Press Release

New York’s SPF announces Playwright for Theater Bielefeld’s Voices of Change Festival

New York, NY - February 24, 2010

New York’s Summer Play Festival (SPF) is partnering with Germany’s Theatre Bielefeld for the second year as part of the Voices of Change Festival in Bielefeld, Germany from April 22 - 25, 2010.  This year’s selected playwright is Alena Smith, whose play The Sacrifices (SPF 2009) will be translated into German, and receive a workshop production as part of the Festival.

The Voices of Change Festival explores the signs of crisis and change in America and seeks the answers in selected dramas by American playwrights.  With these new plays, the Festival offers a forum to think jointly about American and German perspectives of Change.  The playwrights travel to Germany to collaborate with local theatre artists and present their play in German as a workshop.   Other collaborators from the United States include New York’s SoHo Rep, New Dramatists, The Flea Theater, Clubbed Thumb, and the Yale Repertory Theater.

Theater Bielefeld is situated in the city center of Bielefeld in the West of Germany. The theater was founded in 1904, and possesses three stages: Stadttheater (City Theater), Theater am alten Markt (Theater at the Old Market), and an opera studio. It is one of the most celebrated theatres in the country with more than 500 performances annually, producing classic dramas as well as contemporary plays.

The Summer Play Festival (SPF) has provided numerous resources to thousands of emerging theatre artists including writers, directors, designers, actors, stage managers, and interns to present their work in a protected environment at New York City’s legendary Public Theater.  SPF has had tremendous success in helping to identify talented, emerging artists, and many of our writers have enjoyed Broadway, off-Broadway, international and regional productions.  Others are now developing projects with film and television companies.

Alena Smith

Alena grew up in the Hudson Valley and now lives in Brooklyn, NY.  Her plays include Plucker, The Sacrifices, The Lacy Project, It Or Her, The Piven Monologues, Alice Eat Your Words, and Saturnalia in Poughkeepsie.  Her work has been/will be seen at the Public Theater, Summer Play Festival, Joe's Pub, Playwrights Horizons, A.R.T. Institute, the Ohio Theatre/ Soho Think Tank, Under the Radar, the Yale Cabaret, the Philadelphia Live Arts Festival, Chashama, FRIGID New York Festival, the Strand Theater, and a number of colleges and universities. Alena is a member of the 2009 Emerging Writers Group at The Public Theater, a 2008-09 Artists Fellow in Playwriting with the New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA), and has been a finalist for the Princess Grace Award and the O’Neill Playwrights Conference. MFA, Yale School of Drama, ASCAP Cole Porter Prize in Playwriting.

About the Summer Play Festival

SPF stages original new plays and musicals by emerging writers during the summer months at the legendary Public Theater in New York City. Since its inception in 2004, SPF has provided numerous resources to emerging theatre artists, produced over 600 public performances, and has provided an opportunity for 82 writers, as well as over one thousand directors, designers, actors, stage managers, and interns to present their work in a protected environment.

Founded by Broadway producer Arielle Tepper Madover, SPF is also committed to providing a low ticket price of only $10 to bring in new audience members. As a result, the Festival has sold out its four-week performance schedule for each of the past five years and has attracted a diverse audience of over 45,000 theatre patrons, the majority under the age of 35.

SPF playwrights have gone on to receive productions on Broadway, off-Broadway, regionally and internationally. Their work has been presented at institutions such as Lincoln Center Theater, the Roundabout Theatre Company, Manhattan Theater Club, the Atlantic Theater Company and Playwrights Horizons in New York City; the Royal National Theatre and the Donmar Warehouse in London; and dozens of acclaimed theatres across the United States and around the world.

Press Contact
Jennifer Taylor
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