In 2014, New Jersey Performing Arts Centerlaunched the Stage Exchange series, where cutting-edge new play development meets insightful community dialogue. Heading into its second year, NJPAC announces an inaugural commissioning program as part of the Stage Exchange. Following the commission period and staged reading at NJPAC, each play will receive a world premiere in the 2016-17 season at a New Jersey theater. With guidance from the New Jersey Theatre Alliance, NJPAC will work with three Partner Theaters - Passage Theatre (Trenton, NJ), Luna Stage (West Orange, NJ), and Playwrights Theatre of New Jersey (Madison, NJ) - to identify and formally commission the plays, and task emerging New Jersey playwrights to create new works relevant to today's Garden State. The selected playwrights include David Lee White, Nikkole Salter, and Chisa Hutchinson.

"The inaugural year of the Stage Exchange was the perfect re-entry for NJPAC into the New Jersey theater community," says Andy Donald, NJPAC's Producer of Artistic Development and Community Programming, who oversees the Stage Exchange. "Each one of our staged readings focused on the state's best playwrights, their newest work, and the issues they care about today. We're thrilled to grow the program in its second year in partnership with some of the state's finest theaters, by not only funding and supporting the creation of new plays from the very beginning, but guaranteeing them the most crucial step of all: a world premiere.

"New Jersey Theatre Alliance is thrilled to partner with NJPAC on the Stage Exchange initiative. We have many theaters in our state devoted to developing new work, and we are delighted that NJPAC has chosen these three for their inaugural year of the commissioning project. We look forward to working with NJPAC and the theatres in promoting this unique collaborative project, and developing a series of programs to highlight the creative process and themes of the commissioned work," says John McEwen, Executive Director of the New Jersey Theatre Alliance.

Along with the commission fee, the chosen writers will receive development space and a staged reading as part of the annual Stage Exchange series at NJPAC, and a guaranteed full-scale world premiere of the work at one of the Partner Theaters as part of the 2016-17 season. In addition to the commissioned plays, the writers will also be NJPAC Teaching Artists, and lead workshops and master classes in each of the partner theaters' communities throughout the 2015-16 season.

Jennifer Tsukayama, Senior Director of Arts Education at NJPAC, adds, "Integrating an educational component into these commissions strengthens the critical connection between the creative process, stage performances and arts training. Placing the commissioned artist in the schools broadens the impact of the project and elevates the relevance of the play and the presenting theater to the larger community."

Complete show information follows; for more information on the selection process, the participating artists and theaters and to discuss how your organization can support Stage Exchange, please contact John Seroff at GreenHousePublicity@gmail.com.

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