NNPN to Present Rolling World Premieres for Beckim's LIGHTS RISE ON GRACE and Yee's IN A WORD in 2015

The NATIONAL NEW PLAY NETWORK (NNPN), the country's alliance of non-profit theaters that champions the development, production, and continued life of new plays, announces its 48th and 49th Rolling World Premieres: Chad Beckim's Lights Rise on Grace and Lauren Yee's in a word, as well as openings for its 43rd, 44th, and 47th plays, Uncanny Valley by Thomas Gibbons, Colossal by Andrew Hinderaker, and River City by Diana Grisanti.

Lights Rise on Grace will begin its Rolling World Premiere at NNPN Core Member Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company (Washington, DC, April 3 - 26, 2015), followed by performances at NNPN Associate Members Stageworks Theatre (Tampa, FL, October 8 - 25, 2015), and Azuka Theatre (Philadelphia, PA, November 4 - 24, 2015).

in a word will open at Associate Member San Francisco Playhouse (CA, April 2 - 25, 2015), and continue its NNPN Rolling World Premiere at Core Member Cleveland Public Theatre (OH, April 16 - May 2, 2015), and Associate Members Mo'olelo Performing Arts Company (San Diego, CA, February 4 - 26, 2016), and Strawdog Theatre Company (Chicago, IL, February 15 - March 19, 2016).

InterAct Theatre Company will open the second production of the NNPN Rolling World Premiere of Uncanny Valley (Philadelphia, April 3 - 26, 2015), which will continue at San Diego REPertory Theatre (CA, April 11 - May 10, 2015), and Capital Stage (Sacramento, CA, June 17 - July 19, 2015). Colossal opens at Dallas Theatre Center (TX, April 2 - May 3, 2015) and finishes its Roll at Southern Rep (New Orleans, LA, August 18 - September 16, 2015). River City opens its final Rolling World Premiere production at Borderlands Theatre (Tucson, AZ, April 9 - 26).

Lights rise on Grace, the daughter of Chinese immigrants, and Large, the young black man she loves. Lights rise on Riece, the sole bright spot in Large's dark new world as a prison inmate. Lights rise on an unlikely family, bound by forgiveness but threatened by Large's new desire. Lights fade on three souls, more than the sum of their stories and the past that won't let go. Lights Rise on Grace-named Outstanding Play for its workshop at the New York Fringe-is a searing stage event exposed to its theatrical bones: an examination of race, sexuality, and family as unconventional as the relationships it depicts.

Plays include ...a matter of choice, `nami, The Main(e) Play, That Men Do, Mercy, After, The Arrival, and And Miles to Go. Produced shorts include Ad Infinitum, The Coach, The Fluffer, Marvel Super Hero Squad, Tha Bess Shit, Alexander Pays a Visit, Blac(c)ident, and Last First Kiss. His work has been published by Samuel French, Applause Books, Playscripts, Smith & Krauss, and in the Plays and Playwrights 2007 collection by NYTE. Chad holds an MFA in Playwrighting from Mac Wellman's Brooklyn College Program, and is currently working on a commission for the Old Vic Theatre in London. He is a founding co-Artistic Director of Partial Comfort Productions.

Now in its 35th Season, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company continues to hold its place at the leading edge of American theatre. Acknowledged as "one of the most influential outposts for the best new American plays" (The Washington Post), and "known for its productions of innovative new plays" (The New York Times), Woolly Mammoth is a national leader in the development of new works, and one of the best known and most influential mid-sized theatres in America. woollymammoth.net

Stageworks Theatre's mission is to provide the highest quality professional theatre which respects, ignites and celebrates the human spirit while challenging the thresholds of intolerance and insensitivity. stageworkstheatre.org

Azuka Theatre gives voice to the people whose stories go unheard. Located in Philadelphia, Azuka Theatre was founded in 1999 by a group of young artists and has built a reputation for accessible, thought-provoking and socially conscious. azukatheatre.org

For Fiona, today is the two-year anniversary of her young son's disappearance. And still, nothing makes sense. Not her blasé husband, the incompetent detective, or the neighborhood kidnapper who keeps introducing himself in the checkout line. But when her son's case is on the brink of being declared "cold," Fiona delves back into her memories of that fateful day, to uncover that crucial missing piece. in a word chronicles Fiona's attempts to make sense of the past, as grief and comedy collide and ordinary turns of phrase take on dangerous new meanings.

