“Shakespeare’s new contemporaries” Hits the road.

One of the things that makes Shakespeare’s New Contemporaries unique among playwriting competitions is the requirement that submitted plays not only respond or engage with one of Shakespeare’s plays, but also that they embrace Shakespeare’s original staging conditions (universal lighting, direct audience address, cast of 10-12, etc.). Just like plays aren’t meant to be read, Shakespeare’s Staging Conditions aren’t meant to be read about. The best way for playwrights to understand what we are looking for in applications is to see, hear, and – depending on where you’re sitting – feel Shakespeare’s Staging Conditions in live performance. We hope that as many playwrights as possible will get a chance to visit Staunton and see our work in the Blackfriars Playhouse. To that end, the ASC is part of Playwrights Welcome, a national program providing free access to theatre for playwrights, composers, and lyricists. (More info on ASC’s Playwrights Welcome tickets here).However, we recognize that getting to Staunton is not an easy option for all playwrights. So Shakespeare’s New Contemporaries is hitting the road.

But first, some context. Thirty years ago, the American Shakespeare Center, then called the Shenandoah Shakespeare Express, began its life as a touring company. In the years that followed, the travels continued, and Shakespeare’s plays and staging conditions were brought to audiences around the country and the globe. While the Blackfriars Playhouse in Staunton, VA has provided the ASC with a home base since 2001, touring has remained a core component of the company’s work, and the 2018-19 “Hand of Time” tour launches September 15.

Shakespeare’s New Contemporaries has similarly far-reaching ambitions. The project is already introducing us to writers, collaborators, and communities that we did not previously have relationships with. And we hope that, after their world premieres in Staunton, the selected plays will subsequently be produced by other theatres all around the country. But, before this can happen, these plays need to be written.

As the ASC’s Hand of Time tour travels the country, we invite playwrights to witness Shakespeare’s Staging Conditions first hand in our productions of The Winter’s Tale, The Comedy of Errors, and Antigone. Select performances will be preceded by an SNC info session with Literary Manager Anne G. Morgan. Info session dates and details are below; we encourage playwrights to check out our complete tour itinerary to see when ASC might be coming soon to a theatre near them. (Discount or complimentary tickets for individual tour performances may be available to playwrights; inquire with sncproject@americanshakespearecenter.com)

Baltimore, MD

September 28, 2018
  • 6:00pm – Shakespeare’s New Contemporaries Information Session – McManus Theatre Rehearsal Room at Loyola University Maryland
  • 7:30pm – The Winter’s Tale – McManus Theater at Loyola University Maryland

Join ASC’s Literary Manager Anne G. Morgan for a casual and informative Q&A about Shakespeare’s New Contemporaries, the ASC’s groundbreaking initiative to discover, develop, and produce new plays inspired by Shakespeare’s works. Anne will demystify the application and selection process and discuss the development and production process. Following the conversation, writers are invited to see the ASC in action with their production of Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale at Loyola Maryland’s McManus Theatre. See Shakespeare’s magnificent late play before it is paired with Shakespeare’s New Contemporaries selection 16 Winters, or The Bear’s Tale by Mary Elizabeth Hamilton in Spring 2019.

Attendance is limited. Complimentary ticket to performance included.

Philadelphia, PA

October 11, 2018

5:30pm – “Cocktails and Real Talk with Literary Manager Anne Morgan” – Fergie’s Pub

As part of the educational offerings of PlayPenn, join Anne G. Morgan for “Cocktails and Real Talk” to get the inside scoop on Literary Offices. Anne will discuss the application, selection, development, and production processes for Shakespeare’s New Contemporaries, as well as other new play development programs and opportunities.

*NOTE: This event does not coincide with an ASC production

Register

New York, NY

October 12, 2018
  • 6:30pm – Shakespeare’s New Contemporaries Information Session – Chapel of De La Salle at Manhattan College
  • 8:00pm – The Winter’s Tale – Smith Auditorium at Manhattan College

Join ASC’s Literary Manager Anne G. Morgan for a casual and informative Q&A about Shakespeare’s New Contemporaries, the ASC’s groundbreaking initiative to discover, develop, and produce new plays inspired by Shakespeare’s works. Anne will demystify the application and selection process and discuss the development and production process. Following the conversation, writers are invited to to see the ASC in action with their production of Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale at Manhattan College’s Smith Auditorium. See Shakespeare’s magnificent late play before it is paired with Shakespeare’s New Contemporaries selection 16 Winters, or The Bear’s Tale by Mary Elizabeth Hamilton in Spring 2019.

Attendance is limited. Complimentary ticket to performance included.

Registration opens October 1.

Register

McLean, VA

March 30 or 31, 2018

Join Literary Manager Anne G. Morgan for a casual and informative Q&A about Shakespeare’s New Contemporaries and the American Shakespeare Center. Following the conversation, we invite writers to join us for an ASC performance.

Details on date, time, title, ticket information, and registration link coming soon.

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