Borrowing the "summit" idea from the nearby Rocky Mountain skyline, the festival (Feb. 10-11, 2006) will be open to theatre professionals, critics and playwrights — as well as Denver audiences, of course — "to explore the next great American plays." Agented and unagented works are being accepted; unagented and unsolicited scripts are being accepted only from writers of the Rocky Mountain states. Guidelines will appear on the DCTC website.
In 2006, the festival of readings of new scripts will happen during the run of a fully-produced world premiere production on one of DCTC's stages. Final plans are still being developed for the 2006 Summit, but it will indeed coincide with the Denver Center world premiere of Wayne Lemon's dark comedy Jesus Hates Me, playing in the Denver Center's Ricketson Theatre Jan. 12-March 11, 2006.
Future Colorado New Play Summits will introduce multiple world premieres (perhaps commissioned) and expanded readings, according to DCTC. The program is walking in 2006 before sprinting in future seasons.
The fest is patterned after new play programs like the Alabama Shakespeare Festival's Southern Writers' Project (designed by Kent Thompson), and other nationally known programs such as South Coast Repertory's Pacific Playwrights Festival.
Interlink Group, the private technology services company, is the sponsor of the Colorado New Play Summit. For information and new play submissions, contact Bruce K. Sevy, Director of New Play Development, Denver Center Theatre Company, 1101 13th Street, Denver, CO 80204, phone (303) 446-4856 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wayne Lemon is a veteran TV writer ("Grace Under Fire," "The Torkelsons") whose dark comedy Jesus Hates Me, about "Ethan, a 20 year old high school football star with a bum knee and no bank account," according to DCTC notes. He's "stuck fast in dead-end rural Texas. Living with his clinging mother in a trailer on the 7th hole of a Bible-themed miniature golf course, he seeks any means of escape, from Jack Daniels to a bus ticket out of town. When Ethan is offered an opportunity to work at a gay ski resort in Colorado, suddenly he finds everyone and everything seeming to conspire against him and his desperate need to find identity, sanity, faith and freedom. Insightful, biting, unpredictable and hilarious."
Lemon's debut stage play, Jesus Hates Me, was recently chosen to be read at the Hartford Stage's Brand:NEW Fall Festival of New Works and was a featured reading in the 2005 Southern Writers' Project at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival.
Denver Center Theatre Company was honored with a Tony Award for outstanding regional theatre.
For more information about the resident professional Equity company, visit www.denvercenter.org.