Eight plays set for summer schedule
New scripts by Craig Wright, Regina Taylor and Jason Grote are among the eight offerings at the National Playwrights Conference this summer at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center in Waterford, Conn.Newly anointed Pulitzer Prize winner Tracy Letts (“August: Osage County”) and Lisa Loomer (“Living Out”) will be artists-in-residents at the high-profile developmental conference, running July 3-27. “Mistakes Were Made,” the latest from Wright (“The Pavilion,” TV skein “Dirty Sexy Money”), follows a producer‘s struggle to mount a Broadway show about the French Revolution. Wendy C. Goldberg, a.d. of the Playwrights Conference, directs. “Magnolia,” a new play by Taylor (“Crowns”), will be developed at the O’Neill in collaboration with Chicago’s Goodman Theater, of which Taylor is artistic associate. Story is an adaptation of Chekhov’s “The Cherry Orchard,” updated to desegregation-era Atlanta. The offering from Grote (“1001”), “Box Americana: A Dream of Wal-Mart,” chronicles the journey of two women haunted by the spirit of Sam Walton. Lynne Meadow, a.d. of Gotham nonprofit Manhattan Theater Club, has been tapped to helm “Smudge,” a black comedy by Rachel Axler about a couple confronted by a first child who hasn’t quite turn out as planned. Also on the O’Neill bill are Alex Lewin’s “The Near East,” about an archaeologist and an activist’s mission to retrieve an ancient scripture; A. Rey Pamatmat’s “Thunder Above, Deeps Below,” about three homeless friends; Ann Marie Healy’s “The Legend of Minnie Willet,” about a town and its titular eccentric; and “Without You,” a script about a man looking for love by Irish scribe Ursula Rani Sarma, developed as part of the O’Neill’s Irish Project.