BALTIMORE: Center Stage has launched a development program for local playwrights. The Playwrights Collective will give a rotating group of writers the opportunity to collaborate, develop work and receive professional mentorship at the regional theatre.
“The Playwrights Collective is just the latest addition in an exciting array of opportunities we’ve been cooking up, and I can’t wait to see where the writers themselves take it, and how they choose to use it,” said Gavin Witt, Center Stage associate director and director of dramaturgy, in a statement.
The initiative began in the spring with Jennifer Barclay, Alvin Eng, Jacqueline E. Lawton, Liz Maestri, Lola B. Pierson and Craig S. Richie. The playwrights will work alongside Jenny Connell Davis, the 2014–15 Hot Desk Resident Playwright, for the remainder of the 2015–16 season.
In addition to providing direction and a space to develop new work, the program allows institutional access and affiliation with Center Stage.
“Since I came to Center Stage, I have made it a priority to reach out and sustain emerging writers, especially our local voices,” said artistic director Kwame Kwei-Armah in a statement. “As a playwright myself, I benefited enormously from the early backing of large institutional theatres. I am thrilled to get to pay that back—and forward.”
Other initiatives for writers at Center Stage include the Hot Desk and International Hot Desk residencies, and the Play Lab series for developmental readings.