The Matchbox: Commissioning and Developing New Works

February 16th, 2012 | CF Monkey | No Comments

The Matchbox: Commissioning and Developing New Works serves six to eight playwrights each year through a variety of programming. Crowded Fire is dedicated to nurturing new plays through the stages of development, providing resources for the playwright in the process of creating the work.  Crowded Fire has proudly produced 12 World Premiere productions on our mainstage, eight of which received significant development work through The Matchbox.

The Matchbox Commission support the creation of new work from a play’s inception.  Allowing CFT to identify playwrights with whom we are eager to cultivate a relationship, The Matchbox Commission also offers vital resources to the playwrights through one-on-one meetings with Artistic Director Marissa Wolf and Director of New Works Laura Brueckner, to discuss ideas, edits, and rewrites.  A playwright may be under commission by CFT for one to two years, depending on the playwright’s needs, during which time CFT guarantees the new play a slot in The Matchbox Reading Series for further development. Often, commissioned plays are slated for future premieres on our mainstage.

Recent Matchbox Commission: Marilee Talkington’s Sticky Time (2011) and Christopher Chen’s The Hundred Flowers Project (2011-2012)
Current Matchbox Commission: Lauren Gunderson’s The Taming

The Matchbox Workshop offers valuable resources for an in-house development process.  A playwright works with director, actors, designers, and a dramaturg in an intensive weeklong process, in order to revise the script in preparation for a production. This program grants crucial time and space for the playwright to work closely with the production team, talking, questioning, problem-solving, and hearing new drafts of the play out loud.

The Matchbox Reading Series, featuring free public readings of four plays-in-progress.  Reaching out to playwrights at a critical juncture in their writing process, between the first and final draft of the play, The Matchbox Reading Series offers between eight to twelve hours of rehearsal time with actors, a director, and a dramaturg. Within this safe and supportive environment, a playwright gains an invaluable opportunity to hear the script come to life, and then revise and edit the script towards a production draft. Culminating in a public reading and post-reading facilitated discussion, The Matchbox Reading Series also allows the playwright to observe how her/his piece comes across to an audience.

The 2013 Matchbox Reading Series will be presented in January/February and will feature works by Christopher Chen, Lauren Gunderson, Lachlan Philpott, and Geetha Reddy. Click here for details on programming and to make reservations for the public readings.

The Matchbox is supported in part by awards from The National Endowment for the Arts (THE TAMING), the San Francisco Foundation (The Matchbox), and The Tournesol Foundation (THE TAMING). We would like to extend a tremendous thank you to the organizations and individuals who make this invaluable work possible.


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