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Top row: Genne Murphy, David J. Jacobi and Ellen Struve; bottom row: James Ijames, Eric Pfeffinger and JT Rogers.
Top row: Genne Murphy, David J. Jacobi and Ellen Struve; bottom row: James Ijames, Eric Pfeffinger and JT Rogers.

PlayPenn Announces Six Playwrights for July Conference

JT Rogers, Eric Pfeffinger, Ellen Struve and David J. Jacobi will join Philadelphia-based playwrights Genne Murphy and James Ijames at summer new-play gathering.

PHILADELPHIA: PlayPenn will hold its 11th annual New Play Development Conference July 7–26 at Drexel University in Philadelphia. The conference will include three weeks of intensive work on six works-in-progress and will offer staged readings open to the public. The six selected plays and playwrights are Giantess by Genne Murphy, Human Error by Eric Pfeffinger, Oslo by JT Rogers, Prince Max’s Trewly Awful Trip to the Desolat Interior by Ellen Struve, White by James Ijames and Widower by David J. Jacobi. 

PlayPenn’s conference received a record 750 applications from playwrights across the country which were narrowed by a cadre of nearly 80 readers from Philadelphia’s diverse professional theatre community to a list of 30 semi-finalists, who were narrowed further by a group of artistic leaders, literary managers and dramaturgs from across the country.

“I’m thrilled that this year’s selected plays and playwrights include returning writers like James, JT and Eric, who have made great use of this process alongside new faces Ellen, Genne and David, who will help create a rich dynamic at our conference,” said Paul Meshejian, PlayPenn founding artistic director, in sa a statement. “I’m confident all the plays workshopped and read this summer will become part of the American theatre repertory, as have the majority of the nearly 100 plays we’ve developed over the past 10 years.” He noted that two of the playwrights, Ijames and Murphy, are Philadelphia-based. 

The chosen playwrights will bring their works-in-progress to Philadelphia for in-depth work with a professional director of their choice, dramaturgical and design assistance and collaboration with professional actors from the Philadelphia theatre community. Prior to the three-week rehearsal period, PlayPenn hosts a three-day retreat for conference playwrights, directors and dramaturgs. A complete schedule of the free readings will be released in May at www.playpenn.org, and reservations will open to the general public on July 1.

In addition to the above plays and playwrights who will participate in the 2015 conference this summer, the following plays and playwrights were finalists in PlayPenn’s selection process: Good Men Wanted by Kevin Armento, Stutter by Philip Dawkins, The Arsonists by Jacqueline Goldfinger, Queen by Maadhuri Shekar, Good Day by Diana Small, The Great Barrier by Matt Smart, Colony Collapse by Stefanie Zadravec, and Let Me Count the Ways by Martín Zimmerman.

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