PHILADELPHIA: New-play development organization PlayPenn has announced the 2019 New Play Development Conference plays and writers. The selected playwrights will constitute the inaugural class of Haas Fellows, and they will develop their plays during the conference in July.
The conference will include workshops of the six plays, during which the playwrights will work with directors, dramaturgs, and actors to develop their pieces. There will be two public readings of each play; one at the conference’s midpoint, and one at the end of the development period. Readings of two other works-in-progress will also be featured at the conference.
Chosen from more than 700 applicants, the 2019 conference plays and Haas Fellows are Archipelago by Amy E. Witting, Cave Canem by A. Emmanuel Leadon, Incendiary by Dave Harris, Strange Men by Will Snider, The Piper by Kate Hamill, and Wayfinding by Whitney Rowland.
In Amy E. Witting’s Archipelago, three individuals isolated in their own pain come together in hopes of raising each other up before tearing each other down.
Cave Canem by A. Emmanuel Leadon follows two former friends as they struggle to bottle their resentments before their collective rage takes complete control.
Dave Harris’s Incendiary, in which a Black single mother plans to break her son out of prison, examines generational violence, heroism, and the gendered expectations of emotional labor in Black families.
In Strange Men, Will Snider explores the limits of good intentions and the uneven stakes for Americans living abroad and the people whose lives they touch.
Kate Hamill‘s The Piper follows a woman in crisis who encounters the darkest parts of human nature after finding a spiritual home.
In Wayfinding by Whitney Rowland, an emotionally numbed widow and a self-sabotaging husband collide, sending them on a time-bending journey.
The additional readings this year will be Esther Choi and the Fish That Drowned by Stephanie Kyung Sun Walters and Buffalo Bill or How to Be a Good Man by Meghan Kennedy.
Founded in 2005, PlayPenn is dedicated to the development of new plays and playwrights.