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The Kennedy Center

New Visions/New Voices : Past Projects

New Visions/New Voices is a biennial national festival for plays-in-progress written for young audiences. Over one hundred theater artists (playwrights, composers, directors, music directors, and actors) rewrite, revise, and rehearse new plays and musicals over a five-day period in May. The plays are presented as rehearsed readings during a three-day national conference for an audience of theater professionals, educators, publishers, and others interested in this field.

New Visions/ New Voices 2016

Austin, TX
ZACH Theatre and Teatro Vivo: jj's arcade
jj's arcade
, a play written by José Casas and directed by Nat Miller, follows the lives of a father and son struggling with the aftermath of a tragedy. In the process, a little boy named JJ discovers his ability to create, building a cardboard arcade; using this discovery as a way to cope with the world, but also to connect with the father who truly doesn't know him. Inspired by a true story, this play explores the power of imagination in our lives and the true meaning of "being a family." 

Costa Mesa, CA
South Coast Repertory: Amos & Boris
Amos, a mouse, longs to live on the sea so he builds a boat and sets out for a life of adventure. He fears his life will be cut short while he falls off of his boat in the middle of the sea and almost drowns. Thankfully, Boris, a whale comes to Amos' rescue and the two become fast friends. They realize that even though they are different in practically every way, they have more in common than they ever thought possible. An existential tale about friendship and mortality, Amos & Boris has been adapted from William Steig's prize-winning classic children's book by Sofia Alvarez(book and lyrics) and Daniel Roland Tierney (music) with direction by Shelley Butler.

Evanston, IL
Northwestern University: Ever In The Glades
Ever In The Glades revolves around five teenagers growing up on a fictional island in the Everglades where the adults are as dangerous as the gators.  When one of the kids returns from Juvenile Detention to help the rest escape to the mainland, it seems their prayers have been answered.  There's only one problem—they need a boat, and they need it before the adults catch wind of their plan and end it, or end them.  Written by Laura Schellhardt and directed by Rives Collins, the play begs the question: what is the current generation's responsibility to the next, and what happens if we fail them? 

Milwaukee, WI
First Stage: TXT ME L8R
It starts on a Wednesday.  Kids in high school getting the weirdest texts from fellow students they don't know. What's going on? And what if it's not people connecting with people via their phones… but phones trying to connect with other phones via their people? Written for First Stage's award-winning Young Company and working with director John MaclayEric Coble has crafted a fun, fast exploration of our relations to media, technology, and each other. A digital mystery for the savvy texter.

Minneapolis, MN
Children's Theatre Company:  The Last Firefly
Inspired by Japanese folk tales and Kabuki theatre techniques, Naomi Iizuka crafts a brand new tale about Boom, the son of Thunder, whose search for his father leads him on an adventure that reveals the interconnectedness of the natural world and his place within it. The Last Fireflywill premiere in a future season, directed by Artistic Director Peter C. Brosius. 

Seattle, WA
Seattle Children's Theatre: SHADOWPLAY
Exploring the unseen world of imagination and fantasy, SHADOWPLAY by Robert Schenkkan, directed by Linda Hartzell, employs the grand literary tradition of the ghost story to tell a modern tale of teenage life and domestic darkness—and to call out the compassion and bravery needed to brighten one young girl's life.


An additional U.S. project has been named as an alternate, should one of the other projects be unable to participate.
New York, NY
Lincoln Center Education
 & Trusty Sidekick Theatre CompanyThe Prizefighter of P.S. 217
Written by Drew Petersen and directed by Jonathan Shmidt Chapman
International Playwrights' Intensive
A partnership between the Kennedy Center and the School of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies at the University of Maryland, the intensive will take place at the University of Maryland from April 24 – 30, 2016, followed by a presentation of excerpts read during the New Visions/New Voices conference at the Kennedy Center. International partners include ASSITEJ South Africa and the Soweto Theatre; The National Theatre Company of Korea; ASSITEJ/India and the Little Theatre of Bangalore.
India
I Am Fine, Thank You by  Sunil Bannur
One Dream Too Many by  Deepika Arwind
The Other Side by Vinati Makijany

