Fountain Theatre in Kansas City for National New Play Network Conference

Fun, BBQ and Business in Kansas City

NNPN member theaters from across the nation meet in Kansas City.

This past week, June 6-June 9, our Producing Director, Simon Levy, represented the Fountain Theatre at the annual conference of the National New Play Network (NNPN).

NNPN is an alliance of 26 leading nonprofit theaters that champion the development, production and continued life of new plays.
 
One of NNPN’s signature programs is the Continued Life of New Plays Fund which funds and promotes “Rolling World Premieres” that allow playwrights to participate in a minimum of 3 productions of their play over an 18 month period.
 
The Fountain has been a member of NNPN since 2002. We’ve participated in 3 Rolling World Premieres: And Her Hair Went With Her by Zina Camblin, Exits and Entrances by Athol Fugard, and Bakersfield Mist by Stephen Sachs.

The Fountain’s “Bakersfield Mist” lives on in Power Point!

 This year’s conference was hosted by Unicorn Theatre in Kansas City.

Unicorn Theatre

Besides being an opportunity to reconnect with colleagues from all over the United States, the conference is the time for the Board of Directors to conduct business. Highlights included:
  • Granting $70K in Playwright Commissions
  • Granting two Producer Residencies
  • Awarding Collaboration Fund grants
  • Adding a new Associate Member category, so more theaters dedicated to creating new work can join the Network
  • Voting in San Diego Repertory Theatre as our 26th Core Member
  • Voting to add a 6th At-Large Board Member
  • Planning NNPN’s 15th anniversary next year, to be held at the InterAct Theatre Company in Philadelphia, who will be celebrating their 25th anniversary
  • Approving the 2013-2014 budget
  • Revamping the submission process for NNPN’s other flagship program, the National Showcase of New Plays
  • Revamping the Smith Prize, which is awarded to a new play that tackles politics in America
  • Creating an international exchange/partnership with PlayWriting Australia
  • Planning for a future Virtual Script Library and revamped website
  • And electing the new Officers for the Board of NNPN

“Everyday Rapture” at the Unicorn Theatre

Along with all of that, we were treated to:

  • the Unicorn’s current production of Dick Scanlan’s and Sherie Rene Scott’s Everyday Rapture – the first production allowed outside of New York – about a Mennonite woman’s dream of performing on Broadway
  • a staged reading of the 2012 Smith Prize winner, Grounded by George Brant, about a female drone pilot
  • and presentations by this year’s Playwrights-in-Residence – Christina Anderson, Gabrielle Fulton and Steve Moulds.

And then, of course, there was all the personal schmoozing, lunch and dinner chats, and talk/walks to and from the theatre and hotel.

By the way, if you’re ever staying in Kansas City, check out The Q Hotel. Very nice. And they’re “green”!

And, yes, the BBQ in KC is worth the trip.

 
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