Six Scripts Selected for NNPN's 2014 National Showcase of New Plays in Sarasota Next Month
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, will produce six new plays in staged reading format at its National Showcase of New Plays, hosted November 21-23 in Sarasota, FL by Florida Studio Theatre. A committee of artistic, managing and literary leaders from across the country selected plays by Kevin Artigue, Hilary Bettis, Kristiana Colón, Mfoniso Udofia, and Steve Yockey for the twelfth installment of the Showcase.
The six plays were selected from 64 scripts nominated by Core Members, Associate Members, partner organizations, and alumni playwrights. Showcase finalists include The Fault by Katie Bender, Shelter in Place by Eric Coble, Sam and Dede, or My Dinner with Andre the Giant by Gino Dilorio, The Profane by Zayd Dohrn, Woodpecker by Shawn Fisher, The Firestorm by Meridith Friedman, Two Front Teeth by Katherine Clark Gray, All That Is Seen And Unseen by Rob Keefe, In 1987 We Were Kids by Basil Kreimendahl, The Three Sisters of Weehawken by Deb Laufer, Bad Husband by Dano Madden, Animals Nobody Loves by David Mitchell Robinson, The Baby Monitor by David Stallings, The Realization of Emily Linder by Richard Strand, and Two Diamonds by Candido Tirado.
ABOUT THE SELECTED PLAYS:
The Most Dangerous Highway in the World by Kevin Artigue, submitted by Golden Thread Productions. A fearless eight-year-old businessman makes his living selling fish and directing traffic with a coke bottle on the highway connecting Jalalabad to Kabul, Afghanistan. Soldiers, generals and ghosts are no match for this little fighter with a knack for surviving the toughest challenges.
The Ghosts of Lote Bravo by Hilary Bettis, nominated from the MFA Playwrights Workshop. In Cuidad Juarez, Mexico young girls often disappear. Many turn up murdered. Juanda Cantu's daughter, Raquel, is one of these girls. Through visions offered by La Santa Muerte, Juanda is shown Raquel's past only to discover that her daughter had hopes, dreams and courage Juanda knew nothing about. The Ghosts of Lote Bravo is a play about great hope in the midst of relentless violence, poverty and grief.
Octagon by Kristiana Colón, submitted by PROP Thtr. In the midst of a last minute poetry slam, eight young poets with tangled love lives contend for the winning spot while struggling to determine what they are willing to sacrifice. The fiercest contender, Prism, is a woman with an appetite she's not ashamed of, but the reigning champs have a hard time seeing her as more than a good-time girl. As love triangles become pentagons and octagons, Prism's unbridled desires threaten to have her silenced for good. Octagon rips open the clichés of the open mic, asking the cost of making a spectacle of ripping open our wounds.
Typhoid Mary by Tom Horan, submitted by Phoenix Theatre. You've probably heard of "Typhoid Mary," but most of us are unfamiliar with Mary Mallon, the cook behind the name. The startling discovery of Mary's peculiar disease, as well as her forced quarantine, unfolds in front of a backdrop of changing notions of medicine, morality and cleanliness -- Did she willfully infect others? Was she a victim of a misguided medical authority? Or is the truth even stranger?
Sojourner by Mfoniso Udofia, submitted by Magic Theatre. Abasiama came to America with high hopes - for her arranged marriage and her future - intent on earning a degree and returning to Nigeria. But when her husband is seduced by America, she must choose between the Nigerian and American Dream.
Blackberry Winter by Steve Yockey, submitted by Orlando Shakespeare Theatre. Years of success, meticulous planning, and an eye for detail have in no way prepared Vivienne Avery for her mother's slide into the grip of dementia. Initially hiding behind insomnia-fueled baking and a polite smile, stories about her mother leave Vivienne's inner turmoil quietly laid bare on stage. Blackberry Winter juxtaposes these stories, large theatrical gestures, and a childlike Alzheimer's "creation myth" to recount one woman's witnessing of the inevitable.
ABOUT THE NATIONAL SHOWCASE OF NEW PLAYS - The National Showcase of New Plays is a traveling new-play festival that presents the country's best unproduced plays in staged reading format to an intimate gathering of theater professionals. With artistic leadership from most of our 29 Core Member and 45 Associate Member Theaters in attendance, the Showcase creates a unique, invaluable opportunity for production-ready scripts to be heard by the people most willing to produce them. In addition to artistic and managing directors, we invite a group of 100 playwrights, literary managers, playwright agents, and other colleagues from around the country to network with us on behalf of the plays and playwrights we present. All scripts are read blind. The vast majority of the scripts read at the Showcase go on to professional productions within and outside the Network.There is no charge to attend the Showcase, but it is by invitation only. To request an invitation, please email NNPN Associate Executive Director Jojo Ruf at Jojo@nnpn.org.
ABOUT FLORIDA STUDIO THEATRE - Known as Sarasota's Contemporary Theatre, Florida Studio Theatre was founded in 1973 by Jon Spelman. Starting out as a small touring company, FST traveled to places such as migrant camps and prisons. The company eventually settled down into a permanent home, acquiring the former Woman's Club building - now renamed the Keating Theatre. In the years that followed, Florida Studio Theatre established itself as a major force in American Theatre, presenting contemporary theater in its five theater venues: the Keating Theatre, the Gompertz Theatre, the Goldstein Cabaret, the John C. Court Cabaret, and Bowne's Lab Theatre. Even with its growth, Florida Studio Theatre remains firmly committed to making the arts accessible and affordable to a broad-based audience. Under Richard Hopkins, Artistic Director and CEO, FST develops theater that speaks to our living, evolving, and dynamically changing world. As FST grows and expands, it continues to provide audiences with challenging, contemporary drama and innovative programs.
ABOUT NNPN - 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 more than twenty playwrights, provided nearly thirty theater-makers with paid residencies, and supported over 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 addition to The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, NNPN receives support from 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 a relatively small group of 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. Visit www.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).