Jenifer Nii’s THE WEIRD PLAY premieres March 1-11

Playwright Jenifer Nii on THE WEIRD PLAY (one of 10 recipients nationwide of the inaugural Writers Alliance Grant from the Dramatists Guild Foundation and her 6th world premiere with Plan-B), premiering March 1-11 in a co-pro with Sackerson. Click here for tickets. I have no business being in theatre. When I first met Jerry Rapier at Plan-B nearly a decade ago, I had written all of one “play.” I’d seen a handful of shows in my youth (including a particularly alarming Idahoan-interpreted MAN OF LA MANCHA). I’d never read a play just for fun. But life is a wild ride. Mine had just steamed through most of a music degree at university, then swerved toward journalism after a Schumann etude ate my finger. Then, through some loopty-loops I still can’t really follow, I landed in the back row of a campus production of Marsha Norman’s play GETTING OUT that cracked my heart and I saw, for the first time, how theatre can transport, and open up and shake. I saw that show every night of its run. The night it closed, I went home and wrote a play. It was not a good play. But somehow it got passed around and then my phone rang and it was this man Jerry who wanted to talk. Even then, knowing nothing about the way theatre works, I knew something nearly-miraculous was happening. Jerry was willing to read draft after draft of what was surely amateur, ignorant writing, and then help to identify strengths and shave away the muck. Through The Lab at Plan-B, I have been given me the opportunity to hear...

Our upcoming co-productions with Sackerson (THE WEIRD PLAY) and Flying Bobcat (JUMP)

Last December, as I was finalizing our 2017/18 season, I started thinking about the unique needs and opportunities of Jenifer Nii’s THE WEIRD PLAY and Austin Archer’s JUMP. And then I started thinking about the exciting work I was seeing from Sackerson and Flying Bobcat Theatrical Laboratory. And then I started thinking how rewarding it has been for us over the years to co-produce work with KUER, Art Access and NOVA Chamber Music Series. And then I started thinking about how rewarding these co-productions have been because they were focused on artistry and audience development rather than sharing production costs. And then I talked to Dave/Alex/Morag of Sackerson and Scott/Andra of Flying Bobcat: “The productions are funded. What we want is your points-of-view. How would you like to come play with us?” And two co-productions were born. [Well, you might even say three, since Sackerson and Flying Bobcat have since co-produced Morag Shepherd’s HOW LONG CAN YOU STAND ON THE TRAIN TRACKS: A GAME FOR TWO SISTERS, which was read in Plan-B’s Lab early in 2017]. Jenifer Nii’s THE WEIRD PLAY (March 1-11) asks: Whom do you love? What do you love? And why? The play lives in the space between romance and devotion and is funded in part by a national grant that we can’t make public until early in the new year but we can tell you only ten plays nationwide have been so honored. Austin Archer’s JUMP  (April 5-15) asks: How will you die? Will you see it coming? What if you’re given a second chance? The play explores the impact of survival on those we love and is funded in...

Jenifer Nii on creating our second subscription offering: THE WEIRD PLAY

Jenifer Nii’s latest play, THE WEIRD PLAY, is the second subscription offering of our 2017/18 Season (our 27th! – click here for tickets and subscription info – performances March 1-11). Jenifer proudly calls Plan-B her creative home. She has previously premiered five plays with the company: KINGDOM OF HEAVEN (the first original musical in our history created with composer and co-lyricist David Evanoff); THE SCARLET LETTER and SUFFRAGE (garnering back-to-back nominations for the American Theatre Critics Association/Steinberg Award for Best New American Play Produced Outside New York); RUFF! (our third annual Free Elementary School Tour); and WALLACE (co-written with Debora Threedy).  Whom do you love? What do you love? How do you love? And why? THE WEIRD PLAY lives in the space between romance and devotion. A co-production with Sackerson. It’s all in the title, I suppose. I just couldn’t think of another way to describe the content or the process of my latest play. It’s all different, and weird. My hope is that it’s a good weird, and not just weird weird. THE WEIRD PLAY began as a challenge to myself: to step outside everything I was comfortable with and everything I’d done before, to face head-on the aspects of theatre that had frightened me in the past. I wanted to experiment with language, to discover whether I could retain my “voice” using another style of expression – and a style I wasn’t seeing presented in theatre at the time. I wanted to utilize the set, light, props, and movement in a way I hadn’t tried before. It’s the first time I’ve scripted in any detailed way a vision of what I wanted...

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