Away Games for New Plays: NNPN goes beyond the rolling world premiere model to cross-pollinate new work across 3 cities 

BOTANY KNOWS TWO PATHS TO FERTILIZATION: self-pollination and cross-pollination. The former occurs when a nectar-seeking bee careens around a flower, accidentally kicking up a little dust, so that pollen is transferred from the flower’s anthers to its ovules, and fertilization can proceed to generate seeds.

The latter is a little more complicated. Cross-pollination happens when, flitting flower to flower, the bee imports pollen from one flower’s anthers to a new and different flower’s ovules, making possible unexpected hybrids, or cross- breeds. What can you do? It’s nature’s way.

The National New Play Network, known for its rolling world premiere co-productions—a sort of self-pollination model—recently branched out into something more cross-collaborative as a way to grow new plays under the auspices of its Collaboration Fund program.

NNPN’s pilot project has transplanted three seasoned playwrights with works ripe for cultivation into soils beyond their own gardens. The experiment seeks to explore what artistic or process-oriented benefits and innovations might emerge if three of the network’s core member theatres— Kitchen Dog Theater of Dallas, InterAct Theatre Company of Philadelphia, and Cleveland Public Theatre—daisy-chained their creativity inside a collaborative structure of new-play development.

Read the article in the September 2018 issue of American Theatre Magazine