Playwrights' Center and Network Of Ensemble Theaters partner to support new work02-02-2012
$4,000 grant awarded to Cory Hinkle and Theatre Novi Most to collaboratively create Brecht's Brain
The Playwrights’ Center and the Network of Ensemble Theaters (NET) today announced that they will partner to support the creation and development of Brecht’s Brain, a new play with music. Playwrights’ Center Core Writer Cory Hinkle and NET member Theatre Novi Most will receive a $4,000 grant to collaboratively create and develop the new play, with a workshop presentation planned for the spring of 2013. Novi Most founder and co-Artistic Director Lisa Channer will direct the development and performance of the work.
The grant is part of an ongoing effort by the Playwrights’ Center and NET to build bridges between traditional playwriting and ensemble-generated theater, in which artists from multiple disciplines create a theatrical experience together. The organizations previously supported a successful collaboration between playwright Andy Bragen and Santa Fe’s acclaimed Theatre Grottesco in 2011.
"Our partnership with NET arose out of a mutual desire for playwrights to participate more fully in a collaborative theatermaking process, contributing their unique sense of structure and uniformity of voice while simultaneously expanding their own approach to writing new plays,” said Jeremy B. Cohen, Producing Artistic Director of the Playwrights’ Center.
Mark Valdez, Executive Director of the Network of Ensemble Theaters, added, “Both NET and the Playwright’s Center are committed to supporting artists. By fostering collaborations between some of nation’s most exciting playwrights and ensembles, we fulfill a collective mission to nurture new work.”
A new look at a pivotal moment in history
Brecht’s Brain will focus on Bertolt Brecht’s dramatic 1947 testimony before the House Un-American Affairs Committee, weaving together excerpts from hearing transcripts and Brecht’s writings with ensemble-generated text and original music by Minneapolis artist Annie Enneking.
The play will be developed in the rigorous creative method perfected by Theatre Novi Most, in which the company, led by the director, contributes ideas and material to form productions that bridge disparate ideas, languages, cultures and ideologies. The company’s work often combines rich visuals with an intense physicality informed by biomechanics, the athletic acting method pioneered by Russian director Vsevolod Meyerhold. Most recently, Novi Most’s work was on display in The Oldest Story in the World, a retelling of the epic of Gilgamesh that won widespread raves.
In creating and developing Brecht’s Brain, Novi Most will work in tandem with Hinkle, a Playwrights’ Center Core Writer and two-time Jerome Fellow whose Little Eyes was recently produced at the Guthrie Theater by Workhaus Collective. Hinkle’s past collaborative work includes Fissures (lost and found), a piece co-commissioned by the Playwrights’ Center that premiered at the 2010 Humana Festival.
“When I approached Jeremy Cohen about this new project idea, he suggested Cory might be a good fit, and he was absolutely right,” said Channer. “We are thrilled to have the resources we need to sustain and build on this relationship.”