National New Play Network, the country’s alliance of nonprofit theaters that collaborate in innovative ways to develop, produce, and extend the life of new plays, announces the launch of its 91st Rolling World Premiere (RWP): ALABASTER by Audrey Cefaly.
The Roll continues with this production’s opening night on Saturday, January 26th at Capital Stage (running through February 23rd). This production opens as the first production in the RWP at Florida Repertory Theatre comes to a close the same night. The play will continue to travel across the country to 16th Street Theater (Berwyn, IL), Kitchen Dog Theater (Dallas, TX). Shrewd Productions (Austin, TX), Know Theatre of Cincinnati (Cincinnati, OH), Phoenix Theatre (Indianapolis, IN), Williamston Theatre (Williamston, MI), New Jersey Repertory Company (Long Branch, NJ), Salt Lake Acting Company (Salt Lake City, UT), and Oregon Contemporary Theatre (Eugene, OR). NNPN Rolling World Premiere (RWP) models a process for developing and producing new plays that results in stronger work overall and the momentum needed for a play to join the repertoire of frequently produced new American works. Each Rolling World Premiere connects three or more NNPN Member Theaters that choose to mount the same new play within a 12-month period, allowing the playwright to develop the work with a new creative team in each theater’s community. To date, NNPN has championed RWPs with over one million dollars in financial support. Alumni plays have received hundreds of subsequent productions, recognition in markets across the world, been nominated for the Pulitzer Prize, won Steinberg/ATCA, Stavis, PEN and Blackburn awards, and been adapted into feature films.
ALABASTER is an all-female darkly comic southern drama about women on the verge, art, and the power of human connection. After a tornado barrels through a North Alabama town leaving nothing but death and destruction, only June and her pet goat Weezy live to tell the tale. When Alice, a prominent photographer, arrives to take pictures of June’s scars, every living soul on the farm is tipped to the breaking point in this epic tale of life after death.
Audrey Cefaly is a southern writer and Alabama native based in the DC region. Her plays include The Gulf (Edgerton Award, Lammy Award, Samuel French OOB Fest Winner, Charles MacArthur Award Nominee); Alabaster (2019 NNPN Record-Breaking Rolling World Premiere, 2019 Kilroys, 2018 NNPN Showcase, David Calicchio Emerging American Playwright Prize, BAPF Semifinalist); Maytag Virgin (Women’s Voices Theater Festival); The Last Wide Open (Cincinnati Playhouse commission); The Story of Walter (adaptation of her podcast by the same name); and Love is a Blue Tick Hound (a collection of award-winning one-acts).
Cefaly has developed plays with the National New Play Network, Everyman Theatre, Signature Theatre, Vermont Stage, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, About Face, Florida Rep, Kitchen Dog Theatre, Circle Theatre, Serenbe Playhouse, Aurora Theatre, Theater Alliance, Quotidian Theatre Company, University of Alabama – Birmingham, and Contemporary American Theater Festival. She is published by Samuel French, Smith & Kraus (two volumes of Best American Short Plays), and Applause Books. Cefaly is a member of the 2019 Playwrights’ Arena cohort at Arena Stage and was recently named a Traveling Master by the Dramatist Guild Foundation.
She is an outspoken proponent of silence in storytelling and has authored numerous articles on the topic of playwriting for HowlRound and Samuel French’s Breaking Character Magazine. Cefaly is a recipient of grants from the Boomerang Fund for Artists as well as the Alabama and Maryland state arts councils. audreycefaly.com
Article from Broadway World.
Center, Yasmine Rana, at the Newark Penn reading of, “Encounters in Transit” for NJ Transit and NJ State Council on the Arts’ TRANSITional Art Project.
“The line between where you are now and sleeping in your car is much thinner than you think.” The Fountain Theatre presents the world premiere of a timely new play, written and directed by Stephen Sachs (Arrival & Departure, Citizen: An American Lyric, Bakersfield Mist), about homelessness, celebrity worship and the assault on American journalism. Human Interest Story opens at the Fountain on Feb. 15, where performances continue through April 5.
Set in the fast-moving world of new media, Human Interest Story chronicles the journey of newspaper columnist Andy Kramer, played by award-winning actor Rob Nagle (recent credits include Apple Season at Moving Arts and The Judas Kiss at Boston Court). Suddenly laid off when a corporate takeover downsizes his paper – a print publication struggling for readers in changing times – Andy fabricates a letter to his column in retaliation. The letter, from an imaginary homeless woman named “Jane Doe” who announces she will kill herself on the 4th of July because of the heartless state of the world, goes viral, and Andy is forced to hire a homeless woman (Tanya Alexander – Mono/Poly at the Odyssey and Future Sex Inc. at the Lounge) to stand-in as the fictitious Jane. She becomes an overnight internet sensation and a national women’s movement is ignited.
According to Sachs, the play is about how contrary and opposing impulses can hide in the same human being. “A newspaper columnist, in the course of writing a human interest story on another individual, is forced to confront truths about himself,” he explains.
Read the full article from BroadwayWorld Los Angeles here.
The Negro Ensemble Co, Inc.
a photograph, lovers in motion
by Ntozake Shange
adapted and directed by Ifa Bayeza
Thursdays thru Sundays, February 7-29, 2020
Theatre 80 St. Marks
80 St. Marks Place
New York New York 10003
My dear friends,
Zake and I worked together three times: on the transformation of for colored girls from her solo performance to the theatrical masterpiece, on our co-authored novel Some Sing, Some Cry, and on the reimagining of a photograph, lovers in motion, a play where she experiements with integrating the heightened language of poetry with dialogue.
When NEC asked her for a work to produce in 2014, she was at a low point, recovering from a series of illnesses. “Give them a surprise,” I said, “Let’s work on something you’ve already got going, but could use a little ‘tlc.'” At the time, she couldn’t hold a pen. “Then, tell me the story.” This began our redraft over that winter, culminating in a concert reading in the spring of 2015. In 2019, NEC was one of 66 organizations that received a grant from the City of New York Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment’s “Made in NY” Women’s Film, TV and Theatre Fund, allowing the company to produce the work in full.
In this new incarnation, the play centers around the female character michael, who is now not simply a dancer, but a poet/dancer. Like its precursor for colored girls, the play explores the journey of young womanhood and chronicles Shange’s years in San Francisco prior to her departure for New York and theatre history.
I am so excited about our amazing ensemble! My only regret is that Zake is not here to work on the project with me and see this new adaptation unfold. Join me in celebrating her magnificent voice and vision as I make my directing debut.
Openng Night is February 7th. Valentine’s Day is a two-for-one special!
See You at the Theatre!