The NNPN Rolling World Premiere of THE ARSONISTS by Jacqueline Goldfinger Kicks Off at Azuka Theatre May 3

Apr 30, 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 The Arsonists by Jacqueline Goldfinger, its 67th Rolling World Premiere. Associate Member Azuka Theatre (Philadelphia, PA) leads the Roll, opening May 3, and will be followed by Know Theatre of Cincinnati (OH; September 22-October 14, 2017) and Capital Stage (Sacramento, CA; March 14-April 15, 2018), as well as Core Member Perseverance Theatre (Anchorage/Juneau, AK: January 12-21/May 11-June 3, 2018). The Arsonists is the runner-up for the 2016 Leah Ryan Prize, and was nominated for the Blackburn Prize and Weissberger Award. It was presented to the NNPN Membership at the 2015 National Showcase of New Plays.

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.


When M loses her father in an arson gone wrong, she goes on a journey with his ghost to reclaim her life and reframe his memory. Set deep in a Florida swamp, The Arsonists is a lyrical Southern Gothic myth about a father-daughter arson team deconstructing their personal demons. Inspired by the Greek tragedy Electra, this play with music explores the relationship between parent and child in that small space between life and death, the last breath before the awakening. The final play in Goldfinger's Southern Gothic trilogy, which began with the terrible girls and Skin & BoneThe Arsonists is the 2016 Runner Up for the Leah Ryan Prize , was nominated for the Blackburn Prize and Weissberger Award, and was developed at The Kennedy Center. It was presented to the NNPN Membership at the 2015 National Showcase of New Plays.


Jacqueline Goldfinger's work has been produced and developed by theaters including The Kennedy Center, La MaMa, FringeArts, Orlando Shakespeare, Finborough (Vibrant '16), New Georges, Barrington Stage, Vermont Stage, Perseverance Theatre, Philadelphia Theatre Company, Capital Stage, Acadiana Rep, The Arden, Seattle Public, Azuka, Manhattan Theatre Works, The Blank, InterAct, and Flashpoint. She has worked on public art projects with Reading Terminal Market, Missing Bolts, and the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art. She is a New Georges Affiliated Artist with a 2016-17 Audrey Residency. Her work has been supported by the Emerson Stage Residency, Drama League First Stage Residency, YADDO, NEA ArtWorks, The Independence Foundation, National New Play Network, The Lark, and PlayPenn, among others. She's been recognized by the Barrymore Awards, Brown Martin Award, Leah Ryan Prize, McNally Award, Philadelphia Critics Awards, The Kilroys, and nominated twice for both the Weissberger Award and the Blackburn Prize. She holds a M.F.A. from the University of Southern California and a B.A. from Agnes Scott College. She is represented by Abrams Artist Agency (


Azuka Theatre gives voice to the people whose stories go unheard. Located in Philadelphia, Azuka Theatre was founded in 1999 by a group of young artists participating in the Arden Theatre Company's nationally recognized Professional Apprentice Program. Azuka Theatre has built a reputation for accessible, thought-provoking and socially conscious theater and been hailed as "a company to watch" and a "major player on the Philadelphia alternative theatre scene," by Philadelphia Weekly.


The Know showcases unexpected voices, new works, and plays that embrace the inherent theatricality of the live experience. Know Theatre seeks to be a place where artists and audiences feel welcome to take artistic risks, creating work that is cutting edge and accessible.


Capital Stage Company’s mission is to be a dynamic leader in the evolution of the contemporary live theatre landscape in the Capital region and to passionately engage audiences in the art of live storytelling with bold, innovative plays performed by professional artists, in an intimate, up-close setting. With a strong commitment to expanding the base of working artists in the greater Sacramento region, we shall develop a company of actors, directors, writers, designers, and technical staff who are dedicated to bringing bold, lively productions of contemporary and classic plays to our community.


Perseverance Theatre’s mission is to create professional theatre by and for Alaskans. We value community engagement, cross-cultural collaboration, professional rigor, and regional voice. The theatre was founded in Juneau, Alaska in 1979 by Molly Smith, and today is led by Executive Artistic Director, Art Rotch. Perseverance Theatre has grown over 38 years into Alaska’s largest professional theatre, serving over 25,000 artists, students, and audiences annually. The theatre prioritizes education and training programs for youth and adults, providing learning opportunities across the state, including at the University of Alaska Southeast. Perseverance has an established actor-in- residence program and beginning in 2016, a new playwright-in- residence funded by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon foundation. At Perseverance Theatre, we believe theatre-going creates community. It fosters empathy, builds relationships, cultivates our ability to interact with each other, and in so doing – better equips us all to work out problems and create more vital and just communities. In the upcoming 2017-2018 season, Perseverance Theatre is producing musical, contemporary, and world premiere productions in Juneau and Anchorage.