Among the chosen are writers who, though well-known as talented parties to the nation’s artistic directors and literary managers, have yet to receive a break-out production—playwrights such as Neena Beber, Brooke Berman, John Bucchino, Karen Hartman and Octavio Solis.
The lucky participants and plays include:
Neena Beber, The Dew Point
Brooke Berman, Sam & Lucy
John Bucchino, It’s Only Life
Anton Dudley, Honor & The River
Liz Duffy Adams, Wet
Anne Garcia-Romero, Earthquake Chica
Noah Haidle, Kitty Kitty Kitty
Jordan Harrison, Kid Simple
Karen Hartman, Anatomy 1968
Heather Lynn MacDonald, Pink
Rogelio Martinez, Arrivals & Departures
Peter Sinn Nachtrieb , Colorado
Phil Porter, Stealing Sweets and Punching People
Octavio Solis, El Paso Blue
Elise Thoron & Jill Sobule, Prozak & The Platypus
Kelly Stuart, Mayhem
Gary Sunshine, Sweetness
Ken Weitzman, Spin Moves
Tepper will present the musicals and plays in five venues along the block between Ninth and Tenth Avenues. The festival will cover production costs of all the shows, making it a much cushier environment for artists than, say, the New York International Fringe Festival, in which participants pay a nonrefundable $500 fee and pay for all aspects of mounting the show, save renting a space.
Additionally, the festival will hold no rights to the shows at any times. Tepper told Variety she hoped the festival would provide young producers with needed experience, as well as giving seasoned producers a new place to shop for properties.
Scripts were submitted by agents and representatives, but also by individual playwrights, making the festival one of the few in the country that cater to the writer without professional connections. (Another is the O'Neill Playwrights Center, which, in a controversial move last year, nearly ended its policy of accepted unsolicted manuscripts.)
“We received over 1,000 submissions and were overwhelmed with the quality of the work,” Tepper said in a statment. “There is an extraordinary amount of untapped talent out there. We found plays and musicals that were topical, that were humorous and that were provocative... I hope that this year’s Summer Play Festival can help these 18 playwrights get their voices heard by a wider audience and will set the stage for this annual event.”