Palm Beach Dramaworks Launches New Year/New Plays Festival
The new year is a time of new beginnings. Palm Beach Dramaworks will usher in 2019 with the introduction of a program that gives the general public a first look at plays so new, they're still evolving. The Dramaworkshop's first-ever New Year/New Plays Festival will take place over the weekend of January 4-6, when five plays will receive readings on PBD's mainstage. Saturday'sprogram will also include a discussion, "Regional Theatre and the Future of American Plays," featuring panelists of industry professionals from major organizations.
The New Year/New Plays Festival provides playwrights with the opportunity to hear their words performed in front of a live audience, which is instrumental to the development and growth of a play. And audiences not only have a chance to feel the excitement of seeing something brand new, but to offer invaluable feedback to the playwrights.
The plays are The Captives by Barbara Blumenthal-Ehrlich, Drift by William Francis Hoffman, With by Carter Lewis, Ordinary Americans by Joseph McDonough, and Red, White, Black and Blue by Michael McKeever. With the exception of Ordinary Americans, the plays were chosen from among some 300 received by The Dramaworkshop, managed by Bruce Linser, during the 2018 submission period. Ordinary Americans was commissioned by PBD for a future mainstage production.
"I am very excited about the Festival and I hope audiences will share my enthusiasm for this invaluable event," said PBD Producing Artistic Director William Hayes. "From the time this company was founded, one of my goals was for PBD to be an incubator of new plays and a producer of world premieres. I knew that could only happen after we were well-established and thriving, and as soon as the opportunity presented itself, in the fall of 2014, we launched The Dramaworkshop. We made the call for submissions, and the response from playwrights around the country was inspiring. The number of submissions has grown every year, underscoring the need for The Dramaworkshop and the New Year/New Plays Festival. Simply put, new work is vital to the future of theatre. The economics of Broadway discourage Broadway producers from championing plays that have not previously been done elsewhere, which makes it imperative for regional theatres to identify, encourage, nurture, and bring to life exciting new plays. And I've found that audiences are hungry for the sense of discovery that this Festival will provide. They could be seeing the next Indecent or Fences, two plays that PBD is performing this season that were developed at regional theatres."
For more information, visit palmbeachdramaworks.org/dramaworkshop,
Photo Credit: Beth Kelly