Since 2006, the National New Play Network (of which the Fountain is a member) has presented a week-long summer workshop for recent plays of merit written by qualified MFA students. The program is presented annually in conjunction with the Kennedy Center’s American College Theater Festival and Stanford University’s National Center for New Plays, and pairs the selected writers with NNPN directors and freelance dramaturgs to provide them with a unique professional development opportunity and links to Network theaters.
The Workshop now links to more than 70 MFA programs across the country, and scripts developed at there have gone on to productions at NNPN member theaters (Broadsword, Green Whales, and Afterlife among them) as well as nationally-recognized companies like the Actors’ Theatre of Louisville/Humana Festival and the Roundabout Theatre Company. Featured writers often find their work represented later at the National Showcase of New Plays and the Continued Life of New Plays program. And five of the thirty-four alumni of the Workshop have gone on to Residencies with member theaters. The program thus serves as an ideal entry point to the new-play pipeline NNPN has tried to create for writers of promise entering the profession.
Simon has been teamed with Amanda Shank from CalArts and her play, The Glass Man, and dramaturg Miriam Weisfeld from Woolly Mammoth.
“Amanda’s play is a delicate (couldn’t resist the pun) play about the relationship between a man made of glass, and his wife, on what will become his last day of life”, says Simon. “Exploring ‘glass-ness’ with the actors and the team, and what it means theatrically, metaphorically, literally, poetically, thematically promises to be great fun. It’s wonderful that NNPN and the Kennedy Center provide this kind of in-depth support for MFA playwrights from around the country, and it’s an honor to have been selected as one of the directors. If you hear the sound of breaking glass….”
This year’s full roster:
2011 MFA PLAYWRIGHTS WORKSHOP
THE FRIENDSHIP OF HER THIGHS by Martyna Majok, Yale
Directed by Cynthia Levin, Unicorn Theater (Kansas City, MO)
GLASS MAN by Amanda Shank, CalArts
Directed by Simon Levy, Fountain Theatre (Los Angeles, CA)
STATIC by Tom Horan, UT Austin
Directed by Tina Parker, Kitchen Dog Theater (Dallas, TX)
TRUE PLACES by Walt McGough, Boston University
Directed by Lisa Adler, Horizon Theatre Company (Atlanta, GA)
URBAN RETREAT by A Zell Williams, NYU
Directed by Andi Dymond, Victory Gardens (Chicago, IL)
VANISHING ACT by RN Healey, Carnegie-Mellon
Directed by Patrick Flick, Orlando Shakespeare Theatre (Orlando, FL)
Plus the Kendeda Winner, THE FAIRTYALE LIVES OF RUSSIAN GIRLS by Meg Miroshnik (Yale)