The battle is on! Round One (Group A) of The Fountain’s Rapid Development Series (“Rap Dev”) for young playwrights was launched on Friday, Feb 12th. Part new play reading series for young people and part social gathering, Rap Dev squares off scenes from new work that is then voted on by the enthusiastic audience. The two plays doing combat Friday night were You Belong With Me Because You’re So Vainby Heider Tunarrosa and the winning play, The Kennedy Experiment by Amy Thorstenson.
As always, a lively party followed upstairs in our cafe. The dollar beers and buzz chat proved almost as popular as the plays.
Two other plays compete in Round One (Group B) Friday, Feb. 19 at 8 p.m. The two winning playwrights get to show off a little more of their plays in Round Two, on Friday, March 4 at 8 p.m. The single surviving play wins two performances of a staged reading on the Fountain Theatre stage: Friday,March 18 at 8 p.m. and Saturday, March 19 at 2 p.m.
A packed house of excited and eager young people filled the Fountain Theatre last night with lively energy as the Fountain launched its new play reading series, Rap Dev, serving playwrights thirty years old or younger. Created and produced by Fountain Associate Producer James Bennett and Jessica Broutt, Rap Dev (short for Rapid Development) is an informal, fast-moving evening that combines play development with social mixing.
Rap Dev offers a platform for young playwrights under 30 who may otherwise struggle to get the opportunity to hear their new work read aloud in a professional setting. At each Rap Dev event, a single 20-minute scene is read by professional actors from 2-3 new and unproduced plays introduced by each playwright. Each scene is selected by the writer to offer the best “snapshot” of the total script. After all 3 scenes are read from each of the 3 plays, the audience votes for their favorite. The “winner” moves on to be eligible to compete with other plays in the series for the grand prize: a fully rehearsed and realized staged reading of the entire play on stage at the Fountain Theatre, with guidance from the professional staff.
Short scenes from two new plays were read last night. Hands by Doc, featuring Verton Banks, Gilbert Glenn Brown and Adolphus Ward. And The Redhead is Coming by Bernardo Cubia, featuring Kirsten Kollander, Whitney Montgomery and Julian Silver.
As last night’s high-spirited gathering proved, Rap Dev is also a good time. The fun, informal atmosphere (not to mention the free beer) makes Rap Dev more than just a night of play readings. It’s a good party.