New Works Initiative

Department of Theatre and Dance

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The New Works Initiative at Montclair State University

THE NEW WORKS INITIATIVE (NWI) is an Artist-in-Residence program and developmental platform in the Department of Theatre and Dance in Montclair State University’s College of the Arts. NWI’s mission is to bring together established and emerging playwrights, composers, choreographers, theatre-makers, and professional directors with MSU theatre students to explore adventurous theatrical works.

The New Works Initiative is made possible through the generous support of Bob and Holly Gregory.

Coming Soon:

murders

University Premiere of:
MICHIGAN MURDERS

Created by Meghan Finn & Julia May Jonas
Directed by Meghan Finn
Text by Julia May Jonas
Music by Brian Cavanagh-Strong

Howard L Fox Theatre
March 23rd - 26th, 2017

From 1966 to 1969, at the dawn of second-wave feminism, several young college women were murdered in the Ypsilanti/Ann Arbor Michigan area by a fellow student. Theater artists Meghan Finn and Julia May Jonas create a multi-disciplinary play with music based on real events surrounding the crime. Michigan Murders celebrates the exuberant chaos and quickly won freedom of the 60’s, pits that against the real and palpable terror of victimization facing women at that time, and reflects on the state of feminism today.


ANNOUNCING the 2016/17 NEW WORKS INITIATIVE

Artists-in-Residence and University Premiere:

Michigan Murders (Working Title)

Created by Meghan Finn & Julia May Jonas
Directed by Meghan Finn
Text by Julia May Jonas
Music by Brian Cavanagh-Strong

From 1966 to 1969, at the dawn of second-wave feminism, several young college women were murdered in the Ypsilanti/Ann Arbor Michigan area by a fellow student. Theater artists Meghan Finn (The Offending Gesture) and Julia May Jonas (Nellie Tinder) create a multi-disciplinary play with music based on real events surrounding the crime. Michigan Murders (Working Title) celebrates the exuberant chaos and quickly won freedom of the 60’s, pits that against the real and palpable terror of victimization facing women at that time, and reflects on the state of feminism today.

NWI workshops and productions feature student actors and designers who work in collaboration with professionals in the ongoing development of original work.

Michigan Murders Staged Reading in NYC: Tuesday, September 27, 2016 

Michigan Murders
Full Production at MSU
Howard L Fox Theatre
March 23rd - 26th, 2017

NWI 2016 Julia May Jonas Meghan Finn

Julia May Jonas’s recent plays include Emily Climbs (Machine Méchant), Evelyn, For Artists Only, BG1987RECEP, Lake Coordination and All Long True American Stories (a play cycle). Her work has been presented/developed at venues including The Bushwick Starr, Incubator Arts Center, The International Revolutions Festival in New Mexico, The Brick, Dixon Place, PS122 (with TerraNova) and the International Theater Society of Vietnam. She has held residencies with The Invisible Dog, BAX, IAC, Chashama et al. Founder and Artistic Director of Nellie Tinder, she has been granted support by The Mental Insight Foundation and The Rockefeller Foundation. 2016 New Georges Audrey Resident, 2016/17 member of The Jam. MFA in Playwriting from Columbia University, BFA in drama from NYU Tisch. She teaches playwriting at Skidmore College and lives in Brooklyn with her husband and her daughter.

Meghan Finn Upcoming: Doomocracy by Pedro Reyes for Creative Time. Recent: The Offending Gesture by Mac Wellman (Connelly Theater, The Tank/3LD Productions), American Power by Mitch Epstein and Erik Friedlander (V&A London, Wexner Center), Daredevil by Gary Winter (The Brick), The Downtown Loop by Ben Gassman (3LD/3D+ Productions/Teeth of Tooth Atelier) and Take Me Home by Alexandra Collier set in a taxi cab (Incubator Arts Project/LPR), The Service Road by Erin Courtney (Adhesive Theater Project), Motel Cherry by Peggy Stafford (Summerworks Clubbed Thumb/New Georges HERE) and 3 2's; or AFAR by Mac Wellman (Dixon Place) MFA in Directing from Brooklyn College and a BA in Theater from the University of Southern California. 2016 New Georges Audrey Resident and co-founder of the longest lunch (2002-present).

