Announcing our 2019-20 Generations competition winner!
In January 2020, playwright Ken Weitzman will be in residence at BETC to work on his new play, seal boy.
In a barely altered reality, all parents are open to lawsuits for the most minor misbehavior of their children. This reality grows more troublesome for Meg when an unexpected complication emerges: she gives birth to a seal. Can she avoid liability, and keep her darkest fears of motherhood from becoming reality? seal boy is a hilarious, audacious, and heartfelt look at the way we fetishize motherhood and the struggle that ensues.
A public reading of this new play in progress will be held in the Grace Gamm Theater at the Dairy Arts Center on Saturday, January 11 at 2 p.m. The reading is free to attend, but reservations will be required as seating is limited. Registration for the reading will open in December.
Ken’s play HALFTIME WITH DON recently received a NNPN Rolling World Premiere with NJ Rep, Phoenix Theatre, and B Street Theatre. Previous productions include THE CATCH (The Denver Center Theatre Company), FIRE IN THE GARDEN (Indiana Repertory Theatre), THE AS IF BODY LOOP (Humana Festival), ARRANGEMENTS (Atlantic Theatre Company). His devised work includes MEMORABILIA (Alliance Theatre), HOMINID (Out of Hand Theatre/Theatre Emory/Oerol Festival Netherlands), and STADIUM 360 (Out of Hand Theatre). Plays-in-progress include SPIN MOVES (Victory Gardens, New Harmony Project), SEAL BOY (Keen Company Playwrights Lab, The Lark’s Meeting of the Minds, American Academy of Dramatic Arts), and JUSTICE IS DEAD (Theatre Lab at FAU).
National awards include The L. Arnold Weissberger Award for Playwriting for ARRANGEMENTS, TCG Edgerton Foundation New American Play Award for THE CATCH, the Fratti/Newman Political Play Contest Award for FIRE IN THE GARDEN, and South Coast Repertory’s Elizabeth George Commission for an Outstanding Emerging Playwright.
Organizations who have commissioned Ken’s work include the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Arena Stage, the Alliance Theatre, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Theatre Emory, Out of Hand Theatre, and South Coast Repertory Theatre.
Ken has been a Core Writer at the Playwrights Center of Minneapolis, a member of Meeting of the Minds at the Lark Play Development Company, and part of the Writers’ Lab at Keen Company. He was a former Writer-in-Residence for Out of Hand Theatre Company and was a board member for The New Harmony Project for six years. His plays have been published by Samuel French, Playscripts, Smith and Kraus, and Blackbird.
Ken received his MFA from University of California, San Diego and has taught at UCSD, Emory University, Indiana University (head of MFA in Playwriting) and, currently, at Stony Brook University. We are thrilled to welcome him to Boulder and to the Generations new play development program.
Our 2020-21 competition opens in May 2020. Guidelines from last year’s competition can be viewed here.
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.
BETC’s Generations program is made possible in part by Ann Bateson & Frank Everts, Howard & Elizabeth Diamond, and by the Sustainable Arts Foundation.
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 Breaksand 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 13: Jacqueline Goldfinger. Her residency for Babel was in March 2019. She is a playwright and dramaturg, who co-founded The Foundry @ PlayPenn and Curates Page By Page. She is an Affiliated Artist at New Georges and The Lark Playwright’s Center. She is a member of the writers’ labs at The Barrow Group and Azuka Theatre. She won the Yale Drama Prize, Smith Prize, Generations Award, Brown Martin Award, Barrymore Award, and Philadelphia Critics Award. She was a Finalist at the 2018 International Book Awards. Her plays have been developed and/or produced by theaters including: The National Theatre/London, Wilma Theatre, The Kennedy Center, La MaMa, Disquiet/Lisbon, Florida Studio Theatre, Orlando Shakespeare, Kansas City Rep, Perseverance Theatre, Capital Stage Company, The Seattle Public, Manhattan Theatre Works, and the NYC International Fringe Festival. She is a member of the Dramatists Guild and represented by Abrams Artists Agency.
- Season 12: Jennifer Barclay. Her residency with BETC for the play Danny was 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.