Plays include Ching Chong Chinaman (Pan Asian, Mu Performing Arts, SIS Productions, Impact Theatre), Crevice (Impact), The Hatmaker's Wife (Playwrights Realm, The Hub, Moxie Theatre, AlterTheater, PlayPenn), Hookman (Company One workshop, upcoming at Encore Theatre), in a word (Cleveland Public Theatre, Hangar and Williamstown workshops), King of the Yees (Goodman Theatre commission), Samsara (Victory Gardens, O'Neill Conference, Bay Area Playwrights Festival, upcoming at Chance Theatre), and The Tiger Among Us (MAP Fund, Mu). Lauren's distinctions as a writer include being a former Dramatists Guild fellow, MacDowell Colony fellow, as well as a member of the Public Theater Emerging Writers Group, a Women's Project Lab playwright, and Second Stage Shank playwright-in-residence, as well as Playwrights Realm Page One resident playwright. Yee's play Samsara was a nominee for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize and L. Arnold Weissberger Award. The Hatmaker's Wife was an Outer Critics Circle nominee for the John Gassner Award.

Founded by Bill English and Susi Damilano as a non-profit 501(c)3 organization in 2003, San Francisco Playhouse is committed to providing a creative home and inspiring environment where actors, directors, writers, designers, and theater lovers converge to create works that celebrate the human spirit. sfplayhouse.org

Cleveland Public Theatre's mission is to nurture compassion and raise consciousness through ground-breaking performance and life-changing education programs. with a strong emphasis on bold aesthetics and extraordinary approaches to theater. cptonline.org

Mo`olelo Performing Arts Company's mission is to create, produce, and educate.. Mo`olelo serves the diverse general public, from youth to seniors, with particular focus toward providing a forum for those who are typically underserved in mainstream American theater. moolelo.net

Strawdog Theatre Company is committed to ensemble acting and an immersive design approach, offering Chicago the premiere storefront theatre experience. We develop new work, re-imagine classic plays, explore new fusions of music and theatre, ask provocative questions and deliver the unexpected to our audience. strawdog.org

Meet Julian - the newest advancement in artificial intelligence. Created by a life-extension laboratory, Julian's sole purpose is to receive the consciousness of a dying billionaire. Claire's job is to teach him how to be human. But who - or what - has been created? As Julian's training progresses, it becomes clear that he is not exactly the blank slate Claire imagined. A piercing look at humanity's desire for immortality and the eerie feeling that we may be crossing a dangerous precipice.

Thomas Gibbons is playwright-in-residence at InterAct Theatre Company, which has premiered many of his plays including Permanent Collection (NNPN Rolling World Premiere), Pretending to America, A House With No Walls (NNPN Rolling World Premiere), and Bee-luther-hatchee. His work has been seen at CenterStage, Roundhouse Theatre, Northlight Theater, and many others.

InterAct is a theatre for today's world, producing new and contemporary plays that explore the social, political, and cultural issues of our time. interacttheatre.org

San Diego REPertory Theatre produces intimate, exotic, provocative theatre, and promotes a more inclusive community through vivid works that nourish progressive political and social values and celebrate the multiple voices of our region. sdrep.org

Capital Stage Company's mission is to be a dynamic leader in the evolution of the contemporary live theatre landscape in the Capital region and to passionately engage audiences in the art of live storytelling with bold, innovative plays performed by professional artists, in an intimate, up-close setting. capstage.org

Performed in four 15-minute quarters with a half-time show, featuring a dance company, a drum corps, and a fully-padded cast, Colossal is an epic event that simultaneously celebrates and attacks our nation's most popular form of theater: football.

