National Playwrights Conference artistic director Wendy C. Goldberg introduces a reading. (Photo by A. Vincent Scarano)

O’Neill Center Announces Summer of New-Work Conferences

New plays, musicals, puppetry pieces and cabaret shows will get an airing at the storied development center.

WATERFORD, CONN.: The Eugene O’Neill Theater Center has announced its summer lineup of developmental works and conferences. Between the four conferences the center will host this year (not counting the National Critics’ Institute), 11 plays and musicals will be developed.

“With this season, the O’Neill truly represents the launchpad of the American theatre,” said Preston Whiteway, the center’s executive director, in a statement. “Drawn from thousands of submissions and applications, the 2015 O’Neill season represents the most exciting and talented theatre artists and work today.”

Kicking off the season will be the National Playwrights Conference (July 1–25), of which Wendy C. Goldberg serves as artistic director. The conference is the O’Neill’s core new-play program, which this year will develop eight plays from up-and-coming writers, seven of which were chosen from the than 1,300 applications submitted. The plays are Leftovers by Josh Wilder, Good Ol’ Boys by Joe Waechter, End of Shift by Jenny Connell Davis, No One’s Sonata by Steven Sater, Cardboard Piano by Hansol Jung, Halftime With Don by Ken Weitzman, Nomad Motel by Carla Ching and Slow Food by Wendy MacLeod.

Next is the National Music Theater Conference (June 20–July 10), of which Paulette Haupt is artistic director. Founded in 1978, the conference has developed more than 120 new musicals, including early works by Lin-Manuel Miranda, Duncan Sheik and Andrew Lippa. The musicals chosen for this year are Slaughterhouse Five,  with music by Jed Feuer and book and lyrics by Adele Ahronheim; We Live in Cairo, with book, music and lyrics by Patrick and Daniel Lazour; and ZM, with book and lyrics by Greg Kotis and music and lyrics by Mark Hollmann.

Puppets of all shapes and sizes find a home at the National Puppetry Conference (June 12–13), of which Pam Arciero serves as artistic director. Rehearsals and workshops in writing, music, “puppet anarchy” and marionettes will be offered, as well as a performance from the duo Teatro Hugo & Ines, who will lead a workshop in the elements of dance, mime and puppetry.

Closing the season will be the Cabaret & Performance Conference (July 30–Aug. 8), of which John McDaniel is artistic director. The lineup for the summer is An Evening with Joyce Beach (July 30), Natalie Douglas in Four Women: Nina, Lena, Abbey & Billie (Aug. 1), Barb Jungr & John McDaniel in Come Together–Music of the Beatles (Aug. 2), the Skivvies in Concert with special guest Erik Altemus (Aug. 4) and Shirley Jones (Aug. 7).

The Eugene O’Neill Theater Center was founded in 1964 by George C. White in honor of America’s only Nobel Prize-winning playwright.

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