Theater News

Playwrights Realm Pilots Radical Parent-Inclusion Project

The program will launch in conjunction with the world premiere of Anna Moench’s ”Mothers”.

Anna Moench will debut her play Mothers with Playwrights Realm as part of its 2019-20 season.
Anna Moench will debut her play Mothers with Playwrights Realm as part of its 2019-20 season.
(photo provided by Blake Zidell & Associates)

The Playwrights Realm has announced its 2019-20 season productions, with world premieres of Anna Moench's Mothers (beginning September 13 at the Duke on 42nd Street), and Noah Diaz's Richard & Jane & Dick & Sally (beginning April 3, 2020, at A.R.T./New York Theatres), two new works about parental care and what that means in circumstances that have catapulted beyond anyone's control.

Mothers unfolds amid a socially suffocating Mommy-and-Me-type meet-up where small talk doubles as a ruthless game of parental one-upmanship. But the passive and micro-aggressions deployed in everyday conversation are overlaid by hints that the world beyond this elitist enclave is descending into far less subtle violence. As their bourgeois safe zone abruptly becomes a war zone, all norms dictating characters' social positions — and their means of providing for and protecting their children — are upended beyond recognition. Part probing social satire, part harrowing survival tale, Mothers taps into the primal heartache of raising children in a disintegrating world.

In conjunction with Mothers, the Playwrights Realm pilots the Radical Parent-Inclusion Project, which seeks to dismantle the barriers preventing parent-artists from succeeding in the theater by illuminating, creating, and tracking new pathways of access and approaches to production. RPI will be integrated deeply into the casting, rehearsal, and production process of Mothers. This includes family-friendly scheduling (five-day, six-hour-per-day work weeks); the provision of free child care during auditions and rehearsals; intentional hiring of parent-artists; welcoming children into the space at specific moments; increased support for parent-artists during high-demand episodes such as tech week and opening night; and family-friendly housing for early-career playwright and mother-artist Anna Moench.

This initiative launched by Playwrights Realm, in association with Parent Artist Advocacy League for the Performing Arts (PAAL), seizes on the Realm's core value of reflecting "the full spectrum of humanity," understanding the socio-economic realities of parenting as an issue of equity and inclusion.