Cultivating next generation of actors, audiences with New Play Development

10:20 AM


First Stage’s award-winning Young Company brings you GIRLS IN THE BOAT, a world premiere play by Alice Austen, as part of its new play development effort, which began in 2015.

First Stage’s Director of Artistic Development John Maclay shared some history on Young Company’s new play development. “It started when we commissioned TXT U L8R by Eric Coble, which we brought to the New Visions/New Voices Festival at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts,” Maclay said.

The goal of Young Company’s new play development is to task playwrights to create compelling work with characters close to young performers’ ages. “We want to add to the canon of great work available to teen companies,” Maclay said.

GIRLS IN THE BOAT does just that. “It checks all the boxes,” Maclay said. “It offers amazing opportunities for our young actors, specifically our young women, to play characters closer to who they are right now.”

The play is short, but it presents an exciting journey for audiences and critics alike. “It’s packed with content of characters,” Maclay said. “ It’s a great reflection of life in that sometimes it’s hard, sometimes it’s triumphant, sometimes it’s ridiculous and hilarious. Alice has written a really beautiful play.”

This play is one of three productions presented by Young Company for the 2018-19 season. Other productions include AS YOU LIKE IT (March 8 – 24, 2019) and THE MIRACLE WORKER (May 10 – 19, 2019).

Showcasing the work of our award-winning college level training for the advanced high school actor, Young Company Studio productions are actor-focused and intentionally elemental – utilizing simple costumes, rehearsal furniture and limited props – as they bring to life classical works and the best of modern drama. All proceeds from Young Company Studio productions provide support for students of our Young Company and our Theater Academy. Learn more at FirstStage.org/youngcompany

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