About

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new play development lab

In 2002, the New Play Development Lab was created to commission and develop new work to expand the canon of LGBT-themed plays, give voice to new and diverse playwrights, and add to the list of over 40 World Premieres NCTC has produced since 1981.

 

Learn about becoming a Producer for NCTC's New Play Development Lab!

 

Works In Progress

 

 

still at risk

By Tim Pinckney

 

Kevin, a surviving activist from the front lines of the AIDS crisis, finds himself struggling to find purpose in a modern age of greater gay rights and political urgency. When an unexpected event threatens to erase the history he was part of creating, Kevin’s anger and passion is renewed. Hilarious, sharp, and deeply moving, this show is a powerful look at the personal and political hazards of rewriting the past, and one man's attempt to move forward.


Premiering in 2017-18 Season

 


 


This Bitter Earth

by Harrison David Rivers 

 

After his white lover, a vocal #blacklivesmatter activist, is brutally attacked, Jesse, a black man, is forced to confront his own political apathy. This Bitter Earth, a new play by Harrison David Rivers, asks, in the wake of Trayvon Martin’s death, George Zimmerman’s acquittal, and the tragedies in Ferguson, Baltimore, Chicago, Minneapolis and Cleveland, what is the real cost of standing on the sidelines?

 

World Premiere September 22-October 22, 2017 

 


 

 

Bethlehem, PA

by Ryan Fogarty

 

In the former steel town of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, Francis leads the life of a pariah. When the power goes out in his old family home, Francis opens his front door to an unexpected man from his past. As Francis opens his heart to the man his actions come with life-changing consequences. 

 


 

 

Jewelle Gomez

 

Working on the third play in the her Words and Music trilogy following her pieces based on the lives of author James Baldwin and jazz singer Alberta Hunter. 

 


 

Dipika Guha

 

NCTC has commissioned up and coming screenwriter and playwright Dipika Guha to write a new play about the value of friendship in current times. Just how do we hold on to our humanity and to each other in our vast interconnected world? 

 


 

 

Patricia Milton

 

Unavoidable Admissions (working title) asks sharp questions about being both feminist and the “other woman,” being lesbian and Republican, and being true to one’s own conflicting identities despite major blind spots. It will cast a satiric eye on complicated women struggling with ethical issues and strong wants that are not easily resolved.

 


 

History

New Play Development Lab launched in 2002 and has commissioned and produced the following World Premieres:

 

2003 - Mysterious Skin by Prince Gomolvilas

2004 - Breakfast with Scot by Michael Downing

2005 - Crucifixion by Terrence McNally

2006 - The War At Home by Brad Erickson. Recently

2008 - It's Murder, Mary! by Andrew Black and Patricia Milton

2011 - Waiting for Giovanni by Jewelle Gomez, in collaboration with Harry Waters, Jr

2012 - Rights of Passage by Ed Decker & Robert Leone

2013 - Pansy by Evan Johnson, in collaboration with Ben Randle (as part of Emerging Artist Program)

2013 - American Dream by Brad Erickson

2017 - Leaving the Blues by Jewelle Gomez

2017 - Everything That’s Beautiful by Elyzabeth Gregory Wilder

2017 - warplay by JC Lee

2017 - This Bitter Earth by Harrison David Rivers

 

New Play Development Lab is supported in part by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, James Irvine Foundation, Grants for the Arts/San Francisco Hotel Tax Fund, and the generosity of our Individual Donors.

 

 


 

Plays From NCTC

The following plays commissioned and produced by NCTC are available for future productions.

 

For performance rights, please contact Ed Decker at ed@nctcsf.org

 

Waiting for Giovanni

by Jewelle Gomez, in collaboration with Harry Water’s Jr.

 

World Premiere, 2011-2012 Season

 

The year is 1956. A young black writer from the stoops of Harlem has become a literary success. He has a social circle that praises him, a profession that he loves, and an eager line of lovers. While writing his second novel however, Jimmy encounters hostility not only from his community of activists and writers, but from his white editor William. William warns Jimmy that the novel, filled with sensual homosexual content, will end his hard earned career. While Jimmy struggles with his peers, he also finds himself in conflict with Giovanni, the embodiment of his desire. Based on a split second if indecision in the mind of world renown author James Baldwin, Waiting for Giovanni explores the emotional and professional dilemmas that loom over this fierce Harlem man - a man who insists on being true to love, to politics, and to the ghosts that live in his head.

 


 

Rights of Passage

by Ed Decker & Robert Leone

 

World Premiere, 2012-2013 Season

 

Mixing traditional forms of storytelling, including puppetry, mask, and dance, with modern devices such as digital media, Rights of Passage deftly explores the struggle that each of us faces in establishing our identity and living in a way that is true to ourselves. At the center of the play is Wayan, a young, gay, Hindu man, who searches for a way to reconcile who he is with what his family and community expects of him. From the central story of Wayan’s journey, the play reaches out to tell true stories of struggles and triumphs from around the world. Each story fits into the play’s overall narrative, which is built around three key rites of passage in life – childhood, adolescence, and adulthood.

 

Purchase a copy of Rights of Passage


 

American Dream

by Brad Erickson

World Premiere, 2013-2014 Season

 

American Dream is set in San Diego, California and a Spanish colonial town deep in the heart of Mexico. The story straddles the border and explores the literal and spiritual frontiers the characters are challenged to cross. In the play, Tom, a recently divorced, and recently out, 40-something architect finds himself unexpectedly falling in love with his handsome Spanish teacher, Salvador, in the beautiful city of San Miguel, Mexico. Tom’s ex-wife, Cara, bitterly clings to the life that has been torn away from her and vows to keep Tom from bringing Salvador home to San Diego. Tom enlists the help of Cara’s beau, an influential Republican attorney, and that of an unlikely Minute Man, in an attempt to smuggle Salvador across the border.

 

 


 

 

NCTC is also committed to producing second and third productions of new work in San Francisco, enabling playwrights to realize productions of their plays beyond the world premiere.

 

For a complete list of NCTC's production history, click here.

 

NCTC is only accepting agency submissions at this time. Agents, to submit a play, please follow the guidelines here.