The 85th NNPN Rolling World Premiere, HERLAND by Grace McLeod Rolls into Chicago

Mar 14, 2019

National New Play Network, the nation's alliance of professional theaters that collaborate in innovative ways to develop, produce, and extend the life of new plays, celebrates the continuation of its 85th Rolling World Premiere (RWP): Herland by Grace McLeod. The play opens this week at Chicago's Redtwist Theatre (March 16-April 14, 2019), after it began in January at San Diego's MOXIE Theatre and will conclude in Los Angeles at Greenway Court (May 31-June 23, 2019).

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.

Herland playwright Grace McLeod | photo by Carin Silkaitis ABOUT HERLAND
After graduating from high school, Natalie gets a summer internship working for Jean, a recently-divorced woman in her 70s who has no plans to move into a typical retirement home. Natalie helps Jean and her two best friends design an alternative: a DIY utopia where they can live out the next chapter of their lives. They plot the future together inside Jean's garage, where relics of Jean's ex-husband (and his locally famous Bruce Springsteen cover band) still linger. Herland is a play about women growing up, growing old, and rocking out to the beat of their own drums.

Grace McLeod is a playwright and screenwriter based in Chicago and New York. She has developed her full-length plays with First Floor Theater, Greenhouse Theater Center, The New Colony, and Commission Theatre, and has had the pleasure of writing short plays for Chimera Ensemble, American Blues Theater, and the Victory Gardens College Night series, among others. Grace was the recipient of the University of Chicago's 2018 Olga and Paul Menn Foundation Prize for Playwriting and a 2017-2018 playwright-in-residence at the Greenhouse Theater Center as part of the Trellis Residency Initiative, where she developed her play HERLAND, which will have its National New Play Network Rolling World Premiere this season at MOXIE Theatre in San Diego, Redtwist Theatre in Chicago, and Greenway Court Theatre in Los Angeles. She was a 2013-2014 Tribeca Film Fellow and wrote and directed the short film UNDER THE TABLE, which premiered during the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival, and co-wrote and produced LOCAL/EXPRESS, an experimental short film that screened across Times Square as part of the Midnight Moment Series, the world's largest, longest-running digital art exhibition. Grace is a recent graduate of the University of Chicago. She is represented by Evan Morse at the Gersh Agency.

Redtwist Theatre produced its first full season of plays in '04-'05, and has been staging powerful drama-from bold new work to American classics-in the great tradition of Chicago storefront theatre. The intimate and flexible space, used as a thematic asset for every production, is specifically designed and tailored to close the gap between actor and audience, thus blurring the line between seating and staging. The size and warmth of a cozy living room with 35 seats, Redtwist provides a unique theatre experience that is simultaneously intimate, comfortable, and safe, yet intense, edgy, and thrilling, at a distance only inches away. Redtwist, a not-for-profit 501(c)3, is a member of the League of Chicago Theatres, and an Associate Member of the National New Play Network (a national alliance of non-profit professional theatres that champions the development, production, and continued life of new plays).