City Theatre’s groundbreaking CityWrights Professional Weekend for Playwrights continues to grow as a nationally recognized event that puts South Florida center stage as a cultural destination for playwrights, theatre artists and professionals. This highlight of the annual SUMMER SHORTS FESTIVAL is a lively and comprehensive symposium dedicated to the art, business, development, training, inspiration and mentorship of dramatists and the development of new work.
CityWrights 2014 has lined up another prestigious ensemble of award-winning master artists, leading organizations and institutions, agents, publishers, producers and artistic directors, to present its distinctive programming including Tony Award-Winning Key Note Speaker Jon Jory, Emmy Award Winning Writers and Co-Authors Deb Lacusta and Daniel Louis “Dan” Castellaneta, best known for their work on the animated television series “The Simpsons,” Playwriting Teacher Michael Bigelow Dixon, OBIE Award-Winning agent and new play development expert Morgan Jenness, literary publishers and Artistic Directors from Naked Angels, The Boston Theater Marathon, the Source Festival, and more.
Multiple award-winning playwright and director Jon Jory is special guest artist for the 2014 conference. Jon Jory directed 125 plays and produced 1,000 plays during his 32-year tenure as the producing director at Actors Theatre of Louisville. He conceived the internationally lauded Humana Festival of New American Plays, the SHORTS Festival, and the Brown-Forman Classics in Context Festival. He was the artistic founding director of Long Wharf Theatre in New Haven, Conn. Jory has been inducted into the American Theatre Hall of Fame; directed numerous international productions, and at American regional theatres, including Arena Stage; American Conservatory Theater; Hartford Stage, the McCarter Theatre Center, Guthrie Theater, and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. He has been awarded the Regional Theatre Tony Award; National Theatre Conference Award, the American Theatre Association’s Distinguished Career Award; the Margo Jones Award twice, the Shubert Foundation’s James N. Vaughan Memorial Award for Exceptional Achievement and Contribution to the Development of Professional Theatre, and Carnegie Mellon’s Commitment to Playwriting Award, Jory is also a playwright and he currently serves as the President’s Chair of the Performing Arts Department at Santa Fe University in New Mexico.
City Theatre is Florida’s only theatre company offering programming like CityWrights which provides playwrights, teachers, students and audiences a weekend intensive of artistic workshops, career and professional development, and education for local, regional and national playwrights, students, educators, and audiences, who craft, create and appreciate original new work. Playwrights coming from outside of Florida to CityWrights enjoy an exciting conference that takes place in Miami, one of the most dynamic cities in the country.
CityWrights connects playwrights to leading organizations that engage in the issues, trends and dialogues that impact playwrights and their work today. City Theatre, an associate member of NNPN, has invited NNPN (Nan Barnett, Executive Director) to present a rollout of its New Play Exchange, a virtual tool that will change how playwrights and theatres find and develop plays; The Dramatists Guild (Gary Garrisan, Executive Director and Seth Cotterman, Manager of Online Media & Services) will host a member/non-member Town Hall to discuss its expansive programming and the protections necessary for playwrights to protect and produce work, and a workshop on navigating its innovative website for playwrights; and The Playwrights Center (Jeremy Cohen, Producing Artistic Director and Haley Finn, Associate Artistic Director), one of the leading organizations linking playwrights to development assistance including dramaturges, playwright communities, and opportunities.
This year CityWrights goes directly to business of show business, by serving as an innovative forum for marketing new work by launching the TEN MINUTE MARKETPLACE, an initiative that will raise the visibility, viability and commodity of short plays. Intended for playwrights, publishers, editors, producers and artistic directors who embrace short plays through significant programming, publishing, and new media, the MARKETPLACE will expedite access, opportunities and outlets for all who attend. TEN MINUTE MARKETPLACE will introduce City Theatre’s Festival and Contest and CityWrights conference playwrights to new markets in regions around the country, create synergy and collaboration with other theatres for new projects, and result in new artistic relationships and professional matchmaking.
