Women’s Work Project
A unique process of developing scripts to production quality
Since its creation in 1994, NPTC Women’s Work Project has had the goal of not only helping to develop specific plays, but to support residents’ growth as accomplished and skilled playwrights—to give writers added tools in the practice of their craft and to strengthen their individual voices. Our focus has always been on bringing scripts to production quality.
Short Play Lab
The WOMEN’S WORK LAB for short plays provides a supportive and nurturing environment to emerging and mid-career women playwrights. Six members are selected each year, along with a similar number of directors. The LAB meets monthly (Sundays) from February through June, allowing for time in between sessions for writers to continue to develop and revise their work in response to feedback. Members are expected to bring work to each session beginning with the development of an original short play based upon an assigned theme.
Playwrights receive monthly feedback on their play from the LAB’s group of director/dramaturgs. In a process unique to NPTC, feedback is given in a unified mannerso playwrights do not have conflicting advice about what to work on. The process creates a collaborative group from which members can draw inspiration and energy. Scripts are then produced in our annual Women's Work Short Play Festival.
Application Guidelines For Short Play Lab
Playwrights should apply by midnight, September 30, 2019 by sending the following as email attachments, with the email Subject Line “Women’s Work Application” to email@example.com:
- a full resume, including specific information on your training as a writer (i.e. degree program, workshops, etc.) and website URL if applicable
- a 10-15 page writing sample from a playscript
- a personal statement explaining why you wish to be a part of the LAB, including goals for your own growth and development if selected. Please include in this statement how you choose to be identified re: ethnicity and gender (she/they).
(Please note that ALL 3 items are required to be considered.)
Directors: A group of four to six directors is also chosen as part of the LAB. Directors commit to reading and commenting on all scripts before each meeting, and to being present at all monthly meetings, where consolidated feedback is given to each playwright. The short plays from the LAB are produced in "minimalist" productions in early August. Casting begins in June, with rehearsals in July. Decisions about who is directing which play are made by the directors as a group in May.
Directors should apply by September 30, 2019 by sending as email attachments to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include in this statement:
- how you choose to be identified re: ethnicity and gender (she/they).
- a directing resume including website URL
- contact information for three references
- a personal statement explaining why you wish to be part of the LAB
The email Subject Line should read “WWP-Directors.”
Playwrights who have completed the short play LAB may be invited to submit a proposal for a full-length work and continue with the LAB in the fall. This may be a new play, or a script already in progress. They, too, follow a schedule for presenting longer completed works and rough drafts. In this way, the LAB retains NPTC’s desire to develop full length scripts by women writers while still allowing for continuous creativity. These plays are presented as readings for invited or for public audiences at various stages of development. “Bare bones” productions of full-length scripts are presented as part of NPTC's season when it becomes clear that they will benefit from a full rehearsal process. When resources permit, full productions are scheduled.
Artistic Director Melody Brooks oversees both Women's Work LABs and manages the Full-length LAB; Celia Braxton, Ph.D. is Senior Dramaturg for the Full-length LAB. Jenny Greeman, Artistic Associate, assumes the management of the Short Play LAB for 2019.
The resident director/dramaturgs for the Full-length LAB are Teresa Fischer and Melissa Skirboll; they work as a team and commit to the long-term development process as active collaborators with the writers.