LOS ANGELES: The second annual Los Angeles New Play Project (LANPP) has named three new playwrights and four theatres as their 2022 grant recipients. The playwrights are David Johann Kim, Rosie Narasaki, and Marlow Wyatt. Each playwright will receive $20,000, and the grant also awards four Los Angeles County theatres $20,000 for producing the playwrights’ work within the next 18 months. Chalk Repertory Theatre will premiere Kim’s Pang Spa, while Ensemble Studio Theatre LA will stage Kim’s Two Stop. Playwright’s Arena will produce Narasaki’s Unrivaled and Antaeus Theatre Company will produce Wyatt’s SHE.
The LANPP grant is designed to contribute to original work on the stages of Los Angeles County. The grants are intended to help attract excellence in playwriting to the Los Angeles theatre community and to encourage the production of exciting, untried plays.
“We launched Los Angeles New Play Project in order to support some of the best writers who are working to develop new plays,” explained LANPP director and producer Paula Holt in a statement. “Additionally, by helping to support small theatres that work so hard to present new plays to the local audiences, we are offering a spark for L.A. theatres coming back to life after these challenging years.”
Kim’s plays are both set in L.A.’s Korean community following the Rodney King verdict. Two Stop is set in a Korean-owned convenience store on the night of the 1992 Los Angeles uprising, and Pang Spa is an immersive production that tells the story of a formerly prosperous grocery store on the outskirts of L.A.’s Koreatown that was destroyed in the aftermath of the verdict.
Narasaki’s Unrivaled tells the story of two renounced Japanese female writers of the 11th century, exploring gender politics, sexuality, and class structure in a period that draws parallels to contemporary Western culture.
Wyatt’s SHE is set in Clark County, Miss., and examines the story of 13-year-old Sojourner Freeman, who battles her single mother and navigates a rocky summer trying to piece together the money to fund tuition at a prestigious Academy of Arts and Science.
The Los Angeles New Play Project grant was founded by producers Paula Holt and Nathan Birnbaum. The project is administered in cooperation with the UCLA Foundation, UCLA’s School of Theater, Film and Television, and is funded by a generous benefactor who has asked to remain anonymous.
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