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The new theatre space on West 18th Street in Chelsea. (Photo by Lucille Lortel Theatre.)

Lortel’s Alcove Program Announces 10 Micro-Commissions

The Off-Broadway theatre aims to develop a body of new works, as well as provide research, translation, and readings for emerging artists.

NEW YORK CITY: Since its renovation last spring and the appointment of two new co-artistic directors of new work, Lucille Lortel Theatre announced the launch of The Alcove at the Lortel, a new-play development program. Led and curated by Caridad Svich, artistic director of new-play development, the Alcove begins with the awarding of micro-commissions and will grow to include additional elements, including work sessions in conjunction with dramaturgs and readings. The new program allows playwrights to workshop creations with mentorship and the backing of an established theatre.

Last April, the first round of 10 micro-commissions were awarded to playwrights based on their invited proposals. Each playwright is paired with a dramaturg for the commission period. A second round of 10 micro-commissions will be awarded in the fall. The first round of awardees included Terence Anthony, Mathilde Dratwa, Rudi Goblen, Deborah Zoe Laufer, Mildred Lewis, Dan O’Brien, Mónica Sánchez, ruth tang, Jesus I. Valles, and Calamity West. Participating dramaturgs include Emma Dorfman, Hannah Gellman, Elly Green, Sarah Rose Leonard, Adil Mansoor, Tatiana Pandiani, Christian Parker, Nick Ruizorvis, Arminda Thomas, and Sebastian Eddowes Vargas.

In addition to the micro-commissions, The Alcove at the Lortel will also be developing two additional emerging works with research, translation, and readings. The first of these is the new play Big Zoo by award-winning Taiwanese playwright Wei Yu-Chia, translated by Jeremy Tiang, who will be working with director Nana Dakin on this surreal fable about the absurdity of life inside a zoo. The second work is yet to be announced.

“At a time when the theatre industry is struggling and in flux, The Alcove at the Lortel is a place to seed dreams and innovative writing for performance,” said Svich in a statment. “Every step along a play’s journey matters. The Alcove at the Lortel can be the first step toward the realization and making of a body of new works for performance reflective of the breadth and depth of artistry and perspectives in the national and global theatre realm.”

In continuous operation under different names and leadership since 1955, Lucille Lortel Theatre has been run by the Lucille Lortel Theatre Foundation since 1999, which established a booking policy of nonprofit productions only. The theatre’s mission is to foster both new and established artists, increase awareness and appreciation of Off-Broadway, and uphold fair and equitable business and artistic practices in service of creating a larger, more diverse community of theatremakers and audiences.

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