New Voices/New Work
New Voices/New Work was created in 2002 to commission and develop new work for young audiences and to expand the canon of LGBTQ+ themed plays. The program celebrates and gives voice to a broad range of playwrights. NCTC has produced more than 40 world premieres over nearly four decades.
NCTC presents three world premieres in the 23-24 Season. We are honored to welcome the following astounding playwrights and directors to the NCTC stage.
Director of the World Premiere Commission Unpacking in P’Town
Kimberly Ridgeway (she/her) is Director, Actor, Playwright, and Producer. Kimberly has directed projects locally for Altarena Playhouse, African American Shakespeare Company, Contra Costa Civic Theatre, Dragon Productions Theatre Company, Ubuntu Theatre Project, Bay Area Performing Arts Collective, Bay Area Drama Company, SF Playhouse, Town Hall Theatre, Playwrights Center of San Francisco, SF Playground, Theatre Rhinoceros, 3Girls Theatre and TheatreFirst. She has also directed projects for Three Willows Theatre (TX), National Black Theatre (NY), and Spokane Civic Theatre (WA). Kimberly wrote, produced and directed the full-length stage plays Prospect Place, Heavy Burdens, No More Secrets, The Confession, The Gigolo Chronicles, and The Drowning Pool. Some of Kimberly’s notable acting roles include The Revolutionists, The Piano Lesson, Colman Domingo’s DOT, and her award-winning portrayal of Camae in Katori Hall’s The Mountaintop. Kim can be found on Instagram @khaoss15 and NPX at: https://newplayexchange.org/users/58341/kimberly-ridgeway
Director of the World Premiere Commission The Tutor
Sahar Assaf (she/her) is a Lebanese theatre-maker and the Executive Artistic Director of Golden Thread Productions. Sahar’s directing portfolio is eclectic, encompassing a wide range of theatrical styles, cultural influences, and social themes. Recently for Golden Thread, she directed “Drowning in Cairo” by Adam Ashraf Elsayigh and “Stamp Me” by Yussef El Guindi. For the Theater Initiative at the American University of Beirut, she directed works by Garcia-Lorca, Shakespeare, Wannous, Mahfouz, and others in addition to site-specific, devised, immersive, and documentary plays addressing pressing social and political issues. She has presented works in the Arab World, Europe, and the U.S. and has authored articles in Arab Stages, PAJ: A Journal of Performance and Art, and chapters in books, including “Theatre in the Middle East between Performance and Politics,” edited by Babak Rahimi, Anthem Press, 2020, and “The Theatre of Sa’dallah Wannous,” edited by Sonja Mejcher-Atassi and Robert Myers, Cambridge University Press, 2021. Sahar is a recipient of the Fulbright scholarship and holds an MA in Theatre Studies from Central Washington University and an MA in Sociology from the American University of Beirut. She is an alumna of Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab in NYC (2014) and of Directors Lab North in Toronto (2017). She is a co-founder and the Artistic Director of Directors Lab Mediterranean. She is mostly proud of her role as a mother to Zad.
Works In Progress
BEFORE THE SWORD
An International NCTC Commission
By Andrew Alty
In 1936 the British author T. H White was living alone and penniless in a broken-down game-keepers cottage in the heart of the English countryside. Between August and December of that same year, he wrote his most famous and celebrated novel, The Sword in the Stone. This NCTC commission invites you to imagine what might have inspired him. Set between two world wars, Before the Sword is a story about how conformity crushes us and what can happen when we dare to be different.
Developed in Association with Theatre 6 – London, UK
Andrew Alty (Playwright, pronouns: he/him) has written extensively for theatre, radio, and television. His first play, The Left-over Heart won the Charringtons Award for Best First Play in 1993 and was subsequently broadcast on Radio 3. Other plays include Asylum (Royal Court Theatre,1993), Something About Us (Lyric Hammersmith,1995, U.S. Premiere at NCTC, 1996 ) and The Road to Hell (Birmingham Repertory,1996). His original play for radio, Buried Treasure was broadcast on Radio 4 in 1996, and he has recently delivered a new piece for radio, Halfway to Heaven. He is the founding Artistic Director of Fast Forward Theatre Company, and the Creative Learning Projects Manager at New Wimbledon Theatre.
