Mailbox: More Playwright News and NNPN News

Playwright Steven Yockey

Yes!  Remember how I said a few days ago that I had some other playwright news that I was waiting to confirm before I shared it with you? 

I have been too busy even to make a phone call, but today I happened to receive confirmation of one those bits via a press release that I received from Jason Loewith, Executive Director of the National New Play Network c/o Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company.

Steven Yockey, author of “Octopus,” which is currently having its Midwestern premiere here in Indianapolis at the Phoenix Theatre, has been selected for one of three Emerging Playwright Residencies sponsored by the National New Play Network.  Steve’s residency will take place at the Marin Theatre Company in Mill Valley, California.

Congratulations both to Steve and to the Marin Theatre Company!  Yay, Mill Valley, too!

Jason’s press release also informed me that our own Phoenix Theatre has received an award from the National New Play Network’s Continued Life of New Plays Fund to participate in a three-way rolling world premiere of a new play called “Sunlight,” by Sharr White. 

Congratulations, Phoenix!  Yay, Indianapolis, too!  I don’t know anything about “Sunlight” yet, but I don’t really need to know anything about it in order to look forward to it.  When Phoenix Artistic Director Bryan Fonseca and his team select a play, I know it is worth seeing.

Below is the full press release with all kinds of exciting National New Play Network news.  As you know, here at Indy Theatre Habit we love reading the whole thing.  Speaking of the Phoenix, I am heading there now to see “Octopus” for the fourth time.  This Wednesday night performance is a Cheap Seats Night.  There will be no performance this Saturday, July 4, 2009.



Victory Gardens & Actor’s Theatre of Charlotte Voted into Membership at Annual Conference


WASHINGTON, DC – The NATIONAL NEW PLAY NETWORK (NNPN), the country’s leading alliance of non-profit theaters that champions the development, production, and continued life of new plays, will award grants totaling over $140,000 to its 26 member theaters in 2009-10, with participation in nearly every region of the country. The grants were announced at the organization’s Annual Conference on June 20 in Dallas, TX, hosted by Kitchen Dog Theater.  Conference attendees also voted Victory Gardens and Actor’s Theatre of Charlotte into the membership.



NNPN’s flagship program supports three theaters which mount the same new play within a year. The result is a “rolling world premiere” through which playwrights develop new works with three different creative teams for three different communities of patrons. Awards ranging from $5,000 to $6,300 have been awarded for 2009-10 for the following projects:


26 MILES by Quiara Hudes – Alliance Theatre (Atlanta)*, Curious Theatre Company (Denver), New Theatre (Coral Gables, FL)

JIHAD JONES AND THE KALASHNIKOV BABES by Yussef El Guindi – Golden Thread (SanFrancisco)*, InterAct Theatre Company (Philadelphia)*, Kitchen Dog Theater (Dallas)

THE RANT by Andrew Case – New Theatre (Coral Gables, FL)*, InterAct Theatre Company (Philadelphia)*, New Jersey Repertory Company (Long Branch, NJ)

SHOTGUN by John Biguenet – Southern Rep (New Orleans), Orlando Shakespeare Theater (Orlando), Florida Studio Theatre (Sarasota, FL)

SUNLIGHT by Sharr White – Marin Theatre Company (Mill Valley, CA), New Jersey Repertory Company (Long Branch, NJ), Phoenix Theatre (Indianapolis)

YANKEE TAVERN by Steven Dietz – Florida Stage (Manalapan, FL), Curious Theatre Company (Denver), New Jersey Repertory Company (Long Branch, NJ)

*projects that began in 2008-09, and are completing in 2009-10



The Emerging Playwrights Residencies were established in 2007 to support playwrights graduating from qualified MFA programs for season-long residencies at NNPN member theaters. Playwrights selected for the program receive stipends of $8,750 to learn from and engage with NNPN members. 2009-10 recipient theaters and playwrights are:

  • Florida Studio Theatre (Sarasota, FL)/Sarah Sander (U of I Playwright’s Workshop)
  • Marin Theatre Company (Mill Valley, CA)/Steve Yockey (NYU Tisch School)
  • Playwrights Theatre of New Jersey (Madison, NJ)/TBA (Rutgers)



NNPN awards an annual new-play commission, selected by the membership, in the amount of $3,500. The 2009 Commission has been awarded to Elaine Romero for her play Ponzi, nominated by Kitchen Dog Theater (Dallas).



An award of $7,000 goes to Atlanta’s Actor’s Express and Horizon Theatres to host the 2009 National Showcase of New Plays, scheduled for December 4-6. A “traveling trade show”, the NSNP showcases six new plays selected from member theaters’ submissions.



The National New Play Network (NNPN) is the country’s leading alliance of leading non-profit professional theaters that champions the development, production, and continued life of new plays. Since its founding in 1998, NNPN has commissioned over a dozen playwrights, provided seven MFA graduates with paid residencies, and supported nearly 50 productions nationwide through its innovative Continued Life of New Plays Fund, which creates “rolling world premieres” of new plays. Through these activities and others, NNPN has granted nearly a half million dollars to theaters and artists in the past ten years. Hundreds of artists have gained employment through these efforts in the 24 regions of the country where NNPN member theaters are located. NNPN receives substantial support from the Mellon Foundation, the Shubert Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts.


NNPN’s 26 member theaters are: Actor’s Express Theatre (Atlanta), Actor’s Theatre of Charlotte (Charlotte, NC), Borderlands Theater (Tucson), Curious Theatre Company (Denver), Florida Stage (Manalapan), 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), 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), Salt Lake Acting Company (Salt Lake City), Southern Rep (New Orleans), Unicorn Theatre (Kansas City, MO), Victory Gardens (Chicago), and Woolly Mammoth Theater Company (Washington, DC).



Hope Baugh –

Email: amarylliswriter at gmail dot com

Twitter: IndyTheatre

Leave a Reply