SAN DIEGO, CALIF.: Cygnet Theatre has launched the Bill and Judy Garrett Finish Line Commission, sponsored by two of the theatre’s longtime supporters. The fund will help playwrights finish a work and move toward a possible full production. The inaugural recipients of the commission are Rachael VanWormer and Nathan Alan Davis.
“At Cygnet, we believe the best way to really have an impact on the American theatre is to focus on new plays,” said artistic director Rob Lutfy in a statement. “The footprint of this program is to allow writers to work on their dream play. This could be a play that may have been sitting in their computer for a few years or a play that was given a commission but never produced—basically, a play that needs a home and support getting over the finish line. By producing new plays, we are directly supporting living artists who are in the prime of their creative years. We are helping to keep artists in the business of making art, an essential service to our community and to our times.”
Each commissioned play will receive a week-long workshop at the theatre with readings Nov. 12-13 and a financial reward. The plays will also be considered for full productions at the theatre.
The commission is intended for one mid-career playwright and one local playwright. San Diego-based VanWormer will work on her play Death of a Late Summer Songbird, a tale set in the South during the Great Depression. Nathan Alan Davis will work on The Wind and the Breeze, about an emcee whose July 4th plans are interrupted by his mentees.
“These will be plays from writers in whose work we have a committed interest and whose voice speaks to our mission and our community,” said Lutfy in a statement. “These are plays that are not submitted to us, rather playwrights we seek out.”