Arena Stage Welcomes Steppenwolf's Polly Carl as Director of New Play Institute

News   Arena Stage Welcomes Steppenwolf's Polly Carl as Director of New Play Institute
Polly Carl is leaving Steppenwolf Theatre Company in Chicago to join Arena Stage in Washington, DC, in the new position as director of the American Voices New Play Institute (AVNPI) beginning July 1.

Polly Carl
Polly Carl

In her role, Carl "will develop and direct all existing staff and activities of the Institute, as well as support the artistic planning, production, development and study of new work by Arena Stage." She reports to Arena Stage associate artistic director David Dower.

The American Voices New Play Institute at Arena Stage "is designed as a center for research, development and dissemination of effective practices, programs and processes for new play development in the American Theater. The Institute includes a suite of interrelated programs, all of which are built upon innovative models currently operating in the field that demonstrate potential for replication in other communities."

Carl has been a consultant for the Institute. She became the editor of HowlRound, the Institute's journal for the new play sector in November 2010, and was a member of the steering committee for January 2011's four-day convening called "From Scarcity to Abundance: Capturing the Moment for the New Play Sector," as well as a moderator for one of the gathering's panels.

Prior to becoming the director of the American Voices New Play Institute, Carl was Steppenwolf Theatre Company's director of artistic development, where she produced Steppenwolf's Garage Series including the First Look Repertory and a new partnership (Next Up) with the Northwestern University. Carl oversaw new play development and commissions, and participated in season planning. Recent dramaturgy includes Lisa D'Amour's Detroit, Bruce Norris' A Parallelogram, Laura Eason's Sex With Strangers and Mat Smart's Samuel J and K.

Prior to Steppenwolf, Carl served 11 years at the Playwrights' Center, including seven as producing artistic director. At the Center, she programmed the Ruth Easton Lab and served as the Lab's lead dramaturg. Her Ph.D. in Comparative Studies in Discourse and Society was earned at the University of Minnesota. Visit

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