HOW TO USE A KNIFE by Will Snider To Receive NNPN Rolling World Premiere

Aug 17, 2016

Washington, D.C. - National New Play Network, the country's alliance of nonprofit theaters that champions the development, production, and continued life of new plays, announces How to Use a Knife by Will Snider as its 61st Rolling World Premiere. The play will receive four productions, kicking off at NNPN Associate Member Capital Stage (Sacramento, CA, Previews start August 31/September 3-October 2, 2016), and followed by Core Members Phoenix Theatre (Indianapolis, IN, January 18-February 12, 2017), Unicorn Theatre (Kansas City, MO, January 25-February 19, 2017) and InterAct Theatre Company (Philadelphia, PA, May 26-June 18, 2017). NNPN provides production support to the playwright and the partnering theaters, including assistance with the creation and the contracting of the premiere agreement, collaborative interactions between the theaters, and funds for the playwright's residency in each city to further develop the play.


In the chaotic hustle and bustle of a Wall Street restaurant kitchen, Chef George is trying to stay sober. In between yelling at a pair of trash-talking line cooks and a pot-smoking busboy, he befriends Steve, an East African immigrant who seems to be a humble yet dignified dishwasher. Set during busy dinner shifts and filled with a cast of unforgettable New York characters, How to Use a Knife bursts with grinding suspense, energy, and surprise. Snider first developed How to Use a Knife at MCC Theater through the PlayLabs program, as well as the 2015 MFA Playwrights’ Workshop, hosted each summer by the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival, NNPN, and Stanford University’s National Center for New Plays. It went on to a reading at the 2015 NNPN National Showcase of New Plays before securing commitments from four Member Theaters to make its Rolling World Premiere.


Will Snider was born and raised in the suburbs of Washington, DC. His plays include The Big Man (EST’s Marathon of One-Act Plays), How to Use a Knife, Extinction, Strange Men, and Death of a Driver and have been developed at MCC, NNPN National Showcase of New Plays, Kennedy Center, SPACE on Ryder Farm, Great Plains Theatre Conference, #serials@theflea, the claque, and MAKEHOUSE. He is a member of Youngblood, recipient of an EST/Soan Grant, and spent three years working in agricultural development in East Africa. He is pursuing an MFA at UCSD under Naomi Iizuka.


Capital Stage Company’s mission is to be a dynamic leader in the evolution of the contemporary live theatre landscape in the Capital region and to passionately engage audiences in the art of live storytelling with bold, innovative plays performed by professional artists, in an intimate, up-close setting. With a strong commitment to expanding the base of working artists in the greater Sacramento region, we shall develop a company of actors, directors, writers, designers, and technical staff who are dedicated to bringing bold, lively productions of contemporary and classic plays to our community.


The Phoenix Theatre is Indiana's only professional contemporary theatre and has presented productions to challenge and entertain the Indianapolis community for over 32 years. The Phoenix strives to expand the community’s exposure to diverse topics and start conversations that lead to positive change; produce vital, engaging plays that deepen and expand our views of a shared humanity; and stimulate conversation and promote diversity via intimate, engaged, and wide-ranging theater. Additionally, the Phoenix aims to move the political bent of the community from the right to the center via theater, and create intimate theatre so powerful and engaging it sparks and leads Indiana’s cultural conversation.


Founded in 1974, Unicorn Theatre enhances Kansas City by developing and producing professional, provocative new plays. Unicorn Theatre chooses plays, most of which are less than five years old, that have never been performed in Kansas City, or often anywhere at all. The Unicorn looks for plays about strong female characters, people of color, LGBT, and any marginalized group. Under the artistic and executive leadership of Producing Artistic Director Cynthia Levin, the theatre has produced more than 300 productions, with 20 percent of those being world premieres. “We believe that as theatre artists we should take responsibility for illuminating significant issues and initiating change,” Levin said. “Our hope is that every time you come to the Unicorn, you discover something about yourself you did not know before you walked in.” In the Midtown neighborhood of Kansas City, Missouri, Unicorn Theatre houses two intimate stages — The Levin Stage (formerly The Main Stage) and The Jerome Stage (added in 2008).


Founded in 1988, InterAct is dedicated to presenting new and contemporary plays that explore the political, social and cultural issues of our time. The company produces four plays annually, and is actively involved in the development of new plays, workshops, and playwright support, as well as cultivating prize-winning writers, championing world premiere work, and creating community partnerships.