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Prologue Theatre Launches Workshop Program FOREWORD: A New Works Series

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The virtual public reading for Secret Hour is Friday, November 13, 2020 at 8pm EST. 

Prologue Theatre has launched their new workshop program, FOREWORD: A New Works Series. FOREWORD is structured as a series of two-week intensive, virtual workshops during which playwrights are paired with a director, actors, and a stage manager who will help to further develop their play.

After a month-long submission period in September, which generated just over 600 script submissions, five plays were selected to be workshopped with Prologue Theatre beginning in November 2020 and running through March 2021.

  • Secret Hour by Jenny Stafford, November 2-13, 2020
  • American Yu by Terence Patrick Hughes, November 30 - December 11, 2020
  • Monsters of the American Cinema by Christian St. Croix, January 4 - 15, 2021
  • The Whole Shebang by Jason Odell Williams, February 1-12, 2021
  • Webster's Bitch by Jacqueline Bircher, March 1-12, 2021


"We have been looking at finding a way to fit new works into our programming for a while," said Prologue Theatre Founding Artistic Director, Jason Tamborini. "As we started discussing ways to get artists back to work, we decided that rather than produce readings of already published plays, we wanted to give new works the opportunity to be developed at a time when theatre, in many places, is on hold."

Associate Artistic Director, Noah Schaefer, explains the how Prologue's community can support the process, "At the end of each workshop, our audiences will get the unique experience of being the first people to hear and respond to these plays through a virtual public reading. This is a crucial step in the process, as it gives the playwright the chance to see and hear what lands with an audience, what impacts them, and what might start a conversation."

Starting conversations is at the center of Prologue Theatre's mission, so they have designed a series of conversations to pair with each of the monthly new play workshops.

  • New Play Development Conversation Series: During the first week of each workshop, Artistic Director Jason Tamborini will discuss the process of new play development with other members of the DC area theatre community.
  • Reading & Post-Show Conversation with the Playwright: At the end of each two-week workshop, they will host a virtual public reading and post-show conversation with the playwright.
  • Deep Dive Conversation: Finally, in the week following the public reading, they will bring audiences back together virtually for an in-depth conversation into the key issues each play explores.

SECRET HOUR by Jenny Stafford

The first play in the FOREWORD workshop series is Secret Hour by Jenny Stafford. While exploring the relationship between a couple it asks, "Is your greatest ethical responsibility to yourself or to others?". "Noah and I both really liked how the questions that this play brings forward cannot be answered with any certainty. The topics are treated with equal parts comedy and gravity," shared Tamborini.

The workshop is being directed by Laley Lippard and the cast includes Michael Dillahunt Jr (Leaf), Chloe Mikala (Kate), and Greg Watkins (Ben). For playwright Jenny Stafford, collaboration with other artists adds so much value to the work. She said, "Just that process of getting to not be alone with it [the play] and get other smart brains and eyes and hearts on it is so helpful."

The virtual public reading for Secret Hour is Friday, November 13, 2020 at 8pm EST. Each of the virtual readings is open to the public and registration is free with a suggested donation to Prologue Theatre. The reading will be followed by an opportunity for audience members to have a conversation with Artistic Director Jason Tamborini and Playwright Jenny Stafford. Audience members are also invited to participate in a debrief conversation the following Monday evening, November 16 at 8pm to explore issues of ethics and morality as found in Secret Hour. Complete details and registration information is available at prologuetheatre.org/foreword.
Prologue Theatre Launches Workshop Program FOREWORD: A New Works Series


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