NNPN Rolling World Premieres Roll Into Iowa City And Philadelphia!
National New Play Network, the country's alliance of nonprofit theaters that collaborate in innovative ways to develop, produce, and extend the life of new plays, announces the continuation of two Rolling World Premieres: Apple Season by E.M. Lewis, which opens in Iowa City at Riverside Theatre (running March 29-April 20, 2019), and Gabriel Jason Dean's Heartland at Philadelphia's InterAct Theatre Company (running March 29-April 21, 2019).
An NNPN Rolling World Premiere (RWP) models a process for developing and producing new plays that results in stronger work and the momentum needed for a play to join the repertoire of frequently produced new American works. Each Rolling World Premiere connects three or more NNPN Member Theaters that choose to mount the same new play within a 12-month period, allowing the playwright to develop the work with a new creative team in each theater's community. To date, NNPN has championed RWPs with over one million dollars in financial support. Alumni plays have received hundreds of subsequent productions, recognition in markets across the world, been nominated for the Pulitzer Prize, won Steinberg/ATCA, Stavis, PEN and Blackburn awards, and been adapted into feature films.
Lissie and her brother, Roger, fled their family farm when they were both still in high school. Today, they've come back for their father's funeral. When Billy -- who they both knew when they were kids -- offers to buy the farm, it sets all three of them tumbling down a rabbit hole of memory and grief, as they try to let go of a tangled past that refuses to let go of them.
E. M. Lewis is an award-winning playwright, teacher, and opera librettist. Her work has been produced around the world, and published by Samuel French. She received an Edgerton Award for the world premiere of her epic play Magellanica at Artists Repertory Theater, the Steinberg Award for Song of Extinction and the Primus Prize for Heads from the American Theater Critics Association, the Ted Schmitt Award from the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle for outstanding writing of a world premiere play for Song of Extinction, a Hodder Fellowship from Princeton University, a playwriting fellowship from the New Jersey State Arts Commission, and the 2016 Oregon Literary Fellowship in Drama. Now Comes the Night was part of the Women's Voices Theater Festival in Washington DC, and was published in the anthology Best Plays from Theater Festivals 2016. The Gun Show has since been produced in more than thirty theaters across the country, as well as the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland, and was published in The Best American Short Plays 2015-2016 and by Samuel French. In 2019, Apple Season will have a rolling world premiere at New Jersey Repertory Theater, Riverside Theater, and Moving Arts. How the Light Gets In will have its world premiere at Boston Court Pasadena in the fall of 2019. Other plays by Lewis include: Infinite Black Suitcase, The Study (aka Reading to Vegetables), True Story, and You Can See All the Stars (a play for college students commissioned by the Kennedy Center). An opera that Lewis wrote with composer Theo Popov will be produced at Willamette University this year, after its debut last year at University of Maryland. Lewis is currently working on a full-length, family-friendly opera with composer Evan Meier, commissioned by American Lyric Theater, called Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Fallen Giant, and a big, new political play set in her home state of Oregon called The Great Divide. She is a proud member of LineStorm Playwrights and the Dramatists Guild. She lives on her family's farm in Oregon.
Riverside Theatre is a professional company that connects artists and audiences through intimate, engaging, and provocative productions from the classics to new works, and provides an artistic home for regional theatre professionals. Riverside Theatre was founded by Ron Clark, Jody Hovland and Bruce Wheaton in 1981 and is now in its 38th season. From September through April, Riverside produces a full season of contemporary plays at our theatre on Gilbert Street in downtown Iowa City. In June and July, we produce a summer season of Free Shakespeare at the Riverside Festival Stage in Lower City Park along with ensemble-based new and classical works in our Gilbert Street space. Riverside has produced more than 30 world premieres and is the only resident professional theatre in Iowa City, a UNESCO City of Literature. riversidetheatre.org
Dr. Harold Banks, an aging professor of Literature and Afghan Studies in Nebraska, is reeling after his adopted daughter Getee is killed by the Taliban while teaching children outside Kabul. When Afghan refugee Nazrullah arrives at his door with an incredible story and carrying Getee's prized books, the two men form an unlikely bond. Each is searching for his own brand of forgiveness, but as their friendship develops Naz accidentally exposes an unexpected source of Dr. Banks' guilt. How might a CIA propaganda operation over 30 years ago have contributed to Getee's death? Inspired by true events, Heartland is a story of healing, connection, and the devastating unintentional consequences of our actions.