Andrew Hinderaker is a Resident Playwright of Chicago Dramatists, an ensemble member of the Gift Theatre in Chicago, and a three-time Jeff Award Nominee. His plays include: I Am Going to Change the World, Dirty, Kingsville, and Suicide, Incorporated, which premiered at the Gift in 2010 and was subsequently produced Off-Broadway at the Roundabout Theatre. Hinderaker's plays have been produced/developed by National New Play Network, Manhattan Theatre Club, the Goodman Theatre, Steppenwolf, the Araca Group, the Alliance Theatre, Mixed Blood, No Rules, Victory Gardens, Rattlestick, Stage Left, and several others. He currently holds commission from the Roundabout Theatre Company and Marc Platt Productions, and recently completed his M.F.A. in Playwriting at the University of Texas in Austin. Hinderaker is a member of the 2013-2014 Playwrights' Unit at the Goodman Theatre.

The Dallas Theater Center will engage, entertain, and inspire our diverse community by creating experiences that stimulate new ways of thinking and living. We will do this by consistently producing plays, educational programs, and other initiatives that are of the highest quality and reach the broadest possible constituency. dallastheatercenter.org

The premiere professional theatre of the Gulf South, Southern Rep Theatre produces award-winning programs that are engaging, educational, and mad accessible for audiences of every socioeconomic background. southernrep.com

Shaken by her father's death, Mary sets off to uncover three generations' worth of secrets buried in the West End of Louisville, Kentucky. River City charts Mary's discoveries, which span four decades, and investigates race, memory, and the ghosts that haunt one American family.

Diana Grisanti is a Louisville native currently pursuing her M.F.A. in playwriting and fiction at the University of Texas at Austin's Michener Center for Writers. Her play Semantics was a finalist for the Lark Playwrights' Week and the New Harmony Project, as well as a semi-finalist for the Bay Area Playwrights Festival. Ms. Grisanti's adaptations of 1,001 Nights and Alice's Adventures in Wonderland were commissioned and produced by Walden Theatre, a conservatory for young actors. She is a 2010 nominee for the Wasserstein Prize, an NNPN Alumni Playwright, and received her B.A. from the University of Iowa. Before relocating to Austin, she lived in Cuernavaca, Mexico, where she worked as a teacher and translator

Borderlands' mission is championing the development and production of new plays while producing plays by established playwrights whose work resonates with the diversity of our audiences; partnering with regional civic organizations to foster diversity (geographic, cultural and ethnic) in play development and productions; and producing diverse and quality programs for youth. borderlandstheater.org

ABOUT NNPN - National New Play Network (NNPN) is the country's alliance of non-profit professional theaters that champions the development, production, and continued life of new plays. Since its founding in 1998, NNPN supported over 150 productions nationwide through its innovative NNPN Rolling World Premieres program. In addition to The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, NNPN receives support from individuals and the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, the Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust, the Shubert Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, Venturous Theater Fund of the Tides Foundation, and The Community Foundation for the National Capital Region. The Network is comprised of 29 Core Members, who pioneer and implement collaborative new play strategies, and a growing group of Associate Members, who disseminate the Network's programs and strategies nationwide. nnpn.org

NNPN's Core Member theaters are: Actor's Express Theatre (Atlanta), Actor's Theatre of Charlotte (Charlotte, NC), Borderlands Theater (Tucson), Cleveland Public Theatre (Cleveland, OH), Contemporary American Theater Festival (Shepherdstown, WV), Curious Theatre Company (Denver), Florida Studio Theatre (Sarasota), Fountain Theatre (LA), Horizon Theatre Company (Atlanta), InterAct Theatre Company (Philadelphia), Kitchen Dog Theater (Dallas), Magic Theatre (San Francisco), Marin Theatre Company (Mill Valley, CA), Milagro (Portland, OR), Mixed Blood Theatre Company (Minneapolis), New Jersey Repertory Company (Long Branch), New Repertory Theatre (Watertown, MA), New Theatre (Coral Gables, FL), Orlando Shakespeare Theater (Orlando), Performance Network Theatre (Ann Arbor, MI), Phoenix Theatre (Indianapolis), Playwright's Theatre of New Jersey (Madison), Prop Thtr Group (Chicago), Riverside Theatre (Iowa City, IA), Salt Lake Acting Company (Salt Lake City), San Diego REPertory Theatre (San Diego), Southern Rep (New Orleans), Unicorn Theatre (Kansas City, MO), and Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company (Washington, DC).

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