In October, after several seasons of success with their Wright-Right-Now (“WRN”) program – the micro-commissioning series in which playwrights produce patron-prompted short plays on demand, Center Stage introduced the Wright Now, Play Later (“WNPL”) project. With WNPL, patron-prompted short plays are not only commissioned, they are performed! So far the program has had exciting, public-commissioned short plays from an impressive list of playwrights: Nathan Alan Davis, Larissa FastHorse, Hank Boland, Amy E. Witting and Paul Eddy, Tegan McLeod and Ismail Khalidi, and Allison Gregory, and Steven Dietz.
Here’s How it Works:
On Monday, Center Stage solicited prompts from the public. Yesterday, the playwrights each picked three of their favorite prompts and wrote short plays for each. Today, the public votes for our favorites and tomorrow, the three winning plays will be performed as a staged reading for the public.
Recently of the Center Stage Playwrights Collective
Jenny Connell Davis’ plays have been developed and/or produced with The Eugene O’Neill National Playwrights Conference, The Playwrights Center, Icicle Creek, ACT (Seattle), American Theater Company (Chicago), SPACE at Ryder Farm, Ars Nova, NAATCO, Theater MITU, Articulate Theatre, New York Stage and Film, Shrewd Productions, Scriptworks and The Gift Theatre, among others. She has been a finalist or semi-finalist for the Heideman, PlayPenn, Seven Devils, BAPF, the Nicholl Fellowship and the O’Neill. Davis’ short film, Fatakra, with writer/director Soham Mehta, played at over 75 festivals worldwide, including Toronto and SXSW, and was recognized with more than a dozen audience awards and jury prizes, including the Student Academy Award. She currently has screenplays in development with Maven Pictures and Co-op Entertainment. Jenny is an Affiliated Artist with The Playwrights’ Center, and an alumna of Ars Nova Play Group, UT Austin’s MFA Playwriting program, The School at Steppenwolf, the Court Theatre Resident Apprentice program, and The University of Chicago.
Marcus Gardley is a poet-playwright who was recently awarded the 2014 Glickman Award for his play, The House That Will Not Stand, commissioned and produced by Berkeley Rep. It was also a finalist for the 2015 Kennedy Prize. Gardley was the 2013 USA James Baldwin Fellow and was awarded the 2011 PEN/Laura Pels award for Mid-Career Playwright. His play, Every Tongue Confess, was nominated for the Steinberg New Play Award, the Charles MacArthur Award and was a recipient of the Edgerton Foundation New Play Award. His musical, On the Levee, was nominated for 11 Audelco Awards including outstanding playwright. He is the recipient of a Helen Merrill Award, a Kesselring Honor, the Gerbode Emerging Playwright Award, the National Alliance for Musical Theatre Award, the Eugene O’Neill Memorial Scholarship, and the ASCAP Cole Porter Award. He holds an MFA in Playwriting from the Yale Drama School and is a member of New Dramatists, The Dramatists Guild, and The Lark Play Development Center. He is a professor of Playwriting at Brown University.
Recently at Center Stage: X’s and O’s (Fall 2015)
KJ Sanchez is the founder and CEO of American Records, a theater company devoted to making plays that chronicle our time (amrec.us) As a playwright, Sanchez has been produced at Asolo Rep, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Two River Theater, Round House, Cornerstone, and Urban Stages. Directing credits include The Diary of Anne Frank and Harvey at Milwaukee Rep, 26 Miles at Round House, The Giver at Asolo Rep, The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity at Actors Theatre of Louisville, and Private Lives and Mere Mortals at TRTC. As an actress she’s been on stages at The Humana Festival, The Goodman, Berkeley Rep, Long Warf, New York Theatre Workshop and BAM. She is the voice of many characters on the cartoons Dora the Explorer and Go Diego Go.
What to Do Now:
What Happens Next:
To add to spontaneous nature of the project, the plays will be performed in a secret pop-up location – a public space or local business in Baltimore City. Keep an eye on FaceBook and Twitter tomorrow to see where the pop-up performance will take place. It could be anywhere! In October, it was at He/She at Penn Station. Last month, it was at the Carousel in the Inner Harbor. Tomorrow… too soon to tell! The plays will be performed tomorrow, Thursday, December 15th, at 1 pm. If you can’t make it to the pop-up performance in person, you can watch a livestream of the winning plays on the Center Stage FaceBook page. The next, and last, WNPL will take place the week of Jan 9 – 12, 2017, with performance and livestream on Thursday, January 12 at 1 PM.