Arizona Theatre Company, Sean Daniels Partner With Florida Studio Theatre For THE PLAYWRIGHTS PROJECT
Arizona Theatre Company (ATC) and Artistic Director Sean Daniels will partner with Florida Studio Theatre (FST) in developing a new play, Tampa, as part of The Playwrights Project, FST's newly launched artistic initiative featuring 32 of the nation's top playwrights, sketch comedy writers and musical theatre developers.
Tampa, which follows two brothers who, though they are bound by blood, take different paths in life, will be among the new plays brought to fruition nationwide through the project.
The Playwrights Project was "conceived within the first few days of the theatre shutting down due to COVID-19," said FST Producing Artistic Director Richard Hopkins.
"Three days after closing the theatre, I had a revelation about Shakespeare-he, like every good artist, instead of following the dark and writing about the plagues of his time, took the road less traveled and followed the light. He wrote, without judgment, about the wonder of humankind. Which made me think that now is the time for FST to inspire the creation of plays. To ask playwrights to write like Shakespeare and reveal humanity's complexities without judgment."
Daniels, who attended high school and Florida State University in The Sunshine State but fell in love with theatre growing up in Mesa and attending ATC productions, called the concept "groundbreaking in its creative possibilities," adding that "Arizona Theatre Company is excited to partner with organizations that are creating new work that we'll be watching for years to come. We're dedicated to being a part of the national conversation, and we do that by working with others we respect so much."
Among other artists partnering with FST are Thomas Gibbons (Permanent Collection, Bee-luther-hatchee), playwright in residence for Philadelphia's InterAct Theatre Company, who will work with FST Associate Director At-Large Kate Alexander on a new play exploring the dilemmas that arise with the prevalence of digital manipulation; Kenneth Jones (Alabama Story), a New York-based playwright, librettist and lyricist, who will work with Alexander to create an original play about a family business in Southern America that is at a crossroads; Gabriel Barre, an internationally acclaimed director who directed Amazing Grace on Broadway and in Washington, D.C.; Deborah Brevoort, an award-winning author of plays, musicals and opera librettos best known for The Women of Lockerbie, which is produced internationally; writer, producer and Emmy Award nominee Jason Odell Williams (Handle With Care, Church & State); Carole J. Bufford, one of the most in-demand young performers in New York's cabaret and jazz scene; and actress and award-wining playwright Sandy Rustin.
Funding for the project comes from the Paycheck Protection Program with material generated to be considered for future FST Mainstage, Cabaret, Sketch Comedy and Children's Theatre programs.