The Sundance Institute’s Theatre Lab (close cousin of its film development program) picked through more than 800 submitted playscripts for this year’s two-week lab at Sundance Resort in Utah, July 6-26. The nine plays it chose included Jonah, by Len Jenkin, the Obie-winning dramatist whose work has frequently been done by the Deep Ellum company, including Port Twilight and Abraham Zobell’s Home Movie.
The Theatre Lab is no slouch when it comes to picking plays to develop with playwrights and directors. Recent playscripts have included Fun Home and A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, both currently on Broadway, and ToasT, currently at the Public Theatre in New York.
The world premiere of Jonah is already scheduled as part of the Undermain’s next season, but the Theatre Lab will permit Jenkin and Undermain artistic director Katherine Owens to further develop the play before then.
Here’s the full release:
Undermain Theatre Artistic Director to Develop New Work by Len Jenkin at Sundance Theatre Lab
Jonah announced as fourth production of 2015-2016 Undermain season
DALLAS, TX—(April 28, 2015) Undermain Theatre is proud to announce that Artistic Director Katherine Owens has been invited to develop a new project in the Sundance Institute’s 2015 Theatre Lab at Sundance Resort in Utah, July 6-26. Undermain Theatre is delighted to have the opportunity to develop a new play, Jonah, by frequent Undermain collaborator, Len Jenkin. It was one of nine projects selected from 827 submissions. Jonah will be produced in the spring of 2016 as the fourth production of Undermain’s 2015-2016 Season.
The Sundance Theatre Lab is one of the country’s leading incubators for developing new and experimental theatre. It supports both emerging and established theatre-makers developing new work for the stage, with a focus on assuring that the playwright’s deepest impulses and visions can be realized. For the three-week Lab, the Institute provides rehearsal space, dramaturgical support, and an acting company, creating an immersive environment where artists can experiment, see their work take shape and collaborate with creative advisors, dramaturgs and actors. The Lab culminates in a closed presentation of each project for Lab participants, followed by a collaborative feedback session.
Jonah is a rumination on the story of the man and the sea. Jonah’s a man on the run. He hops a greyhound to Joppa and then grabs a cabin on the ocean-bound Carnival Princess. Drinking away his sorrows at the ship’s Grass Skirt Grill, the lounge band Sheila and the Lovetones play him into a stupor before he tumbles into the waves. Len Jenkin’s Jonah is a contemporary re-telling of the unfaithful servant; some love stories about the evil city of Ninevah, a Dairy Queen, and of course, the whale. Undermain returns to the mystical landscape of Len Jenkin with this world premiere. Jonah will be in performance at Undermain 4/12/16-5/7/16. Season subscriptions are available now online at www.undermain.org or by calling the box office at 214.747.5515.
Now in its 32nd season, Undermain Theatre is a company of artists that has produced 36 World Premieres, 52 regional premieres and countless re-workings of masterpieces that celebrate language and poetics. Undermain’s work stretches beyond its home state of Texas and has reached audiences in New York, Greece and Macedonia. The San Diego Union Tribune called Undermain “one of the best small theaters in America.” The theatre collaborates with playwrights, supports a theatre archive and operates a theatre under 3200 Main Street in Dallas’ legendary Deep Ellum. Artistic Director: Katherine Owens, Executive Producer: Bruce DuBose, Artistic Associate: Dylan Key and Operations Manager: Liz Sankersingh.