The process of creating a new play begins with an initial moment of creation – an instant, an event, a word, image or emotion that ignites a playwright’s journey towards a compelling story. The quest for that creative spark is a fascinating one. This March, Long Wharf Theatre premieres Lewiston, a remarkable new play by MacArthur Genius Samuel D. Hunter.
Alice and Connor sit by their roadside stand selling cheap fireworks while developers swallow the land around them. Promised a condo in the new development, their future is secure. Enter Marnie, Alice’s long lost granddaughter, proposing to buy the land to save her family legacy. Marnie and Alice will become reacquainted with each other’s deeply held secrets, uncertain pasts, and hopeful futures. Hunter, a 2014 MacArthur Fellowship recipient, explores the emotional frontiers of a family struggling to make a home in the vastness of the American landscape with affection, poignancy, and a profound sense of empathy.
In conjunction with this world premiere, Long Wharf Theatre is inviting audiences into a more intimate relationship with the act of theatrical making. The SPARK program is designed to engage audiences in a series of hands-on experiences surrounding the development, rehearsal and production of Lewiston. Participants will follow the process from first rehearsal to final dress, learn specific skills for reading a play, meet the cast and creative team of the production, explore the director’s role, and hear from the playwright himself about the challenges and victories of creation.
Access to the entire series is being offered at $30 – which goes to support Long Wharf Theatre’s efforts to develop and produce emerging playwrights and their work. All events are an hour long, unless otherwise noted. Space is limited for this unique opportunity.
WRITING A PLAY (March 15). On the evening of our first rehearsal, learn about the writer’s tools. Join Director Eric Ting and Playwright Samuel D. Hunter in a 90 minute seminar as we explore how a playwright affects a moment through language, rhythm, punctuation and more. Learn how dramatic structure and text analysis can enhance your understanding of a play as we start to bring Lewiston to life.
REHEARSING A PLAY (March 22). Meet the cast and creative team on their second week of rehearsal. Hear the artists speak about how a new play evolves as they are one week into their process.
THE DIRECTOR’S ROLE (March 29). Mid-way through the rehearsal process, we’ll talk about the challenges a director faces in tying together the many creative voices contributing to the production: From communicating with designers, to working with actors, to supporting the playwright’s vision.
FINAL DRESS REHEARSAL (April 5). Be the first audience to catch a glimpse of this new play on our stage! Watch with our staff as we prepare for first preview. Get a backstage tour of the production and see the work of the past four weeks come to life on our Stage II.
For more information about the program or to reserve a space, visit www.longwharf.org/spark-0 or call 203-787-4282.