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NENPA Welcomes New Leadership

Posted By StageSource, Monday, July 29, 2019
Updated: Wednesday, July 24, 2019

New England New Play Alliance
Welcomes New Leadership,
Bids Adieu to Co-founder Patrick Gabridge

 

The New England New Play Alliance (NPA) has announced that co-founder and coordinator Patrick Gabridge will depart the organization after six years, to be replaced by playwrights Greg Lam and Lisa Rafferty. Gabridge, who helped found the Alliance in 2013, is a prolific playwright and novelist. He departs in order to concentrate on his many creative projects, including his site-specific theatre company Plays in Place. NPA brings together organizations and artists to grow audiences for new plays, to support new play development and to increase awareness of plays and playwrights in the Greater Boston/New England area, under the umbrella of the pre-eminent theater organization StageSource.

Patrick Gabridge helped select the two incoming coordinators who bring a wealth of different skills and perspectives to the Alliance. Offers Gabridge, “Getting to work on the various NPA projects has been very rewarding - a chance to work to improve the new play ecosystem in New England. Lisa and Greg will bring energy and enthusiasm and find exciting new projects, building on the successes we've had so far.”

Adds Dawn M. Simmons, Executive Director of StageSource, “Our partnership has been incredibly successful with the publication of the New England New Play Anthology, and events like the New Year, New Plays mixer, which puts writers in the room with companies actively engaged in new work. Pat is leaving the organization in great hands. Lisa and Greg are some of the region’s most prolific artists and they really care about the regional new work ecology.”

Lam and Rafferty plan to continue Gabridge’s work in amplifying New England playwrights, further enhancing the scope of new play development in Boston. “There’s an embarrassment of riches in the New England playwriting community,” says Lam. “We want to do everything we can to highlight that fact."

The New Play Alliance promotes new work through its weekly email newsletter, holds public events and workshops in topics useful to the region’s playwrights, and researches the impact of new play production to further its mission of increasing the number of new plays produced, increasing the audience of this new work, and to spread the word about the work outside of New England. Two years ago, the New Play Alliance published the New England New Play Anthology, a collection of new plays written by New England writers, developed by New England theaters, including plays by Kirsten Greenidge and Melinda Lopez. The New England New Play Alliance is a StageSource project, part of the largest art-service organization dedicated to theatres and theatre artists in the region.


Greg Lam is a playwright whose science fiction inspired work has had recent readings by Company One and Fresh Ink Theatre. He is known for the podcast he created in 2017, Boston Podcast Players, in which he interviews talented Boston-area playwrights and spotlights their new plays. He was named one of the five Fellows in Dramatic Writing from the Massachusetts Cultural Council in 2019, and the inaugural Pao Fellow for the Company One PlayLab in 2019. Lam co-founded the Asian-American Playwright Collective and works with Artists’ Theater of Boston as their Development Associate.

Playwright, director and producer Lisa Rafferty has created several documentary plays including SHE DID ALL THAT - Betty Ford: Speaking Out, Saving Lives about a courageous and unforgettable First Lady. Also THE LEGACY OF WELLES REMY CROWTHER about the 9/11 hero, and the world premiere of Boston Theater Company’s FINISH LINE, about the 2013 Boston Marathon, with Joey Frangieh. Her comedies – The MOMologues (1, 2 and 3) - published by Samuel French, have appeared in 26 states and five countries. She wrote a comedy about breast cancer with other survivors: Pink Ribbon Overdose. She is the producing director of the Elliot Norton Awards and teaches theater at Bridgewater State University. Lisa is a proud member of the Dramatists Guild and the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society. www.birchtreeproductions.company

Tags:  #NewPlay  #StageSource  StageSource 

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Line Drawn

Posted By Julie Hennrikus, Friday, December 1, 2017

The sexual harassment issues that are rocking our country have impacted the theater community as well. In some instances, that impact is very public. In other instances, most instances, the stories are whispered, without details. The stories come from those affected, and from bystanders who didn’t know what to do in the instance. Who still don’t know what to do.

