The New Harmony Project (Lori Wolter Hudson, Artistic Director; David Hudson, Executive Director) an organization dedicated to supporting writers whose work emanates hope, has announced 11 participating writers for its 33rd annual spring conference in idyllic New Harmony, Indiana. The 2019 gathering of writers and artists, among the largest in the organization’s history, will take place from May 20 - June 2, 2019.
Following an extremely competitive script selection process that saw nearly 500 applications, the spring conference will feature three full development projects, including Divisadero by Tlaloc Rivas, The Shakers of Mount Lebanon Will Hold a Peace Conference This Month by Arlene Hutton in association with the Big Bridge Theatre Consortium, and Where We Stand by Donnetta Lavinia Grays. Full development projects receive support from a company of actors, a director, dramaturg, and staff to aid in the development of each piece.
Joining the 2019 conference as Writers in Residence are Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winner, Robert Schenkkan (All the Way, Building the Wall), founding board member Matt Williams (Home Improvement, Roseanne, The Cosby Show), Erika Dickerson-Despenza (Cullud Wattah at the Public Theatre), Peter Gil-Sheridan, and Parent Residency recipients, Jennifer Barclay, Diana Grisanti, and Steve Moulds.
The New Harmony Project recognizes the need to support writers in all stages of development, and, as such, is thrilled to announce the launch of a new residency slot designed to support unproduced scripts going directly into production at nationally recognized theaters. The first ever Production in Residence will be King James by Rajiv Joseph (Pulitzer Prize finalist for Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo and Steppenwolf Ensemble Member) in association with Steppenwolf Theatre Company and Center Theatre Group. King James will receive its world premiere at Steppenwolf in spring 2020 followed by a production in CTG’s 2020-2021 season. Rajiv and his creative team, which includes Anna D. Shapiro (Steppenwolf Artistic Director), Neel Keller (Center Theatre Group Associate Artistic Director), Polly Hubbard (Steppenwolf Director of New Play Development), actor Glenn Davis (Steppenwolf Ensemble Member) along with another actor yet to be named, will join The Project for full development support during the second week of the conference. We envision this new residency opportunity as an ongoing resource for theatres and creative teams seeking additional collaborative time before launching a world premiere production.
The Final Weekend Festival will take place on May 31 & June 1 and will provide guests of The Project an immersive, insider’s look at New Harmony’s new work development process. A full schedule will be announced shortly, and will feature readings, conversations with the writers and creative teams, and a Saturday evening dinner to celebrate the 2019 company. Ticket packages will be available for purchase at newharmonyproject.org/2019-conference.
The New Harmony Project boasts an impressive roster of past participants including Theresa Rebeck (NBC’s Smash, Seminar), Lee Blessing (Tony and Pulitzer Prize nominee, A Walk in the Woods), Anthony McCarten (Bohemian Rhapsody, The Theory of Everything, Darkest Hour) Steven Dietz (Lonely Planet), John Pielmeier (Agnes of God, The Exorcist), James Still (four time Pulitzer Prize nominee, The Velocity of Gary), Meredith Stiehm (Emmy winner, Homeland, Cold Case), Danny Strong (two time Emmy winner, Empire, Lee Daniels’ The Butler), George Brant (Grounded, Marie and Rosetta), Idris Goodwin (How We Got On, The Way The Mountain Moved), Regina Taylor (Drowning Crow, Crowns), Anna Ziegler (Photograph 51, Actually), Dael Orlandersmith (After the Flood), Jim Leonard (Major Crimes, Dexter), Ngozi Anyanwu (The Homecoming Queen, Good Grief), Mark St. Germain (Freud’s Last Session, The Cosby Show), and Angelo Pizzo (Rudy, Hoosiers).
In April of 1986, a group of theater, film, and television professionals gathered in Indianapolis to explore the trend in the entertainment arts toward exploitative and sensational material. They concluded there was a need to engage and support writers whose work sought a goal beyond mere entertainment, work that sought to empower and uplift. It was out of this meeting that The New Harmony Project was created. For more than three decades, The New Harmony Project has been serving writers whose work emanates hope, courage, and the strength and resiliency of the human spirit. We elevate stories for theater, television, and film that inspire, enlighten, and endeavor to make the world a better place. Following a leadership transition in the fall of 2017, The New Harmony Project has begun to drastically expand its programming in Central and Southwestern Indiana, and is working tirelessly to expand its impact across the state and around the country.
The New Harmony Project is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. For information on how to support this unique and worthwhile organization, please visit www.newharmonyproject.org.
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