Woolly to Host Launch of Black Women Playwrights' Group Cyber Narrative


Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company is set to host the launch of the Cyber Narrative Project-an innovative collaboration between Black Women Playwrights' Group (BWPG) and the Carnegie Mellon Entertainment Technology Center-Global (ETC-Global). This project will partner playwrights of color with technology students to create cyber-narrative tools to enhance live productions of their plays. The launch of this program will include a demonstration of two of these tools in development, including an interactive website and an online video game.

Helmed by BWPG President and Founder Karen Evans with ETC-Global professor Chris Klug (co-creator of DragonQuest), this project aims to use technology in a more integrated and meaningful way with live performances. The primary goal is to entice the Millennial Generation-adept at role-play, improvisation, and interactivity online-to engage with characters and narratives in live performance.

In addition to the demonstration of the cyber-narrative tools, the launch on February 22nd will include readings from By the Way, Meet Vera Stark by Lynn Nottage and The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity by Kristoffer Diaz, the two plays that inspired the digital tools; and a panel of experts to discuss issues of intellectual property, viral marketing, and resource building for future collaborations between artists and technologists. Speakers include Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Lynn Nottage, New York Times Playwright of the Year Kristoffer Diaz, Executive Producer of the Carnegie Mellon ETC-Global Don Marinelli, ETC-Global professor Chris Klug, and representatives from Google and AOL.

Theatres participating in the BWPG/Carnegie Mellon ETC-Global Cyber Narrative Project include: About Face Theatre, Dallas Theater Center, Geffen Playhouse, Hip Hop Theater Festival, Intersection for the Arts, Penumbra Theatre, Victory Gardens Theater, and Woolly Mammoth Theatre The project is funded by Bloomberg BNA, The Dreyfus Foundation, The Joyce Foundation, Bill and Louisa Newlin, and Nick Olcott.

The event will be livestreamed on #NewPlay TV (http://www.livestream.com/newplay), and will be live tweeted from Woolly's Twitter account (@woollymammothtc). Follow the hashtag #CyberNarr.

Schedule for BWPG/Carnegie Mellon ETC-Global Cyber Narrative Project launch:

1pm: Welcome remarks from Karen Evans (BWPG) and Miriam Weisfeld (Woolly Mammoth).

1:15pm: Summary of the project by Don Marinelli (Carnegie Mellon ETC-Global).

1:30pm: Kristoffer Diaz introduces The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity and reading of excerpt.

2pm: Chris Klug (Carnegie Mellon ETC-Global) introduces the students building The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity cyber narrative project: an online video game. The students will demonstrate it and there will be a Q&A session.

2:45pm: Coffee break.

3:15pm: Lynn Nottage introduces By the Way, Meet Vera Stark and reading of excerpt.

3:45pm: Chris Klug (Carnegie Mellon ETC-Global) introduces students building the By the Way, Meet Vera Stark cyber narrative project: an interactive website. The students will demonstrate it and there will be a Q&A session.

4:30pm: Panel discussion with experts from the DC technology community to discuss replicating these models in the future.

8pm: Performance of Woolly's current production, Civilization (all you can eat) by Jason Grote (ticket discounts available to participants of the cyber-narrative launch).


Now in its 32nd Season, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company continues to hold its place at the leading edge of American theatre. Acknowledged as "the hottest theatre company in town" (The Washington Post), "known for its productions of innovative new plays" (The New York Times), Woolly Mammoth is a national leader in the development of new plays, and one of the best known and most influential mid-sized theatres in America.

Woolly's 32nd Season features five works that relate to the question, "Does our civilization have an expiration date?" They include Samuel D. Hunter's A Bright New Boise (Oct 10-Nov 13), The Second City's Spoiler Alert: Everybody Dies (Dec 6-Jan 8), Jason Grote's Civilization (all you can eat) (Feb 13-Mar 11), Joey Arias and Basil Twist's Arias with a Twist* (Apr 4-May 6), and Anne Washburn's Mr. Burns, a post-electric play (May 28-July 1).

*This tour of Basil Twist is made possible by a grant from the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation with support from the National Endowment for the Arts.


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