NNPN Commission HARBUR GATE by Kathleen Cahill Will Receive World Premiere at Salt Lake Acting Company

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 World Premiere of its 2012-13 Annual Commission, Harbur Gate by Kathleen Cahill, at Core Member Salt Lake Acting Company (SLAC). The Commission, which was awarded to Ms. Cahill in collaboration with Salt Lake Acting Company, will receive its first professional production from February 8-March 12.

In their joint proposal for the Commission, Cynthia Fleming (Executive Artistic Director of SLAC) and Ms. Cahill noted that the inspiration for the play was “The Veteran in a New Field,” a Civil War-era painting by Winslow Homer: “It presents an image of a figure scything a field of golden wheat, life and death locked in the same moment. The veteran doesn’t look like a soldier and we assume it’s a painting of a man, because veterans are – or rather were – men. But no longer. The veteran in [Harbur Gate] is a woman.”

Since its conception, Harbur Gate has developed into a play which asks the questions: what does leadership look like? What makes a warrior? Or a hero? And if trust is the bedrock of the soldier’s profession, what happens when that trust is broken? At a time of evolving notions about what it means to be a woman or a man, Harbur Gate explores the military as a gendered space where, as one character puts it, “men are men and women are not.”

ABOUT HARBUR GATE

Six characters, in three interconnected plays, illuminate the emotional chaos that results from the experience of war: how it can disturb, destroy, and transform the lives of three women forever.

Harbur Gate is also the recipient of a 2016 Edgerton Foundation New Play Award, which supports an extended rehearsal process for select world premiere productions. It can be found on the New Play Exchange here.

ABOUT KATHLEEN CAHILL

Kathleen Cahill’s awards include the Jane Chambers Playwriting Award, two Connecticut Commission on the Arts Playwriting Awards, a Massachusetts Artists Foundation Award, a Rockefeller Grant, a National Endowment for the Arts New American Works Grant, two Edgerton Foundation Awards, and a Drama League Award. Her play Charm was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize; her play The Persian Quarter was nominated for a Steinberg Award (both published by Dramatic Publishing). Her produced musicals include Friendship of the Sea (North Shore Music Theatre); Dakota Sky (Olney Theatre), an opera, Clara; two opera/cabarets, A Tale of Two Cities: Paris and Berlin in the Twenties (Maryland Center for the Performing Arts); a comic opera cabaret, Fatal Song (most recently Utah Opera); and Perdida, the Winter’s Tale set in Mexico, (most recently Catholic University, DC and upcoming at the Grand Theatre, Salt Lake City; published by Dramatic Publishing). Her plays include the comedy, Course 86B in the Catalogue (Salt Lake Acting Company); The Still Time (Georgia Rep/ Porchlight Theatre, Chicago); the comedy, Women Who Love Science Too Much (Porchlight Theatre and NPR Radio); Joy Forever (Cleveland Public, Firehouse Theatre, Massachusetts); Charm (National New Play Network Rolling World Premiere: Salt Lake Acting Company premiere, Kitchen Dog Theatre, Dallas, Orlando Shakespeare; Taffety Punk, Washington D.C. among others); and The Persian Quarter (Salt Lake Acting Company, Merrimack Rep.). Her play, Harbur Gate was workshopped at Colt Coeur in New York, and in the Lab of the Salt Lake Acting Company, where it will be produced in 2017 and in 2018, at NNPN Core Member Theater 16th Street Theater, Chicago. She wrote the screenplay for the independent feature, Downtown Express. She writes for Alan Cumming when he introduces “Mystery!” on PBS. She is Playwright-in-Residence at the Salt Lake Acting Company.

ABOUT SALT LAKE ACTING COMPANY

Salt Lake Acting Company (SLAC)'s mission is to engage and enrich the community through brave, contemporary theatre. Founded in 1970 to present innovative and thought-provoking plays for Utah audiences and to nurture a community of local and national professional theatre artists, SLAC is committed to commissioning, developing and producing a year-round season of new work. SLAC has cultivated an engaged and adventurous audience, as evidenced by its ever-growing subscriber base, and is proud to be a champion of new plays. saltlakeactingcompany.org

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

ABOUT NATIONAL NEW PLAY NETWORK

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 10,000 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