Playwrights Group

Denver Center Theatre Company expands commitment to local playwrights

Playwrights Group

From left: Jennifer Faletto, Jeffrey Neuman, Colette Mazunik and Brenton Weyi.

New Playwrights’ Group will foster the work of four local playwrights in its first year

Building upon its 40-year commitment to new-play development, the Denver Center Theatre Company announced tonight that it has established The Playwrights’ Group to foster the work of local playwrights. Fittingly, Director of New Play Development Douglas Langworthy made the announcement at the Local Playwrights’ Slam, a gathering of playwrights and theatre companies from throughout the metro Denver area held as part of the annual Colorado New Play Summit.

“Since our inception, we have fostered more than 250 new works for the American theatre,” said Langworthy. “The Playwrights Group closely resembles our former Playwrights’ Unit and is intended to support the work of plays by local playwrights and create a pipeline to our new-play development program.”

Jennifer Faletto

Jennifer Faletto was a featured playwright at the 2016 Local Playwrights’ Slam. Photo by John Moore.

In announcing the program, Langworthy also named the first four individuals selected for The Playwrights’ Group.

  • Jennifer Faletto
  • Colette Mazunik
  • Jeffrey Neuman
  • Brenton Weyi

These individuals were selected from both the 213 playwrights who submitted scripts for consideration in Off-Center’s recent micro-theatre production, Bite-Size, as well as individuals who attend DCPA Education’s new monthly First Monday cold-reading series. Membership in the group is for a one-year term. Participants in subsequent years will be selected through an application process, which will be open June 1 through August 1, 2019.

The Denver Center will provide a stipend of $2,500 to each participant, twice-a-month review and discussion, two table readings during the script development and the option for further development as a commissioned playwright.

DCPA selects first two projects for new artist residency program

“Denver is such an exciting place for playwrights,” Langworthy said, “with so many theatres and groups supporting local writing. We felt it was time for the Denver Center to revive an ongoing playwriting group with a new group of writers each year.”

Please watch the DCPA NewsCenter for details about the application process in May.

Jeffrey Neuman is an award-winning local playwright whose work has been produced around the United States and the United Kingdom. He was at Saturday’s Local Playwrights’ Slam reading from his latest work-in-progress representing Lakewood’s Benchmark Theatre, which recently produced the world premiere of his latest full-length play, What You Will. The play received four stars from The Denver Post, calling it “a witty, incisive reflection on loyalty, truth, marriage and relationships.” Neuman won two 2016 True West Awards, one for organizing the local theatre community’s response to the Orlando nightclub massacre and another for his work with the local Rough Draught Playwrights. In addition, he hosts the prestigious Denver Post Pen & Podium Series.

Colette Mazunik received her MFA in Playwriting at the Actors Studio Drama School at New School University, where she studied under Lee Blessing. This year she has pieces premiering at Coal Creek Theater of Louisville and the Theater Company of Lafayette.

Brenton Weyi describes himself as “a first-generation American philosopher, essayist and creative polymath.” His essays blend narrative and historical “to examine the struggle and beauty of the human experience,” he said. Weyi’s work has been featured in the Los Angeles Times, INC and other publications. “My perspective has been informed by travel to nearly 70 nations, and I believe that life is philosophical, psychological, artistic and so much more – and it is in drawing connections that truth can be found.”

In November, Jennifer Faletto was one of two local artists selected by the DCPA’s Off-Center to receive a fully supported residency this spring as part of a new developmental program called Powered by Off-Center. That is a new opportunity for local creators of all kinds to develop their projects with the Denver Center’s staff, facilities and financial support, culminating in a series of public showings. Faletto will receive a $5,000 budget to develop her project Conspiracy Theory G over four months, culminating in up to six public performances for the public.

“We’re giving our local artistic community a new place to play and a platform to experiment, engage and excite us all,” said Charlie Miller, curator of Off-Center.

More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

What You Will by Jeffrey Neuman. Benchmark Theatre

Jeffrey Neuman’s ‘What You Will’ was recently staged at the Benchmark Theatre in Lakewood with, from left: Tom Littman, Steven Burge and Maggy Stacy.