×

O’Neill Conference to Develop New Plays by Auburn, Hunter (EXCLUSIVE)

O'Neill National Playwrights Conference sets a 2013 slate of eight new works

A new play by a Pulitzer winner and another by a fast-rising up-and-comer are among the brewing works tapped for development as part of the National Playwrights Conference at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center.

The latest from David Auburn (“Lost Lake”), who picked up the 2001 Pulitzer for his play “Proof,” and from Samuel D. Hunter (“A Great Wilderness”), whose “The Whale” earned raves in its Off Broadway run earlier this season, join the eight shows tapped for the O’Neill summer session from a roster of scribes that also includes Bekah Brunstetter and Jeff Augustin, among others.

The 49-year-old playwrightsconference, held every summer on the O’Neill campus in Waterford, Conn.,  is one of the nation’s highest-profile programs for developing new legit work.

It was an important early showcase for the plays of August Wilson, and more recent years have yielded a string of titles that have gone on to full productions including Jennifer Haley’s much-lauded Center Theater Group outing “The Nether,” Deborah Zoe Laufer’s  “Leveling Up” and Dan Lefranc’s “Troublemaker,” all produced during the current season.

The 2013 selections, most of which were drawn from the 1,100 plays received during the conference’s open submissions window, each will be given a week of development with a director, designers and cast, culminating in public readings often held outdoors in one of the O’Neill Theater Center’s open-air venues.

Popular on Variety

The 2013 selections are:

  • Auburn’s “Lost Lake,” which centers on a single mother who escapes city life by spending a week in a run-down cabin by a lake. Auburn was the session’s invited artist, with his play to be helmed by O’Neill a.d. Wendy C. Goldberg.
  • Hunter’s “A Great Wilderness,” a Seattle Repertory Theater commission about the mental deterioration of a man who has spent his life counseling gay teens away from homosexuality. Braden Abraham directs.
  • “Little Children Dream of God” penned by Augustin, whose play “Cry Old Kingdom” recently bowed as part of the Humana Festival of New American Plays. Storyline follows a Haitian immigrant struggling to find a life for herself and her son in Miami.
  • “The Oregon Trail” by Off Broadway alum Brunstetter (“Be a Good Little Widow,” “Oohrah!”), about a middle schooler who becomes lost in the titular old-school computer game.
  • “The Solid Sand Below,” Martin Zimmerman’s play, commissioned by the Goodman Theater, about a man who becomes a battle addict during a stint in Iraq.
  • Lauren Yee’s “Samsara,” centering on an American couple having a surrogate child through a woman in India and the fanciful anxieties that afflict all three parents.
  • Jen Silverman’s “All the Roads Home,” tracing a cross-generational tale of three women and their dreams, set in the 1950s, the 1970s and today.
  • “Evanston: A Rare Comedy,” a comic take on modern-day suburbia by Michael Yates Crowley.

The National Playwrights Conference runs July 3-27. During that time two additional writers, Sarah Gubbins and Joshua Harmon, also will be in residence working on unspecified titles.

More Legit

  • A Soldiers Play review

    'A Soldier's Play': Theater Review

    Now, that’s what I call a play! Charles Fuller’s Pulitzer Prize-winning drama “A Soldier’s Play,” now being revived on Broadway by Roundabout Theatre Company, packs plenty of dramatic tension into smoldering issues of racial justice and injustice, military honor and dishonor, and the solemn struggle to balance their harrowing demands on characters who are only [...]

  • Bess Wohl

    Listen: The Impossible Plays of Bess Wohl

    The playwright Bess Wohl is always chasing a wild idea — and she’s found that rather than scaring away her collaborators, it just makes them more eager. Listen to this week’s podcast below: “I started my career thinking, oh, I’ll just write a play that’s really easy to do,” Wohl said on the latest episode [...]

  • Roundabout Theatre Company: Three New Plays

    Roundabout Theatre's Off-Broadway Season Adds Three Shows From Female Playwrights

    Roundabout Theatre Company, led by artistic director and CEO Todd Haimes, announced Tuesday that three female-written plays will be added to the 2020-2021 Off-Broadway season. Sanaz Toossi’s “English” will make its world premiere in fall of 2020, while Lindsey Ferrentino’s “The Year to Come” and Anna Ziegler’s “The Wanderers” will make their New York debuts [...]

  • Gregg Smith, Dancer and Choreographer Assistant,

    Gregg Smith, Dancer and Choreographer Assistant, Dies at 73

    Gregg Smith, a dancer, casting director and assistant choreographer who had a long association with director Kenny Ortega, has died. He was 73. Smith died on Jan. 1. The industry veteran worked as a performer in the national touring company of the musical “Hair” and in a Los Angeles production of “Jesus Christ Superstar.” He [...]

  • Frozen review musical

    Warmth and Humor Pervade Pantages Production of 'Frozen' the Musical

    In 2013, Disney’s “Frozen” hit screens like a 100 mile-per-hour snowball, sparking a pop cultural phenomenon in which little girls and boys pranced about dressed in Anna and Elsa and Olaf costumes while belting aloud “Let It Go,” Elsa’s feminist anthemic response to ice powers rendering her a societal outcast. The animated movie won two [...]

  • My Name Is Lucy Barton review

    'My Name is Lucy Barton': Theater Review

    Laura Linney is in love. Just watch the radiant expression on her face as she wraps her arms around the character of Lucy Barton, a role she played in two separate engagements at the Bridge Theater in London, and is now reprising on Broadway in “My Name is Lucy Barton.” The feeling is obviously mutual, [...]

  • 'Broadway Profiles with Tamsen Fadal' to

    'Broadway Profiles with Tamsen Fadal' to Air Weekly, Syndicate Nationally (EXCLUSIVE)

    “Broadway Profiles with Tamsen Fadal” will become nationally syndicated, marking a first for a program about the Great White Way. Beginning in fall 2020, the monthly show will increase frequency to air weekly. The show is hosted and executive-produced by 12-time Emmy Award winner Tamsen Fadal, a news anchor at WPIX, the channel that initially [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content