Plays developed through Working Title Playwrights have gone on to receive AWARDS, PRODUCTIONS, and FURTHER DEVELOPMENT AT A VARIETY OF local and national INSTITUTIONS (here are some highlights):
- Chiaroscuro/Slaying Holofernes by Emily McClain – World Premiere, Essential Theatre Playwriting Award
- Church Parking Lot by Lee Raines – Third Place Finalist, Tennessee Williams Literary Festival One-Act play competition
- Riding Bicycles in the Rain by Erin Considine – Stage Reading, Playwright’s Voiced Festival, Wyoming
- Medica by Daryl Lisa Fazio- Workshop, Synchronicity Theatre/Playwrights Theatre Center SheWRITES Competition
- Confessions of a Hit Man by Hank Kimmel- Residency/Workshop, Alliance Theatre Atlanta Artists Reiser Lab
- When Things Are Lost by Derek Dixon- World Premiere, Essential Theatre Playwriting Award
- Another Mother by G.M. Lupo- World Premiere, Essential Theatre Playwriting Award
- Memorial Day by Paul Donnelly – Finalist, Moss Hart and Kitty Carlisle Hart New Play Initiative
- Jerusalem Redux by Fred Kempner – Stage Reading, JET Jewish Ensemble Theatre Festival
- The Cannibals by Theroun d’Arcy Patterson – World Premiere, WhatIf Productions, Charleston
- The Bitch of Balaclava by Patricia Henritze – Finalist, Eugene O’Neill Theatre Center National Playwrights Conference
- Empty Rooms by Annie Harrison Elliott – Semi-Finalist, Eugene O’Neill Theatre Center National Playwrights Conference; World Premiere, Found Stages
- Evelyn in Purgatory by Topher Payne – World Premiere, Essential Theatre Playwriting Award
Theaters that have produced work developed through WTP:
- 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, Kenny Leon’s True Colors 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, Theatrical Outfit 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.
Featured in header above: Ibi Owolabi, Dana Stringer and Rebekah Suellau during a talkback at the WTP First Light reading of Dana Stringers WE THE VILLAGE.