PHILADELPHIA: Azuka Theatre has announced a new writers’ program to support the development of new works by Philadelphia-based playwrights. The program, called New Pages, will be led by the company’s associate artistic director, Maura Krause. The initiative is funded by a grant from the Independence Foundation.
“Through New Pages, Azuka is able to help Philadelphia playwrights in the development of their work,” said artistic director Kevin Glaccum in a statement. “Instead of just sitting by waiting for them to finish a play and connect with us, we wanted to be part of the process from the start. Azuka has extensive experience in collaborating and partnering with some of these inaugural members (and other playwrights) already. Now, New Pages will help us shine the spotlight on development of new works as a year-round, every-season initiative. We strongly believe in bringing local voices to the stage, and now we can dedicate even more energy and resources to make sure they have the support they need for success.”
Inaugural member playwrights include Val Dunn, Jacqueline Goldfinger, James Ijames, Erlina Ortiz, Bruce Walsh, and Douglas Williams.
The cohort will participate in bimonthly meetings, and public readings and events. There is no expiration for membership. The theatre will provide physical resources and has committed to producing one play per season by a writer from this group for the next three years, beginning with the 2019-20 season.
“New Pages is such an exciting and game-changing group,” said Ortiz in a statement. “To be given a space without an agenda to say this is for you, how can we help you make your play the best it can be, or how can we help you continue to grow and develop as an artist. There are not too many other organizations like Azuka doing this, especially in Philadelphia.”