jakub | May 21, 2023

AMERICAN THEATRE | Seven Devils Announces 2023 Conference Lineup


McCALL, IDAHO: Seven Devils New Play Foundry has announced the lineup for its 23rd annual Playwrights Conference, which will run June 7-17. The program of free public events brings playwrights and theatre artists from around the country together to develop and present new plays, in partnership with the Alpine Playhouse. This year’s playwrights will be Susan Kathryn Hefti, Gloria Oladipo, Savannah Reich, Alec Silberblatt, Wolfgang Jones, and AZ Espinoza.

“All our events are free, and you can experience a new play nearly every night,” said artistic director
Jeni Mahoney in a statement. “Plus, simply by showing up and enjoying an evening of theatre, you’re making an important contribution to the development of a new play.”

Playwright AZ Espinoza, who had their play Homeridae developed at the 2019 Conference, will be
returning this year as recipient of the 4-Seasons Residency, a national year-long residency program
awarded each year to an exceptional voice in the American Theatre. Espinoza is a transmasculine feminist who makes magic through theatre. Their play All My Mothers Dream in Spanish had its world premiere at Azuka Theatre in 2023, and their play Homeridae has been developed in Philadelphia and around the nation, and was an honorable mention finalist for the Terrance McNally Award. Their adaptation of Anne Carson’s The Bakkai took place in a BIPOC-only mutual aid Zoom room in 2020, and their adaptation of Pericles, Peril’s Island, was performed outdoors while observing social distancing in 2021.

In addition to presenting five new plays, selected from over 600 submissions, events include a master
class featuring new work by McCall-Donnelly High School students, and a free playwriting workshop
led by A.P. Andrews, a writer for stage and screen whose credits includes the Fox television series The
Big Leap
.

“Actors, directors and other theatre artists, with active careers in stage, film, and television, will be joining us from all over the country to bring these new plays to life,” says managing director Paula Marchiel in a statement. “We can’t wait to share these amazing plays and this talented company of artists with audiences in McCall.”

The programming begins on June 7 at 7 p.m. with a master class with McCall-Donnelly High School drama students. On June 9 at 7:30 p.m. there will be a presentation of Queen of the Bonackers by Susan Kathryn Hefti. The play follows Queenie King, the teenage scion of an ancient Bonacker family, who feels duty bound to carry on her family’s legacy after her father is killed in a tragic fishing accident. Hefti is a NYSCA-NYFA Artist Fellow in playwriting/screenwriting; her plays have been developed or presented at Lark Play Development Center; New York Theatre Workshop; The Playwrights Center; Rattlestick Playwrights Theater; The William Inge Theatre Festival New Play Lab; The Bechdel Group; Capital Stage Company; and more.

The free playwriting workshop hosted by former Seven Devils literary manager A.P. Andrews will be held on June 10 11 a.m.-2 p.m. at McCall-Donnelly High School. No experience is necessary, but space is limited. Email paula@sevendevils.org to reserve your spot.

That same day at 7:30 p.m., there will be a presentation of The Care and Keeping of Schizophrenia (and Other Demons) by Gloria Oladipo. In this play, one woman’s plans to move to California with her girlfriend are put on hold when her mother breaks her hip trying to manage her brother through yet another mental health crisis. Oladipo, a playwright based in New York but proudly hailing from Chicago, is a 2022-2023 Dramatists Guild Foundation Fellow, a Velvetpark Writers Residency finalist, and a 2023 Speakers’ Corner fellow with the Gingold Theatrical Group. Her plays also include The Good Victim, The Forever War, and other works.

On June 15 at 7:30 p.m. will be a presentation of How to Say Goodbye by Wolfgang Jones. For characters Chris, Everett, and Jordan, it’s just another day in a life full of loss, poverty, mental health, failed ambition, and surviving when you really hate yourself. Jones is a New Orleans playwright/actor/theatremaker whose plays tend to reflect the world he has grown up in: intense, disjointed, and a little violent. He is a proud member of the Dramatists Guild.

On June 16 at 7:30 p.m. at McCall-Donnelly High School there will be a presentation of Savannah Reich’s A Series of Meetings, which asks, “Why are there so many meetings and why are they all terrible?” Reich is a playwright and screenwriter based in West Philadelphia whose plays have been produced at theatres across the country, commissioned or developed by Walking Shadow Theater Company, the University of Minnesota, SuperGroup, and the Playwrights Center, and supported by residencies at Tofte Lake Art Center and MassMoCA.

On June 17 at 7:30 p.m. will be a presentation of Ryan’s Pub Monday Trivia Night by Alec Silberblatt. It takes place during trivia night at a pub in Pittsburgh where the best trivia team this side of the Monongahela comes face to face with demons, and bets against them. Silberblatt is a playwright and actor originally from Pittsburgh whose plays include A Tell-Tale Heart, The Mon Valley Medium, and The Angel of Allegheny County, and others. His work has been produced/developed by the Studios of Key West, Pittsburgh Public Theater, Playhouse on Park, New Wave Theater Collective, Middle Voice Theater Company, and more.

Seven Devils New Play Foundry is a play development organization based in McCall, Idaho. Formerly known as id Theatre, Inc., a producing company which produced plays at the Alpine Playhouse and then transferred them to New York City, the company began the Seven Devils Playwrights Conference in 2001 and discovered a new mission. Seven Devils has since developed more than 250 new plays by Pulitzer Prize winners, emerging writers, high school students, and everything in between, through a variety of programs aimed at supporting and empowering playwrights to do their best work free from the pressures and concerns of full production.

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