La Jolla, CA -- Extensive new works development activities are underway at the La Jolla Playhouse. In addition to the recent world premiere of Jessica Hagedorn's Dogeaters and the development of Neal Bell's original play Monster, there was a creative work session for the musical Jane Eyre, which will have its world premiere at the Playhouse in July, 1999.
Artistic director Michael Greif has also announced the launching of PlayLabs, a twice-a-year residence program aimed at fostering the development of new Playhouse-commissioned plays and other works at their earliest stage. Playwrights, designers, directors, actors will explore new plays and musicals, as well as investigate rarely-seen or little known works with the goal of possible Playhouse production at a later date.
The first six plays selected by Greif are Edwin Sanchez's Barefoot Boy With Shoes On, Jose Rivera's Sonnets For An Old Century, Melanie Marnich's The FlimFlam Man (adapted from the book by Darlene Balley Baird), Kate Moira Ryan's Cavedweller, Adele Shank's With Allison's Eyes, and Big Night, by Dawn Powell.
The New Works Development Initiative is supported by Gayle and Steve Francis, Ivan Gayler, The James Irvine Foundation, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust.
Renowned designers James W. Ingalls (lighting) and Mark Wendland (scenic and costume) will bring their artistic sensibilities to the new works discussions at PlayLabs as the first project of their 2-year artistic residency at the Playhouse, made possible by the Theatre Artist Residency program, administered by Theatre Communications Group and funded by the Pew Charitable Trusts. "I'm thrilled about PlayLabs for three reasons,"said Greif. "First, I'm proud that the Playhouse is now in a position to actively commission new works...Second, having a program like this enables theatre artists to focus on the development process and to nurture new works in a dynamic, creative environment where the mainstage works of the future are given birth...Third, what a delight to launch this great new program with long time Playhouse friends like Rivera and Shank and other writers whose work we've admired."