|(L to R) Anthony Irons as Lincoln and Daniel Bryant as Booth in Season 24's production of Topdog/Underdog. Photo by Michael Brosilow.|
new play development programs
The development of new American plays and musicals is essential to American Theater Company's mission of asking the question: "What does it mean to be an American?"
ATC's Literary Circle, a group of professional directors, dramaturges, and educators, meet bimonthly to discuss new work that explores the American identity in an innovative and visceral way.
ATC does not accept unsolicited scripts. ATC's Artistic Staff, Literary Circle and Ensemble periodically request scripts from literary agents, new play development festivals, and professional playwrighting programs.
Partnerships with National and Local Playwrights
ATC has premiered over 50 world premieres or second productions from some of country's most innovative writers including Kristoffer Diaz, Lisa Dillman, David Henry Hwang, Jordan Harrison, Stephen Karam, Greg Kotis & Mark Hollmann, Naomi Iizuka, Neil LaBute, Craig Lucas, David Mamet, Itamar Moses, Brett Neveu, Regina Taylor, and members of the Tectonic Theatre Project.
ATC offers opportunities to local and national playwrights to develop work in collaboration with some of Chicago’s leading artists. Here are some of the projects that have been developed at ATC:
-Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize finalist, Craig Lucas’s play, Love & Irony.
10 x 10 Festival
ATC invites 10 Chicago playwrights to explore America’s most immediate topics in 10 short plays.
In partnership with Black Box Acting Studio, ATC offers playwrights a three-week intensive culminating in a rotating repertory of works-in-development. The inaugural year included Catherine Triechmann's play, Hot Georgia Sunday, Mary Hamilton's play, We Three, and Michael Tisdale's documentary play, Goldstar, Ohio.
Big Shoulders Festival
The BIG SHOULDERS FESTIVAL celebrates the spirit of our great city of Chicago. This festival gives Chicago artists an opportunity to tell original stories about the best city in the world, my kind of town, sweet home Chicago! The evening of short pieces features the hardest working theater community- all pieces are written, directed, and acted by Chicago artists.
ATC invites Chicago playwrights to submit short plays exploring Chicago. Our Artistic Staff and Literary Circle select a group of plays to premiere in a short festival celebrating Chicago. Invitations for submissions are announced on the Chicago League of Theaters’ website.
ATC partners professional playwrights with teenagers from Logan Square, one of Chicago’s most diverse neighborhood, to develop a documentary-style play through interviews with the community. (For more information, see ATC's Education/Outreach section of the website.)
the silver project
ATC celebrated 25 amazing years of theater with The Silver Project, Five nights of 33 new works from some of America's most celebrated playwrights, each exploring what it means to be an American during one year in the past twenty-five. Running June 16 through June 20 audiences were able to see all 33 new works in chronological order.
To celebrate the company's 25th Anniversary, Artistic Director PJ Paparelli asked over 30 playwrights across the country to choose a year between 1985 and 2010 and write a short play that explores the company's mission: "What does it mean to be an American?" Directed and performed by over 50 Chicago artists, the plays were presented as a complete cycle during the annual Theatre Communications Group Conference June 16-20, 2010 here in Chicago.
"We are celebrating our anniversary by creating an historic event that brings together some of the country's leading playwrights with Chicago's most innovative artists to explore 25 years of American life," said Paparelli. "Both The Silver Project and our new ensemble members exemplify our company's future. We see ourselves as a theatrical crossroads for extraordinary artists that give voice to America today."
