Written By: Nantucket Magazine

The White Heron Theatre Company today announced a collaboration with Sundance Institute to create a Sundance Theatre Lab at White Heron on Nantucket beginning in September 2016.

Screen Shot 2016-04-06 at 5.33.30 PMThe lab, one of six worldwide, will consist of both a writing studio for playwrights and a theatre lab. In the writing studio, writers are given space to create and develop new work while the lab is an immersive environment where artists can experiment, see their work take shape and collaborate with creative advisors, dramaturgs and actors. The Lab culminates in a presentation of the project for Lab participants and the public, followed by a collaborative feedback session.

“White Heron’s commitment to new work for the world stage is a cornerstone of our mission. This collaboration with Sundance Institute expands this vision and makes Nantucket and White Heron an important destination for new work in the theatre,” said Lynne Bolton, Artistic Director of White Heron. “ We plan to produce a full production of the play from the theatre lab in our repertory season the following summer. Nantucket audiences will be able to see the play in both the development phase and in its final form.”

“We have an inspiring and unique landscape on Nantucket in which to create art. The synergy in the Sundance Institute collaboration with White Heron is unique and valuable and sets the stage for great creative experiences for artists and audiences,” said Michael Kopko, Executive Director of White Heron.

Led by Artistic Director Philip Himberg and Producing Director Christopher Hibma, the Sundance Institute Theatre Program focuses on the development of new work for the stage. The Theatre Lab supports both emerging and established theatre-makers with a focus on assuring that the playwright’s deepest impulses and visions can be realized.

The Theatre Program has been a core component of Sundance Institute since Robert Redford founded the Institute in 1981, identifying and assisting emerging theatre artists, contributing to the creative growth of established artists, and encouraging and supporting the development of new work for the stage. Under the guidance of Himberg and Hibma, the Theatre Program is one of the leading play development programs in the United States.

More than 85% of Sundance-supported plays and musicals find production, including last year’s Tony Award-winner for Best Musical, Robert L. Freedman & Steven Lutvak’s A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, as well as Lisa Kron and Jeanine Tesori’s Fun Home, Lemon Andersen’s ToasT, Jenny Schwartz and Todd Almond’s Iow@, Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’ Appropriate, Annie Baker’s Circle Mirror Transformation, Denis O’Hare & Lisa Peterson’s An Iliad, Taylor Mac’s The Lily’s Revenge, Tracey Scott Wilson’s The Good Negro, Adam Guettel & Craig Lucas’ The Light in the Piazza, Stew’s Passing Strange, Byron Au Yong & Aaron Jafferis’ Stuck Elevator, Steven Sater & Duncan Sheik’s Spring Awakening, Moisés Kaufman’s The Laramie Project and Doug Wright’s I Am My Own Wife. These plays have gone from Theatre Program Labs to production from coast to coast and internationally, garnering multiple Pulitzers, Tonys, OBIEs and other recognition.

The Theatre Program’s International Initiative currently offers Labs, cross-cultural exchange, mentorship and exposure to artists primarily in the Middle East & North Africa and continuing support for artists in six East African countries. Keri Putnam, Executive Director of Sundance Institute, said, “In just the last two years, more than 30 projects supported by our Theatre Program have taken to stages nationwide. We are proud to have played a role in supporting some of the most adventurous and interesting theatre work to hit the stage in recent years.”

For more information, visit White Heron Theatre Company’s website.

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