The Eugene O’Neill Theater Center in Waterford, Connecticut, will welcome artists back to its campus this summer. The 57th season, comprised of in-person and virtual opportunities, marks the first under the leadership of Executive Director Tiffani Gavin (Gavin succeeded Preston Whiteway last year).
Citing pandemic restrictions, the new works hub will not host staged readings as part of its National Music Theater and National Playwrights conferences. However, creative teams will take part in on-campus writer residencies and mentorship opportunities.
NMTC will welcome Amy Jo Jackson for their musical Hatchetation, about Temperance activist and notorious hatchet wielder Carrie Nation, as well as composer Robi Hager and librettist Georgina Escobar for Little Duende, a fantasy that draws on the writers’ Mexican heritages to tell a story touching upon the border crisis and dual citizenship.
Alexander Gemignani, artistic director of the conference, says the two shows “define what NMTC is all about: undeniable talent, redefining what a musical can do, and fostering work for artists who have long gone underrepresented.”
Meanwhile, four plays will receive similar development opportunities (again, no staged reading): Nick Malakhow’s Affinity Lunch Minutes, about two Black teachers at a private Quaker school; Keiko Green’s Exotic Deadly: Or the MSG Play, a time-traveling work about a Japanese-American high schooler who learns her family is responsible for the manufacturing of MSG; Carla Ching’s Revenge Porn, or The Story of a Body (which was seen in a streamed presentation via Play-PerView earlier this year); and Dave Harris’ meditation of interaction coupling, Watch Me.
“It gives me hope to bring these four storytellers to the National Playwrights Conference and invest in the development of these plays, artists, and our theatrical future,” NPC Artistic Director Wendy C. Goldberg said in a statement.
The Connecticut campus will also be home to a series of concerts as part of the Cabaret & Performance Conference, led by Artistic Director John McDaniel. The August lineup includes Telly Leung, Beth Leavel, L Morgan Lee, Natalie Douglas, and the O’Neill’s Cabaret Fellows and Junior Fellows.
Online programming will include master classes via the National Puppetry Conference, as well as the 2021 editions of the Technical Theater Training Program and National Critics Institute boot camp.
For more information about the 2021 summer season, visit TheONeill.org.