Here's a fresh take on new play development from Vassar, passed on to me by a young, fast-out-of-the-gate writer and thinker and polyglot who has been a huge asset in recent JAW festivals. Leave it to her and her cronies to come up with a new spin on the developmental process:
The Dynamo Theater Lab, sponsored by the Vassar College Drama Department, is seeking playwrights to help us experiment with the process of theater making. In the spring of 2008, our company will use new plays as a springboard to explore rehearsal and performance possibilities. We hope to discover new methods of bringing plays to an audience by changing the parameters of the rehearsal process. Over the course of six weeks, we will work on three previously unproduced plays. Each play will be rehearsed for one week and then presented to the public. After three weeks we will repeat the cycle, giving each play another round of rehearsal and public presentation, to incorporate lessons we learned from the first incarnation and to test out new ideas. Neither workshop readings nor polished productions, the work we create in this condensed period will invite our audiences into a dynamic, immediately imaginative experience.
We are interested in working with different types and styles of plays, but are especially seeking texts that experiment with theatrical form or that deal with important contemporary issues. Because the Dynamo Lab will consist of 12-15 Vassar students, medium to large cast sizes are encouraged. If you are interested in collaborating, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Most of all, we are interested in starting conversations with playwrights, to discuss your ideas for our proposed experiment and what part you could see yourself taking in it.
Go ahead, take them up on the offer, or at least inquire after the details. Sounds like good clean fun to me. By the way, did you know that the legendary Hallie Flanagan, of Federal Theatre Project fame, taught at Vassar? C'est vrai.