A new group of playwrights is set to begin residencies and commissions for the Washington, D.C., theatre Arena Stage, as part of its American Voices New Play Institute.
Obie Award winner Lisa Kron (Well, 2.5 Minute Ride) and Pulitzer Prize finalist Amy Freed (Freedomland) will begin three-year residencies under the program in July. Olivier Award winner Katori Hall (The Mountaintop) and Charles Randolph Wright (Blue) will begin in January 2011.
Pulitzer Prize winner Lynn Nottage (Ruined, Intimate Apparel) and Tony Award winner David Henry Hwang (M. Butterfly, Golden Child) have been announced as Project Residents. The highly accomplished playwrights will each be commissioned through the Institute to write a play, which will then be produced by Arena Stage.
The Institute, "designed as a center for research and development of effective practices, programs and processes for new play development in the American Theater" according to Arena press notes, was started in August 2009 with the announcement of a residency granted to D.C. playwright Karen Zacharias (Legacy of Light), who began her work in January 2010.
The Institute is led by Arena Stage's artistic director, Molly Smith, and its associate artistic director, David Dower, in collaboration with Georgetown University's Theater Department and Dr. Derek Goldman.
Holed up in a seedy motel on the edge of the Mojave Desert, two former lovers unpack the deep secrets and dark desires of their tangled relationship, passionately tearing each other apart. Led by director Daniel Aukin (Back Back Back at MTC, 4,000 Miles), Tony winner Nina Arianda (Venus in Fur at MTC, Born Yesterday) and Sam Rockwell (A Behanding in Spokane, The Way Way Back) bring an explosive intensity to Sam Shepard’s (Buried Child, True West) landmark myth of the new Wild West.