Now in its third year, New Writers. New Plays. (NWNP) is an annual residency program that takes place at the Vineyard Arts Project in Edgartown. NWNP provides emerging playwrights, directors and actors with the time and rehearsal space necessary to create new work – time and space that are difficult to find in cities, where the majority of participants reside. The month-long residency culminates in a three-day festival of public readings.
“What’s great about New Writers. New Plays. is that the audience really gets to be part of the art,” said Brooke Ditchfield Co-Founder and Producer of the festival. After a month of working hard on their plays, the playwrights spend three days having their work read with the hope that they’ll get valuable feedback and criticism from their audience.
“These playwrights get so much out of the audience’s reaction. It’s such a give and take. Audiences get to play a part in the creation and the playwrights get to test the waters before taking their work on to New York or Boston or wherever else is the next stop for them,” said Ditchfield.
Past playwrights that have participated in NWNP include Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, Tanya Saracho, Matt Gould and Griffin Matthews (Winners of the 2012 Richard Rodgers Award for Musical Theater). Ayad Akhtar, whose play “Disgraced” was workshopped at NWNP in 2010, will open at Lincoln Center in the fall.
This year’s resident playwrights include the acclaimed Bekah Brunstetter (“Oorah!”, Atlantic Theatre Co.), with her new commission for Naked Angels entitled “A Long and Happy Life,” as well as Columbia University’s Lauren Whitehead with her debut “Stunning, still.” Rounding out the residency with a new full-length is the IRNE award-winning PigPen Theatre Co., an ensemble whose work NWNP has fostered for three seasons.
“We are so proud to share these ground breaking new works with Vineyard audiences,” said Ditchfield."What's even better is that admission to the readings is on a pay what you can, basis meaning anyone who wants to experience the plays can."
New Writers. New Plays. public readings take place July 12 - 14 at 1 pm, 4 pm, and 7 pm each day at Vineyard Arts Project, 215 Upper Main Street, Edgartown. Tickets are pay what you can. For more information visit the Vineyard Arts Project website