Imagine a New Play: New American Playwrights Project at the Utah Shakespeare Festival
The 21st annual New American Playwrights Project (NAPP) takes the stage at the Utah Shakespeare Festival from August 8 through 30. Three plays will be presented as staged readings in the Auditorium Theatre at 10 a.m. on selected dates. Chosen from hundreds of plays submitted, this year’s lineup includes Shunned by Larry Parr, Twenty-Seven by Ed Morgan, and Adam and Yoshi by Tom Cavanaugh.
Tickets are $10 each and are on sale now at 1-800-PLAYTIX and www.bard.org.
As an audience member, you will have the chance to see staged readings of these new pieces and then take part in a discussion with the playwright and Festival directors and actors.
Shunned tells the story of Levi Yoder, an Amish man who discovers theater quite by accident. He loves theatre, and yet it strictly contradicts his Amish upbringing. Each character in Shunned is, in some way, shunned themselves, emphasizing the universal feeling of isolation as theme. The play presents a realistic portrait of Amish life and philosophy, and depicts problems facing the community in today’s world. Rhett Guter plays Levi and Martin Kildare plays Levi’s father. Shunned by Larry Parr and directed by Charles Metten will be presented August 8, 9 and 28 at 10 a.m. in the Auditorium Theatre.
Twenty Seven, based on William Faulkner’s Old Man, tells the story of a convict who rescues a young pregnant woman clinging to a tree during the Mississippi River flood of 1927. Man and nature conspire against the pair to make the following seven weeks a harrowing and sometimes humorous adventure down the river. Actors include Steve Wojtas, Melisa Pereyra, and Roderick Peeples. Twenty-Seven by Ed Morgan and directed by Larry Paulsen will be presented August 15,16, and 29 at 10 a.m. in the Auditorium Theatre.
Adam and Yoshi features Adam, a young lawyer who is studying for the bar exam and falling deeper in love with Yoshi, who dresses as a superhero and believes she is from another planet. Adam learns from Yoshi how to envision a different reality for himself, and how to believe in a happier life. Quinn Mattfeld and Betsy Mugavero play the lead roles. Adam and Yoshi by Tom Cavanaugh and directed by Aaron Galligan-Stierle will be presented August 22, 23 and 30 at 10 a.m. in the Auditorium Theatre.
“The main objective of the New American Playwrights Project is to develop the Shakespeare’s of the future by workshopping new scripts with actors and directors from the Festival’s summer company,” said Chuck Metten, director of NAPP. “The staged-readings are then performed for Festival patrons for their feedback, all done to help the playwrights improve their work. It’s great fun and very exciting to have living playwrights share the rehearsal and performance process with us.”
Playwright biographies are available at http://www.bard.org/plays/napp2013.html.
Through the New American Playwrights Project, selected playwrights spend time at the Festival working on a new play with actors from the company, and then present it to an audience, followed by discussion between the playwright, actors, and audience members. Intended to encourage the development of new plays, NAPP focuses on western playwrights, giving attention to western subjects, characters, experiences and themes. New plays featuring classical themes and subjects are occasionally chosen. The plays in this series are written for contemporary adult audiences and may occasionally contain themes and language not appropriate for children and that some may find offensive.
The New American Playwrights Project is already accepting submissions for the 2014 season. For more information visit http://bard.org/plays/napp/submitting.html.