Atlantic’s new play development activities fall under the rubric of Atlantic Stage 2 with the June 2006 inauguration of our new theater space at 330 West 16th Street. These programs strive to bring new works from page to stage and place a strong focus on the story and the playwright. The progressive activities include the commissioning of new works, readings, workshops, and fully staged productions.
Because the story of the play and the storyteller are central to the Atlantic mission, Atlantic Theater Company pursues a consistent and focused commissioning program for playwrights with whom we are seriously committed to working. Both established and emerging playwrights are tapped for this ongoing effort. Atlantic has a very high track record of producing the works it commissions, including The Beginning of August and a new adaptation of The Cherry Orchard both by Tom Donaghy, Force Continuum by Kia Corthron, and Get What You Need by Jessica Goldberg. Other past commissions include plays by Jeff Whitty (Avenue Q, Atlantic’s The Hiding Place) and Mike Batistick (Port Authority Throw Down). Thanks to the generosity of several Atlantic patrons and Time Warner, Inc., Atlantic offered six new commissions last year.
The most basic level of play development at Atlantic, readings introduce new plays at an early stage to our audience and bring new voices in to the theatre so that we can begin artistic relationships with a wider range of artists. Each spring, Atlantic presents a formal reading series of works-in-progress and under consideration called The Next Page, which is open to the public, free of charge. Past readings include Tina Howe’s Birth and After Birth, The Crazy Girl by Frank Pugliese, Good Life by John Corwin, Arrangements by Ken Weitzman, A Small Melodramatic Story by Stephen Belber, Mappa Mundi by Shelagh Stephenson, and Gabriel by Moira Buffini.
Support for Atlantic Stage 2 and new play development activities are made possible, in part, by Time Warner, Inc., Education Foundation of America, Lucille Lortel Foundation, John Golden Fund, The Blanche & Irving Laurie Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, and The Lila Acheson Wallace Theater Fund.
Fully staged productions of new plays are the culmination and centerpiece of our play development efforts and make for an edgy, exciting complement to our mainstage season. These plays will benefit in our new space from higher production values, longer runs, and press openings.