Lauren Gunderson has a post on 2AMt about the rolling premiere of her play Exit, Pursued By A Bear, following its journey from ten pages stuck in a drawer to a rolling premiere by Synchronicity Theatre in Atlanta, Crowded Fire here in San Francisco, and ArtsWest in Seattle:
A play becomes itself in production, less so in readings, and even less so alone with my laptop. Alive onstage is where plays belong, become, grow, and fight for their lives. The rolling premiere of Exit, Pursued By A Bear gave me and this play the truest place to create something that I think is important, bizarre, and theatrical….
Everyone asked right away if this was an NNPN project but it wasn’t. The National New Play Network rolling premiere program is totally on it though, and has helped great plays become greater. But these three theaters weren’t NNPN member theaters. So. They just made it up themselves. There was no grant involved for these theaters. None of the theaters got any money outright for doing the premiere. It was excitement about the play and excitement about producing something in a national and immediate way that got everyone on board.
I particularly agree with the number one reason on her list of why rolling premieres are getting to be essential: “Plays are designed to be on stage (yeah duh), alive in actors bodies, in the company of reactive audiences. That’s new play development. Plays and playwrights need a second/third production to really understand the play’s true realized self.”
The Crowded Fire version runs through Sep 17 at Boxcar Playhouse, FYI.