Korea
Sweet Words House by Choon-keun Park, Translated by Alyssa Kim

South Africa 
The Kids from Amandla Street by  Lereko Mfono
Mbuzeni by  Koleka Putuma
Mr. José and the Rabbits by  Samson M. Mlambo
Space Rocks by  Tamara Schulz
The Underground Library by Jon Keevy

New Visions/New Voices 2014: May 16 - 18, 2014

Discussion Facilitator: Daniel Renner, Director of Education for New York's Theatre Development Fund

The Arrival
Adapted from Sean Tan's graphic novel, conceived and created by Peter C. Brosius and Jocelyn Clarke, from the Children's Theatre Company (Minneapolis, MN).

Aviatrix
Written by Suzan Zeder, directed by Kate Bryer, from Imagination Stage (Bethesda, MD).

The Gift
Written by Charles Way, with music composed by Garth McConaghie, directed by Paul McEneaney, from Cahoots NI (Belfast, Northern Ireland).

Louise/the Bears
Written by Karin Serres of Vincennes, France and directed by Deirdre Kelly Lavrakas. Part of the Translation Project. (France)

Oliver of Brazil
Book and lyrics by Karen Zacarías with music by Deborah Wicks La Puma and directed by Scot Reese. Commissioned by Kennedy Center Theater for Young Audiences (Washington, DC).

Melody of the Moon/ Gile Na Gealaí
Devised and directed by Emelie FitzGibbon and Sile Ní Bhroin, composed by Fiona Kelleher, from Graffiti Theatre (Cork, Ireland).

Tell Me My Dream
Written by Pearl Cleage, directed by Rosemary Newcott, from Alliance Theatre (Atlanta, GA).

This is Modern Art
Written by Idris Goodwin and Kevin Coval, directed by Jessica Thebus, from Steppenwolf for Young Adults (Chicago, IL).

New Visions/New Voices 2012: May 18 - 20, 2012

Discussion Leader: Tony Graham

The Boy at the Edge of Everything
Written by Finegan Kruckemeyer and directed by Jonathan Shmidt. Commissioned by Trusty Sidekick Theater Company (New York, NY).

Cautionary Tales for Children
Written by Claudia O'Doherty based on the work by Hilaire Belloc's, Cautionary Tales for Children, directed by Chris Kohn and music by Mark Jones. Commissioned by Arena Theatre Company(Melbourne, Australia).

A Lonely Boy's Guide to Survival (And Werewolves)
Written by Ernie Nolan and directed by Michael J. Bobbitt. Commissioned by La Jolla Playhouse (La Jolla, CA).

Minotaur
Written by Kevin Dyer and directed by Jonathan Lloyd. Originally commissioned by the Kennedy Center in co-development by Polka Theatre (London, England) and Young People's Theatre (Toronto, Canada).

Only a Day
Written by Martin Baltsheit of Düsseldorf, Germany and directed by Nick Olcott. Part of the Translation Project. For the first time, the festival's Translation Project had a workshop of an unproduced English-language version of a previously successful production in another language. Presented through a partnership among The Translation Project 2012, The Kennedy Center, ASSITEJ/Germany, the Kinder-und Jugendteaterzentrum (KJTZ) and the Goethe-Institut Washington. (Frankfurt, Germany and Washington, D.C.)

Roald Dahl's James and the Giant Peach
Book by Timothy Allen McDonald with music and lyrics by Justin Paul and Benj Pasek. Directed by Marty Johnson and Timothy Allen McDonald. Commissioned by iTheatrics (New York, NY) and Work Light Productions (Summit, NJ).

The Snow Queen
Written by Barbara Wiechmann and directed by Jeffrey Mousseau. Music composition/arrangement by Lisa Dove. Commissioned by Red Thread in association with HERE (New York, NY).

