Round House Theatre announces that it has commissioned works by James Ijames, Inda Craig-Galván, and joint-commissioned Margot Bordelon and Jiehae Park. The acclaimed artists are commissioned through Round House’s Equal Play program, as part of its ongoing commitment to gender parity and racial diversity. The recently commissioned playwrights join Lauren Gunderson, Naomi Iizuka, Mfoniso Udofia, and theatre collective The TEAM, who are already developing new plays for Round House, and Mary Kathryn Nagle, whose play On the Far End¸ which opens later this month, will be the first Equal Play commission to be produced on Round House’s mainstage.
Launched in 2017, Equal Play was created to commission and develop 30 new plays written exclusively by women playwrights and playwrights of color, including ten plays for Round House Theatre’s Teen Performance Company, in an effort to combat the pervasive inequality in American theatre while supporting plays that speak to the world’s most pressing issues.
“Our goal is to find playwrights who—regardless of their level of experience and recognition—push the boundaries of theatricality and tell stories that demand conversation. All we ask is that they challenge themselves, us, and our audience,” says Artistic Director Ryan Rilette.
“We don’t go into these commissioning conversations with preconceived notions about what we want them to write or even what a commission should look like,” says Associate Artist for Literary and New Plays Naysan Mojgani. “Instead, it’s a collaborative process to figure out how we can provide the support and structure the playwright needs to write the play that excites them.”
Mary Kathryn Nagle’s On the Far End is the first play to be produced on Round House’s mainstage season and is part of the 2023 National Capital New Play Festival. Commissioned in 2019, the play received a developmental reading as part of the 2022 Festival. “My commission with Round House has been an incredible experience. I am so thankful for the artistic community and home the Theatre has provided for me as I developed my new play,” says Nagle. “From workshops to readings, and from drafts to the stage, I have been surrounded by incredible theatre artists who have breathed life into the story I want to tell.”
The program also includes ten commissions of works specifically created for Round House’s Teen Performance Company. The TPC has premiered works by Diana Metzger (Beach Week, 2017), Megan McCafferty (Sloppy Firsts, 2018), Caleen Sinette Jennings(Hear Eye Stand, 2019), Stefani Kuo (TikTok [a period piece], 2022), and Dani Stoller (Girlhood, 2023), with Agyweiwaa Asante commissioned for the TPC’s 2024 production.
To learn more about Round House’s Artistic Initiatives and Programs, visit RoundHouseTheatre.org/About/Programming/Artistic-Initiatives.