FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
SOUTHERN REP THEATRE WELCOMES INAUGURAL 4D COHORT
Nine New Orleanians selected to develop full-length plays during year-long intensive
NEW ORLEANS (January 10, 2017) – Southern Rep Theatre is pleased to welcome James Bartelle (Dramatist), Keah Moffett (Dramatist), Leslie Nipkow (Dramatist), Austin Alward (Director), Megan Kosmoski (Director), Cammie West (Director), Dolores Hooper (Dramaturg), Michelle Lepori (Dramaturg), and Paul Werner (Dramaturg) to its new play development program, 4D. 4D seeks to challenge and support the best new voices and new plays in New Orleans. Led by Producing Artistic Director Aimée Hayes, Director of Arts Education Helen Jaksch, and Literary Manager Jessica Podewell, Southern Rep’s new pilot program will provide space for Dramatists, Directors, and Dramaturgs to craft their individual and collaborative skills in a yearlong workshop process.
Members of 4D were selected through a competitive application process that included a writing sample, letter of interest, resume, and one-minute video of their artist statement/artistic vision.
“New Play Development is a team sport,” Director of Arts Education Helen Jaksch notes, “And Southern Rep’s 4D Program was created as a way to support and nurture all of those artistic team members to develop and present new work that is home-grown, theatrically imaginative, and excellent.”
With this program, Southern Rep will continue to support the development of local Dramatists, and will also add key collaborators to this process. 4D will help Directors hone their skills in developing and producing new plays and will foster a group of Dramaturgs, who are essential consultant/critic/scholar-artists. Collaborators will be grouped together in three-person teams consisting of one Dramatist, one Director, and one Dramaturg each. Each team will meet twice a month to support the development of each dramatist’s new full-length play over the course of the 2016-2017 and 2017-2018 seasons. Three teams develop three new plays and each play will receive multiple staged readings throughout the process.
4D participants will receive a travel stipend, tickets to Southern Rep’s Mainstage and Lagniappe Stage, master classes from local and national artists, and mentorship from Producing Artistic Director Aimée Hayes, Director of Arts Education/Dramaturg Helen Jaksch, and Literary Manager Jessica Podewell. They will also have the opportunity to mentor young artists through Southern Rep’s arts education programs.
JAMES BARTELLE (Dramatist) is the Associate Artistic Director of The NOLA Project theatre company as well as an Artistic Associate of Poor Yorick. A dozen of his 10-Minute plays have been featured in Southern Rep’s 6×6 and Cross-Town Reading Series. His play CARRIER: A PIGEON LOVE STORY was commissioned by Ten Bones Theatre in NYC. He has written programing for the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra including BAND TOGETHER: A HISTORY OF THE SAENGER and BAND TOGETHER: SATCHMO’S STORY. His one- act play, WRISTS AND FLOWERS (premiering in March) was commissioned by Second Star Performance Collective as part of the 2017 Tennessee Williams Literary Festival. For The NOLA Project, James has written A KINGDOM OF STATUES, SHE REMEMBERS, and THE SPIDER QUEEN (co-written with Alex Martinez Wallace) which will premiere May of 2017 in the New Orleans Museum of Art’s Besthoff Sculpture Garden.
KEAH MOFFETT (Dramatist) lives by this motto: Be brave enough to start a conversation that matters. Mississippi-born and New Orleans-raised, Keah graduated from Ben Franklin High School. She is a cum laude graduate of Hampton University in Virginia and Academy of Art University in San Francisco. Her love of writing began when she was 7, when, after reading about Hong Kong, she wrote a book about a Chinese child detective named Lang Kim. Her book received accolades and praise from her teachers and mom. Currently, she writes short films and hopes that she can eventually make her own movies and television shows that tell stories that aren’t always seen in mainstream media.
LESLIE NIPKOW (Dramatist) is thrilled to be chosen to participate in 4D. Her plays have been seen in such theaters as NYC’s La MaMa, the Women’s Project, and the Ohio. Her solo play, GUARDING ERICA, is published in Vintage Books’ TALK TO ME: MONOLOGUE PLAYS. Recently, her screenplay, SALT OF THE EARTH, was a Stowe Story Labs Selected Project and Top-Ten Finalist in the UCLA Extension Feature Film Competition. She is currently finishing her first book, HOW TO KISS LIKE A MOVIE STAR, winner of the 2016 Launchpad-Tracking Board Manuscript Prize. In her spare time, she boxes and explores NOLA.
AUSTIN ALWARD (Director) moved to New Orleans a month before Hurricane Katrina to write a screenplay about Mississippi art potter George Ohr. He makes his living doing camera work for movies and TV. Austin has directed a number of short films and music videos in both the US and France. He is currently involved with an effort to explore how mixed reality technologies are innovating the ways by which people create, share and experience narrative.
