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 The Luckiest People by Meridith Friedman as its 69th Rolling World Premiere. The play, which received the 2013-14 Annual Commission in collaboration with Curious Theatre Company, will receive three productions at Core Members Curious Theatre Company (Denver, CO, May 6-June 17, 2017), Actor’s Theatre of Charlotte (NC, August 3-26, 2017), and Associate Member Stage Left Theatre (Chicago, IL, January 6-February 11, 2018).
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.
ABOUT THE LUCKIEST PEOPLE
After the matriarch of the Hoffman family passes away, Richard is blindsided when his elderly father demands to leave his assisted living facility.Happily settled with his partner, Richard is less than thrilled at the prospect of living with his difficult father. Accusations fly and defenses are drawn, spiraling father and son into a heated game of finger pointing with unintended consequences. The first play in a new trilogy exploring how we navigate the Sahara of Middle Age–those middle decades sandwiched squarely between obligations to parents, children, and spouses.
ABOUT MERIDITH FRIEDMAN
Meridith was born in Madison, Wisconsin, and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii. She currently resides in Manhattan. She received her BA from Connecticut College, and her MFA in Writing for the Stage & Screen from Northwestern University. Her play The Firestorm recently concluded a National New Play Network (NNPN) Rolling World Premiere, receiving productions at Kitchen Dog Theater in Dallas, Stage Left Theatre in Chicago, Chicago's Theatre on the Lake (Stage Left remount), and LOCAL Theatre Company in Boulder.
Meridith was the NNPN Playwright-in-Residence at Curious for their 2010-2011 season, a 2012-2013 Dramatist Guild Fellow, and the recipient of a 2013-2014 Downstage Left Playwriting Residency at Stage Left Theatre. In addition to the theaters above, her work has been developed and workshopped at The Kennedy Center, Chicago Dramatists, The Johnny Mercer Writers Colony at Goodspeed Musicals, Florida Repertory Theatre, The Ashland New Play Festival, Orlando Shakespeare Theater, Florida Studio Theatre, the NNPN National New Play Showcase, New Repertory Theatre, The Lark, Actor's Express, The Greenhouse Theatre Center, The Samuel French OOB Short Play Festival, The American Southwest Theatre Company at NMSU, and the Abbey Theatre in Orlando.
Meridith was a Visiting Assistant Professor of Drama at Kenyon College during the 2011-2012 academic year, and taught screenwriting to undergraduates while completing her graduate work at Northwestern University. She has also taught playwriting to talented high school and middle school dramatists at Interlochen Center for the Arts and Curious Theatre Company. She recently completed the book for the musical, The 30th Year, which was part of the inaugural New Musical Discovery Series in Orlando. She is currently writing the book for a new musical about art theft, and developing an original television pilot about the Supreme Court. meridithfriedman.com
ABOUT CURIOUS THEATRE COMPANY
The mission of Curious Theatre Company is to engage the community in important contemporary issues through provocative modern theatre. Now celebrating 20 years of bringing thought-provoking theatre to Denver, Curious Theatre Company’s rich history showcases our commitment to playwrights with gutsy things to say. Over the last ten years, 66% of Curious plays have been written by playwrights of color, LGBTQ playwrights, or female playwrights – an unparalleled distinction in our region. We are proud to produce plays that challenge and enrich our lives through different viewpoints and storytelling styles. Curious has been named Best Theatre Season by Westword seven times and was honored four times with Best Year by a Theatre Company by the former Denver Post Ovation Awards. Our incredible Company and the artists who work with us have earned hundreds of awards through their tireless effort to bring relevant, contemporary theatre to the Front Range. “No guts, no story” embodies the ethos of Curious Theatre Company. Established in 1997 by a vanguard Artistic Company that has since grown to 27 professional actors, designers, and directors at its core, Curious brings the best new theatre to Denver, producing thought-provoking plays designed to challenge ideas, stir emotions, and leave audiences thinking and talking for days. curioustheatre.org
ABOUT ACTOR’S THEATRE OF CHARLOTTE
The mission of Actor's Theatre of Charlotte is to present, in an intimate environment, bold and innovative new works by contemporary playwrights who share our respect for language and humanity. Our philosophy and goal continue to be the presentation of regional premieres of thought-provoking, challenging and entertaining contemporary plays. Actor's Theatre is the only professional theatre in the region that dedicates its entire programming to new works that are daring, offbeat and, yes, sometimes controversial. Through the years we have remained steadfast to this original mission and philosophy and will strive to continue to be your entertainment source for these exciting new plays for years to come. atcharlotte.org
ABOUT STAGE LEFT THEATRE
Stage Left Theatre inspires debate by cultivating new work and producing plays that explore political and social landscapes. Our art challenges perspectives by presenting multiple facets of an issue with candor and empathy. Over the past thirty-five years, Stage Left has produced over 120 mainstage, late-night, off-night, children’s and touring productions that have garnered critical accolades, as well as 46 nominations and 17 awards for excellence from the Joseph Jefferson Awards Committee. stagelefttheatre.com
ABOUT THE NNPN ANNUAL COMMISSION
The National New Play Network Annual Commission is chosen from projects nominated by NNPN Core Members and selected by its Board of Directors. NNPN awards at least one $10,000 commission each year, and the theater that nominates the winning proposal is responsible for the administration and development of the commissioned play. Commissioned playwrights agree to grant the right of first refusal to produce their play to all NNPN Core Members in their respective markets, and pay royalties to the Network only after reaching a predetermined level of income from the play.
National New Play Network (NNPN) is the country’s alliance of non-profit professional theaters dedicated to the development, production, and continued life of new plays. Since its founding in 1998, NNPN has supported more than 200 productions nationwide through its innovative National New Play Network Rolling World Premiere program, which provides playwright and production support for new works at its Member theaters. Additional programs - its annual National Conference, National Showcase of New Plays, and MFA Playwrights Workshop; the NNPN Annual and Smith Prize commissions; its residencies for playwrights, producers and directors; and the organization’s member accessed Collaboration, Festival, and Travel banks and online information sessions - have helped cement the Network’s position as a vital force in the new play landscape. NNPN also strives to pioneer, implement, and disseminate ideas and programs that revolutionize the way theaters collaborate to support new plays and playwrights. Its most recent project, the New Play Exchange, is changing the way playwrights share their work and others discover it by providing immediate access to information on more than 9,500 new plays by living writers. NNPN’s 30 Core and more than 75 Associate Members - along with the more than 150 affiliated artists who are its alumni, the thousands of artists and artisans employed annually by its member theaters, and the hundreds of thousands of audience members who see its supported works each year - are creating the new American theater. nnpn.org | newplayexchange.org