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National New Play Network Announces 2016-17 Grant Recipients

The organization distributed more than $115,000 to support new play development.

WASHINGTON, D.C.: The National New Play Network (NNPN) has announced its 2016-17 grant recipients, including the 2016 Smith Prize for Political Theatre, four Producer Residencies, and four Collaboration Fund awards.

“The growth of these awards mirrors the expanding impact of the Network as it continues to support the development, production, and continued life of new plays…and implement programs that change how American theatre is discovered, made, and shared,” said executive director Nan Barnett in a statement.

Jennifer Barclay
Jennifer Barclay

Playwright Jennifer Barclay received the Smith Prize for Political Theatre. Established in 2006 by Timothy Jay Smith and a group of socially conscious donors, the prize supports emerging playwrights who are creating work that addresses social issues. Barclay’s play Ripe Frenzy examines the role that media plays in perpetuating mass shootings in the U.S.

Four emerging theatremakers received Producer Residencies and will serve as producers in residence at some of NNPN’s core member theatres: Cat Ramirez will be at InterAct Theatre Company in Philadelphia; Maria Patrice Amon will be at San Diego Repertory Theatre in California; Helen Jaksch will be at Southern Rep Theatre in New Orleans; and Olivia Haller will be at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company in Washington, D.C. The program educates new leaders about collaboration and provides connections to alternative networks.

NNPN also distributed four Collaboration Fund awards, which “support partnerships between multiple member theatres, playwrights, and other theatremakers” and encourage “innovative, pioneering, project-based partnerships” among theatres in support of playwrights and new plays. The 2016-17 recipients are Borderlands Theater in Tuscon, Ariz., which will develop playwright Virginia Grise’s adaptation of the Helena Maria Viramontes novel Their Dogs Came With Them; Magic Theatre in San Francisco, Calif., which will partner with playwright Mfoniso Udofia to produce a concert reading of Udofia’s nine-play Ufot Family Cycle; Salt Lake Acting Company of Utah, which will use the fund to support their playwrights’ lab; and Unicorn Theatre in Kansas City, Mo., which will host playwright Amanda Jane Shank for a season-long residency.

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