WATERWELL DRAMA PROGRAM’S NEW WORKS LAB PRESENTS THE WORLD PREMIERE OF “JUNE JULY AUGUST”
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, PLEASE
WATERWELL DRAMA PROGRAM
NEW WORKS LAB
THE WORLD PREMIERE OF
“JUNE JULY AUGUST”
BY SINEAD DALY
DIRECTED BY HEATHER LANZA
FEATURING WATERWELL DRAMA PROGRAM’S
GRAUDATING CLASS OF 2019
New York, NY (March 18, 2019) – Waterwell is proud to announce the 2019 New Works Lab World Premiere of June July August by Sinead Daly, directed by Heather Lanza.
Each year Waterwell commissions a new full-length play by an emerging playwright written specifically for the actors in their senior year in the Drama Program @ PPAS.
Designed to stimulate the creation of high-quality new plays for young actors, the New Works Lab offers emerging and established playwrights the chance to develop their work with the support of professional directors and designers and a cast of exceptionally talented high school artists. The students, in turn, not only get to experience the new play development process, but do so by collaborating with an exciting new voice in the American theater. Through this opportunity, they learn to embrace change and surprise, to stay curious and compassionate, and to feel the power of their own voice and their own story – skills that will serve them in whatever profession they choose to pursue.
June July August is a coming of age story set in the Junior Counselor Bunk at an all-girls summer camp that explores critical moments of no-turning-back that these teenagers experience as they transition from childhood to adulthood. The play explores the strength and resiliency of teenage girls, and how the layered relationships play out between them as they test their ideas of who they are and who they are becoming.
“Watching this group of young artists rigorously collaborate to create a brand new play gives me hope for the future,” says Artistic Director Lee Sunday Evans. “Their passion and focus is a reflection of how much these young people want to communicate. Creating new theater is an immensely complex and sensitive process – these young artists, in collaboration with a professional writer + director and design team, are up to the task and it is thrilling that we can give them this opportunity in New Works Lab to flex those muscles.”
“Waterwell’s New Works Lab is the culminating experience for the young actors training in our program” says Heather Lanza, Director of Education and director of this year’s production. “Each year, this project not only gives the students an opportunity to learn about the process of developing a new play, but challenges them to investigate what role they can play in the future of the American theater. Beginning to learn how one individual can play a key role in the creation of a story that is reflective of our times is invaluable to these young artists, and will propel them forward by giving them this first hand experience of the impact their art can have on the world.”
“New Works Lab gave new dimensions to theater for me,” said Camila Cano Flavia, WDP Class of 2013. “It reinstated the importance of theater as being of its time, and it gave a sense of newfound immediacy to the work, as it was being written for us. I also believe New Work provides the actors with a heightened sense of ensemble and togetherness, as things can change any minute, and, most importantly, that the work can always be up for discussion. You are allowed to leave your mark, and we did. The NWL experience in High School —which was a first for me—shaped the way I looked at theater thereafter, old and new.”
June July August will play the PPAS Auditorium (328 West 48th Street) Wednesday, April 10 through Saturday, April 13 at 7:00pm.
Tickets for the general public are $20, and are available now at www.artful.ly/waterwell
Scenic Design by Bryce Cutler, Costume Design by Deanna R. Frieman, Lighting Design by Megan Lang, Sound Design by Ben Scheff, and Prop Design by Sonya Plenefisch
Cast of Waterwell Drama Program Students: Michelle Baum, Abigail Cooley, Melisa Escamilla, Andre Gulick, Skylar Harbour, Alexyss Hadden, Imani Hinnant, Jada Jackson, Eliza Koster, Victoria Morales, Arielle Moses, Fatou Niang, Thomas Padden, Ava Patino, Andrea Perez Espinoza, Violet Prete, Noa Solomon, Madai Williams, Miguel Batista, Jasper Newell.
Heather Lanza (Director, and WDP Director of Education) is a NYC-based director, arts educator, and teaching artist. Directorially, Heather focuses on new play development and the devising of original new works. Her pieces have been premiered and workshoped at HERE Arts Center, Epic Theater Ensemble, Keen Company, The Gallery Players, The Davenport, NY International Fringe, Access Theater, The Kraine, Theater for a New City, The Players Theater, Bleecker Street Theater, Emerging Artists Theater, Magic Future Box, Manhattan Repertory Theater, Berkshire Fringe, and many others. Along with directing, Heather is actively engaged in the New York City Arts-Education and Applied Theater fields, currently serving as the Director of Education for Waterwell’s Drama Program at the Professional Performing Arts School. As a teaching artist, Heather has worked for organizations such as the Creative Arts Team’s Youth Theater, Waterwell, Harlem Children’s Zone, and CUNY/Project Rwanda. Heather holds a BA in Directing from Fordham University and an MA in Applied Theater from CUNY School of Professional Studies. For more info please visit her website at www.heatherlanza.com.
Sinead Daly (Playwright) is a bicoastal playwright and television writer/producer. Her plays have been seen at Ensemble Studio Theatre, the New York Fringe Festival, Naked Angels, Ars Nova’s ANT Fest, Soho House, Planet Connections Festivity, Bar80, Atlanta’s Horizon Theatre, the Berkshire Fringe Festival, the Yale Playwrights Festival, LaGuardia Community College, among others. She’s been commissioned by Ensemble Studio Theatre/The Sloan Foundation as well as Inproximity Theatre. Sinead’s television writing work includes Bravo’s “Dirty John,” BBC America’s “Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency,” Netflix’s “The Get Down,” and CBS’s “Blue Bloods.” She is currently writing a pilot adaptation of the novel Age of Miracles for AMC. In 2012, Sinead was named “The Best of Young Brooklyn” by The L Magazine for her work as a playwright. Sinead is a graduate of Yale University with a BA in Theater Studies. There she studied closely with Amy Bloom, Donald Margulies, Paula Vogel, Michael Cunningham, Michael Korie, and Deb Margolin.
Waterwell (Lee Sunday Evans, Artistic Director; Adam J. Frank, Managing Director; Heather Lanza, Director of Education; Arian Moayed, co-founder and Board Chair) is a non-profit, civic-minded theater and education company that strives to prove itself a vital presence in the lives of its audience by remaining always responsive: responsive to the events affecting the world, to changing modes of expression, and to the individuals attending each performance. Through entertainment and arts education, Waterwell hopes to inspire audiences and students to change their lives and the world in which they live. The company’s most recent production, The Courtroom, was a verbatim re-enactment of deportation proceedings performed in active legal spaces around New York City, including the Thurgood Marshall United States Courthouse. Founded in 2002 by Arian Moayed and Tom Ridgely, the company’s blend of theater and social dialogue has been nominated for a Drama Desk, a New York Magazine Culture Award, and a Village Voice Best of NYC. Since 2003, Waterwell has offered structured classes in collaborative play-making, or “devising.” By 2010, those educational activities had grown and coalesced into the Waterwell Drama Program, which now delivers – in partnership with the Professional Performing Arts School (PPAS) – top-quality, year-round, in-school theater training to over 200 NYC public school students. The program cultivates the student-artist holistically, demands that they develop both as an interpreter and as a creator, and aims to place their work in dialogue with what’s going on outside the classroom – in their homes, communities, and the world at large.
# # # #