Reflections on a Summit that reached higher and higher.
In just a few short years, the Colorado New Play Summit has expanded in popularity and is increasingly on the national as well as local theatre radar. More than 300 industry professionals from across the country attended the weekend, including some 20 members of the American Theatre Critics Association.
Featured at the 2012 Summit were two fully staged world premiere productions of plays read at the previous year’s Summit – Lisa Loomer’s provocative Two Things You Don’t Talk About at Dinner and Samuel D. Hunter’s The Whale. Both plays triggered a healthy amount of conversation and controversy. If you missed The Whale at our Summit, you can see it this fall (Oct-Nov 2012) in New York at Playwrights Horizons.
More than ever, the readings of this year’s new plays reflected the fractured, loopy, changing world we live in. Grace, or The Art of Climbing by Lauren Feldman is a captivating account of a reluctant rock climber struggling with doubt, loss and depression as she trains for a world climbing competition while trying to regain control of her fractured life. Michael Mitnick ‘s intriguing marriage of theatre and film, Ed, Downloaded, tackles desire and immortality in an age of technology dependence. And Richard Dresser’s The Hand of God turned out to be a farcical take on corporate absurdity, advertising nonsense and reality television that saves its biggest surprise for the very end, while Lisa Loomer’s Homefree gave us an unflinching and at times heartbreaking look at the plight of homeless teens in America.
The 2012 Summit ended on a high note with Sense & Sensibility The Musical with book and lyrics by Jeffrey Haddow and music by Neal Hampton. Directed by Tony-nominee Marcia Milgrom Dodge (Ragtime), this new musical adaptation brings to sparkling life sisters Elinor and Marianne Dashwood who defy the odds to find love and happiness in one of Jane Austen’s most beloved romances.