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“7 Questions for 7 Playwrights” Video Series Showcases New Jersey Individual Artist Fellowships


“7 Questions for 7 Playwrights” Video Series Showcases New Jersey Individual Artist Fellowships

New Jersey Theatre Alliance, one of the state’s largest arts service organizations and New Jersey State Council on the Arts, have partnered to release a video series, “7 Questions for 7 Playwrights” to showcase seven playwright fellows who received awards for their work. 

"The State Arts Council is proud to support the Playwright Fellows represented in the '7 Questions for 7 Playwrights' video series,” said Danielle Bursk, Director of Artist Services for the New Jersey State Council on the Arts. “This video series gives a glimpse into the writers’ processes and motivations for creating new work, and provides an opportunity for audiences across the globe to learn more about some of the incredibly talented playwrights who call New Jersey home. The New Jersey Theatre Alliance went above and beyond to ensure our Playwriting Fellows were able to share their work widely, and we are honored to partner with them to showcase these artists." 

In 2018, the seven playwrights were awarded New Jersey Individual Artist Fellowships from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts. These competitive awards to New Jersey artists, in twelve different disciplines, are evaluated by an independent peer panel assessment of work samples. The anonymous review process is focused on artist quality, and awards may be used to help artists produce new work and advance their careers. 

The video series features playwrights: Deborah Brevoort, Joseph Gallo, Benjamin V. Marshall, John Pietrowski, Lia Romeo, Lesley Scammell and Ruth Zamoyta.

"The New Jersey Theatre Alliance was delighted to partner with the New Jersey State Council on the Arts to showcase these wonderful New Jersey playwrights. We hope that the general public, as well as the many artistic directors of our state's theatres will enjoy getting to know these writers through these dynamic, candid, and intimate video conversations," said Erica Nagel, Deputy Director of the Alliance.

"Although the pandemic changed our original plans to showcase specific plays by the writers, we were able to find other creative ways to support them such as a workshop on audio drama with experts from Audible, detailed notes sessions with leaders in the field, and of course these spotlight videos," added Nagel.

Because the COVID-19 pandemic made it impossible to host the planned public readings of works from the playwrights, this video series showcases each individual playwright, through seven questions:

1.     Why did you start writing plays?

2.     What is your New Jersey Individual Artist Fellowship story?

3.     What kind of stories are you drawn to telling?

4.     What ideas or questions do you find yourself exploring through your work?

5.     What do you want people to know about your work?

6.     How did the COVID-19 pandemic affect you and your work?

7.     Can you describe New Jersey’s theater community for us?

Visit The New Jersey Theatre Alliance’s YouTube page to view all seven videos.

The New Jersey State Council on the Arts, created in 1966, is a division of the NJ Department of State. The Council was established to encourage and foster public interest in the arts; enlarge public and private resources devoted to the arts; promote freedom of expression in the arts; and facilitate the inclusion of art in every public building in New Jersey. The Council receives direct appropriations from the State of New Jersey through a dedicated, renewable Hotel/Motel Occupancy fee, as well as competitive grants from the National Endowment for the Arts.  

Founded in 1981, New Jersey Theatre Alliance was the first statewide service organization for professional, not-for-profit theatre companies in the United States, and is a leader in developing model programs that unite, promote, strengthen, and cultivate professional theatre in New Jersey. Funding for the New Jersey Theatre Alliance, a not-for-profit organization, is provided in part by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts, New Jersey Division of Travel and Tourism, and contributions from individuals, corporations, and foundations including Amazon, the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, Grunin Foundation, The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey, Bank of America, PSEG Foundation, The Shubert Foundation, The Blanche and Irving Laurie Foundation, Investors Bank, The Hyde and Watson Foundation, The F.M. Kirby Foundation, E.J. Grassmann Trust, and The Union Foundation.

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originally published: 10/24/2021

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