Guest post by WP’s Associate Artistic Director, Megan Carter
We’ve done something crazy here at WP and invited a bit of chaos into the room; we handed over a coveted main stage spot to our Lab of brilliant but relatively unknown writers, directors and producers and asked them to create new work in a way that challenges traditional, institutional theatre-making.
We have been building up to this for a while. In 2006, the WP Lab, which has been around in some form since 1983, functioned as a sort of satellite to the theatre. It has always been a talent-filled and often cohesive group, but the group existed outside the central activities of the theatre (much like many other wonderful playwright and director groups around the city). Then Julie Crosby, in her first moments at the helm of WP, did something genius – she added producers to the Lab, creating the third spoke in the wheel. We began the 2006-2008 Lab for Playwrights, Directors and Producers and, in the course of just a couple meetings, discovered the mother lode. We realized that this Lab could and should be the engine of WP, not a side program, and we have illustrated this by putting the playwrights and directors of previous Labs on stage in the majority of our productions and by allowing for major collaborative projects for the current Labs.
This post is the first of a series about the We Play For The Gods creative process that will appear on HowlRound.
Seven playwrights, five directors, and four producers walk into a room…
It’s not so much the set-up for a joke as it is the beginning of a fifteen-month collaboration that will ultimately manifest itself through an Off-Broadway production featuring the creative machinations of sixteen New York artists (including yours truly), otherwise known as the Women’s Project Lab—a two-year program serving playwrights, directors, and producers through a combination of artistic and professional development opportunities. When Producing Artistic Director Julie Crosby asked me to take the role as lead producer in the culminating show of the two-year Lab residency, I sat there with my mouth open for a moment, and then I said yes.
Developing We Play for the Gods is proving to be one helluva’ creative ride, and we can’t wait to share the highlights with you. Between now and June 2012, stay tuned for thoughts from our playwrights, directors, producers, and the rest of our Gods artists.