From the O'Neill, the cohort will go directly to the Kennedy Center for an MFA playwrights' workshop and directing intensive, led by NNPN and the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival.
The program concludes with a residency at an NNPN core theatre, where the director fellows may have the chance to direct or assist on a production.
NNPN executive director Nan Barnett said that what NNPN brings to the partnership is the ability to expose the fellows to different forms of work across the country.
And yet, NNPN still boasts a relatively small core membership--just 26 companies, up from the 13 that attended a seminal meeting in 1998, the year the network was launched by David Goldman, then special programs director for the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center.
was taking a break from his work at the MFA Playwrights' Workshop, an intensive that NNPN (based in Washington, D.
The Workshop, which pairs accomplished MFA students with directors and dramaturgs, is one of many, many irons NNPN has in the fire.
Perhaps more significantly, in the larger scheme of things, the term "rolling world premiere" has entered the broader lexicon--think "Kleenex" or "xerox"--with theatres unaffiliated with NNPN mounting their own multistage debuts.
Complementing the Continued Life fund, NNPN has over the years put together a range of initiatives that nurture writers, rather than individual plays: The programs constitute "a pipeline that keeps a playwright involved throughout the network" over the course of a career, says Ryan Rilette, who recently stepped down as NNPN board president (and is newly the producing artistic director of Maryland's Round House Theatre).
Take, for instance, the example of scribbler Sean Christopher Lewis: After attending the first MFA Playwrights' Workshop at Stanford in 2006, Lewis moved to Philadelphia's InterAct Theatre Company with the help of NNPN's Playwrights-in-Residence program, which gives recent MFA-program graduates a berth at NNPN theatres.