At 10:00 a.m., I'm taking part in an all out National New Play Network style AUSTRALIAN-AMERICAN PLAYWRIGHT SMACKDOWN. I was in Australia for the 2003 World Interplay Festival and left with zero dollars to my name and a special affinity for Australian playwright. It'll be interesting to hear where were all are in the process of creating theatre.
Australian and American playwrights often wrestle with issues of gender, sexuality, race and immigration, but they’re doing so in very different ways, both aesthetically and thematically. New Dramatists Artistic Director Todd London and Georgetown University Professor (and playwright) Christine Evans lead an intercontinental playwrights’ conversation with Vanessa Bates, Declan Greene, Carson Kreitzer, Jacqueline E. Lawton, and Carlos Murillo about similarities and differences between their approaches and the cultures in which they write.
Invitation only - www.nnpn.org
In 2009, Todd London became the first recipient of Theatre Communications Group’s (TCG) Visionary Leadership Award, for “an individual who has gone above and beyond the call of duty to advance the theatre field as a whole, nationally and/or internationally.” He is beginning his sixteenth season as artistic director of New Dramatists, where he has worked closely with more than a hundred of America’s leading playwrights and advocated nationally and internationally for hundreds more. 2010 saw the publication of his book, Outrageous Fortune: The Life and Times of the New American Play (written with Ben Pesner), the product of a five-year study he led for Theatre Development Fund about new play production in America and the lives and livelihoods of playwrights. That year, he traveled across the country to lead meetings in 10 cities, intended to address the study’s findings and encourage a more vital environment for new work. A former Managing Editor of American Theatre magazine and the author of The Artistic Home, published by TCG, he has written, edited, and/or contributed to over a dozen books. His new book, An Ideal Theatre, an anthology of founding visions for American theatres that Todd collected, edited and introduced, is due out in spring 2012 (TCG). A series of his tributes to contemporary theatre writers, “A Lover’s Guide to American Playwrights” appears on howlround.com. Todd’s particular brand of advocacy journalism has focused on both the lives and livelihoods of individual artists and on the not-for-profit theatre movement, especially the impact of institutionalization on the field. His essays and articles have been translated for publication in Russia, North and South Africa, Scandinavia, Serbia, and Romania. Todd is a frequent featured speaker at conferences, universities and theatres. This summer he delivered keynote addresses at the Chicago Theatre Symposium, the Dramatists Guild of America’s first national conference, and TCG’s 50th anniversary national conference. He has won the prestigious George Jean Nathan Award for Dramatic Criticism for his essays in American Theatre and a Milestone Award for his first novel, The World’s Room, published by Steerforth Press. In 2001 he accepted a special Tony® Honor on behalf of New Dramatists, and in 2005 he represented New Dramatists at the Obie Awards, where the organization was honored with the Ross Wetzsteon Award for excellence. Todd has taught at Harvard and New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts and currently serves on the faculty of Yale School of Drama. He’s a past Literary Director of the American Repertory Theatre at Harvard and Associate Artistic Director of CSC Rep off Broadway and New Playwrights Theatre in Washington, D.C. He has two sons, Guthrie and Grisha, and is married to playwright and ND alumna Karen Hartman.ht (and New Dramatists alumna) Karen Hartman.
Christine Evans’ plays have been produced and awarded in Australia, the US and the UK. Selected production highlights include Trojan Barbie at the ART, the Garage Theater, Playbox Theatre (UK) and Charing Cross Theatre (UK); Weightless, Mothergun and All Souls’ Day at Perishable Theatre; Slow Falling Bird at Crowded Fire, and in Australia, My Vicious Angel at Belvoir St. Theatre, Vitalstatistix, and the Adelaide International Festival of the Arts. Her plays are published by Samuel French (Trojan Barbie) Smith and Kraus (Best Monologues Theater Forum and NoPassport Press. Honors include a Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center Award, a Fulbright Award, Perishable’s International Women’s Playwriting Competition, the Jane Chambers Playwriting Award and the 2009 and 2013 Rhode Island State Council on the Arts (RISCA) Playwriting Fellowship. Evans is a Resident Artist at HERE (NY) and a Core Member of the Playwrights’ Center. She holds an M.F.A. and Ph.D. from Brown and joined the Georgetown Department of Performing Arts faculty in 2012. Her newest piece, You Are Dead. You Are Here. received a RISCA Playwriting Fellowship and will premiere at HERE in June, 2013. http://www.christine-evans-playwright.com
Vanessa Bates is an award winning playwright whose plays include: Every Second, The Magic Hour, Porn.Cake, Checklist for an Armed Robber, Match, The Elephant’s Ark, A Little Bit Each Night and Darling Oscar. In Australia she has been produced by Deckchair Theatre, Malthouse Theatre, Griffin Theatre, Belvoir B-Sharp, Vitalstatistix, Black Swan, theatre@risk, Tantrum and the Sydney Theatre Company as well as ABC Radio National. In London she has had two short plays produced by The Miniaturists: Petunia Takes Tea and At Sea. Vanessa was 2012 PWA Playwright in Residence at Griffin Theatre. She is a NIDA Playwrights Studio graduate and one seventh of playwrights’ company 7-ON. She has had several plays and monologues published as well as a narrative non-fiction book Legs Up & Laughing. Vanessa also writes television drama in Australia and is developing a feature length screenplay.
