National New Play Network Announces 31st Rolling World Premiere: HAPPY by Robert Caisley

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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 31st Rolling World Premiere: Robert Caisley's Happy will receive four productions through the Network's Continued Life of New Plays Fund in the 2012/13 season, NNPN's 15th.

Happy will begin its Rolling World Premiere at Montana Rep (Missoula, MT, October 19 – November 3), followed by performances at New Theatre (Miami, FL, November 30 – December 16), 6th Street Playhouse (Santa Rosa, CA, April 5 – 21), and New Jersey Rep (Long Branch, NJ, May 23 – June 23). Happy was presented at NNPN's National Showcase of New Plays in November 2011 in Philadelphia, at InterAct Theatre Company.

Alfred is happy about his life. Really happy. He's happy with his job. He's happy with his fourteen year marriage to Melinda. He's even happy raising his special needs daughter, Claire, who's confined to a wheelchair. But when his bohemian artist best friend Eduardo invites him to dinner to meet the latest woman in his life, a dour twenty-two year-old art student suspicious of anything 'upbeat,' things spin out of control.

Robert Caisley is Associate Professor of Theatre & Film, and Head of the Dramatic Writing Program at the University of Idaho. He was named the 2011 Blaine Quarnstrom Visiting Playwright at the University of Southern Mississippi. His play Happy presented at the 2011 National New Play Network Annual Showcase of New Plays was a Finalist this year for both the Eugene O'Neill Theatre Center's New Play Conference and the Woodward/Newman Award for Drama. His other plays include Kissing (New Theatre, Coral Gables, FL), The Lake (Walnut Street Theatre, Philadelphia), Good Clean Fun (Montana Actors Theatre, Missoula), The 22-Day Adagio (Mill Mountain Theatre, Roanoke, VA), Front (Sundance Playwright's Lab), Kite's Book (6th Street Playhouse, Santa Rosa, CA), Letters to an Alien (Mad Horse Theatre, Portland, ME), Santa Fe (StageWorks/Hudson, New York, Finalist for the Heideman Award) and Winter which received its World Premiere at New Theatre in January, 2012. His play Front will be published later this summer by Samuel French, Inc.

The Montana Repertory Theatre is the professional Theatre in residence at The University of Montana. Its mission is to "tell the great stories of our world to enlighten, develop and celebrate the human spirit in an ever-expanding community". The Montana Rep consists of a national touring program, bringing American classics to medium and small communities; an educational outreach component serving middle and high schools in Montana; "The Missoula Colony", a gathering of artists in support of the writers craft; and "Montana Rep Missoula" bringing cutting edge theatre to downtown Missoula.

New Theatre, a NNPN member company, produces plays that stimulate, provoke, challenge and entertain audiences since 1986. Housing over a hundred World/Florida Premieres, commissioned plays, and the classics, New Theatre aims at cultivating a diverse South Florida audience. Among its premieres/ commissions: Pulitzer Prize and Steinberg award-winning play Anna in the Tropics by Nilo Cruz; Steinberg and Osborn award finalist Just a Kiss by Catherine Bush; Tony Award Winning Playwright Shirley Lauro's The Radiant with Angelica Torn; O'Neill Semi-Finalist Robert Caisley's Winter; and Ambie Award Winning playwright David Caudle's In Development, Likeness and The Sunken Living Room, among many more.

In 2004, a new partnership reunited the Santa Rosa Players and Actors Theatre under one board of directors. Together they renovated the 107-year-old Del Monte cannery into the 6th Street Playhouse, which houses a 185-seat mainstage (The G. K. Hardt Theatre) and a 99-seat black box theatre (The Studio Theatre). 6th Street Playhouse is a performing arts organization that produces live theatre and provides education programs of the highest quality that engage, delight, and inspire the diverse communities of the North Bay region. 6th Street Playhouse is the central hub of the Sonoma County arts scene. It is known throughout the region for its high level of artistry, its professionalism, its inclusive educational opportunities and the bravery of its approach to work both new and old. In its 2011-2012 Season, under the new direction of Artistic Director, Craig Miller, and Managing Director, Michael Fontaine, the 6th Street Playhouse was named "Best Theatre Troupe" and "2012 Theatre of the Year" by the North Bay Bohemian and San Francisco.

The New Jersey Repertory Company was founded in 1997. Its mission is to develop and produce new plays and to make a lasting contribution to the American stage. Since it opened its doors 15 years ago, the theater has produced 62 world premieres and has presented over 350 developmental readings of new works.

NNPN's flagship program, the Continued Life of New Plays Fund supports three or more theaters which choose to mount the same new play within a twelve-month period. The result is a Rolling World Premiere through which the playwright develops a new work with multiple creative teams, for multiple communities of patrons, ensuring the resulting play is of the highest possible quality. And with a minimum of three productions in a single year, the play attains the momentum it needs to join the repertoire of frequently-produced new American works. NNPN provides grants of $7,000 to the first three participating theaters in each Rolling World Premiere; by the end of 2012-13, NNPN will have championed the continued life of 31 new plays in more than 100 productions, with over a quarter-million dollars in grants.

The 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 has commissioned seventeen playwrights, provided sixteen MFA graduates with paid residencies, and supported nearly 100 productions nationwide through its innovative Continued Life of New Plays Fund, which creates "rolling world premieres" of new plays. Hundreds of artists have gained employment through these efforts in the 24 regions of the country where NNPN member theaters are located. NNPN receives substantial support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust, the Shubert Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

NNPN's member theaters are: Actor's Express Theatre (Atlanta), Actor's Theatre of Charlotte (Charlotte, NC), Borderlands Theater (Tucson), 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), 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 Company (San Diego), Southern Rep (New Orleans), Unicorn Theatre (Kansas City, MO), and Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company (Washington, DC).



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