The National New Play Network is the country's alliance of nonprofit theaters that champions the development, production and continued life of new plays. We strive to pioneer, implement and disseminate ideas and programs that revolutionize the way theaters collaborate to support new plays and playwrights.
Our theaters champion new plays in 22 communities from coast to coast (from Boston’s New Rep to San Francisco’s Magic), in quiet neighborhoods (like Borderlands in Arizona) and busy metropolises (Atlanta’s Actor’s Express and Horizon), with budgets as small as $150,000 (Chicago's PROP Thtr) and as large as $4 million (Florida Studio Theatre in Sarasota), serving traditional (LA's Fountain Theatre) and non-traditional audiences (Mixed Blood in Minneapolis) alike. Diverse as they are, what unites them is a commitment to shepherding new works into the American canon, and to making the playwriting profession more tenable and rewarding.read more
Since its founding in 1998, NNPN has paid nearly a half million dollars to theaters and playwrights, providing employment for hundreds of artists across the country where NNPN’s 25 member theaters are located and beyond. An Associate Membership program, launched in August 2012 to celebrate the organization's 15th Anniversary, increases the Network's reach to every corner of the United States.
Our programs in support of new work are just as diverse as our membership. NNPN has commissioned over a dozen playwrights; our Residency program has placed more than twenty MFA graduates into paid, year-long playwright residencies at member theaters; we swap new-play ideas and best practices twice each year at our Annual Conference and National Showcase of New Plays; and our artists have workshopped more than fifty student plays via the MFA Playwright’s Workshop, produced in collaboration with the Kennedy Center's American College Theatre Festival.
But our national reputation rests on our flagship program, the Continued Life of New Plays Fund. This innovative effort, which brings together three or more theaters to create “Rolling World Premieres” of new works, has supported more than 30 plays in over 100 productions nationwide since 2004-05. TDF’s recent, sobering study of the new play field, Outrageous Fortune, hailed the CLNPF as one of the field’s few bright spots:
This bold model for new-play production holds out a cure for the possessiveness premieres inspire; it re-draws a truly regional map, without reliance on New York’s imprimatur; and it exemplifies institutional collaboration.
We invite professional producing entities (and Universities with MFA playwriting programs) to join NNPN as members, we invite playwrights and new-play professionals to stay in touch with us through our newsletter and blog, and we invite lovers of new plays to support our efforts on behalf of this most vital segment of the American theater.