Samuel D. Hunter
Samuel D. Hunter
(© David Gordon)
Arena Stage has announced the lineup of projects to join its Kogod Cradle Series for the 2013-14 season. As part of the American Voices New Play Institute, the series is dedicated to promoting and developing the work of emerging American artists. The series will present six projects, selected through an open submission process, throughout the upcoming season at the Mead Center for American Theater. The projects feature a total of 11 new works by emerging artists from across the country.

Arena Stage's very own Drama Desk Award-winning resident playwright, Samuel D. Hunter (The Whale), plans to present a new work as part of his Arena Stage residency. He will collaborate with director Jocelyn Clarke (also Institute Dramaturg) and a company of actors, who will present the piece in performances from February 6-9, 2014. In addition to the performances, Hunter and his creative team will offer audiences commentary about the playwriting and development process.

Toast, by dog and pony dc, will open the series, with performances from December 5-8. Returning to the series after a successful 2012 workshop of A Killing Game, their new play Toast is described as a "participatory theatrical performance meets science experiment."

Next up is The Power of Two, a cabaret performance about relationships and the bonds of friendship by powerhouse singers Nicholas Rodriguez and Eleasha Gamble, who performed opposite one another as Curly and Laurey in Arena Stage's 2010 production of Oklahoma! Signature Theatre Associate Artistic Director Matthew Gardiner directs, with musical direction by Mark Hartman. Performances will run from December 11-15.

D.C.'s Helen Hayes Award-winning Commedia dell'Arte troupe, Faction of Fools, will then present an adaptation of an unnamed classic work of theater in their signature style of masked comedy, in a run from January 9-12, 2014.

From March 6-9, 2014, the six members of the inaugural Playwrights' Arena playwriting group will each present excerpts from their new plays and discuss their creative process throughout the yearlong writing program. Playwrights include Norman Allen, Randy Baker, Jacqueline E. Lawton, Heather McDonald, Danielle Mohlman and Shawn Northrip.

Writer/performer Ann Randolph will then close the series with an extended run of her one-woman comedy, Loveland, directed by Joshua Townshend-Zellner. Running from March 18-April 13, 2014, the play follows an irreverent oddball named Frannie Potts, who is trapped on a plane traveling from California to Ohio to attend her mother's funeral. Randolph will work with Institute Dramaturg Jocelyn Clarke prior to the run to continue developing the piece.

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