 

As a woman who has worked in the arts for over thirty years, I have my own stories. Most women (and some men) I know have stories. Dealing with that is part of the process of this moment. But as the executive director of a service organization, the question is how do we tackle this issue as a community?

 

If this is a culture shift (and I hope this is a culture shift), how do we navigate it?

 

StageSource has been working on a proposal with Impact Boston to create trainings specific to the performing arts community. The challenge with out of the box trainings are that they don’t always apply to the work we do. “Don’t touch anyone,” is challenging for actors, or for wardrobe crew, to name two groups of folks who have to touch other people. That doesn’t mean that the field should be a free for all. It means that we need to create a nuanced training program where we understand the difference between the work, and harassment or abuse.

 

The proposed training program would include:

·         Data gathering and surveying.

·         Organizational culture and policy work.

·         Bystander training. We’re specifically thinking about training for stage managers, crews, and actors.

·         Empowerment self-defense/physical and verbal resistance training.

·         Creating a code of conduct for the community.

 

Here at StageSource we routinely jump in and tackle issues without waiting for funding. See our Gender Parity Task Force, Space Task Force, or the New England New Play Alliance for examples of that. This issue, and this partnership, requires funding, however. Both StageSource and Impact Boston are committed to making this happen, and will keep you apprised of our progress.

 

For now, we are creating a resource page at www.StageSource.org/linedrawn where we will be referring people to the work being done in other cities, other resources, and the work of Impact Boston. This is not a static page. As more resources become known to us, we will post them.

 

In the meantime, let us draw a line, firmly, that puts the past behind us, and helps us move forward. I am not advocating forgetting the past. There are stories that need to be told, histories that must be aired.

 

The line I am proposing is a statement—as of this date, no more.

 

Line drawn.

Tags:  #StageSource  Impact Boston 

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Dim The Lights for Jack Welch

Posted By Julie Hennrikus, Tuesday, November 14, 2017

It is with a very heavy heart that I mark the passing of Jack Welch, founding board member of StageSource, our first StageSource Theater Hero, champion of new plays, and one of the loveliest men to grace this community.

 

For many years, Jack ran Baker's Plays, a treasure trove for the theater community that was located on Chauncy Street. It is there that I first met him, as a college student who was going to direct her first play and needed some monologues for auditions, He spent an hour with me helping me to chose those pieces. I was one of countless people he met over the course of that part of his long career.

 

The next time we met I was the administrative assistant for StageSource. It was 1986 or 1987, and I was helping Dona Sommers with admin tasks like filing headshots, recording the enews (which was a phone message machine that members had a code to), and trying to figure out a new fangled database that someone had donated. I would occassionally take board minutes as well. Never once did Jack walk into the StageSource office when I was there and not give me a huge smile, and ask how I was. 

 

Jack's role in founding StageSource, and keeping it going over some rough patches, cannot be overstated. He loved this theater community, and when the Huntington and ART set up shop, he quickly recognized the need and opportunity for a service organization to help actors connect with producers, auditions, and other resources. In short order StageSource added directors, designers, playwrights, technicians, dramaturgs, technicians, and other artists to the mix. A few years later the organization merged with another group that served producers, and StageSource became what it is today--a connector for the theater community. 

 

In 2011, when I became the Executive Director of StageSource, Jack was right in line to congratulate me. A few weeks after I started he gave me a call. "You don't mind, do you Julie? Once in a while I get a thought, and I want to share it." I never, ever minded. I will miss those calls, that smile, and that gentle man more than I can say. 

 

Our community has lost some lights this year. Jack was a very, very bright one. We are all better off for having had him in our midst.

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Tags:  #JackWelch  #NewPlay  #StageSource  #theaterhero  #theatrehero  Jack Welch  Theatre Hero 

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