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 launch of the Rolling World Premiere Halftime with Don by Ken Weitzman at New Jersey Repertory Company. The plays will receive a total of three distinct NNPN RWP productions in a 12-month period, rolling through Core Members New Jersey Repertory Company (Long Branch; June 24-July 30, 2017), Phoenix Theatre (Indianapolis, IN; October 25-November 19, 2017), and B Street Theatre (Sacramento, CA; dates TBA). Halftime with Don was a finalist for the 2015 National Showcase of New Plays and is NNPN’s 65th 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 HALFTIME WITH DON
Retired NFL player Don Devers has had more surgeries than he can count, experiences violent outbursts, and relies on Post-It notes to offset his struggle with traumatic brain injury. Just when things seem their darkest, Ed, a desperate longtime fan, arrives at his doorstep. With the help of Don’s daughter Stephanie and Ed’s wife Sarah, both pregnant and plotting from the sidelines, the fan and his hero discover they may be able to help one another in a way that neither of them could possibly expect.
ABOUT KEN WEITZMAN
In addition to Halftime with Don, Ken’s previous productions include, among others, The Catch (The Denver Center Theatre Company), Fire in the Garden (Indiana Repertory Theatre), The As If Body Loop (Humana Festival), Arrangements (Atlantic Theatre Company). Hominid (Out of Hand Theatre/Theatre Emory/Oerol Festival Netherlands. Plays-in-progress include Spin Moves (New Harmony Project, Theatre Lab), and seal boy (Keen Company, Lark, Playwrights Center). Ken received the The L. Arnold Weissberger Award for Playwriting for Arrangements, TCG Edgerton Foundation New American Play Award for The Catch, the Fratti/Newman Political Play Contest Award for Fire in the Garden, and South Coast Repertory’s Elizabeth George Commission for an Outstanding Emerging Playwright. Organizations who have commissioned his work include the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Arena Stage, the Alliance Theatre, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Theatre Emory, Out of Hand Theatre, and South Coast Repertory Theatre. Ken is a Core Writer at the Playwrights Center of Minneapolis and served for six years as a board member for The New Harmony Project. He received his MFA from University of California, San Diego and has taught at UCSD, Emory University, Indiana University (head of MFA in Playwriting) and, currently, at Stony Brook University. kenweitzman.com
ABOUT NEW JERSEY REPERTORY COMPANY
The New Jersey Repertory Company is a professional, non-profit theater founded in 1997 by SuzAnne Barabas (Artistic Director) and Gabor Barabas (Executive Producer). Located in Long Branch, New Jersey, the theater's primary mission is to develop and produce new plays and to make a lasting contribution to the American stage. In addition, it also seeks to achieve the following: to be a catalyst in the redevelopment and revitalization of its surrounding community; to build and encourage young audiences and inspire interest in theater arts among young people; and to nurture the work of writers from diverse backgrounds and build diverse audiences. njrep.org
ABOUT PHOENIX THEATRE
The Phoenix Theatre is Indiana's only professional contemporary theatre, and has presented productions to challenge and entertain the Indianapolis community for over 33 years. The Phoenix strives to expand the community’s exposure to diverse topics and start conversations that lead to positive change; produce vital, engaging plays that deepen and expand our views of a shared humanity; and stimulate conversation and promote diversity via intimate, engaged, and wide-ranging theater. Additionally, the Phoenix aims to move the political bent of the community from the right to the center via theater, and create intimate theatre so powerful and engaging it sparks and leads Indiana’s cultural conversation. This year, the Phoenix announced its Capital Campaign, "Phoenix Rising," to raise 8.5 million dollars to build a new home and state-of-the-art arts center in downtown Indianapolis. The new building will be home not only to the Phoenix, but to other local guest theatre companies. phoenixtheatre.org
ABOUT B STREET THEATRE
B Street Theatre is a non-profit, professional theatre company producing primarily new work for adults, families and children. The two-theatre playhouse on B Street in Midtown Sacramento, California is home to the Mainstage Series, B3 Series and Family Series, each created to feature intimate, quality theatre for audiences year-round. Recognized as one of the nation’s top professional theatres, B Street Theatre has produced more than 100 new plays, 60 of which are world, national, West Coast or regional premieres. B Street Theatre was originally founded in 1986 by brothers Timothy and Buck Busfield for the purpose of bringing the excitement of live performance to children through the B Street Theatre School Tour. This educational outreach program serves over 200,000 students in Northern California annually. Buck Busfield still serves as the Theatre’s Producing Artistic Director. B Street Theatre programs include the Mainstage Series, B Street Theatre Family Series and Family Series Student Matinees (for school field trips), the B3 Series, B Street School Tours, Sketch Comedy, B Street Acting Conservatory and Studio for Young People, and the B Street Theatre Internship program for pre-professional and post-college training. B Street Theatre has produced over 250 professional productions since 1986. 2016 marks B Street’s 30th anniversary season. bstreettheatre.org