×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

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.

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

  • CAROL CHANNING HERSCHFELD. Actress Carol Channing

    Remembering Carol Channing: A Master of Channeling the Power of Personality

    There was only one Carol Channing, and her outsize personality was a source of delight to many fans — and imitators. Gerard Alessandrini’s stage spoof “Forbidden Broadway” had many incarnations over the years, including the 1994 edition when an audience member was selected every evening to come onstage and impersonate Carol Channing with the cast. [...]

  • Editorial use only. No book cover

    Viola Davis, Lin-Manuel Miranda Among Celebrities Remembering Carol Channing

    Viola Davis, Lin-Manuel Miranda and Bernadette Peters are among the slew of celebrities taking to Twitter to pay tribute to late singer, comedienne and actress Carol Channing. Known for her starring roles in Broadway’s “Hello Dolly!” and “Gentleman Prefer Blondes,” the legend of the stage and screen died Tuesday at her home in Rancho Mirage, [...]

  • What the Constitution Means to Me

    Listen: How Things Got Scary in 'What the Constitution Means to Me'

    For a decade, writer-performer Heidi Schreck had wanted to write a play inspired by her experiences as a teen debater. But over the years the show started to develop into something both urgently political and deeply personal — and things got scary. In the Broadway-bound “What the Constitution Means to Me,” Schreck reimagines her speech-and-debate [...]

  • Carol Channing Dead

    Carol Channing, Star of Broadway's 'Hello, Dolly!' and 'Gentlemen Prefer Blondes,' Dies at 97

    Larger-than-life musical stage personality Carol Channing, who immortalized the characters of Lorelei Lee in “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” and Dolly Gallagher Levi in “Hello, Dolly!,” has died. She was 97. Channing died Tuesday of natural causes at her home in Rancho Mirage, Calif. Her publicist B. Harlan Boll confirmed the news. He wrote, “It is with [...]

  • 'What the Constitution Means to Me'

    'What the Constitution Means to Me' Transfers to Broadway

    “What the Constitution Means to Me,” a buzzy Off-Broadway production that counts Hillary Clinton and Gloria Steinem among its fans, is making the move uptown. The play will come to Broadway this spring for a 12-week limited run at the Helen Hayes Theater. “What the Constitution Means to Me” is one part civics lesson, one [...]

  • Choir Boy review

    Broadway Review: 'Choir Boy'

    Honestly, I was afraid that “Choir Boy” — the sweetly exuberant account of a gifted prep school boy’s coming of age, written by “Moonlight” Oscar winner Tarell Alvin McCraney — would be swallowed up in a Broadway house, after winning us over in an Off Broadway staging in 2013.  But aside from the odd set [...]

  • Jason Robert Brown

    Listen: How Ariana Grande Got Jason Robert Brown to Madison Square Garden

    Broadway composer Jason Robert Brown never expected to find himself performing onstage at Madison Square Garden. But he did — thanks to his pal Ariana Grande. Brown met Grande before she was a superstar, when she was in the 2008 Broadway cast of his teen musical “13.” The two have kept in touch ever since [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content