On June 12th and June 13th, New Light Theater Project celebrated their fifth installment of the Darkroom Series. The Darkroom Series is a platform for artists to take work-in-progress and present a portion of their work in front of an audition. In just over a year, the Darkroom Series has provided workshops for over 25 new pieces of theater. The works included in Darkroom Series 5 were: One Fish, Two Fish by Everett Goldner featuring Chris Herbie Holland and Kimmie Solomon, Speak, Lavinia by Tim Duncheon, Directed by Kyle Metzger featuring Shannon Marie Sullivan, Matt Faucher, Andrew Davies, and Gabriel Levey, Contemporary by Gina Scanlon, Directed by Anne Haney featuring Louise Mittleman, Nate Washburn, and Andrew Baldwin, Sun Breaks Down by Rose Martula featuring David Kubicka and Maria Hoffmann, and Mother, Lover by Marrick Smith featuring Alexandra Cremer and Marrick Smith. Before the evening’s events pre show music was performed by The Dreamstalks featuring Karen Bray and Zach Miko.
New Light Theater Project is now accepting applications at http://www.newlighttheaterproject.com/ through June 30th for The Darkroom Series 6. Darkroom Series 6 will take place at Access Theater on August 5th and August 6th with a private salon reading on July 30th.
Darkroom Series 5 artists Gina Scanlon and Kyle Metzger talked a little bit about their experience with the platform for new work.
How did you get involved with New Light Theater Project and the Darkroom Series?: A friend of mine and fellow playwright was kind enough to turn me on to the project, so I submitted my latest work-in-progress to David Sernick.
At what point in its process was your project?: I have about 1/3 of the final script written and a rough outline of the full script. Darkroom's performance was the first 11 pages of my script.
How has the Darkroom Series helped your project? What discoveries did you make?: It helped immensely! Gave me an idea of what it would really look and feel like on stage, including the pacing and language. I also had the chance to collaborate with a great director and great actors who all contributed to revisions throughout the process and the piece is stronger for it. They discovered tiny quirks about the characters, and even suggested line and logistic changes that I ended up using. Any chance you can get a play on its feet in any form is a privilege. Especially to gauge how enjoyable an audience finds the piece; where they laugh, gasp, don't respond, etc.
Why would you recommend the Darkroom Series to other theater artists?: For all the reasons above and more. My experience was invaluable because not only am I inspired to go finish the project, but I feel like I've been handed the proper tools to do so. And now I have a much better idea of the direction I want it to go.
What is the next step with your project?: Possibly workshopping other sections of the script, and finishing it! Once I'm happy with it, I will be submitting it out to theatres.
How did you get involved with New Light Theater Project and the Darkroom Series?: Sarah Norris, Mike Aguierre and I have collaborated on a few projects over the past year, and I presented some scenes from Sexless in the Boroughs last year, which went on to be produced by my co The Glass Eye and terraNOVA Collective at IRT in October.
At what point in its process was your project?: We have just scratched the surface with Speak, Lavinia, workshopping the first 20 minutes of the play.
How has the Darkroom Series helped your project? What discoveries did you make?: I've been wanting to develop this play for a while, and the Darkroom was the perfect opportunity to get it up on its feet and moving around. The play has some staging challenges I wanted to explore, and I wanted to work with actors to understand who these characters are and what the tone and style of performance the piece has.
Why would you recommend the Darkroom Series to other theater artists?: It's a great chance to see how your new play works in front of an audience. The audience reaction is a great tool, it teaches you a lot about what you have and can show you what doesn't work.
What is the next step with your project?: We will continue to build and rebuilds the foundation we created for the Darkroom, and develop the rest of the play until it's production ready.