Generations Public Reading: Jennifer Barclay’s Danny
Our 2017-18 Generations competition winner, Jennifer Barclay’s play Danny, will be featured in a public reading at 2 p.m. on Saturday, August 11th at the Boulder Public Library. The reading is free to the public, but advance registration is required. REGISTER NOW.
Set in an African-American hair salon adjacent to Chicago’s notorious Cabrini-Green housing project, Danny spans three decades within one room. In 2011, the last-standing Cabrini tower is on the brink of demolition, and the neighborhood is gentrifying. Two sisters flee their mother’s funeral to break into the hair salon that used to be her sanctuary, desperate for answers about their family’s involvement in the murder of a young boy. In 1984, in the heyday of both Cabrini and the salon, we witness the story from the perspective of the mother and her two closest friends. The same three actresses appear in both acts as we explore the legacy of this place, and piece together our own understandings of what happened. A play about motherhood, reinvention, and the place we call home.
BETC’s New Play Development Program
BETC makes an ongoing commitment to new theatrical work, from world premieres to playwright residencies. Our new play development program, Generations, features the work of parent playwrights with children under 18. The name comes from BETC’s goals for the program: to welcome all generations into the theater to see new plays, and to empower playwrights to generate new work.
Each season, BETC selects one playwright through a national competition to join us in Boulder for a one-week residency. During the residency week, the playwright works with a professional director, dramaturg, and actors to develop the selected script. The week concludes with a public reading and post-reading conversation.
Our 2018-19 Generations competition submission period closed on June 15th. Our winner will be announced in late 2018. Our next window will open in June 2019. You can see past guidelines for the competition here.
Generations Playwright Commission
During Season 12, BETC commissioned playwright Idris Goodwin through our Generations program to write a new play on American education, and to be our parent playwright in residence in Fall 2018. Idris Goodwin’s widely produced stage plays include: How We Got On, This Is Modern Art (co-written with Kevin Coval), And In This Corner: Cassius Clay, Bars and Measures, The Raid, Hype Man, and Blackademics. He’s received support from the NEA, Ford and Mellon Foundation, and received awards including the American History Cycle Commission from Oregon Shakespeare Festival, the BlueInk Playwriting Prize, the American Association of Theatre and Education’s Distinguished New Play Award, and InterAct Theater’s 20/20 Prize. He is the author of the Pushcart-nominated essay collection These Are The Breaks and Inauguration, a chapbook co-written with Nico Wilkinson (Haymarket Books), winner of the 2017 Literary Arts Award from The Pikes Peak Arts Council. His words have appeared on HBO, Sesame Street, BBC Radio and the Discovery Channel. Idris is a regular contributor to NPR affiliate KRCC in Colorado Springs, and until recently an assistant professor in the Department of Theater and Dance at Colorado College. He becomes the artistic director of Stage One Family Theatre in Fall 2018.
Past Playwrights in Residence
- Season 12: Jennifer Barclay. Her residency with BETC for the play Danny will take place in August 2018. Jennifer is a Chicago-bred actor-turned-playwright, recently relocated to the DC area where she is a member of Arena Stage’s 2017-18 Playwrights’ Arena, and an Assistant Professor of Playwriting and Performance at the University of Maryland. Jennifer received the National New Play Network’s 2016 Smith Prize for Political Theatre, for Ripe Frenzy. Ripe Frenzy was a Finalist for Sundance and the O’Neill, and is currently receiving an NNPN Rolling World Premiere at New Rep in Boston, Synchronicity Theatre in Atlanta, and Greenway Court Theatre in California. Jennifer’s plays have been produced and developed by Steppenwolf, La Jolla Playhouse, The Old Globe, RedCat, The Kennedy Center, Center Stage, The International Theatre of Vienna and The Edinburgh Fringe. Jennifer has been a Playwright in Residence at South Coast Rep and Center Stage. She has a degree in Theatre from Northwestern University and an MFA in Playwriting at UC San Diego, where she studied with Naomi Iizuka.
- Season 11: Anna Moench. Her play Birds of North America received its world premiere at BETC in Fall 2017 as part of our Season 12. Anna’s plays have been produced at WalkerSpace, the Old Vic, 59E59, Ensemble Studio Theatre, The Flea, Cohesion Theatre Company, NYU Tisch, Indiana University of PA, Dance Theater Workshop, Dixon Place, The Kraine, The Looking Glass Theatre, and FringeNYC. Anna is an alumna of the Emerging Writers Group at The Public Theater, Youngblood at Ensemble Studio Theatre, and The Jam at New Georges. She was named one of Hollywood’s top 100 new writers on the 2016 Young and Hungry List.
- Season 10: Stephanie Alison Walker. Her play The Madres was also selected for the Ashland New Plays Festival, as a finalist for the 2016 Saroyan/Paul Human Rights Playwriting Prize, and as one of six plays selected for the National Showcase of New Plays in December 2016 by the National New Play Network. It will receive its world premiere productions in Fall 2018, as an NNPN Rolling World Premiere.
- Season 9: Simon Fill. His play Burning Cities was recently published in Proscenium Theatre Journal. It received a staged reading at the Pandora’s Box 10th Annual New Works Festival in Long Beach, CA. His short play Night Visits won the Heideman Award from Actors Theatre of Louisville, where the play premiered in the Wintermezzo Festival. He was an A.S.K. American exchange playwright at the Royal Court Theatre, and his full-length play Post Punk Life received a month-long developmental production by Lincoln Center Theatre Directors Lab.
- Season 8: David Valdes Greenwood. His play Full Code received its world premiere production at BETC in Fall 2016. He was a finalist for the ATHE Award for Excellence in Playwriting and was nominated for the Laurents/Hatcher Prize by the Huntington Theater Company. His play The Mermaid Hour was one of six plays selected for the National Showcase of New Plays in December 2016 by the National New Play Network.
BETC takes pleasure in supporting our parent playwright residents’ writing careers post-residency, and advocating for production of their plays through connections within the National New Play Network.