In a move designed to get some money to playwrights and create some engagement for theatre fans during the pandemic shutdown, Baltimore Center Stage, Long Wharf Theatre, the Public Theater, Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, and Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company have announced the launch of Play at Home, a series of micro-commissioned short plays. The first of the commissioned plays, which can be downloaded for free here to perform at home, is available today.
Each of the five theatre companies has commissioned multiple playwrights to write 10-minute plays that can be read alone or aloud with loved ones at home (or with whoever you’re not social distancing from). The plays are written under the assumption that they will not be produced, so they may contain elements that could not be reproduced for the stage.
“Even as theatres have closed to protect the public, the community that makes theatre possible remains open for storytelling,” said artistic directors Stephanie Ybarra, Jacob G. Padrón, Oskar Eustis, Hana Sharif and Maria Manuela Goyanes in a joint statement. “We’re proud to have found a way to support our storytellers during this time of great uncertainty clouding the future of theatre, and we’re excited for audiences to read and perform these plays as they bring them to life with their families—in their own homes. We hope that theatres across the country will be inspired to join with us to continue to expand this list and bring more voices to the table.”
Baltimore Center Stage has commissioned Jaclyn Backhaus (Men on Boats), Noah Diaz (Richard & Jane & Dick & Sally), Donnetta Lavinia Grays (Where We Stand), Miranda Rose Hall (Plot Points in Our Sexual Development), Ashley Lauren Rogers (Chasing the Ghost), and Keenan Scott II (Thoughts of a Colored Man).
Long Wharf Theatre has commissioned Hilary Bettis (Alligator), Ricardo Pérez González (On the Grounds of Belonging), MJ Kaufman (Sagittarius Ponderosa), Lloyd Suh (The Chinese Lady), and Lauren Yee (Cambodian Rock Band).
The Public Theater has commissioned Jordan E. Cooper (Ain’t No Mo’), Ty Defoe (CRANE: On Earth, in Sky), Ryan J. Haddad (Hi, Are You Single?), Daniella de Jesús (Mambo Sauce), Daniel Alexander Jones (Black Light), Hansol Jung (Wolf Play), Ethan Lipton (Tumacho), Patricia Ione Lloyd (Eve’s Song), and Mona Mansour (The Vagrant Trilogy).
The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis has commissioned Guadalís Del Carmen (Bees and Honey), Tre’Von Griffith (VOICES: Sounds of America), Steph Del Rosso (53% of), Regina Taylor (Crowns), and Karen Zacarías (Native Gardens).
Woolly Mammoth has commissioned Lady Dane Figueroa Edidi (Werk!), Aleshea Harris (What to Send Up When It Goes Down), Michael R. Jackson (A Strange Loop), Mike Lew (Bhangin’ It), and Diana Oh (The Infinite Love Party).
To play at home, go here.