Steve Yockey’s BLACKBERRY WINTER Wraps Up Its Tremendous NNPN Rolling World Premiere

May 15, 2016

Washington, D.C. - The National New Play Network, the country's alliance of nonprofit theaters that champions the development, production, and continued life of new plays, celebrates the final two productions of the NNPN Rolling World Premiere (RWP) of Blackberry Winter by Steve Yockey. NNPN Associate Member Forum Theatre (Silver Spring, MD, May 19-June 11) and Core Member Kitchen Dog Theater (Dallas, TX, May 20-June 26) represent the 6th and 7th productions in the largest RWP in NNPN history.

The play received high praise in its runs at Core Members Salt Lake Acting Company (UT) , New Repertory Theatre (Watertown, MA), and Actor’s Express in a co-production with Associate Member  Out of Hand Theater (both in Atlanta), and at Associate Members Capital Stage (Sacramento, CA) and  Oregon Contemporary Theatre (Eugene).

Actor’s Express and Kitchen Dog Theatre (May 27-June 25) are presenting Blackberry Winter in repertory with Yockey’s second NNPN Rolling World Premiere of this season, The Thrush & the Woodpecker, which will finish its Roll at Associate Member The Custom Made Theatre Co. from August 4-20 (San Francisco).


Years of success, meticulous planning, and an eye for detail have in no way prepared Vivienne Avery for her mother's slide into the grip of dementia. Initially hiding behind insomnia-fueled baking and a polite smile, stories about her mother leave Vivienne's inner turmoil quietly laid bare in a juxtaposition of stories, theatrical gestures, and a childlike Alzheimer's "creation myth."

The play has received great critical and audience acclaim as it has rolled across the country. 

“…intelligent, nuanced and shot through with irony…”

Dorothy Velasco, The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)

“…a reflection of the gradual process one endures in the midst of a tragedy…carefully-textured… (t)his sensitively evoked piece is ultimately life-affirming…”

Jeremy D. Goodwin, WBUR FM (Boston)

“Yockey has devised a delightful way to engage us: Vivienne's creation myth…(t)he poetry of the myth lifts the play to another level.”

Barbara M. Bannon, The Salt Lake Tribune

“Yockey explores the psychological underpinnings of those affected by relatives or close friends who are ill; and it is Ms. Cook’s brilliance as an actor that hypnotizes and carries us along.”

Manning Harris, Atlanta in Town

“Check this one out, because it’s really rather special.”

Jeff Hudson, Capital Public Radio (Sacramento)


In this modern revenge play, Brenda Hendricks has her hands full dealing with her son Noah after he is expelled from a prestigious college and unexpectedly returns to their isolated Northern California home. When a mysterious woman arrives on their doorstep, Brenda and Noah find their world turned upside down in ways both intimate and epic.


Steve Yockey is a Los Angeles based writer with work produced throughout the US, Europe, and Asia. His plays Afterlife, Octopus, Large Animal Games, CARTOON, Subculture, Very Still & Hard to See, The Fisherman’s Wife, Wolves, Disassembly, and Niagara Falls & Other Plays are published and available from Samuel French. Additionally, his play Joshua Consumed an Unfortunate Pear was included in the 2015 Humana Festival of New American Plays and the subsequent published anthology. He was one of two writers selected for the first US/Australia playwright exchange in February 2013, taking his play Pluto to NIDA in Sydney, NSW and the National Australian Play Festival in Perth, Western Australia. This exchange was sponsored by NNPN and Playwriting Australia. He is also the recipient of the inaugural LA Weekly Playwriting Award in 2013 for his ghost story Very Still & Hard to See. Steve holds an MFA in Dramatic Writing from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. He currently contributes issues to the Zenescope comic book series Grimm Tales of Terror and writes for MTV’s Scream and CW’s Supernatural.