Playing in NCTC’s 2023-2024 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.
This NCTC commissioned trilogy of plays by Jewelle Gomez includes Waiting for Giovanni and Leaving the Blues.
Jewelle Gomez (pronouns: she/her) is a writer and activist who wrote the double Lambda Award-winning novel, The Gilda Stories, among many other published works. Her recent play, Waiting for Giovanni, written in collaboration with Harry Waters Jr., was a dream play exploring the inner life of author James Baldwin. It premiered at NCTC in the 2011-2012 Season, also part of NCTC’s New Play Development Lab. Her stage adaptation of The Gilda Stories, Bones & Ash: a Gilda Story was performed by Urban Bush Women in 13 U.S. cities. Her fiction, essays, criticism and poetry have appeared in numerous periodicals, including the San Francisco Chronicle, The New York Times, the Village Voice; Ms. Magazine, ESSENCE Magazine, The Advocate, Callaloo and Black Scholar.
Playing in NCTC’s 2023-2024 Season.
By Torange Yeghiazarian
Kayvon, a successful Iranian entrepreneur, has asked his longtime friend Azar to tutor his new bride Baran in English and the ins and outs of life in the Bay Area. But as Azar gets to know Baran better, the roles quickly switch and it’s Baran who unbeknownst to Kayvon tutors Azar in matters of life, love, and sex. The Tutor examines the slippery slope of preconceived assumptions and exposes the hypocrisies that drive them.
Torange Yeghiazarian (Playwright, pronouns: she/her) founded Golden Thread Productions in 1996 and served as its Executive Artistic Director for twenty-five years. She received a Gerbode-Hewlett Playwright Commission Award for Isfahan Blues and a commission from the Islamic Cultural Center of Northern California to write and direct The Fifth String – Ziryab’s Passage To Cordoba. Other plays include 444 Days, Waves, Behind Glass Windows, Dawn At Midnight, Abaga, Thanksgiving At Khodabakhshian’s, Publicly Resting, and Call Me Mehdi, included in the anthology Salaam. Peace – An Anthology of Middle Eastern-American Drama (TCG, 2009).
Playing in NCTC’s 2023-2024 Season.
SIMPLE MEXICAN PLEASURES (WORKING TITLE)
By Eric Reyes Loo
After a breakup with the love of his life, Eric travels to Mexico to have the best meal of his life. That meal unlocks a portal that leads to his ancestors, who carry with them Mexico’s history and Eric’s connection to his family’s artistic, queer and Chinese history. Simple Mexican Pleasures will take an irreverent look at one man’s journey to find out who he is from the people who came before him, told from the point of view of a playwright in his own play – and all the food he eats in Mexico.
Eric (he/him/his) spent his childhood crafting the perfect comeback during his sixteen years of Catholic school education, where his mother sent him to become a priest. All of this gave him plenty of material as he turned to writing and producing theatre in New York and his native Los Angeles. Eric joined NCTC as a writer recently on the hit podcast In Good Company. Eric’s play on active shooter drills, THIS IS ONLY A TEST, was produced to acclaim in February 2022 by Broken Nose Theatre in Chicago. His autobiographical play DEATH AND COCKROACHES was produced in 2018 by Chalk Rep in Los Angeles. In addition, Eric is a television writer/producer who has written on GUIDANCE for AwesomenessTV/Hulu and A.J. AND THE QUEEN for Netflix. Plus he has a couple of TV projects in development, centering Latinx stories. Eric received his MFA from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts.
Premiering in the 2024-2025 Season.
New Voices/New Work (originally 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
- 2019 – This Side of Crazy by Del Shores
- 2020 – You’ll Catch Flies by Ryan Fogarty
- 2020 – The Book of Mountains and Seas by Yilong Liu (suspended due to the COVID-19 after one preview performance on March 6, 2020)
- 2020 – The Law of Attraction by Patricia Milton
- 2021 – Interlude by Harrison David Rivers
- 2021 – Puppy Mind: Learning to Train Your Wandering Mind by Andrew Nance
- 2022 – PrEP Play, or Blue Parachute by Yilong Liu
- 2022 – A Picture of Two Boys by Nick Malakhow
- 2023 – Getting There by Dipika Guha
New Voices/New Work 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 firstname.lastname@example.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.
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.