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.
RECENT WORLD PREMIERES
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.
World Premiere January 19-February 25, 2018
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
works in progress
YOU'LL CATCH FLIES
by Ryan Fogarty
4 gay thirty-something friends kick off a “kiki” (small intimate gathering) as they wait for their friend Marty to arrive. As the men catch up on each other’s lives, share secrets, and gossip they reveal their mutual suspicion that Marty may be in a relationship with someone completely unexpected. When they try to catch their friend in the act using a hidden smartphone, Marty’s arrival with his new loved one leads their caper into an unexpected direction, where friends must face their true feelings for each other and discover the value of real intimacy. Premiering in the 2019-20 Season.
Unpacking in P’town
by Jewelle Gomez
Set in Cape Cod 1959 when hope still rises in the smoke of the terrible fires of racism, Unpacking in P’town is a new two act play with music that shines a light on artists of color who spent their youth doing radical work in traditional contexts and have survived to tell their stories; stories of the past we all need to design our future.
Completing the NCTC commissioned trilogy of plays by Jewelle Gomez which included Waiting for Giovanni and Leaving the Blues - Unpacking in P’town will premiere as part of our 40th Anniversary Celebration in September 2021.
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?
The Law of Attraction
A comedy of bad manners
By Patricia Milton
America’s Self-Help Savant, MJ Powers, has a three-step plan to create the perfect life. She’s even written the book on relationship happiness. So why is her own relationship teetering on the brink? When MJ’s lover Natalie threatens to sue over her book, MJ turns to Bolo, her book publisher, for help. Can Bolo to patch up the rift between Natalie and MJ? Who will help Peter, Bolo’s financier, solve his own relationship dilemmas? The Law of Attraction examines our very human capacity to delude, pretend, and evade … yet eventually find our way to real love.
Before the Sword
An International NCTC Commission
By Andrew Alty
Based upon the life of the closeted gay novelist T.H. White, Before the Sword looks at what might have inspired his legendary story the Sword in the Stone. It’s 1936. Europe is on the edge of war, Britain is on the cusp of a constitutional crisis and fascism is on the rise. Somewhere deep in the leafy English countryside, two people are searching for something. One of them needs help. The other needs a good story… World Premiere in the 20-21 Season.
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
2018 - Still at Risk by Tim Pinckney
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 email@example.com
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.
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.