBTC will commission a playwright who can represent the Muslim tradition in July 2019, and a playwright who can represent the Jewish tradition in July 2021.

The BBTC's members hail from a variety of Christian denominations (American Baptist, Catholic [Jesuit & Holy Cross traditions], Evangelical Covenant, Free Methodist, Nazarene, Reformed and Quaker). As an ecumenical consortium, the BBTC is dedicated to peace and interfaith dialogue between all religious traditions.

To learn more about the Big Bridge Theatre Consortium and how you can support their work, contact Luedtke at 503-554-2632 or go to

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