PROJECT DAWN By Karen Hartman Launches Its National New Play Network Rolling World Premiere at People's Light

Jun 6, 2017

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 opening of Project Dawn by Karen Hartman at People's Light (Malvern, PA), its 71st NNPN Rolling World Premiere.

Project Dawn by Karen Hartman will kick off its Roll at Associate Member People’s Light (Malvern, PA; June 14-July 7, 2017), followed by productions at Core Members Horizon Theatre Company (Atlanta, GA; September 22-October 29, 2017) and Unicorn Theatre (Kansas City, MO; January 24-February 18, 2018).
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.


Philadelphia is home to a revolutionary court designed by a passionate and shockingly funny group of women. Every day these lawyers, judges, parole officers, and staff work to transform the lives of women repeatedly convicted for prostitution. In this daring and vital new play in which seven actresses portray multiple participants and members of the court, Karen Hartman probes the thin lines between freedom and slavery, activism, and obsession for women on both sides of the law. Inspired by Hartman’s extensive first–hand research inside Project Dawn Court, this play is the first world premiere from the nationally renowned New Play Frontiers Residency & Commission program at People’s Light.


Karen Hartman has four productions of three world premiere plays in the 2016/17 season: Roz and Ray at Seattle Repertory Theater and Victory Gardens, The Book of Joseph at Chicago Shakespeare Theater, and Project Dawn at People’s Light. In 2014-15, Ms. Hartman held the Playwright Center’s McKnight Residency and Commission for a nationally recognized playwright. Hartman’s personal and political essays have been published in the New York Times and the Washington Post. A New Dramatists alumna, Ms. Hartman grew up in San Diego and graduated from Yale University and the Yale School of Drama. She lived in Brooklyn until 2014, when she became Senior Artist in Residence at the University of Washington in Seattle. For information about her other plays:


People’s Light, a professional theatre in Chester County, Pennsylvania, makes plays drawn from many sources to entertain, inspire, and engage our community. We extend our mission of making and experiencing theatre through arts education programs that excite curiosity about, and deepen understanding of, the world around us. These plays and programs bring people together and provide opportunities for reflection, discovery, and celebration.


Horizon Theatre Company has been a leader in the production and development of professional contemporary theatre in Atlanta since 1983. Our mission is to connect people, inspire hope, and promote positive change through the stories of our times. We strive to empower and unite audiences with works that celebrate who we are, build bridges between our diverse audiences and offer new perspectives on our ever-changing world – stories that are entertaining, thought-provoking, relevant, accessible, and fresh to Atlantans. Under the leadership of founding Producing Artistic Director Lisa Adler, we seek out today’s playwrights and new plays that have received critical acclaim across the country and abroad, while also nurturing talented regional and early career writers whose work matches our mission, particularly women, African-Americans, Southerners and those who bring the diversity of our country to the stage.  In our New South Play Festival program, we annually commission, develop and produce new plays connected to our region and/or by writers who align with our mission. This year-round program features mainstage productions, commissions, and readings/workshops of new plays (New South PlayWorks), and the New South Young Playwrights Festival. Horizon serves over 40,000+ people with over 250 performances annually in our intimate 172-seat theatre and other venues in Atlanta and creates partnerships for positive change in our community.


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).