Seattle Repertory Theatre has commissioned six plays for this year’s New Play Festival, Rep management has just announced. The fest, still in its early planning stages, will kick off the theater’s 2014-15 season, and includes readings and workshops. Listed here are the works chosen and some info about each, taken from the Rep’s announcement:
- Braden Abraham: Through a 2013 CityArtist grant, Associate Artistic Director Braden Abraham is writing his first adaptation for the Rep, Henrik Ibsen’s “An Enemy of the People,” based on a new literal translation by Bonnie Swift. The adaptation, set in the Pacific Northwest, follows a doctor who defies an entire town by exposing a water contamination scandal.
- Justin Huertas: The Rep has renewed its commission with local artist Justin Huertas as he continues to work on “Lizard Boy,” last seen in the 2013 New Play Festival. In “Lizard Boy,” a young concert cellist discovers he has superpowers that seem to emanate from his cello bow. Artistic Director Jerry Manning describes the play as “Marvel Comics meets chamber operetta.” Huertas serves as writer, librettist, and composer for this theatrical experiment with live music.
- Jerry Manning: Jerry Manning and author Kirsten Grind will co-adapt her book “The Lost Bank,” an account of the collapse of Washington Mutual written while Grind was a reporter at the Puget Sound Business Journal. “The Lost Bank is a story that is uniquely Seattle’s, and it’s a perfect example of the Rep’s commitment to putting ‘life onstage,’” stated Manning.
- Lisa Peterson: In association with La Jolla Playhouse, the Rep has commissioned a new work by Lisa Peterson called “The Idea of Order at Key West,” inspired by the poem of the same name by Wallace Stevens. Most recently at the Rep, Peterson directed Cheryl L. West’s “Pullman Porter Blues” (2012) and “An Iliad,” which she co-wrote with actor Denis O’Hare (2010).
- David Pichette and R. Hamilton Wright: On the heels of their enormously successful adaptation of “The Hound of the Baskervilles” at the Rep, Seattle artists David Pichette and R. Hamilton Wright have been commissioned to adapt Oscar Wilde’s “The Picture of Dorian Gray” for the stage. Pichette and Wright have been permanent fixtures on the Seattle theatre scene for the last 30 years.
- Cheryl L. West: Seattle playwright Cheryl L. West has been commissioned to write an original work for the Rep, and the result is “Basketcases,” a laugh-out-loud comedy about the escapades of basketball moms. Her most recent commission at SRT was “Pullman Porter Blues” in 2012, which went on to productions at Arena Stage and Goodman Theatre. Other credits include “Play On!” (which ran on Broadway and premiered at the Rep), “Birdie Blue,” “Rejoice!,” “Holiday Heart,” “Puddin ‘n’ Pete,” “Jar the Floor,” and “Before It Hits Home.”