MEGAN EILEEN KOSMOSKI (Director) is a director/producer new to New Orleans. She is so excited to be working with Southern Rep in their new 4D program! She has directed in NOLA for 6×6, 3×3, and the Two for Tennessee Fest. Her favorite directing credits include: SOLITARY by Stephanie Garrison (Second Star Productions, NOLA), DANCE LESSONS by Josh Konigsberg (Williamstown Theatre Festival), MAHOGANY BROWN AND THE CASE OF THE DISAPPEARING KID by Gina Femia (Brick Theatre, NYC), CRUMBLE by Sheila Callaghan (Hartke Theater, DC), WERTHER by Jules Massenet (Iconoclassic, NYC), and THE LESSON by Eugene Ionesco (The Callan, DC). http://www.megankosmoski.com/
CAMMIE WEST (Director) is a New Orleans native and is honored to be a part of 4D. She has been working as a theatre artist for many years, but has only recently begun to direct. Last year, Cammie was nominated for a Big Easy Award along with her co-director, Christopher Bentivegna, for the World Premiere of TERMINATOR: THE MUSICAL. When not performing or creating theatre, Cammie works as a Teaching Artist for Young Audiences Charter School, an arts-integrated elementary school. Her most impressive production to date is her son, Finnian, who, like his parents before him, is a born-performer.
DOLORES HOOPER (Dramaturg) has an MLIS from Drexel University in Philadelphia and currently lives in New Orleans with her cat, Oscar. She has always had a great love of theater, but mostly as an audience member, with one brief and shining moment when a play she wrote was produced and performed on stage many years ago. Professionally she is a Certified Digital Archive Specialist but her other interests include: origami and other paper arts, puzzles and cryptograms, and a nice cup of tea.
MICHELLE LEPORI (Dramaturg) is a writer, artist, and actress from California who recently graduated summa cum laude in Language and Culture from the University of New Orleans. Her poetry and art is in ELLIPSES, WEST WING CRAIC, and CATAHOULA MAGAZINE (2016). She’s done readings across the country and recently spoke at ULL on “the Permission of Poetry,” urging young artists against self-censorship. An advocate for creative identity expression, Lepori has done performance art at the House of Blues, been on the reality TV show SPLIT ENDS, and performed in Southern Rep’s production of AIRLINE HIGHWAY.
PAUL WERNER (Dramaturg) has been an actor, director, playwright, and teacher for 48 years. He earned a Masters degree in Theatre & Film from UNO and was head of the Playwrights Unit at the CAC. Recently he has written plays for Southern Rep’s 3×3 and 6×6 series. He is a member of the Dramatists Guild.
SOUTHERN REP THEATRE ANNOUNCES 4-D NEW PLAY DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM
Introducing our new play development program for local playwrights, directors, and dramaturgs
NEW ORLEANS (October 13, 2016) – Southern Rep Theatre is seeking applicants for the initial session of its newest program to support new play development in New Orleans. The 4D program is the successor of the company’s 6×6 Play Slam and the 3×3 One Act series, which concluded a six-year run earlier this year.
Producing Artistic Director Aimée Hayes sees 4D as a deepening and expansion of Southern Rep’s 6×6 and 3×3 programs:
“6×6 started as a way to get playwrights writing. Our six years with that program and its 3×3 counterpart has shown us that New Orleans has great potential to be a new play bastion. 4D addresses the lack of new play dramaturgs in New Orleans and deepens the specific training directors need to work with playwrights on development. We have so many interesting writers here! With this program we hope to strengthen not only their skills but also provide them with a savvy support system. Southern Rep is about new plays for New Orleans. 4D is an essential step in our mission.”
4D—Dramatists/Directors/Dramaturgs/Development—seeks to challenge and support the best new voices and new plays in New Orleans. Our city has an exciting array of artists and companies, but artists rarely have the chance to practice their processes outside of a production model. Led by Producing Artistic Director Aimée Hayes, Director of Arts Education Helen Jaksch, and Literary Manager Jessica Podewell, Southern Rep’s new pilot program will provide space for Dramatists, Directors, and Dramaturgs to craft their individual and collaborative skills in a year-long workshop process. With this program, Southern Rep will continue to support the development of local Dramatists, and will also add key collaborators to this process. 4D will help Directors hone their skills in developing and producing new plays and will foster a group of Dramaturgs, who are essential consultant/critic/scholar-artists. Collaborators will be grouped together in three-person teams consisting of one Dramatist, one Director, and one Dramaturg each. Each team will meet twice a month to support the development of each dramatist’s new full-length play over the course of the 2016-2017 and 2017-2018 season. Three teams develop three new plays. Each play will receive multiple staged readings throughout the process.
4-D participants will receive a travel stipend, tickets to Southern Rep’s mainstage and lagniappe season, master classes from local and national artists, and mentorship from Producing Artistic Director Aimée Hayes, Literary Manager Jessica Podewell, and Director of Arts Education/Dramaturg Helen Jaksch. They will also have the opportunity to mentor young artists through Southern Rep’s arts education programs.
