“WORKING TITLE HELPING DEVELOP NEXT GENERATION OF ATLANTA PLAYWRIGHTS”
To provide playwrights with the opportunity to excel at their craft by fostering an environment that nurtures the creation of powerful, thought-provoking and relevant plays that bring new, diverse voices to the local and national stage.
Plays developed through Working Title Playwrights have gone on to receive productions, development, and awards at theaters that include the following:
- Academy Theatre
- Actor’s Express
- Alley Theatre
- Alliance Theatre
- Aurora Theatre
- Detroit Repertory Theatre
- Essential Theatre
- The Eugene O’Neill National Playwrights Conference
- The Fern Theatre
- Florida Repertory Theatre
- Last Frontier Theatre Conference
- LookingGlass Theatre
- OnStage Atlanta
- Out of Box Theatre
- Phoenix Theatre
- San Jose Repertory Theatre
- 7 Stages Theatre
- Synchronicity Theatre
- Theatre Ariel
- Third Eye Theatre Ensemble
- What If? Productions
HISTORY OF WORKING TITLE PLAYWRIGHTS
Working Title Playwrights (WTP) was informally started in Atlanta in 2000 by a group of six playwrights (Karla Jennings, Hank Kimmel, Stephen Peace, Robin Seidman, Marki Shalloe & Dan Walsh) who were part of the recently-disbanded Blue Machine Writers. They founded WTP with the goal of helping playwrights develop their work in bi-weekly critique sessions.
2002 – WTP officially incorporates as a 501(c)(3) non-profit. With Karla Jennings acting as de facto Managing Director, WTP begins presenting public readings, and produces several new play festivals including collaborations with Push Push Theater, First Glance Atlanta Festival and Neighborhood Playhouse.
2004 – WTP hires its first official Managing Director, Evan Guilford-Blake. The On-Demand Reading Series, educational seminars, and participation in the national Sister City program are established.
2005 – WTP hires Kirsten Eidsmoe, its first Artistic Director. WTP’s Summer Reading Series, a week-long workshop for plays in progress culminating in public staged readings, is launched. WTP holds its first Playwright’s Slam.
2006 – WTP merges with Southeast Playwrights Project, making it the largest organization in the Southeast focused exclusively on the development of new plays. The Patrick Gaffney Scholarship Fund, which provides support for the development of up-and-coming playwrights for several years, is established. WTP combines the Managing Director and Artistic Director positions into a single Managing Artistic Director and Jill Patrick is hired to be M/AD.
2007 – The Playwrights Salon, short workshops for plays in progress, and the Kick Ass Playwriting Workshop, a series of classes led by Atlanta’s Dramatists Guild rep, are launched.
2009 – The Ethel Woolson Lab (EWL) is established, replacing the Summer Reading Series. WTP hosts The 24 Hour Plays in Atlanta. The fundraiser becomes an annual event, playing before sold-out houses and serving as an important part of the WTP budget.
2012 – WTP celebrates its 10th anniversary by presenting The WTP Chain Play – a single play in ten scenes, written anonymously relay-style by ten playwrights.
2013 – WTP fortifies its educational programming with workshops led by nationally-prominent playwrights from around the country. The plays developed through the intensive EWL begin to receive significant productions locally and nationally.
2014 – WTP’s roster of playwrights expands to 70. Dozens of local theatres produce work developed by WTP playwrights. The reach and impact of WTP members continues to expand regionally and nationally. WTP also utilizes the paid services of more than 50 other theatre artists (including actors, directors, and dramaturgs).
2016 -Jill Patrick steps down as M/AD and WTP hires their second Managing Artistic Director, Amber Bradshaw. WTP now serves a roster of 80 member playwrights. The First Light Reading Series is launched, replacing the On Demand Series and partnering with local professional theaters, expanding WTP’s reach into the community. WTP hires its first graphic designer to solidify the public identity of the organization. The WTP Rhame Mentorship Program is established with a generous grant from the Rhame Family Foundation; 12 student playwrights are granted free membership to WTP. Looking forward, WTP continues to grow it’s influence in the community and throughout the Southeast.
2017-WTP nows serves 85 member playwrights. The WTP Actors Ensemble is created, with the support and partnership of new board member Cynthia Stillwell, and adds 56 new artists to the WTP roster of affiliates. The New Voices Mentorship Program kicks off, granting five high school students free memberships to WTP for one year. The 24 Hour Plays returns in full force, supported by over 100 Atlanta theatre artists, in partnership with The Paideia School. WTP continues to grow its influence and scope, and maintains it’s commitment to being a place where theatre artists can connect, challenge and support one another.
2019 – WTP now serves more than 100 playwrights. The Actor’s Ensemble represents 93 actors and continues to grow each year. The WTP board commits to supporting Rosalind Ayres-Williams Scholarship for Playwrights Of Color for another 5 years and extending its recipients to a two-year term. WTPs partnership with Georgia Lawyers for the Arts and Actor’s Express in the production of Courtroom Drama: A Dramatic Look at Legal Ethics, continues into its third year as a successful fundraiser. WTP receives the Georgia Council For the Arts Project Grant in 2019 and is also awarded the grant for the year 2020. WTP partners with Kenny Leon’s True Colors to bring artist panels to our community, Synchronicity Theatre for their SheWrites Play Competition and with Theatrical Outfit on the Unexpected Play Festival in 2020. WTPs mission to serve and advocate for our artists grows as we forge partnerships and create opportunities for our members.
Throughout its history, WTP has benefited from partnerships from some of the top theaters in Atlanta including Academy Theatre, Actor’s Express, the Alliance Theatre, Atlanta Classical Theatre, Dad’s Garage, Horizon Theatre Company, OnStage Atlanta, Push Push Theater, Essential Theatre, Out of Box, Emory University, Aurora Theatre, Stage Door Players, Synchronicity Theatre, Out Front Theatre Company and more. WTP thanks these theaters, our past and current leadership, and all who believe that new voices belong on their stage and part of their season.
Pictured in banner: The 2018 Ethel Woolson lab featuring the cast and team of Rachel Graf Evans’ PHEROMONE: Amber Bradshaw, Rachel Graf Evans, Pam Joyce, Rebekah Suellau, Diany Rodriguez, Erika Miranda, Anthony S. Goolsby, Ashe Kazanjian, Kelly Criss, Robin Bloodworth, Maggie Birgel and Grant McGowen.