Thursday, June 30, 2011

InterAct Selected for NNPN Commission & Host of 2011 Showcase of New Plays

New Play Commission

The National New Play Network (NNPN), the country’s alliance of non-profit theaters that champions the development, production, and continued life of new plays, announced at its Annual Conference earlier this month that InterAct will be the recipient of one of two new play commissions granted in 2011. The commission awards InterAct $5,000 that will be given to playwright Jen Silverman for her as-yet-untitled new play about an international search for a missing internet friend.

In the play, rapper hopeful Lila Ramirez becomes obsessed with the South African style of ghetto-infused hip-hop called kwaito. The only person who seems to share her obsession is Daniela, a black South African girl whom Lila befriends online. But when Daniela suddenly vanishes without a word, Lila must decide how far she will go to help her friend. Flying to Cape Town in search of Daniela, Lila soon discovers that she is in a world where victims often trade protest and justice for the uneasy safety offered by silence.

Jen Silverman is an MFA candidate at the University of Iowa Playwrights Workshop, scheduled to graduate in 2011. She received her BA from Brown University in 2006. Her plays include: LIZARDSKIN, developed with New Georges in NYC, New York Stage & Film/ Powerhouse Theatre Company at Vassar College, and produced in the NYC International Fringe Festival in 2006; THE EDUCATION OF MACOLOCO, produced by Fusion Theatre Company in New Mexico, LiveGirls! in Seattle, Circus Theatri-cals in LA, and a 2009 winner of the Samuel French Off-Off Broadway Play Festival; CRANE STORY, developed with New Georges, the Bay Area Playwrights Festival in San Francisco, 2009 HotINK International Festival in NYC, and The Playwrights Realm in NYC; and NILA, which received its first workshop at The Lark’s Playwrights Week 2009. Her plays AKARUI and YELLOW CITY have received workshop productions at the University of Iowa. She was also a 2009 playwright in residence at the Hedgebrook International Women’s Writers Residency.

Commission proposals are nominated by NNPN member theaters and voted annually by the Network’s artistic directors and literary managers. In addition to InterAct and Jen Silverman, the other commission went to Victory Gardens Theatre (Chicago, IL) for Laura Jacqmin's untitled play about a group of college students who learn to travel through time. Commission proposals are nominated by NNPN member theaters and voted annually by the Network’s artistic directors and literary managers. NNPN has awarded eighteen commissions since the Network’s founding in 1998.

2011 Showcase of New Plays

NNPN also announced this week that InterAct was selected to host the Network's 2011 Showcase of New Plays, which will be held November 18-20, 2011, and will feature a series of concert-style readings of 6 new plays that are juried by the NNPN membership. The by-invitation-only event will draw dozens of theatre professionals from all over the country, including the artistic and administrative staffs of NNPN's 26 member theatres, 10-15 playwrights, as well as many industry funders, followers and supporters. The Showcase will also provide work for 35-40 local theatre artists. This will mark the first time the annual Showcase returns to Philadelphia since InterAct hosted its inaugural event in 2002.

For more information about National New Play Network or any of its ground-breaking programming, visit