Regional and Florida Producers and Artistic Directors will take part in a round table to discuss their festivals and programming; publishers will describe their catalogues and policies; agents and managers will discuss their roles and responsibilities to playwrights. Confirmed TEN MINUTE MARKETPLACE PRESENTERS will include:
• Kate Snodgrass, Artistic Director, Boston Playwrights’ Theatre & Boston Theater Marathon
• Linda Habjan, Acquisitions Editor, Dramatic Publishing
• Joe Danisi, Naked Angels
• Gary Garrison, The Dramatists Guild of America
• Morgan Gould, Literary Manager, Playscripts Publishing
• Amy Marsh, Literary Manager, Samuel French Publishing & the Samuel French Off-Off Broadway Festival
• Nan Barnett, National New Play Network
• Larry Harbison, Senior Editor, Smith & Kraus, Inc.
• Jenny McConnell Frederick, Artistic Director, The Source Festival
• Susan Schulman, Literary Agent & Owner, Susan Schulman: A Literary Agency
• Bruce Miller, Artist Manager, Washington Square Arts & Film
• Craig Pospisil, Award-winning Playwright and Nonprofessional Rights Assistant, Dramatists Play Service, Inc.
CityWrights playwrights will be inspired by new ideas, discover exciting opportunities, experience intimate creative sessions, listen to fresh new work, and be a part of discussions led by, for, and about playwrights. CityWrights creative Wrighters Block workshops will be led by: Morgan Jenness, freelance dramaturg and recipient of a Obie Award Special Citation for Longtime Support of Playwrights, Steve Yockey, National New Play Network Teaching Master and Summer Shorts Festival playwright, Michael Bigelow Dixon, playwright, director and author of “Breaking from Realism: A Map/Quest for the Next Generation”, and Liz Carlson, artistic director of Naked Angels; sessions on Directing New Work; The Director/Playwright Relationship; and Comedy Writing.
Professional development sessions with industry experts will include topics on forming and continuing functioning playwright communities (The Playwrights Center, Boston Theater Marathon, Source Theatre Festival, The Welders, Naked Angels); the Marketplace Sessions; representation and management for playwrights q&a; writing for mixed media: stage, film, tv, live stream.
The prestigious organization, Young Playwrights, Inc. will also return to lead two tracks including Teacher Training for Drama, English and Language Arts educators (grades 6-12), and the talented high school playwrights chosen to be the class of 2014 Scholars.
CityWrights will host many of the SUMMER SHORTS FESTIVAL playwrights, and the winner and finalists of the City Theatre National Award for Short Playwriting Contest, who will be introduced and celebrated at the kick-off Launch Party sponsored by Sabadell United.
South Florida audiences are invited to sit in on free public readings of new works, including works selected from the finalists of the annual City Theatre National Award for Short Playwriting Contest, to understand the process a play goes from page to stage.
Led by Young Playwrights, Inc., Write A Play! Teacher Training Institute will be in South Florida to provide educators teaching grades 6-12 with its unique hands-on interactive blueprint for integrating lessons on playwriting into the English, Language Arts and Theatre curriculum. YPI’s training techniques teachers will have new tools to take into the classroom, using dramatic art as a fresh approach for reading, writing and critical thinking goals. Master Credit available. Space is limited.
The full SCHEDULE of events (to be updated regularly) and REGISTRATION is available at www.citytheatre.com. For more information, call (305) 755-9401.
Summer Shorts and CityWrights is made possible with the support of the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs and the Cultural Affairs Council, the Miami-Dade County Mayor and Board of County Commissioners, Stearns Weaver Miller Weissler Alhadeff & Sitterson, PA, Carnival Foundation, Dunspaugh-Dalton Foundation, EPIC Hotel, Wille Family Foundation, Fein Family Foundation, Sabadell United Bank, WLRN, Bacardi U.S.A., Inc., Aventura Limousine, Citizens Interested in Arts and the Key Biscayne Community Foundation, Marriott, and Miami Dade County Public Schools.