JUNE 16: 1985-1989
For Roy by Nambi Kelley, Directed by Hallie Gordon
Mission Burrito by Rolin Jones, directed by Anthony Moseley
The Science of Happiness by Naomi Iizuka, directed by Lisa Portes
The Third Date by Justin D.M. Palmer, directed by Megan Shuchman
Kazuo's Dick by David Henry Hwang, directed by David Charles Goyette
Cause I Know You Got Soul by Zayd Dohrn, directed by Jaime Castenada
JUNE 17: 1990-1995
JUNE 18: 1996-1999
JUNE 19: 1999-2003
JUNE 20: 2004-2010
Usman Ally (Public Enemy and American Ethnic)
Stephen Belber (Emmy-nominated writer of The Laramie Project and Tape)
Kristiana Rae Colon (Chicago Def Poet; writer of The Darkest Pit)
Kristoffer Diaz (The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity, Welcome to Arroyo's)
Zayd Dohrn (Sick, Magic Forest Farm, Long Way Go Down)
Laura Eason (Sex with Strangers, Around the World in 80 Days)
Maria Irene Fornes (Promenade, Mud, The Conduct of Life)
Yussef el Guindi (Back of the Throat, Our Enemies: Lively Scenes of Love and Combat)
Steve Harper (Urban Rabbit Chronicles, The Escape Artist's Children)
Andrew Hinderaker (Suicide, Incorporated)
David Henry Hwang (Tony Award-winning writer of M. Butterfly)
Naomi Iizuka (Award-winning writer of 36 Views, Language of Angels)
Laura Jacqmin (And When We Awoke There Was Light and Light, Ski Dubai)
Kyle Jarrow (Obie Award-winning writer of A Very Merry Unauthorized Children's Scientology Pageant)
Rolin Jones (The Intelligent Design of Jenny Chow; Showtime's Weeds and NBC's Friday Night Lights)
Joel Drake Johnson (A Blue Moon, The Fall to Earth)
Stephen Karam (Speech & Debate, columbinus)
Nambi E. Kelley (Hope VI, How Kintu Became a Man)
Greg Kotis (Tony Award-winning writer of Urinetown, Yeast Nation, Pig Farm)
Joe Kraemer (The American Occupation; Literary Manager/Dramaturg of The Juilliard School's Drama Division)
Neil LaBute (Tony-nominated writer of reasons to be pretty; The Shape of Things)
Dan LeFranc (60 Miles to Silver Lake)
Craig Lucas (Pulitzer and Tony-nominated writer of Prelude to a Kiss, The Light in the Piazza)
Laura Lynn MacDonald (Peer Gynt at Gorilla Rep, Mattress World with Blue Damen Pictures)
Rohina Malik (Unveiled)
Itamar Moses (Bach at Leipzig, Celebrity Row, The Four of Us)
Carlos Murillo (Dark Play or Stories for Boys, Diagram of a Paper Airplane)
Justin D. M. Palmer (As Fat as You Can, War with the Newts)
PJ Paparelli (columbinus, Raven Odyssey)
Joshua Rollins (American Rex)
Tanya Saracho (Our Lady of the Underpass, The House on Mango Street)
Regina Taylor (Award-winning writer of Crowns, Magnolia)
Brian Tucker (St. James Infirmary, Bathing Van Gogh)
Beau Willimon (Farragut North)
Summer 2010 - ATC and Black Box Acting Studio presented Unplugged, a summer repertory of three new plays. Sixteen acting students from Black Box’s Meisner 4.0 program performed workshop productions of three new plays in rotating repertory.
About the PlaysGoldstar, Ohio
Written by Michael Tisdale
Directed by PJ Paparelli
Ohio. 2005. When military casualty officers arrive with devastating news, the lives of four families are forever changed. Taken from over 75 hours of interviews with residents of Ohio, this groundbreaking documentary drama explores the domestic effects of the Iraq war on small town life in rural America.
Hot Georgia Sunday
About the Ensemble
The Black Box Acting Studio Meisner 4.0 Ensemble includes: Sam Buti, Chelly Brodsky, Marissa Chastain, Carolyn Coppedge, Amrita Dhaliwal, Eddie Diaz, John Luzar, Aida Padilla, Samson Sando, Olivia Scott, James Sladek, Ian Smith, Andrew Strenk, Shannon Sullivan, Jacob A. Ware, and Conor Woods.