The two productions, which are presented in an effort to further support and advance the careers of the company's playwrights by producing new work by its growing contingency of alumni playwrights, were announced at the Realm's seventh annual Writers Block Party April 7.
The establishment of the Inkwell advisory committee, which comprises theatre artists and professionals to further the mission of the company to nurture emerging playwrights in the early stages of their careers, was also announced at the party.
The committee members are producer Debbie Bisno (War Horse), Tony nominee Michael Cumpsty (The Winslow Boy, Machinal), Two River Theater artistic director John Dias, Tony nominee Peter Friedman (Ragtime), playwright Amy Herzog (After the Revolution), Brooklyn Academy of Music president Karen Brooks Hopkins, playwright Lisa Kron (Fun Home), New Dramatists artistic director Todd London, playwright Ellen McLaughlin (Iphigenia and Other Daughters), Reshma Shetty ("Royal Pains") and director Leigh Silverman (Violet).
"I absolutely embrace and support the premise that theatre is at its best when the playwright is at its heart, and when everything proceeds from the text of the play," Cumptsy said in a statement. "In order for such a theatre culture to thrive, we need producers and theatre organizations that are prepared to make a major commitment to writers. The Playwrights Realm is a marvelous case in point. I'm very excited about the work The Realm does to support and develop the work of emerging playwrights. I'm glad to know that this company has the vision and determination to expand the scope of that work. I salute The Realm most enthusiastically, and am delighted to be at part of Inkwell!"
Here's how the production is billed: "Plates in, plates out, we need ice, table four needs bread, your tuna tartare is up: this is the life of the back of house at a restaurant. It's not a bad way for four young New Yorkers to spend their days, make their livings, and cling to their dreams — that is, until management starts to get stingy. But you can count on your co-workers, right? Right? Right?"
Alumni Page One Playwright Anton Dudley's City Of, which marks the inaugural alumni production, will begin performances in January 2015, directed by Stephen Brackett. The venue will be announced at a later date.
"Four disparate Americans journey to Paris in search of love," press notes state. "A mysterious symphony of speech and dreams unfold as their lives entangle in a web of paintings, opera, and absinthe."
The Peter Jay Sharp Theater is located at 416 West 42nd Street. Visit PlaywrightsRealm.org for more information.