Each season, New Rep engages with four Next Voices playwriting fellows. After nine months of working and reworking the plays, three (Danny Bryck, Lila Rose Kaplan, and Lenelle Moïse) will enjoy staged public readings with professional actors as part of our Next Rep Black Box Festival in March and April. Curated by Bridget Kathleen O’Leary, these readings serve as the first audience experiences, helping the playwrights to further develop their work. Each staged reading will be followed by a talkback with the playwright.
When around-the-way-girl Lala meets well-to-do intellectual wrestler Dani, they spend an inseparable summer debating in museums, hiking forests trails and stopping to smell the wildflowers in her rough neighborhood. Romance is in the air and Lala’s leaning in, so why won’t Dani pucker up, already? Originally commissioned by the Clark University Theatre Department, K.I.S.S.I.N.G. follows smart, brave teenagers as they try to make sense of their economic inheritances and emotional baggage.
Lenelle Moïse is the author of Haiti Glass (City Lights Publishers) and was a 2012-2014 Huntington Theatre Company Playwriting Fellow. She wrote, composed, and co-starred in the critically acclaimed drama Expatriate which launched Off Broadway at the Culture Project. Her two-act comedy Merit won the 2012 Ruby Prize. Moïse’s other plays include the The Many Faces of Nia, Matermorphosis and Cornered in the Dark. She is an internationally touring solo performer and was the fifth Poet Laureate of Northampton, MA. She has received awards, residencies and/or commissions from the Gaea Foundation, Southern Rep, Kitchen Theatre Company, Hedgebrook, Astraea, Clark University, Northwestern University and UT Austin. www.lenellemoise.com
In 2012 – 2013, playwright Danny Bryck conducted hundreds of interviews in Israel/Palestine, capturing the staggering diversity of voices of the people living between the river and the sea: from a young soldier in Tel Aviv to a young mother from Gaza, a Holocaust survivor to an Eritrean refugee, a Filipino migrant worker to a German convert to Judaism turned anti-occupation activist. Using their real words, THE RIVER AND THE SEA challenges our notions of birthright and belonging, history and nation, and the ways we define ourselves and each other. When everyone tells a different story, how do we tell the truth?
Danny Bryck is a Boston-based actor and playwright, and the author of No Room for Wishing, a one-man documentary play based on interviews with people involved in Occupy Boston. The show premiered in Boston (2012) with Company One, Central Square Theater and Boston Playwrights’ Theatre, and has since toured New York and Massachusetts, including the Outside the Box Festival, and was nominated for Best New Play and Best Solo Performance by the Independent Reviewers of New England. His latest documentary project is The River and the Sea (working title), a play based on interviews from Israel/Palestine, which will receive a staged reading at New Repertory Theatre in March as part of the inaugural Next Rep Festival. Boston acting credits include The Cherry Orchard, Cymbeline, and Troilus and Cressida (Actors’ Shakespeare Project), RENT (New Repertory Theatre), Breaking the Code (Underground Railway Theater; IRNE nomination), The Real Inspector Hound (Publick Theatre), The Corn is Green (Huntington Theatre Company), The Donkey Show (American Repertory Theater), The Nutcracker (Stoneham Theatre), and title roles in Cyrano de Bergerac (Apollinaire Theatre Company), Hedwig and the Angry Inch (Blue Spruce Theatre; IRNE nomination), and Romeo & Juliet (Shakespeare Now!). He has performed in New York with The Civilians and New Perspectives Theatre Company, and was an artistic associate with Whistler in the Dark Theatre for three years, where acting credits include A Number, Family Stories, and the IRNE award-winning Tales from Ovid at ArtsEmerson. He works as a dialect and accent modification coach and theatre educator, and has appeared on the daytime drama As the World Turns and in a handful of independent films, including The Rasmussen Brothers’ Dark Feed. Mr. Bryck is a recipient of the David Wheeler Award for emerging talent in the Boston theater scene. He holds a BFA from Boston University’s School of Theatre, studied at the London Academy of Music & Dramatic Art, and is a member of Actors’ Equity Association. www.dannybryck.com
A group of young women come out at a small conservative Christian college. After some fiery national press, the college’s administration calls for “week of dialogue.” As the week unfolds, the dialogue is one sided and the students must fight to be heard. Inspired by interviews, The Homosexuality Week highlights the journey of a group of extraordinary young women in their quest to be recognized as both Christian and gay. What happens when Jesus Girls come out?
Lila Rose Kaplan writes heartfelt comedies, bittersweet dramas, and musicals for young people. Her play Wildflower made its Off-Broadway debut in 2009 at Second Stage Uptown and was published by Dramatists Play Service. Her other works include 1 2 3 – a play about abandonment and ballroom dancing, Home of the Brave, We All Fall Down, 100 Planes, Bureau of Missing Persons, and Tink. Her plays have been produced by A.R.T/A.R.T. Institute, Second Stage Uptown, Old Vic, Perishable Theatre, Chalk Rep, Launch Pad, La Jolla Playhouse, and Harvard Business School (really!). Her plays have been developed by The Huntington Theatre, Arena Stage, The Kennedy Center, Ensemble Studio Theatre, Center Theatre Group, Theatreworks, PlayPenn, and The Lark among others. Awards include The National Science Award in Playwriting and The International Women’s Playwriting Award, Ms. Kaplan was selected as an Old Vic/New Voices T.S. Eliot Exchange Playwright in 2010. She has been in residence at Playwrights Realm, Cornerstone Theatre Company, Ensemble Studio Theatre, and the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics. She is a graduate of Brown University and she received her MFA in Playwriting from UC San Diego. Formerly a Huntington Theatre Playwriting Fellow and Playwrights Realm Writing Fellow, Ms. Kaplan’s The Light Princess can be seen once again this December at the A.R.T. and in winter 2015 at the New Vic in New York City. www.lilarose.org