Three NNPN Rolling World Premieres Opening This Weekend Across the Country

Sep 20, 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 three Rolling World Premieres: Project Dawn by Karen Hartman, The Arsonists by Jacqueline Goldfinger, and Br’er Cotton by  Tearrance Arvelle Chisholm.

Project Dawn by Karen Hartman will run at Core Member Horizon Theatre Company from September 22-October 29 in Atlanta, GA, after a successful run at Associate Member at People’s Light (Malvern, PA, June 7-July 9, 2017) and before it finishes its Roll at Core Member Unicorn Theatre (January 24-February 18, 2018, Kansas City, MO).

The Arsonists by Jacqueline Goldfinger opens at Associate Member Know Theatre of Cincinnati (September 22-October 18, 2017, OH), the second production of a RWP that started at Azuka Theatre (May 6-21, 2017, Philadelphia, PA) and will continue at Core Member Perseverance Theatre (January 12-21, Anchorage; May 1-19, Juneau, AK) and Associate Member Capital Stage (March 14-April 15, 2018, Sacramento, CA).

Br’er Cotton by Tearrance Arvelle Chisholm will receive its second RWP production at Associate Member Lower Depth Theatre Ensemble (September 23-October 29, 2017) after an acclaimed run at Core Member Kitchen Dog Theater (June 9-July 1, 2017, Dallas, TX) and before it goes on to Core Member Cleveland Public Theatre (March 29-April 21, 2018, OH).

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.


Gritty, gripping, and shockingly funny, go behind the bench in this inspired-by-real-life story of the women on both sides of the law in Project Dawn, an innovative court designed to transform the lives of women in the sex trade. In this daring and vital tour de force, seven actresses double as victims/participants and Court staff. Whether you are to the left or the right, Project Dawn will gnaw at your heart and open your eyes to see clearly what’s happening in your own backyard.


Karen Hartman has had four productions of three world premieres this season: Roz and Ray at Victory Gardens and Seattle Repertory Theater (Edgerton New Play Prize winner), Book of Joseph, and Project Dawn. All three plays have productions set for the 2017/18 season as well. Her Goldie, Max, and Milk premiered at Florida State and the Phoenix Theater, and was nominated for the Steinberg and Carbonell Awards. Other works: Gaza Rehearsal (Victory Gardens Ignition Festival), Goliath (Dorothy Silver New Play Prize), Gum, Leah’s Train, Going Gone (N.E.A. New Play Grant); Girl Under Grain (Best Drama in NY Fringe); Wild Kate, ALICE: Tales of a Curious Girl (Music by Gina Leishman, AT&T Onstage Award); Troy Women; and MotherBone, score by Graham Reynolds (Frederick Loewe Award). New York: Women’s Project, National Asian American Theatre Company, P73, Summer Play Festival. Regional: Center Stage, Cincinnati Playhouse, Dallas Theater Center, the Magic, and elsewhere. Publications: Theater Communications Group, Dramatists Play Service, Playscripts, Backstage Books, and NoPassport Press. Honors: McKnight National Residency, New Dramatists, Sustainable Arts, Rockefeller Foundation at Bellagio, the N.E.A., the Helen Merrill Foundation, Daryl Roth “Creative Sprit” Award, Hodder Fellowship, Jerome Fellowship, Fulbright Scholarship. A longtime New Yorker, Ms. Hartman is now Senior Artist in Residence at University of Washington, Seattle. Her prose appears in the New York Times and The Washington


Set deep in a Florida swamp, The Arsonists is a father-daughter tale of grief, loss and redemption. Inspired by the Greek tragedy Electra, this play with music is a contemporary American myth that explores the relationship between parent and child in that small space between death and life, the last breath before the awakening. 10 words or less: When arson’s your job, things get lost in the fire.


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 (


Lynchburg, Virginia. The former site of a thriving cotton mill is now an impoverished neighborhood. Deeply affected by all the recent killings of young black men like himself, Ruffrino, a 14 year old “militant,” incites riots at school and online. More and more at odds with his mother and grandfather, the boys’ anger grows beyond containment while the family home literally sinks into the cotton field, and no one seems to notice but him.


Tearrance Arvelle Chisholm is a current member of the Lila Acheson Wallace American Playwrights Program at Juilliard. His play Hooded: Or Being Black for Dummies had its World Premiere at Mosaic Theatre in Washington, D.C. this year where it received raves from The Washington Post, “Breathtakingly on-point new comedy…Chisholm makes his own mark, powerfully." The popularity of this powerful piece has landed it a spot in their 2018 season. Chisholm’s Br’er Cotton is a National New Play Network pick, receiving a Rolling World Premiere with the Kitchen Dog Theatre in Dallas, Lower Depth Theatre in Los Angeles, and the Cleveland Public Theatre. He was named a “person to watch” by American Theatre Magazine and as a rising star student made Variety’s list as a writer for the “future of film, media, and entertainment.” Chisholm was a finalist for the inaugural Relentless Award and London's 503 Theatre Award, and he was named winner of both the Rosa Parks Playwriting Award and the Lorraine Hansberry Playwriting Award at KCACTF 2016. His work has been developed with the Signature Theatre, Theatre Alliance, Endstation Theatre, The Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival, the Bay Area Playwrights Festival, and the Djerassi Resident Artists Program.


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.


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 theater 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.


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.


The mission of Kitchen Dog Theater (KDT) remains as relevant today as when the company was founded 26 years ago: to provide a place where questions of justice, morality, and human freedom can be explored – whether they are found in the classics, contemporary works or new plays. KDT consistently offers artists the opportunity to take on challenging roles, make bold choices in direction/design, and wrestle with big questions. The characters and stories at KDT have populated ancient cities and contemporary trailer parks. Woven among all the productions are the adherence to our mission and artistry of the highest caliber.


Lower Depth Theatre Ensemble is fervently working to curate future seasons of classic, contemporary and original material from some of the world’s finest playwrights. We are excited to bring our audience a play list that is as wide as it is varied. From re-imagined adaptations of Greek drama, Irish comedy and Russian realism to modern examinations of American racial history, Lower Depth Theatre Ensemble is committed to offering our audience thought provoking, challenging and humorous looks at the human spirit. We bring to our productions a commitment to excellence, talent, craft and years of theatre experience. Our aim is to explore the truth and reality that lies beneath the lower depth of our existence.


Cleveland Public Theatre’s mission is to raise consciousness and nurture compassion through groundbreaking performances and life-changing educational programs. CPT develops new, adventurous work; and nurtures Northeastern Ohio artists — particularly those whose work is inventive, intelligent, and socially conscious. CPT’s acclaimed education programs engage underserved youth and adults in creating new works that speak to contemporary issues, and empower participants to work for positive change in the community.