One reason why we were so proud to launch The Zip Code Plays this year is because the series showcases the work of some of the most talented and innovative playwrights in Los Angeles. But did you know that we support new play development all year round? The Antaeus Playwrights Lab and NEXT Commissions are two programs that make up the New Classics Initiative, where our goal is to nurture an inclusive generation of writers.
The Lab has supported more than 50 playwrights this past year, and has continued to serve as a new play incubator since its inception in 2014. During the pandemic, we transitioned our weekly meetings of the Lab to Zoom, where we continued to offer a supportive and safe space for playwrights to workshop new plays. Writers with promising works in development may be offered the opportunity to have their full-length plays explored at our Roundtables. These internal readings are followed by dramaturgical discussions to help guide the final stages of the playwrights’ work. Stay tuned for an update coming soon about LAB RESULTS, our annual public reading festival featuring some of these new plays developed in the Lab!
This summer, Antaeus announced the two playwrights selected for the inaugural NEXT Commissions — Zola Dee and Marlow Wyatt. NEXT is our ongoing new play development initiative for BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) playwrights, created to amplify historically underrepresented voices and to broaden the scope of the classical theater canon. Through this program, Zola and Marlow have been developing original, full-length works inspired by classic plays, historical events, and figures, and will continue to receive financial and dramaturgical support from Antaeus to complete their plays in 2022.
You can read more about our New Classics Initiative here. Keep an eye on the blog for more Annual Report highlights over the remaining weeks of 2021. We can’t wait to welcome our community back, and are wishing you a warm and safe holiday season!
If you believe in the importance of new play development, please consider donating to Antaeus before December 31. Thank you to everyone who has already donated to support our year-round programming! We are truly grateful for your support.