O’Neill National Playwrights Conference Sets 2015 Slate

O'Neill National Playwrights Conference 2015 plays
A. Vincent Scarano

The O’Neill Theater Center’s National Playwrights Conference has set the 2015 slate of plays to be showcased in developmental readings this summer, lining up eight titles including new works by Steven Sater (“Spring Awakening”) and Wendy MacLeod (“The House of Yes”).

One of the highest-profile new-play development programs in the country, the National Playwrights Conference often proves a summertime draw for New York theater producers on the hunt for writers and titles to watch. The conference, which shows off each play in a public reading following a week of developmental work, has previously helped launch the careers of playwrights including August Wilson, John Guare and Wendy Wasserstein.

The NPC’s 2015 slate encompasses the following eight plays:

  • “Leftovers,” by Josh Wilder, about two brothers in inner-city Philadelphia waiting for their father to arrive. Reginald L. Douglas directs.
  • “Good Ol’ Boys,” Joe Waechter’s play about three Southern businessmen whose hunting trip takes an unexpected turn when one of the men brings his son. Mike Donahue will direct.
  • Jenny Connell Davis’ “End of Shift,” about a group of teenagers in a Maine diner.
  • “No One’s Sonata,” Sater’s play centering on the adult children of Viennese immigrants, reuniting and grappling with their father’s death. O’Neill NPC artistic director Wendy C. Goldberg directs.
  • “Cardboard Piano,” by Hansol Jung, about two teenage girls in northern Uganda, torn between love and the war zone around them. Cole Lewis directs.
  • Ken Weitzman’s “Halftime With Don,” revolving around an encounter between a fan and a retired NFL player struggling with memory loss.
  • “Nomad Motel,” Carla Ching’s play about an unlikely friendship between two high schoolers.
  • MacLeod’s “Slow Food,” which follows one couple’s tumultuous anniversary dinner at a Greek restaurant in Palm Springs.

The 2015 NPC runs July 1-July 25, with casts and the full list of directors still to be set. The conference runs concurrently with several other new-work programs at the O’Neill Theater Center in Waterford, Conn., each summer, including the National Music Theater Conference, which has nurtured past Broadway outings such as “Avenue Q” and “In the Heights.”

The music theater conference lineup for 2015 includes “ZM,” a new show from “Urinetown” writers Greg Kotis and Mark Hollmann, as well as Jed Feuer and Adele Ahronheim’s “Slaughterhouse Five” and Patrick and Daniel Lazour’s “We Live in Cairo.” A cabaret and a puppetry conference complete the summer programming at the O’Neill.

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