Playwrights Find New Homes

Article excerpt

Twelve playwrights have been selected for the 1999 NEA/TCG Theatre Residency Program for Playwrights, developed and administered by TCG in collaboration with the National Endowment for the Arts and supported by a cooperative agreement from the NEA. The program was developed to afford playwrights the opportunity to create new work while in residence at a host theatre and to become an integral part of the theatre's artistic life and community activities. Each of the 12 playwrights will receive $25,000 in support of the residencies. TCG will supply oversight, coordination, guidance and material assistance.

TCG's executive director Ben Cameron stated, "The NEA/TCG Theatre Residency Program for Playwrights was developed to provide playwrights with greatly needed financial and artistic support, to add artistic depth to theatre organizations and to bring the writer and community together. We are deeply grateful to the NEA for enabling TCG to support the work of gifted playwrights in exemplary theatres and communities around the country."

Gigi Bolt, director of the NEA's theatre and musical theatre division, said, "The Endowment is delighted to partner with TCG in support of some of America's finest playwrights. Working with theatres and communities across the country, these 12 playwrights will begin to tell the stories of the 21st century."

THE 1999 NEA/TCG THE-atre Residency Program for Playwrights recipients are as follows:

* Luis Alfaro, for a residency at Borderlands Theatre in Tucson, Ariz., to develop a Chicano adaptation of Sophocles' Electra, which will be performed in an outdoor community setting. Alfaro also will lead a workshop in which high school students will investigate notions of neighborhood, community and family and will develop a piece for public presentation.

* John Belluso, for a residency at Trinity Repertory Company in Providence, R.I., to develop a stage biography of Steven Hopkins, a prominent figure in the history of people with disabilities who served as governor, philosopher and signer of the Declaration of Independence. Belluso also will teach writing workshops to adults and teenagers with disabilities in Rhode Island.

* Sharon Bridgforth, for a residency at Frontera @ Hyde Park Theatre in Austin, Tex., to develop a performance piece that explores the languages, rhythms and sensibilities of diverse peoples and their struggles to survive, live and love. Bridgforth will also present a public reading of this work, host a dialogue series with poets and performance artists, and will help a small group of rappers and poets create a performance piece.

* Jo Carson, for a residency at 7 Stages in Atlanta, Ga., to explore new uses for stories obtained by recording communities' oral histories, Carson plans to develop her stories into workable dramatic forms that can be combined and utilized in almost any number of permutations. While tailoring the materials for specific audiences, she will speak to classes and other audience members about process and the work itself.

* Nilo Cruz, for a residency at McCarter Theatre Center for the Performing Arts in Princeton, N.J., to develop a new translation and adaptation of Dona Rosita, the Spinster by Federico Garcia Lorca. Cruz also will teach playwriting and theatre appreciation in several high schools and develop a public reading series to build on past outreach work to Latino audiences. …