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Sundance sets stage for new work

Orgs sign up to participate in new program

Some of the country’s biggest institutions devoted to fostering new works are participating in the Sundance Institute Theater’s three-day conference on new play development running Sunday-Tuesday.

The main criterion for participating orgs is that they support development — used to stage readings and give writing grants, among other things — as opposed to direct production. Confab will be held at the Time Reception Center in Gotham and is supported by the Andrew Mellon Foundation with cooperation from the Howard Gilman foundation.

Participants include the O’Neill Playwrights’ Center, which developed Broadway tuners like “Avenue Q” and “In the Heights,” as well as New Dramatists and the Sundance Lab itself, which played an active role in the development process of “Passing Strange,” “Grey Gardens” and “Spring Awakening.”

“To date, no forum has existed for leaders in this area to come together,” said Sundance Institute Theater Program a.d. Philip Himberg. He hopes this will be the first of many conferences, which in future might extend to include producing orgs as well as play developers.

“The long-term goal of creating this network is to encourage more production of new work in a larger range of American regional theaters and in New York,” added Himberg.

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