The Transition of Doodle Pequeño
Written by Gabriel Jason Dean and directed by Wendy Bable. Commissioned by People's Light and Theatre (Malvern, PA).

New Visions/New Voices 2010: May 21 - 23, 2010

Discussion Leader: Todd London

The Flea and the Professor
Adapted by Jordan Harrison from the Hans Christian Andersen story, composed by Richard Gray, directed by Anne Kauffman. Commissioned by Arden Theatre Company (Philadelphia, PA).

The Scarecrow and His Servant
Adapted by Jeffrey Hatcher from the Philip Pullman novel, directed by Peter C. Brosius. Commissioned by The Children's Theatre Company (Minneapolis, MN).

Don't Tell Me I Can't Fly
Adapted by Y York, directed by Mark Lutwak. Commissioned by First Stage Children's Theater (Milwaukee, WI).

Promised Land of Balalatladi
Adapted by Omphile Molusi, directed by Monageng ‘Vice' Motshabi. From Market Theatre (Johannesburg, South Africa).

Our Sunjata
Written and directed by Christopher T. Parks. Commissioned by McCarter Theatre (Princeton, NJ).

The Very True and Unusual Life of Chook
By Angela Betzien, directed by Leticia Cáceres. Commissioned by Real TV (Melbourne, Australia).

The Edge of Peace
By Suzan Zeder, directed by Linda Hartzell, with ASL Master/Actor Billy Seago. Commissioned by Seattle Children's Theatre (Seattle, WA).

New Visions/New Voices 2008: April 25 - 27, 2008

Discussion Leader: Laurie Brooks

Dani Girl
Book and lyrics by Christopher Dimond, music by Michael Kooman, directed by John Carrafa. Commissioned by American Conservatory Theatre (San Francisco, CA).

The Happiest Show on Earth
Music Composed by Stuart Day, directed by Dave Brown. Commissioned by Patch Theatre Company (Adelaide, Australia).

The Judgment of Bett
By R.N. Sandberg, directed by Scott Zigler. Commissioned by American Repertory Theatre (Cambridge, MA) and Discovering Justice (Boston MA).

Katrina: The Girl Who Wanted Her Name Back
By Jason Tremblay, directed by Tom Arvetis. Commissioned by Adventure Stage Chicago (Chicago, IL).

The Monster Under the Bed
By Kevin Dyer, directed by Richard Shannon. Commissioned by Polka Theatre (London, England).

Nocturnal
By Ramon Esquivel, directed by Richard Perez. Commissioned by Bloomington Playwrights Project (Bloomington, IN).

Pobby and Dingan
Adapted by Paula Wing from the book by Ben Lee, directed by Stewart Arnott. Commissioned by Lorraine Kimsa Theatre for Young People (Toronto, Canada).

New Visions/New Voices 2006: May 19 - 21, 2006

Discussion Leader: Jeff Church

Wild Horses
By Rhiana Yazzie, directed by Randy Reinholz. Commissioned by Native Voices at the Autry (Los Angeles, CA).

The K of D
By Laura Schellhardt, directed by Laura Kepley. Commissioned by Trinity Repertory Theater (Providence, RI).

Dreams Carved from Stone
By Ric Averill, directed by Nancy Halverson. Commissioned by Children's Theatre Company of Sioux Falls, (Sioux Falls, SD).

Helly's Magic Cup (presented at New Visons/New Voices as Grail)
By Rosalba Clemente, directed by Michael Gow. Commissioned by Windmill Performing Arts (Adelaide, Australia).

Tale of a West Texas Marsupial Girl
By Lisa D'Amour, composed by Sxip Shirey, directed by Whit MacLaughlin. Commissioned by The Children's Theatre Company, (Minneapolis, MN).

Harriet Jacobs – Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl
Adapted by Lydia Diamond from the book by Harriet Jacobs, composed by McKinley Johnson, directed by Hallie Gordon. Commissioned by Steppenwolf Theatre (Chicago, IL).

Spellbound Child
Adapted from L'enfant et les sortileges by Maurice Ravel, new libretto by Carl Miller, directed by Tony Graham. Commissioned by Unicorn Theatre (London, England).