NMI 2016 Brian Cavanagh-Strong

Brian Cavanagh-Strong is a composer, teacher, musical director, and pianist living in Brooklyn, NY. He recently composed original music for Sesame Street on HBO. He is the music director and co-composer of Saints Rest, a full-length musical film, currently in post-production. His short opera, A Gardener (libretto by Ben Bonnema) was performed in conjunction with American Opera Projects and the Fort Greene Park Conservancy in Spring, 2016. He wrote the score for a revival of Jean Anouilh's Becket, which had a run at the Gene Frankel Theater in Spring, 2014. His vocal arrangements and orchestrations of The Disappearing Man, with music, book & lyrics by Jahn Sood, were last heard at the TheatreWorks New Works Festival in Summer, 2014. His musical Objects of Affection, with lyrics by Christie Baugher, was performed at NYU in April, 2012. He wrote music and lyrics for two other shows, Travelers and The Comedy Show, which were produced at Grinnell College in Grinnell, IA. He has worked with TV/film composer Pat Irwin on numerous projects, including HBO's Bored To Death and Showtime's Nurse Jackie.

 

Announcing the New Works Initiative 2017–18 Artists-in-Residence:

Featuring a new commissioned play by Jeff Talbott
Directed by Wes Grantom

jeff talbott

Jeff Talbott’s play The Submission was the inaugural recipient of the Laurents/Hatcher Award and was produced off-Broadway by MCC Theater; it went on to receive the Outer Critics Circle John Gassner Award for New American Play.  The Gravedigger’s Lullaby will receive its world-premiere production in March 2017 off-Broadway with TACT at Theatre Row.  Three Rules for the Dragon and A Public Education were both finalists for the O’Neill Playwrights Conference.  His plays (including i, Elliot, All the Stars in the Midnight Sky and How to Build a City) have received workshops and readings at MCC Theater, Premiere Stages, Chicago Shakespeare, Pioneer Theatre, TACT, Crowded Outlet and Route 66.  He writes musicals with composer Will Van Dyke.  Their work includes:  Imagine Harry (NAMT Festival of New Musicals), Wintersong (Goodspeed’s Johnny Mercer Writers Colony) and the just-completed Seven Broken Hearts.  They have released an EP (A View of the River) and a single (A New Year, recorded by Annaleigh Ashford), both available on iTunes or wherever digital music is sold.  Jeff is a member of TACT and graduated with honors from the Yale School of Drama.  www.jefftalbott.com


 

wes grantom

Wes Grantom (Director) is thrilled to develop brand new work with Jeff Talbott after collaborations on four of this other plays.  Recent directing credits include Toxic Avenger by David Bryan and Joe DiPietro at Pittsburgh CLO, Lone Star Spirits by Josh Tobiessen with Crowded Outlet, Eager to Lose by Matthew-Lee Erlbach at Ars Nova, The Cloud by Matt Moses, The Steadfast by Mat Smart, Mine by Bekah Brunstetter for Slant Theatre Project. Wes has a number of Broadway credits as resident and associate director, working alongside James Lapine, Emma Rice, John Rando, Anthony Page and Rufus Norris. He is a recipient of multiple Drama League Fellowships, a member of Lincoln Center Directors Lab, a graduate of the University of Evansville and the Artistic Director of Crowded Outlet, based in Queens.

 


NWI Submission Announcement:

2017/ 2018 NWI Artist-in-Residence: Seeking a playwright, theatre maker/deviser, composer/ lyricist or choreographer for a new full-length work in progress that has been partially developed but not yet fully produced. Potential commissions will also be considered. Artistic collaborators may apply as a team.

  • Fall 2017 Developmental Workshop culminating in a staged reading at a New York City theatre (2 - 4 week rehearsal period).
  • Spring 2018 Full Production in the main stage department season, venue and budget appropriate for the demands of the piece (minimum 4 week rehearsal period).

Venues include:

  • Alexander Kasser Theatre, a state of the art 500-seat proscenium theatre
  • Memorial Auditorium, a 988-seat proscenium theatre
  • L. Howard Fox Theatre, a flexible black box

              Artist(s) Fee to be determined by the scope of the project.

 Criteria:

  • Preferable minimum of 10 performers.
  • Age appropriate roles for undergraduate actors.
  • Innovative form and content.

Submissions of complete or in-progress works:

Please submit proposal, artist's statement, resume and/or CV, project description, cast breakdown, and a sample of the work (video, text, or other format). All submissions will be curated by the NWI Committee.

Submissions for commissioned works:

Please submit an artist’s statement, resume and/or CV, detailed project concept and description for the proposed work including projected cast size, and a representative complete work (text or video). Evidence of other produced work or work in development appreciated but not required.

SUBMISSION DEADLINE: November 15, 2016

Send submissions to Andi Stover: stovera@mail.montclair.edu.