terraNOVA Reveals 2014 Groundbreakers Playwrights

terraNOVA Collective has announced the six talented playwrights selected, from a record-breaking number of submissions, for the 2014 Groundbreakers Playwrights Group, a unique playwriting intensive for these individuals to collaborate and cultivate work, meeting once a week for 18 weeks. The artists are ALEXANDRA COLLIER (We Play for the Gods), STEVE DiUBALDO (Coyote and the Origin of Death), SUKARI JONES (The River Is Me), Boo Killebrew (co-founder of CollaborationTown), JORDAN SEAVEY (co-Artistic Director CollaborationTown), and MFONISO UDOFIA (2013 Sundance Theatre Lab Resident Playwright and a 2013 Summer Yale Resident).

Jessi D. Hill, Associate Artistic Director of terraNOVA Collective and the curator of the Groundbreakers program explains the exciting development which will occur over the next six months: "The Groundbreakers Playwrights Group is now the heart and soul of terraNOVA. Five years ago, we founded Groundbreakers to create a diverse and dynamic community of artists around our passion for nurturing innovative new plays. This group is now the only playwrights group in NYC that work directly with the playwright to set three draft deadlines, to cast their play with professional actors, and to structure feedback around their individualized needs. Meetings are weekly, attendance is mandatory, and as a result, each playwright becomes fully invested in the life of each play. Through this unique collaborative environment, a strong support network between the Groundbreakers playwrights emerges. After the 18-week program playwrights group, terraNOVA continues to work with each writer over time to identify potential producers and supporters of these plays. I am enthusiastically looking forward to working with all these incredible playwrights."

The Groundbreakers Playwrights Group has inspired (and now falls under) the umbrella of a new terraNOVA program entitled Groundworks. Through Groundworks, terraNOVA provides internal & public developmental readings and workshop production opportunities for Groundbreakers playwrights, as well as other playwrights who need support and a stage toward finding productions and potential producers.

Jennifer Conley Darling, Producing Artistic Director, states, "In our 10th and 11th seasons, we have assessed our values as a company and are united wholeheartedly in our objectives when collaborating on new work. We believe that theatre?s highest purpose is to entertain by engaging our artists and audiences in examinations and discussions of the human condition, crossing lines of race, status, gender, sexuality, status, and culture, maintaining a global perspective in all facets of our art. We believe in the power of creating community around our art-making and actively seek opportunities for the new theatre we cultivate to expand our artist community and our audiences. We celebrate the energetic diversity of live performance by supporting a refreshing variety of dynamic and contrasting works that spark remarkable physical and spiritual challenges for our artists and audiences alike."

terraNOVA Collective's rich NYC history began in the late-90s, among such companies as LAByrinth, Partial Comfort and Vampire Cowboys, all of whom are dedicated to new plays and playwrights. terraNOVA provides a stage to hundreds of emerging and established artists each year, giving each individual the freedom to take risks and develop their work in front of an audience. terraNOVA is one of the few companies in NYC dedicated to providing a forum for bold, controversial and challenging theatrical stories from first draft to full production.

The Groundbreakers Playwrights Group Alumni include Halley Feiffer (How To Make Friends and Kill Them at Rattlestick), Susan Ferrara (Reverie Productions Next Generation Playwriting Award, New Dramatists Semi-Finalist), Donnetta Lavinia Grays (National Playwrights Conference Finalist - Eugene O?Neill Theater Centre, Doric Wilson Independent Playwright Award), Andrew Kramer (Emerging Writers Group at Public Theater), Jennifer Lane (Semi-Finalist of the O'Neill Playwriting Conference, Susan Smith Blackburn nominee, Recipient of the Alec Baldwin Fellowship at Singers Forum), Matthew Paul Olmos (Princess Grace Fellow in Playwriting, selected by Sam Shepard as La Mama E.T.C.'s Emerging Artist Award), Lynn Rosen (Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park/2012 Macy's New Play Prize, under commission with EST/Sloan Foundation and New Georges), Jen Silverman (2013 Yale Drama Series Award, 2012 Jane Chambers Award, Cherry Lane Mentor?s Project 2014), Susan Soon He Stanton (Emerging Writers Group at Public Theater), Andrea Thome (Pinkolandia developed through the Lark?s Launching New Plays program, Fellowships at NYFA, New Voices/New York (Lark), the City of Oakland, INTAR, New York University MFA Fellow), Leah Nanako Winkler (Youngblood at EST, affiliate artist at New Georges, author of NAGORIYUKI & Other Short Plays), and Anna Ziegler (STAGE award, Weissberger Award finalist, Edgerton New American Play Award, Douglas T. Ward Playwriting Prize), among others.

For more information on the GROUNDBREAKERS PLAYWRIGHTS GROUP, visit www.terranovacollective.org.

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