InterAct Announces Winners of Annual Play Commission Program

By: Jan. 28, 2014

InterAct Theatre Company recently announced its annual recipients of their new play commissions and development awards. Since 2008, InterAct has both monetarily and artistically supported the development of new plays with their 20/20 Commissions. The recipients of this year's 20/20 New Play Commissions are Rehana Lew Mirza (far left) for her play Neighborhood Watch, and Idris Goodwin (middle) for Sanctity. Along with the New Play Commission, InterAct awarded George Brant (far right) a Development Award for his play, Miracle: A Tragedy. Brant's play Grounded is currently being produced in New York. A full list of this year's finalists can be found by visiting

Rehana Lew Mirza, a member of the largest Asian-American playwright residency program, won the 20/20 Commission in conjunction with a $10,000 grant from the National New Play Network. "I'm thrilled to be working on an NNPN commission for InterAct Theatre called Neighborhood Watch, a play about a suburban family man so convinced that his neighbor is a terrorist that he inadvertently begins terrorizing his own family in his effort to prove it," states Lew Mirza. "This commission pushes me forward as an artist, while also empowering me to share an often unseen perspective about Muslims in America, thus creating conversations that are desperately needed."

A second winner for the New Play Commission is Humana Festival participant, Idris Goodwin. "The 20/20 Commission is a major growth opportunity for me as writer and a professional. I was a finalist last year. So to be awarded this year feels amazing. It also affirms all those overused adages about not giving up - and I do love me some adages," states Goodwin, who found inspiration in real Philadelphia events. "In Sanctity, the partnership of two homicide detectives becomes strained when an abortion-related murder investigation unearths their starkly opposing beliefs."

Recipients of New Play Commissions and Development Awards are supported through new play development activities, including dramaturgical consultations with InterAct's artistic staff, public and private readings with professional actors, and multi-day workshops with professional artists. This year's commission winners were whittled down from 85 submissions, and the development award winner was chosen from 140 submissions.

Initiated as part of InterAct's 20th Anniversary season (2007/08), the 20/20 Commissions program seeks to incentivize playwrights to explore the most important and dramatically interesting stories, characters, issues and ideas of our time.

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