CONTACT: Nicole Clayton
Public Relations Associate
(941) 366 – 9017 ext. 338
DATE: September 9, 2014
FST hosts national showcase of new plays
(Sarasota, FL)—Playwrights, directors, and agents alike will gather in Florida Studio Theatre’s Keating Theatre on November 21, 22, and 23, 2014 for the National Showcase of New Plays. The National New Play Network is the country’s alliance of nonprofit theaters that champions the development, production, and continued life of new plays. Six plays will be selected and presented at the showcase. This event is by invitation only. For more information and available updates, please visit floridastudiotheatre.org.
This event showcases new plays, playwrights, and theatres from across the country in a staged reading format. Of the over 60 plays submitted, 23 are currently being read and considered for this opportunity.
FST Artistic Director, Richard Hopkins, shared his thoughts on this upcoming gathering.
“I am delighted to host the National New Play Network. This event will give Sarasota the opportunity to see the power of NNPN’s creative collaboration at work and up close.
NNPN member theatres will have the chance to see FST and Sarasota at work and at play. NNPN is the joint effort of dozens of theatres working together to create new plays. Most audiences know that every play is a collaboration of extraordinary magnitude involving dozens to hundreds of artists and artisans, working together to craft a unified whole we call a play. Now multiply that times dozens of theatres and the results are multiplied. The result is more new voices entering the American Theatre, and more new plays entering our living, evolving, and contemporary repertoire. NNPN theatres make a difference in the world of new play development, and that means we make a difference to the American Theatre. We’re proud to be a part.”
FST Managing Director and NNPN Executive Board member, Rebecca Hopkins commented on the scale and timing of this event stating, “The showcase is definitely the biggest undertaking of the year for NNPN. It is more than just the 6 plays, although they are the centerpiece. It is an opportunity for the different theatres to connect and develop multiple partnerships. The result is not only Rolling World Premieres, but other creative collaborations. These have included everything from joint play festivals, dramaturgy, and even solving design elements. We have been in talks to host the event for several years, but wanted to wait until we were finished with our construction project. We are very happy to host all these artists and introduce them to Sarasota. We now have the capability of hosting the showcase in the Keating and Goldstein while our Mainstage and Cabaret operate uninterrupted in the Gompertz and the Court.”
This showcase gives a unique and invaluable opportunity for dozens of production-ready new plays to be viewed by artistic directors, literary managers, literary agents, publishers, and independent producers from around the country. In the past eight years, of the more than 100 plays read at the Showcase more than 80% have received their initial production within the next three seasons.
FST Associate Artist, Jason Cannon speaks to the excitement of this upcoming showcase stating, “The NNPN Showcase is an electric jolt of new play energy! Well over a hundred theatre artists and playwrights from around the country will visit FST to explore and celebrate half a dozen new plays culled from over 60 submissions. Based on previous showcases, we fully expect that half or more of these finalist plays will subsequently receive their world premieres at NNPN theatres. FST is a proud core member of NNPN and thrilled to host this exciting event, a collision of playwrights and producers that springs from the heart of our mission to be cutting-edge, contemporary, and accessible.”
Executive Director of NNPN, Nan Barnett, further commented on this exciting weekend stating, “National New Play Network is delighted to be bringing our membership and industry guests to Sarasota. The beautiful facilities of Florida Studio Theatre are perfect for this event, our largest each year. The wonderful staff and artists of FST will, I’m sure, make the weekend one of our best ever. This showcase includes more than 100 theater-makers, artistic directors, literary managers, producers, and playwrights from around the U.S. They will all join together to see readings of six as yet, unproduced plays. Sharing updates about the new work they are creating around the country, it’s also a time to enjoy the Gulf and all that Sarasota has to offer. We can’t wait.”
Many of these plays are also presented as NNPN Rolling World Premieres in which a playwright develops a new work with at least three different creative teams, for at least three different communities of patrons. This allows the playwright to be a part of the process. Working on the script with each company during the rehearsal and run, adjustments can then be made based on what is learned from each leg of the “roll.” In 2010, FST kept things turning with Shotgun, a Rolling World Premiere in Keating Theatre, and then again in 2012 with Jericho.
This rare behind the scenes congregation happens once a year, and this year, on
November 21, 22, and 23, 2014, it all comes to FST. This event is by invitation only.
For more information and available updates, please visit floridastudiotheatre.org.
About National New Play Network
The National New Play Network (NNPN) is the country’s alliance of non-profit professional theatres that champions the development, production, and continued life of new plays.
ince its founding in 1998, NNPN has supported more than 150 productions nationwide through its innovative Continued Life of New Plays Fund, which supports the “Rolling World Premieres” for which NNPN has become most well-known. Additional programs, such as its National Showcase of New Plays, commissions, playwright and producer residencies, developmental support, member-accessed travel banks, online information sessions, and its newest initiative, the New Play Exchange, allow its members to launch new work across the country and around the world, and have helped to cement the Network’s vitality within the regional theatre landscape and its place as an invaluable incubator of the future of American theatre.
NNPN strives to pioneer, implement and disseminate ideas and programs that revolutionize the way theatres collaborate to support new plays and playwrights. The Network’s programs employ thousands of artists and artisans in every region of the country, and its 27 Core and 35 Associate Members, along with the more than 250 playwrights who are alumni of its programs, are changing the face of American theatre. Our Core Member theatres champion new plays in communities from coast to coast (from Boston’s New Rep to San Francisco’s Magic), in quiet neighborhoods (like Borderlands in Arizona), in rural settings (such as West Virginia’s Contemporary American Theatre Festival) and in busy metropolises (Atlanta’s Actor’s Express and Horizon Theatre or Washington, DC’s Woolly Mammoth), with budgets as small as $150,000 (Chicago’s PROP Thtr) and as large as $5 million (Florida Studio Theatre in Sarasota), serving traditional (LA’s Fountain Theatre) and non-traditional audiences (Mixed Blood in Minneapolis) alike. Add in our 35 Associate Members, small theatres with a love of new work (such as Missoula’s Montana Rep and Indiana’s Bloomington Playwrights Project) to major institutions with new play development arms (CENTERSTAGE in Baltimore and California’s South Coast Repertory) and you have an astounding array of producing organizations. Diverse as they are, what unites them is a commitment to shepherding new works into the American canon, and to bringing the freshest ideas and voices to their audiences, whomever and wherever they may be.
About Florida Studio Theatre
Known as Sarasota’s Contemporary Theatre, Florida Studio Theatre was founded in 1973 by Jon Spelman. Starting out as a small touring company, FST traveled to places such as migrant camps and prisons. The company eventually settled down into a permanent home, acquiring the former Woman’s Club building – now renamed the Keating Theatre. In the years that followed, Florida Studio Theatre established itself as a major force in American Theatre, presenting contemporary theatre in its five theatre venues: the Keating Theatre, the Goldstein Cabaret, the Gompertz Theatre, the New Cabaret Theatre, and Bowne’s Lab Theatre.
Even with its growth, Florida Studio Theatre remains firmly committed to making the arts accessible and affordable to a broad-based audience. Under Richard Hopkins, Artistic Director and CEO, FST develops theatre that speaks to our living, evolving, and dynamically changing world. As FST grows and expands, it continues to provide audiences with challenging, contemporary drama and innovative programs.
2014 Summer Season
Pump Boys & Dinettes – June 4
Becoming Dr. Ruth – June 25
Taking Shakespeare – July 23
At The Hop – June 10
Clearly Invisible – July 8
Somewhere Over The Rose – August 5
FST Improv – June 7
Sarasota Improv Festival – July 11 & 12