New American Playwrights Project Comes to the Utah Shakespeare Festival This August

New American Playwrights Project Comes to the Utah Shakespeare Festival This August

The 20th annual New American Playwrights Project (NAPP) takes the stage at the Utah Shakespeare Festival August 9 to August 31. Three plays will be presented as staged readings in the Auditorium Theatre at 10 a.m. on selected dates. Chosen from hundreds of plays submitted, this year's lineup includes The Greater Love by Frankie Little Hardin, Turquoise Wind by Kurt Proctor, and Play Desdemona by Daniel Hintzsche.

Tickets are $10 each and are on sale now at 1-800-PLAYTIX and

"The main objective of the New American Playwrights Project is to develop the Shakespeare's of the future by workshopping new scripts with actors and directors from the Festival's summer company," said Chuck Metten, director of NAPP. "The staged-readings are then performed for Festival patrons for their feedback, all done to help the playwrights improve their work. It's great fun and very exciting to have living playwrights share the rehearsal and performance process with us."

The playwrights this year are from California, Washington, and Georgia, writing on a variety of subjects: The great American abolitionist, Frederick Douglass; a unique women's gift shop in Moab, Utah; and the boy "actresses" in Shakespeare's theatre.

The Greater Love is based on historical fact. The story revolves around Frederick Douglass and the women in his life: his first wife, Anna Murray; his oldest daughter, Rosetta; and his mistress of some thirty years, the German journalist Ottilie Assing. The Greater Love by Frankie Little Hardin and directed by Kymberly Mellen will be presenTed August 9, 10, and 29 at 10 a.m. in the Auditorium Theatre.

Turquoise Wind is set in Moab, Utah. Toni has a rock shop and her friend Lisa is a river runner. Charlotte has moved west to get in touch with her Native Spirit guides. In this magical tribute to the contemporary, western woman, a mysterious presence passes through their lives, leaving them touched by both nature and legend. Turquoise Wind by Kurt Proctor and directed by Joshua Stavros will be presenTed August 16, 17 and 30 at 10 a.m. in the Auditorium Theatre.

Play Desdemona tells the story of a young tavern singer in 1661 London. The play unfolds as the woman receives secret instruction in the performance of two great Shakespeare roles. As they work, she and her tutor reveal secret fears and troubled pasts and evolve from ferocious opponents to parties in a profound alliance. Play Desdemona by Daniel Hintzsche and directed Leslie Brott will be presenTed August 23, 24 and 31 at 10 a.m. in the Auditorium Theatre.

Playwright biographies are available at

Through the New American Playwrights Project, selected playwrights spend time at the Festival working on a new play with actors from the company, and then present it to an audience, followed by discussion between the playwright, actors, and audience members. Intended to encourage the development of new plays, NAPP focuses on western playwrights, giving attention to western subjects, characters, experiences and themes. New plays featuring classical themes and subjects are occasionally chosen. The plays in this series are written for contemporary adult audiences and may occasionally contain themes and language not appropriate for children and that some may find offensive.

The New American Playwrights Project is already accepting submissions for the 2013 season. For more information visit

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