New Visions 2004: May 21 - 23, 2004

Discussion Leader: Ricardo Khan

Einstein is a Dummy
Book and lyrics by Karen Zacarias, music by Deborah Wicks La Puma, directed by Rosemary Newcott. Commissioned by Alliance Theatre Company (Atlanta, GA).

Anon(ymous): an Adaptation of the Odyssey
An adaptation of Homer's "Odyssey" by Naomi Iizuka, directed by Peter C. Brosius. Commissioned by The Children's Theatre Company (Minneapolis, MN).

Nothing is the Same
By Y York, directed by Mark Lutwak. Commissioned by Honolulu Theatre for Youth (Honolulu, HI).

Perfectly Persephone, the myth of spring
By Kevin Kling, directed by Janet Stanford. Commissioned by Imagination Stage (Bethesda, MD).

Witness
By John Urquhart, adapted from the novel by Karen Hesse, directed by Vivian Robin Snipes. Commissioned by Lexington Children's Theatre (Lexington, KY).

The Very Persistent Gappers of Frip
By Doug Cooney and David O., adapted from the novel by George Saunders, directed by Corey Madden. Commissioned by commissioned by Center Theatre Group (Los Angeles, CA).

New Visions 2002: May 17 - 19, 2002

Discussion Leader: Todd London

The Bully Show
By Brian Guehring, directed by Kevin Ehrhart. Commissioned by Omaha Theater for Young People (Omaha, NE).

Color Me Dark: A Story of the Great Migration North
By Jerome Hairston, adapted from the novel by Patricia C. McKissak, directed by Ricardo Kahn. Commissioned by The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts (Washington, DC) and Scholastic Entertainment (New York, NY).

Dis/Troy
By Yokanaan Kearns, directed by Mark Lutwak. Commissioned by Honolulu Theatre for Youth (Honolulu, HI).

Power Play
By Barry Kornhauser, music composed by Ron Barnett, directed by Eric Johnson. Commissioned by Blue Shift Theatre Ensemble (Boone, NC) and Fulton Theatre (Lancaster, PA).

The Red Badge of Courage
By Joe Sutton, adapted from the novel by Steven Crane, directed by Linda Hartzell. Commissioned by Seattle Children's Theatre (Seattle, WA).

Sacagawea
By Eric Coble, composed by Marv Ross, directed by Stan Foote. Commissioned by Oregon Children's Theater (Portland, OR).

The Selfish Giant, book, music & lyrics by Russ Brown, adapted from the story by Oscar Wilde, orchestrated by Justin Nabors, directed by Jill Womack. Commissioned by Theater Reaching Young People and Schools (TRYPS) (Columbia, MO).

Stories My Mother Told Me: The Odyssey of Telemeca
By Mary Hall Surface and David Maddox, co-directed by David Saar and Jose Cruz Gonzalez. Commissioned by Childsplay (Tempe, AZ).

New Visions/New Voices 2000: One Theater World

A Joint Project between the Kennedy Center and ASSITEJ/USA. The following six projects were the rehearsed readings constituting New Visions/New Voices portion of the event

Discussion Leader: Todd London

Lake of Panthers
By Eric Coble, directed by William Hoffman. Commissioned by The Cleveland Play House (Cleveland, OH).

Shim Ch'ong Chon: A Korean Folk Tale
By Doug Kaback, composed by Hi-za Yoo, directed by James Hanes. Commissioned by Department of Theatre, California State University Northridge (Los Angeles, CA).

The Emperor's New Clothes: An Opera for Children
Music, lyrics and book by Ric Averill, directed by Graham Whitehead. Commissioned by the Seem To Be Players, (Lawrence, KS).

The Beggar's Strike
Adapted by Carlyle Brown from the book by Aminata Sow Fall, directed by Peter C. Brosius. Commissioned by The Children's Theatre Company (Minneapolis, MN).