Declan Greene is a playwright and theatre-maker from Melbourne, Australia. His works include Moth and Pompeii, L.A., and have been produced at the Malthouse Theatre, Brisbane Powerhouse, and Sydney Opera House. Awards include the Malcolm Robertson Prize, the Max Afford Playwrights Award, and an AWGIE for Theatre for Young Audiences. He is one half of DIY theatre duo Sisters Grimm (with Ash Flanders), and has co-created shows including Little Mercy and Summertime in the Garden of Eden. In 2013 they will produce work at Sydney Theatre Company, Melbourne Theatre Company, and Griffin Theatre.
Carson Kreitzer’s plays include The Love Song of J. Robert Oppenheimer, Self Defense, The Slow Drag (New York and London), 1:23, Freakshow, Slither, Behind The Eye, about surrealist muse and WWII Combat Photographer Lee Miller (Cincinnati Playhouse) and Flesh and the Desert,which premiered in January with the Workhaus Collective. Grants: NYFA, NYSCA, the NEA, TCG, the Jerome and McKnight foundations, and the first Playwrights Of New York (PONY) fellowship at the Lark Play Development Center. Affilliations: Workhaus Collective, the Playwrights’ Center, the Dramatists Guild, and New Dramatists. She and composer Matt Gould are currently under commission from Yale Rep and New Dramatists for their new musical LEMPICKA. More information at www.carsonkreitzer.com
JACQUELINE E. LAWTON
Jacqueline E. Lawton received her MFA in Playwriting from the University of Texas at Austin (Hook 'em Horns!), where she was a James A. Michener Fellow. She participated in the Kennedy Center’s Playwrights’ Intensive (2002) and World Interplay (2003). She is the author of Anna K; Blood-bound and Tongue-tied; Deep Belly Beautiful; The Devil’s Sweet Water; Ira Aldridge: the African Roscius; Lions of Industry, Mothers of Invention; Love Brothers Serenade, and Mad Breed. Lawton’s work has been developed and presented at the following venues: Active Cultures, Classical Theater of Harlem, Folger Shakespeare Library, theHegira, Howard University, Kennedy Center’s Page to Stage Festival, Rorschach Theater Company, Savannah Black Heritage Festival (Armstrong Atlantic State University), Shakespeare Theatre Company, Source Theatre Festival, Theater J, and Woolly Mammoth Theater Company. She is published in Experiments in a Jazz Aesthetic: Art, Activism, Academia, and the Austin Project (University of Texas Press). Lawton is a 2012 TCG Nathan Cummings Young Leaders of Color award recipient. She has been nominated for the Wendy Wasserstein Prize and a PONY Fellowship from the Lark New Play Development Center. She was named one of 30 of the nation's leading black playwrights by Arena Stage’s American Voices New Play Institute. Since 2010, Lawton has served on Round House Theatre's Artists' Roundtable. She is the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships including two Young Artist Program Grants from the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities for Playwriting. She resides in Washington, D.C.
Carlos Murillo has been a resident playwright at New Dramatists since 2007. His plays have been produced at Theater der Stadt Aalen in Germany, Vígszínház in Budapest, the Humana Festival, NYC Summer Play Festival, En Garde Arts, Soho Rep, Hangar Theatre Lab, P73, Theatre @ Boston Court, Circle X, Son of Semele, Actor’s Express, Salt Lake Acting Company, Collaboraction, City Theatre of Miami and elsewhere. His work has also been seen at The Public Theater, New York Theatre Workshop, Goodman Theatre, South Coast Rep, Portland Center Stage, Madison Rep, Sundance Institute, The Playwrights’ Center, Bay Area Playwrights Festival, Chautauqua Conservatory, Annex Theatre and others. His work has been published by Dramatists Play Service, Playscripts, Inc., Smith & Kraus, Heinemann, and Theatre Forum. Awards include a Playwrights’ Center Jerome Fellowship, two Rockefeller MAP grants, two National Latino Playwriting Awards from Arizona Theatre Company, and he is the 2009 Otis Guernsey Award winner from the William Inge Theatre Festival. He has received commissions from The Goodman, Steppenwolf, Berkeley Rep, Playwrights Horizons, The Public, South Coast Rep, and En Garde Arts. Carlos has taught at the University of Iowa, the Kennedy Center, and is an Associate Professor at The Theatre School of DePaul University where he heads the playwriting program. Carlos is a resident playwright at Chicago Dramatists. He lives in the south side of Chicago with his wife Lisa Portes and their two children Eva Rose and Carlos Pablo.
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I'm a playwright, dramaturg, and teaching artist. It is here where you'll find my queries and musings on life, theater and the world. My posts advocate for diversity, inclusion, and equity in the American Theatre and updates on my own work. Please enjoy!