Lortel Theatre Announces New Play Development Program - "Alcove at the Lortel"
Posted by: Official_Press_Release 09:11 am EDT 05/18/23

Lucille Lortel Theatre Announces New
Play Development Program:
The Alcove at the Lortel
New Play Commissions, Play Research and Development and
Live Online reading on May 22nd of Red Sky at Night by Eve Leigh
Directed by Obie-winner Taylor Reynolds in
Collaboration with The Brick Theater

Micro-Commissions and Continued Development Awarded to Early and Mid-Career Playwrights as Part of Theatre's Commitment to Producing New and Innovative Works

New York, NY (May 18, 2023) – With the recent announcement of Lucille Lortel Theatre's purchase and renovation of a new theater space in Chelsea and its appointment of two new Co-Artistic Directors of New Work, Lucille Lortel Theatre is pleased to announce the launch of: The Alcove at the Lortel, a new play development program.

The Alcove at the Lortel is a multi-faceted approach to developing new plays by early and mid-career playwrights led and curated by Caridad Svich, Artistic Director of New Play Development. The play development process will start with the awarding of micro-commissions and will have additional elements including work sessions in conjunction with dramaturgs and readings. This new program allows playwrights the ability to workshop their creations with mentorship and the backing of an established theatre.

In April 2023, the first round of 10 micro-commissions were awarded to playwrights to nurture the creation and further development of new works for performance. These micro-commissions were awarded based on proposals sent in by playwrights invited to submit to the program. The awardees and their projects are curated by Svich and represent a wide range of thematic subject matter, intergenerational points of view, speak to and about aspects of global majority experience, and reflect experimentation. Each playwright is paired with a dramaturg for the commission period. A second round of 10 micro-commissions will be awarded in the fall of 2023.

Current awardees include Terence Antony, Mathilde Dratwa, Rudi Goblen, Deborah Zoe Laufer, Mildred Lewis, Dan O'Brien, Mónica Sánchez, ruth tang, Jesus I. Valles, and Calamity West. Participating dramaturgs include Emma Dorfman, Hannah Gellman, Elly Green, Sarah Rose Leonard, Adil Mansoor, Tatiana Pandiani, Christian Parker, Nick Ruizorvis, Arminda Thomas, and Sebastian Eddowes Vargas,

In addition to the micro-commissions awarded this spring, The Alcove at the Lortel will also be furthering the development of two additional emerging works with research, translation, and readings. Further support and development of additional new works will be ongoing through this program and announced at a later time.

The first of these will be research and development work sessions for the continued furthering of the translation of the new play Big Zoo by award winning Taiwanese playwright Wei Yu-Chia, translated by Jeremy Tiang, who will be working with director Nana Dakin. Big Zoo is the happiest place on earth! So how come the zebras are stampeding? Why is the weasel starting an insurrection? And what's going on with the secretive Zookeeper? In this surreal, high-octane fable, the absurdity of life inside Big Zoo illuminates the beliefs and systems we impose upon ourselves.

The Alcove at the Lortel will also present its first public-facing, live online reading on May 22nd at 7 PM ET of Red Sky at Night by Eve Leigh directed by Obie-winner Taylor Reynolds in collaboration with The Brick Theater in Brooklyn as part of the Brick's new digital reading series. Red Sky at Night is a haunting play about the immigrant experience written by US-born, UK-based writer Eve Leigh, one of the most exhilarating dramatists working internationally today. Leigh's works have been staged at the Royal Court Theatre, Sheffield Crucible, and at theatres in Europe and Asia. Taylor Reynolds directed the premiere of Dave Harris' Tambo & Bones at Playwrights Horizons, Will Arbery's Plano at Clubbed Thumb, and is currently in rehearsals with a show at The Vineyard. This reading will be the first time Leigh's work has been seen in New York City. To attend this FREE reading, please RSVP at: Lortel.org or www.BrickTheater.com.

"At a time when the theatre industry is struggling and in flux, The Alcove at the Lortel, a new play development program, is a place to seed dreams and innovative writing for performance. Whether you are an early-career or mid-career playwright, the fact remains that being supported and nurtured through a process of development and eventually production is vital. Every step along a play's journey matters. The Alcove at the Lortel can be the first step toward the realization and making of a body of new works for performance reflective of the breadth and depth of artistry and perspectives in the national and global theatre realm. Our goal is simple: support artists on their respective trajectories and honor the resiliency it takes to create art at all times," said Caridad Svich, Artistic Director of New Play Development. 

Caridad Svich (Artistic Director of New Play Development) is a playwright, translator, screenwriter, and lyricist whose recognitions include the 2023 Flora Roberts Award from The Dramatists Guild, 2012 OBIE for Lifetime Achievement and a 2018 Ellen Stewart Career Achievement Award from ATHE. Svich's signature plays include 12 Ophelias, Iphigenia Crash Land Falls on the Neon Shell That Was Once Her Heart, Red Bike, Guapa (NNPN Rolling World Premiere), Spark (National Latino Playwriting Award), and The House of the Spirits (ATCA Primus Prize). Currently running at Repertorio Espanol in NYC are her plays, Eva Luna (world premiere: 2022) and In the Time of the Butterflies. Among her projects in development is a new musical about Pablo Picasso with director Gordon Greenberg, composer Stephen Schwartz, and actor Antonio Banderas for Trafalgar Entertainment.

The Lucille Lortel Theatre's mission is to foster both new and established artists, increase awareness and appreciation of Off-Broadway, and uphold fair and equitable business and artistic practices in service of creating a larger, more diverse community of theatre makers and audiences. The Theatre most recently produced "Dangerous Acts" in partnership with Howard University, currently streaming on All-Arts' House Seats program. This season the company also produced Four Saints in Three Acts, performed by David Greenspan, and co-produced Kate Berlant's sold-out one woman show Kate, both New York Times Critic's Picks. Its programs include NYC Public High School Playwriting Fellowship, now in its fourth season, Fellowships in NYC Theatre at Bennington College, The Lortel Theatre Music Theatre Lab: Immigrant Experiences at The New School, Lucille Lortel Awards and Playwrights' Sidewalk, Internet Off-Broadway Database (IOBDB.com), and Non-Profit Theatre Strategic and Management Services. Under the direction of its two new Artistic Directors, Caridad Svich and Michael Heitzman, the company will be announcing more new programs in support of playwrights, composers, and other theatre artists in the near future. For more information, please visit www.lortel.org.

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