PlayPenn, the play development workshop that has helped put Philly on the map in the theater world, has announced the six plays and playwrights chosen for its New Play Development Conference, July 9-28.
This year’s PlayPenn selectees, chosen from more than 700 applicants from around the country, are:
The conference and free staged readings of the selected plays are among the highlights of the Philadelphia theater year, and the plays tend to fare well after PlayPenn. Of the 140 that have passed through the program since it began in 2005, about 60 percent have gone on to be produced.
The jewel in the crown was Oslo, the PlayPenn-developed J.T. Rogers play that won the Obie, Tony, Drama Desk, and New York Drama Critics’ Circle awards for best play in 2017, among many other honors.
As in years past, the selected playwrights come from a range of backgrounds and different career stages. New this year is the Haas Fellows program, a result of significant support from the Philly-based Wyncote Foundation. For the first time, all the selected playwrights are Haas Fellows.
“PlayPenn has always been a dream (seriously — I’m still pinching myself!),” Rowland said. “I’m hoping to take advantage of the schedule and do some intense rewriting of this play, guided by the feedback from my collaborators.”
PlayPenn has “a storied history,” said Snider, adding that he can’t wait to get in the room at PlayPenn and begin. “And I’m eager to share Strange Men with the PlayPenn audience. I learn so much watching an audience watch my plays.”
All selectees will spend July working on their creations with a director, a dramaturge, and a full cast. The conference includes two free public readings of each of the six chosen works (dates to be announced.).