Planting the Seeds

posted by Deborah Munro, A.C.T. artistic administration intern

The A.C.T. intern podcast has returned, and in this episode we explore the process of creating new works, from germination to full-fledged realization.

Each season, A.C.T. hosts the development of dozens of new works, from table readings of works-in-progress to mature productions that appear on our mainstage. Some projects, like War Music and next season’s The Tosca Project, involve seasoned artists who shepherd works from the studio to the mainstage—a process that can take years of hard work. Most of these projects, however, find a home in our conservatory, where they serve as an educational tool, challenging students to work with new forms and ideas, affording them the opportunity to originate roles, and even empowering them to devise their own pieces.

Because new work is by nature experimental and innovative, it really can “change the world,” as one student says—but how does the process work? How do people collaborate to build it, refine it, and present it? What is its greater impact on the American theater? We interviewed Michael Paller, A.C.T.’s resident dramaturg, and Beatrice Basso, literary consultant, as well as two A.C.T. M.F.A. Program students, Erin Michelle Washington, who recently appeared on the A.C.T. mainstage in War Music, and Nick Gabriel, who was seen at Zeum in the world premiere production of Volleygirls (a commissioned coproduction of the M.F.A. Program and Young Conservatory) to shed some light on these questions.

Download and listen to the podcast using iTunes.

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