Release date: March 16, 2001
Contact: Deb Hammacher, Assistant Director, 404-727-0644, or email@example.com
Theater Emory Presents Biennial New Play Festival, Brave New Works
Works by first-time, faculty and internationally-known playwrights fill the bill of the March 25-April 8 Brave New Works (BNW) marathon of new play readings. Theater Emory and the Playwriting Center of Theater Emory host the biennial event that offers playwrights the chance to hear their works in progress and brainstorm with other writers. In a new element this year, theater professionals will discuss various aspects of working in the field.
Audiences will get to see the completion of a work in development at BNW two years ago, David Kranes' "Beautiful Dreamer," the story of 19th-century American songwriter Stephen Foster. Noted playwright Naomi Wallace will have the first reading of "Fugitive Cant," her commission for the Royal Shakespeare Company, which also serves as a precursor to a Theater Emory festival of her work in October. Prolific playwright-in-residence Steve Murray will have a reading of his new work, "Manna," and first-time playwright Susan Bentley offers a rewrite of a Greek tragedy with "Becoming Ariadne."
Faculty projects in BNW, include "Somewhere Else," the first part of a trilogy by theater studies associate professor Tim McDonough; "1001 Nights," by Theater Emory producing artistic director Vincent Murphy; and "Getting There," a first play by skit.dog, an incognito member of the faculty. One of the most unusual faculty projects is a two-playwright adaptation of journalism professor Gary Pomerantz's book, "Where Peachtree Meets Sweet Auburn," that tells the history of Atlanta through the families of black former mayor Maynard Jackson and white former mayor Ivan Allen Jr.
"Five years ago 'Where Peachtree Meets Sweet Auburn' was recommended
to me as the best way to learn about Atlanta," says Murphy, who
leads BNW. "Then two years ago Gary joined the journalism faculty
here and moved in down the hall, so I stuck my head in and told him
I thought his book would make a wonderful play." Pomerantz agreed,
so African-American playwright Valetta Anderson and white playwright
Peter Hardy were commissioned to jointly tackle the project. Michael
Kinghorn, the literary manager for the Alliance Theater, is helping
to steer the project.
The guest artist sessions cover nearly every aspect of developing new
theatrical work for aspiring playwrights. The sessions are 5-5:45 p.m.
in the Theater Laboratory.
BNW began informally in 1989, Murphy's first year at Emory, with the
development of Emory English professor Frank Manley's play, "The
Evidence." Murphy is proud of the track record. "We've developed
81 plays, and more than half have gone on to professional productions,
including abroad and with prestigious domestic companies," says
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