Literary Manager and former Director of the 3×3 and 6×6 program Jessica Podewell says:
“When I first stepped in as Literary Manager for Southern Rep, I was thrilled to see what opportunities our 6×6 and 3×3 programs were offering writers. It felt like a fantastically safe space for dramatists of all skill levels to create and collaborate. As the city’s artistic base shifts, however, the needs shift with it. We knew it was time to reassess and design a program that is not just for writers, but directors and dramaturgs as well. Theatre cannot be created in a vacuum and our aim is to construct a program that allows more artists to hone needed skills in our ever changing creative landscape.”
Dramaturg Helen Jaksch says:
New play development is one of the most intense and vulnerable collaborations an artist can engage in. It requires a team of people who are willing to put the work at hand before their fear or egos. As a theatre committed to developing new plays, we want to make sure we are supporting our local artists to develop and create plays that are theatrically imaginative, dramaturgically rigorous, and have the potential to have long and exciting production lives. It takes a dramatist, a director, and a dramaturg to make excellent new play development happen. We’re so excited to embark on this new phase of programming.
ABOUT THE APPLICATION PROCESS
4D is a program that aims to cultivate the work of a diverse set of voices in the city and to give participants the time, tools, and skills they need to write, develop, and produce high-quality plays in New Orleans and beyond. Applications are now available at www.southernrep.com/artseducation/4d
Application materials are due on Sunday, November 27th at midnight. The program will begin in January of 2017. The mid-point progress readings will take place in April/May of 2017 and the final staged readings will be in December of 2017.
We want our 4D teams to reflect the city of New Orleans. People of color, indigenous people, women, queer folks, trans* and gender non-conforming people, and people with disabilities are strongly encouraged to apply.
ABOUT AIMÉE HAYES, PRODUCING ARTISTIC DIRECTOR
Since being named Producing Artistic Director in 2007, Hayes has focused on new play development, producing many writers during her tenure, including Andrew Hinderaker, John Biguenet, Eric Coble, Zayd Dohrn, Catherine Filloux, Jim Fitzmorris, Ross Maxwell, Tarell McCraney, Peter McElligott, Peter Sinn Nachtrieb, Joe Sutton, and Steve Yockey. As a member of the National New Play Network, Hayes has served on the Showcase of New Plays panel and directed in their MFA Playwright Showcase at the Kennedy Center. She has also overseen the incorporation of a new slate of new play development programs into Southern Rep’s Lagniappe Series including 6×6, a new play slam, 3×3: THE ONE ACTS, New Orleans’ only live, ongoing soap opera, DEBAUCHERY!, and THE NEW PLAY BACCHANAL, an annual two-day new play festival that includes honoring a new play by a female playwright of color with The Ruby Prize.
Hayes has often appeared on the stage, most recently as She in Southern Rep’s STAGE KISS, Hannah Jelkes in THE NIGHT OF THE IGUANA, and Blanche Dubois in A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE. In 2014, New Orleans Magazine named Hayes a Top Female Achiever, and in 2012 she was named Gambit Weekly’s Theatre Person of the Year, and one of New Orleans Magazine’s 2008 People to Watch. Hayes has served as the Chair of the Governance Committee and at-large Board Member for the Theatre Communications Group (TCG).
ABOUT JESSICA PODEWELL, LITERARY MANAGER
Originally from New Orleans, Podewell received her BFA from Webster University, and her MFA in Acting and New Works at the Ohio State University. She has worked professionally in theatres throughout Austin, Chicago, and New York, as well as New Orleans, and was most recently seen on stage in Southern Rep’s DETROIT. She is a proud founding member of the children’s theatre The Patchwork Players, and currently serves as Professor of Practice in Tulane University’s Department of Theatre and Dance.
ABOUT HELEN JAKSCH, DIRECTOR OF ARTS EDUCATION/DRAMATURG
Helen Jaksch is a freelance dramaturg and arts educator. She received her MFA in Dramaturgy and Dramatic Criticism from the Yale School of Drama and is currently working on her Doctorate of Fine Arts. Her research involves new play development with young people and Youth-Created Theatre in America. Her writings on theatre and performance have been featured in TDR, Theater, Performing Fiction, Kamihikouki, and the NOLA Defender. She has produced and served as dramaturg for new plays, devised performances, classic and modern texts, and youth playmaking programs in New York, Connecticut, Louisiana, and Texas. A passionate advocate for young voices and community artists, she is currently serving the company’s NNPN Producer-in-Residence.
ABOUT SOUTHERN REP THEATRE
Now entering its 30th Season, Southern Rep Theatre produces award-winning productions that are engaging, educational, and accessible for audiences of every socioeconomic background. Under the leadership of Producing Artistic Director Aimée Hayes and Managing Director Jenny Windstrup, Southern Rep Theatre’s Mainstage Season work includes bold World and Regional Premieres as well as the best of Broadway, off-Broadway, and classic plays. Southern Rep Theatre’s Lagniappe Series and “School to Stage Pipeline” of Arts Education Programs reflect the company’s ongoing commitment to new play development by providing resources for students and burgeoning theatre professionals and supporting a more diverse theatre community. A mainstay of New Orleans’ arts community and a core member of the National New Play Network, Southern Rep Theatre continues to build on its unique position as a sector leader, creative force, and important resource for contemporary American theatre.