Plays Tanya Barfield, Halley Feiffer Set

New plays by Tanya Barfield and Halley Feiffer are among the six works on tap for this year’s National Playwrights Conference, the annual new-play development program at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center in Waterford, Conn.

Samuel D. Hunter (“The Whale,” “The Few”), who worked on his play “A Great Wilderness” at the O’Neill last summer, also will be in residence at the O’Neill this year to work on new projects.

Barfield’s play “The Call” ran at Off Broadway’s Playwrights Horizons last season in a co-production with Primary Stages, after Playwrights produced her earlier title “Blue Door” in 2006 . Feiffer’s “How to Make Friends and Kill Them” premiered at Rattlestick Playwrights Theater earlier this season, and the actress-scribe currently appears in the Second Stage Theater revival of “The Substance of Fire.”

Celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, the National Playwrights Conference has served as a career launchpad for theater names including August Wilson, Wendy Wasserstein and John Guare. The O’Neill center’s concurrent music theater conference has developed shows including “Avenue Q” and “In the Heights.”

The six 2014 NPC selections are:

  • “Bright Half Life,” Barfield’s time-shifting look at two women over the course of 25 years.
  • Feiffer’s “I’m Gonna Pray For You So Hard,” about an actress who decides to write a play about her father, a famous playwright. Trip Cullman directs.
  • “Tiger Style!” by Mike Lew, following an Asian-American brother and sister who, struggling with adult life, decide to go on a tour of Asia.
  • “Ugly Lies the Bone,” Lindsey Ferrentino’s play about a war vet who embarks on virtual reality therapy.
  • David Mitchell Robinson’s “The Imaginary Music Critic Who Doesn’t Exist,” about a woman who runs an influential music site and her decision to highlight a controversial MC. NPC a.d. Wendy C. Goldberg helms.
  • “Icarus Burns,” Christopher Oscar Pena’s look at the intertwining lives of six characters during the 2008 presidential election.

The 2014 NPC runs July 2-19. Also this summer, the O’Neill’s National Music Theater Conference will workshop two tuners, Jim and Ruth Bauer’s “The War Dept.” and Julia Gytri and Avi Amon’s “The White City.”

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