Salt & Pepper
By José Cruz González, directed by David Saar. Commissioned by Childsplay (Tempe, AZ).

Tommy J & Sally
By Mark Medoff, directed by Bob Devin Jones. Commissioned by The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts (Washington, DC).

New Visions/New Voices 1998

Discussion Leader: Peter C. Brosius

Caribe
By Saundra McClain, composed by Kysia Bostic, directed by Regge Life. Commissioned by Troupe NY (New York, NY).

The Dream Thief
By Robert Schenkkan, directed by John Vreeke. Commissioned by First Stage (Milwaukee, WI).

The Tales of Wost
By Kevin Lawler, directed by Stephanie Anderson. Commissioned by Omaha Theater Company for Young People (Omaha, NE).

Even Steven Goes to War
By Allison Gregory, composed by David Maddox, directed by David Saar. Commissioned by A.S.K. Theatre Project (Los Angeles, CA).

The Incredible Disappearing Lady
By Maria Dahvana Headley, composed by Michael Keck, directed by Pamela Sterling. Commissioned by Idaho Theater for Youth (Boise, ID).

Wrestling Season
By Laurie Brooks, directed by Jeff Church. Commissioned by Coterie Theatre Kansas City, MO).

Searching for David's Heart
By Cherie Bennett, directed by Rob Goodman. Commissioned by Long Wharf Theatre (New Haven, CT).

Black Butterfly, Jaguar Girl, Piñata Woman and Other Super Hero Girls Like Me
By Luis Alfaro, Alma Elena Cervantes, Sandra C. Muñoz, Marisela Norte, Directed by Lisa Peterson. Commissioned by Center Theatre Group (Los Angeles, CA).

New Visions/New Voices 1996

Discussion Leader: Todd London
Panelists: Abigail Adams and Yvonne J. Levette

Cyra and Rocky
By Cherie Bennett, directed by Janine Nina Trevens. Commissioned by TADA! Youth Theater (New York, NY).

Beeswax
By Doug Cooney, composed by Craig Ames and Carlos Moran, directed by Deborah S. Nitzberg. Commissioned by City Lights Youth Theatre (New York, NY).

The Highest Heaven
By Jose Cruz Gonzalez, directed by John McCluggage. Commissioned by the San Jose Repertory Theatre (San Jose, CA).

Song of Rice, Song of Life
By Karen Yamamoto Hackler, composed by Kenny Endo, directed by Peter C. Brosius. Commissioned by Honolulu Theatre for Youth (Honolulu, HI).

I Believe I'll Run On and See What the End's Gonna Be
By Kim Hines, directed by Michael Robins. Commissioned by Illusion Theater (Minneapolis, MN).

Bunnicula
By Jon Klein, adapted from the books by James and Deborah Howe, composed by Chris Jeffries, directed by Rita Giomi. Commissioned by Seattle Children's Theatre (Seattle, WA).

Quinly Agonistes (aka A Por Quinly Christmas)
By Quincy Long, composed by Michael Silversher, directed by Kathleen Dimmick. Commissioned by Sundance Institute (Salt Lake City, UT).

Children of the Sun
By N. Scott Momaday, directed by Tazewell Thompson. Commissioned by The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts (Washington, DC).

New Visions/New Voices 1995

Discussion Leader: Linda Hartzell
Panelists: Tomas Hernandez, Phyllis S. K. Look, and Leanne Tintori Wells
Youth Panelists: Julian Breece, Vanessa Brown, Sarah Palmer, and Matthew Wehner

And Now Miguel
By Lynn Alvarez, adapted from the book by Joseph Krumgold, composed by Mauricio Beltran, directed by Susana Tubert. Commissioned by Lincoln Center Institute (New York, NY).

Across the Plains: The Journey of the Palace Wagon Family
By Sandra Fenichel Asher, directed by Amie Brockway. Commissioned by Coterie Theatre (Kansas City, MO).

Selkie
By Laurie Brooks, directed by Nancy Swortzell. Commissioned by New York University Program in Educational Theater (New York, NY).