ABOUT Gabriel Jason Dean
Gabriel Jason Dean is an award-winning playwright and screenwriter whose critically-acclaimed plays include In Bloom (Kennedy Center Paula Vogel Award, Laurents / Hatcher Award Finalist, Princess Grace Award Runner-Up); Qualities of Starlight (Broadway Blacklist, Kesselring Nomination, Essential Theatre New Play Prize, B. Iden Payne Awards for Outstanding Comedy & Best Original Script); Terminus (James Tait Black Prize Finalist, B. Iden Payne Awards for Outstanding Drama & Best Original Script, Austin Critic's Table Award Best Production), Heartland (National New Play Network Rolling World Premiere, InterAct 20/20 Commission), The Transition of Doodle Pequeño (American Alliance for Theatre & Education Distinguished Play Award, Kennedy Center TYA Award, New England Theatre Conference Aurand Harris Award); and others. He has written book and lyrics for the musicals Mario & The Comet and Our New Town. His plays have been produced or developed throughout at places such as New York Theatre Workshop, Manhattan Theatre Club, McCarter Theatre, Araca Group, The Lark, The Flea, The Civilians, Oregon Shakespeare, The Kennedy Center, The Amoralists, Geva Theatre Center, PlayPenn, Interact, The Playwrights' Center, Davenport Theatrical, Stage Left, The VORTEX, Theatre , Aurora Theatre, Seattle Children's Theatre, Dallas Children's Theatre, People's Light and Theatre, Dad's Garage Theatre, Actor's Express, Horizon Theatre, Source Festival, Essential Theatre, and the Illinois Shakespeare Festival. Gabriel received the Hodder Fellowship from Princeton University, Dramatist's Guild Fellowship, and the Sallie B. Goodman / McCarter Theatre Fellowship. His scripts are published through Samuel French, Dramatic Publishing and Playscripts. He is on faculty for Spalding University's Brief-Residency MFA Program, is a Visiting Writer in Residence at Muhlenberg College, an alum of The Civilians R&D Group, an Affiliated Writer at The Playwrights' Center, an Associate Artist with Monk Parrots and a Usual Suspect at New York Theatre Workshop. Current commissions with Geva Theatre and The Amoralists. MFA: UT-Austin Michener Center for Writers. He grew up in Chatsworth, GA, a mill town in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. He currently lives in Brooklyn, NY. gabrieljasondean.com
ABOUT INTERACT THEATRE COMPANY
Founded in 1988, InterAct is dedicated to presenting new and contemporary plays that explore the political, social and cultural issues of our time. The company produces four plays annually and is actively involved in the development of new plays, workshops, and playwright support, as well as cultivating prize-winning writers, championing world premiere work, and creating community partnerships. interacttheatre.org
National New Play Network is the country's alliance of nonprofit theaters that collaborate in innovative ways to develop, produce, and extend the life of new plays. Since its founding in 1998, NNPN has supported more than 250 productions nationwide through its innovative National New Play Network Rolling World Premiere program, which provides playwright and production support for new works at its Member Theaters. Additional programs - its annual National Conference, National Showcase of New Plays, and MFA Playwrights Workshop; the NNPN Annual and Smith Prize commissions; its residencies for playwrights, producers and directors; and the organization's member-accessed online information sessions, Collaboration, Festival, and Travel banks - have helped cement the Network's position as a vital force in the new play landscape. Its most recent project, the New Play Exchange, is changing the way playwrights share their work and others discover it by providing immediate access to information on more than 23,000 new plays by living writers. NNPN's 32 Core and 88 Associate Members - along with the nearly 300 affiliated artists who are its alumni, the thousands of artists and artisans employed annually by its member theaters, and the hundreds of thousands of audience members who see its supported works each year - are creating the new American theater. nnpn.org