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, celebrates the first opening of the Rolling World Premiere of Building the Wall by Robert Schenkkan. The latest play from the Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning playwright will Roll, with the support of Paul Prokop, through Core Members Fountain Theatre (Los Angeles, CA; March 18-May 21, 2017), Curious Theatre Company (Denver, CO; April 4-19, 2017), and Borderlands Theater (Tucson, AZ; September 20-October 18), as well as Associate Members Forum Theatre (Washington, DC; April 27-May 27, 2017) and City Theatre (Miami, FL; September 20-October 8, 2017).
Fountain Theatre has provided extensive insight into the company’s work on their lead production, which started previews last Wednesday, March 15, on their blog “Intimate Excellent.” Stephen Sachs, Co-Artistic Director, expands further on his choice to produce this Rolling World Premiere in Fountain Theatre’s 2017-18 season: “It was crucial to me to shepherd the play through the NNPN pipeline as a Rolling World Premiere, so Robert could continue developing the script. We also hoped the RWP would ignite a national movement, with theaters across the country wanting to produce the play as a vehicle for social action. The response has been overwhelming, far beyond anything we could have imagined.”
Mr. Schenkkan and the Rolling World Premiere partnering theaters have received international attention in The New York Times, The Washington Post, and on the BBC Newshour for their rapid artistic response to the current administration and the political climate it foments. Most recently, the online publication Capital & Main and American Theatre magazine published interviews with Mr. Schenkkan about his expedited process for writing and developing this work. It is NNPN’s 68th Rolling World Premiere.
In an NNPN Rolling World Premiere, the Network 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 travel and housing funds for the playwright to further develop the play in each city.
ABOUT BUILDING THE WALL
It’s the very near future, and the Trump administration has carried out his campaign promise to round up and detain millions of immigrants. Now, a writer interviews the supervisor of a private prison as he awaits sentencing for carrying out the federal policy that has escalated into the unimaginable. This riveting, harrowing and illuminating drama delivers a powerful warning and puts a human face on the inhuman, revealing how when personal accountability is denied, what seems inconceivable becomes inevitable.
ABOUT ROBERT SCHENKKAN
In 2014, All The Way, Part One of his “LBJ Plays,” won the Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics, Drama League, Kennedy Prize, and the ATCA/Steinberg Awards for Best Play and broke two Broadway box office records. Robert has since adapted All The Way as a feature film for HBO, produced by Steven Spielberg and starring Bryan Cranston. Robert’s previous Broadway experience was the Pulitzer Prize-winning epic, The Kentucky Cycle, which also won the LA Drama Critics Award, and was nominated for the Tony, Drama Desk, and the Outer Critics’ Circle Awards. Other plays include Hanussen (2017 Denver Summit Theater Festival), Shadowplay, Lewis and Clark Reach the Euphrates, By the Rivers of Babylon, Handler, The Marriage of Miss Hollywood and King Neptune, Heaven on Earth, Tachinoki, Final Passages, The Devil and Daniel Webster, The Dream Thief, A Single Shard, and The Great Society, Part Two of the LBJ Plays, anticipated in New York in 2018. His musical, The Twelve, had its world premiere in Denver in 2015 andwon the Henry Award for Best New Play/Musical. Films: Hacksaw Ridge (2016. Nominated for 6 Academy Awards); The Quiet American. Television: Robert was nominated for two Emmys and won a WGA Award for his work on the HBO/Tom Hanks/Steven Spielberg miniseries, The Pacific. Other television work includes: The Andromeda Strain, Crazy Horse, and Spartacus. robertschenkkan.com
ABOUT FOUNTAIN THEATRE
The Fountain Theatre is one of the most successful intimate theaters in Los Angeles, providing a creative home for multi-ethnic theater and dance artists. The Fountain has won over 225 awards, and Fountain projects have been seen across the U.S. and internationally. Recent highlights include being honored for its acclaimed 25th Anniversary Season in 2015 by Mayor Eric Garcetti and the Los Angeles City Council; the 2014 Ovation Award for Best Season and the 2014 BEST Award for overall excellence from the Biller Foundation; the inclusion of the Fountain’s& Citizen: An American Lyric in Center Theatre Group’s upcoming Block Party at the Kirk Douglas Theatre; and the naming of seven Fountain productions in a row as “Critic's Choice” in the Los Angeles Times. fountaintheatre.com
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 225 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 225 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