Maryushka and Baba Yaga
By Carol Korty, domposed by Scott Wheeler, directed by Robert W. Colby. Commissioned by Emerson College (Boston, MA).

Angels Voices
Book and lyrics by Gary Race, composed by Noa Ain, directed by Gary Race. Commissioned by The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts (Washington, DC).

A Village Fable: In the Suicide Mountains
By James Still, adapted from the book "In the Suicide Mountains" by John Gardner, composed by Michael Keck, directed by Peter C. Brosius. Commissioned by Center Theater Group (Los Angeles, CA).

tiger
tigertiger
By Mac Wellman, composed by Michael Roth, directed by Liz Diamond. Commissioned by Sundance Institute (Salt Lake City, UT).

Solid Gold
By Eric L. Wilson, composed by Chris Limber, directed by Milton R. Zoth. Commissioned by the MUNY Student Theatre (St. Louis, MO).

New Visions/New Voices 1993

Discussion Leader: Todd London
Panelists: Robert Graham Small, Tazewell Thompson, and Suzan L. Zeder

T-Money & Wolf
By Ric Averill and Kevin Willmot, directed by Ric Averill and Kevin Willmott. Commissioned by Seem To Be Players, (Lawrence, KS).

Victoria's Christmas
By John B. Davidson, composed by Roberta Carlson and John B. Davidson, directed by Gary Gisselman. Commissioned by The Children's Theatre Company (Minneapolis, MN).

The Sun's Musicians
By David F. Eliet, composed by Nancy Rosenberg, directed by Roger T. Danforth. Commissioned by The Cleveland Play House (Cleveland, OH).

Imaginary Friends
By Laurie Brooks, adapted from the story by Terry Brooks, directed by Alan Levy. Commissioned by Hartford Children's Theater (Hartford, CT).

Alicia in Wonder Tierra, (or I Can't Eat Goat Head)
By Sylvia Gonzalez S., directed by Albert Pertalion. Commissioned by Body Politic Theatre (Chicago, IL).

The Very First Family
Music, lyrics, and book by Philip Hall (presented at New Vision/ New Voices as The First Family of Africa), directed by Dale AJ Rose. Commissioned by Coterie Theatre (Kansas City, MO).

The Matsuyama Mirror
By Velina Hasu Houston, directed by Brian Nelson. Commissioned by East West Players (Los Angeles, CA).

Afternoon of the Elves
By Y York, adapted from the book by Janet Taylor Lisle, directed by Linda Hartzell. Commissioned by Seattle Children's Theatre (Seattle, WA).

New Visions/New Voices 1991

Discussion Leader: Sandra Deer

Dragonwings
By Laurence Yep, adapted from his book Dragonwings, directed by Phyllis S.K. Look. Commissioned by Berkeley Repertory Theatre (Berkeley, CA).

Do Not Go Gentle
By Suzan L. Zeder, directed by Jim Hancock. Commissioned by The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts (Washington, DC).

The Yellow Boat
By David Saar, directed by Carol Evans. Commissioned by Childsplay (Tempe, AZ) and Metro Theater Company (St. Louis, MO).

‘SKEGEE
By Deborah Sims-Wood, composed by Howard Kenney, Directed by Derek Anson Jones.

The Secret History of the Future
By James Still, directed by Deirdre Kelly Lavrakas. Commissioned by The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts (Washington, DC).

A Tale of Two Cities
Music, lyrics, and book by Wendy Kesselman, adapted from the book by Charles Dickens, directed by Moses Goldberg. Commissioned by Stage One Children's Theatre (Louisville, KY).

White Sails, Dark Seas
By Paul Lavrakas, directed by Kim Peter Kovac. Commissioned by Birmingham Children's Theatre (Birmingham, AL).

Young Playwrights Roundtable
Short plays and scenes from the Kennedy Center Young Playwrights Roundtable, written by Erik Blankenship, Thomas Campbell, Josh Frank, Josh Granger, and Jason Kaiser,directed by Mary Hall Surface.