A few weeks ago, we finished out our New Pages Spotlights highlighting each of the seven playwrights in our writers group New Pages. One of the topics I asked them to talk about was what a group like New Pages meant to them — and their answers show why the group was started! These are all pulled from the New Pages spotlights — if you haven’t read those, they’re a great way to learn more about these writers and their stories.
So what do the playwrights love about New Pages?
I work best in community. New Pages gives me the opportunity for consistent feedback so that my work progresses more quickly and efficiently. I prefer the company of playwrights and dramaturgs during development, especially during the infancy of a play, because these unique artists cherish the idea or scene fragment or character description with unfulfilled promise, and understand that it takes time to grow out of its eczema, over-sized ears, and sharp elbows. (Read Jackie’s spotlight.)
I appreciate that Azuka has taken a chance on me. They’ve chosen to amplify a budding queer voice. They’ve put me in the same room as playwrights vastly more experienced than me, giving us equal attention and resources. I have previously known the feeling of being an outcast and an underdog, but Azuka’s New Pages gives me the confidence to take myself seriously as a playwright. (Read Val’s spotlight.)
This last year I was also asked to join New Pages which, if Foundry felt like the masters program then New Pages is like... the PhD? It has meant a lot to me to share space with Philly great's such as James Ijames and Jackie Goldfinger (a Founder of the Foundry). It's really great to continue to have a group that will hold you accountable, and who has a vested interest in helping you make your play the best it can be. It's also something that we are, in a way, creating together since it hasn't existed before and that is exciting. (Read Erlina’s spotlight.)
...New Pages has really changed the way I write. Being a playwright can be lonely because 97% of our time working is spent alone in a room just trying to work through ideas and put them on paper. Having a community of writers come together, read and talk about your work makes my shit so much better! It just does. It really accelerates my process. It obviously helps that the other writers in the group are fucking fantastic. I really look up to all of them and having them in the room when I'm bringing in my rough pages is incredible. There's nothing else like it. (Read Doug’s spotlight.)
This will be my first year in New Pages and I couldn’t be more excited. I have a lot of admiration for every single one of the playwrights already in the group, and would probably be thinking and talking about their work in my spare time anyway so I’m pretty thrilled to get to do it while they are in the room, and even more thrilled that they’ll be thinking and talking about my work too…” (Read Alexandra’s spotlight.)
I'm currently working on a play about a sleep deprived dad that has a recurring dream that he's on the Charlie Rose Show. I don't know that I'd be able to write this play without New Pages. I've actually never struggled as much to find the scene structure of a play. The last draft I brought to the group just completely bonked. I don't think I'd be able to accept that years ago. I would have just given up or argued with everyone until we all left exhausted and spiteful...But I'm a little clearer on what I'm after in a workshop now. I'm actually after something now! It feels good. And I'm so thankful to Azuka for giving me a second chance at working that out. (Read Bruce’s spotlight.)
Community, accountability, confidence…that, plus the amplification of new voices, new talent, new stories. That’s what New Pages means! Now, and as it continues to grow.
We’re excited to have these writers with us, and glad they’re excited too. Happy September, all!