Pasadena Playhouse is partnering with the University of Southern California in a mentorship program for emerging playwrights.
GREENHOUSE at The Playhouse, set to begin during the 2013-14 academic year, will develop and produce staged readings of MFA works from USC's School of Dramatic Arts students.
"I have always believed that it is both the pleasure and the responsibility of theatres such as The Playhouse to develop new work and to nurture young writers," Sheldon Epps, the long-time artistic director of the Pasadena Playhouse, said in a statement. "This exciting incipient connection with USC will help us to further our sincere and gratefully successful efforts in both of those initiatives."
Elizabeth Doran, executive director of the Playhouse, added: “It’s fantastic to know that USC shares our desire to give these students hands-on training in a process that will be a significant part of their professional life in the theatre.”
GREENHOUSE will bring in three first-year students to the Playhouse's HOTHOUSE new play development program in the first year of the partnership. The students will be mentored by playwrights Oliver Mayer and Velina Hasu Houston, and director Michael Arabian. Their works will gets one day of rehearsal, two sessions of revision work, a follow-up rehearsal, and a staged reading at the Carrie Hamilton Theatre in April 2014
“We are pleased and excited that our first year graduate playwriting students will have the opportunity to work within the context of a professional regional theatre,” Madeline Puzo, dean of the USC School of Dramatic Arts, said in a statement. “What they learn will be invaluable to them in their future work at USC, as well as when they begin their own professional careers.
"This opportunity rounds out our MFA Dramatic Writing program giving each year a distinctive and unique feature—from working with the professionals at The Playhouse in their first year, to fully mounted workshop productions in their second year and finally upon graduation, concert readings of their thesis plays staged by professional directors and actors.”
The Playhouse is soliciting donations to help pay for the program.