DNA New Work Series

As part of the Playhouse’s commitment to being a home for artists to develop new plays and musicals, Christopher Ashley created the DNA New Work Series in 2013.

Through the DNA Series, playwrights and directors are invited to use the Playhouse’s rehearsal space, staff and resources for several days (or weeks) of intensive work to develop their new project. The development process culminates in series of free, intimate readings and workshops open to Playhouse audiences.

For artists, the DNA process provides the space and support to let their vision and creativity flourish. For audiences, it’s a rare chance to see a new work in its earliest stages and provide feedback that helps artists shape its future development.

In this rewarding program, six shows that took that took life in a DNA rehearsal room moved on to full productions on the Playhouse mainstage, such as Pulitzer Prize winner Ayad Akhtar’s The Who & The What. Many others have gone on to theatres across the country, including Miss You Like Hell, which will premiere Off-Broadway at the Public Theatre in Spring 2018 – proving that new work is in our DNA.

Interested in DNA?

If you are an artist and would like your play or musical considered for the DNA New Work Series, please send us your work per our submission guidelines.

If you are a theatre-lover interested in attending DNA, the best way to reserve your free ticket is to become a subscriber. Due to the nature of the DNA projects, readings and workshops seats are very limited. Subscribers always get first access to book seats.

Past DNA New Work Series Projects:

DNA 5: December 9 – 11, 2016

MK-ULTRA
By Zayd Dohrn
Directed by Christopher Ashley

Selling Kabul
By Sylvia Khoury
Directed by Joanie Schultz

Kill Local
By Mat Smart
Directed by Jackson Gay
Full production in La Jolla Playhouse’s 2017/18 season

Child of Colonialism
La Jolla Playhouse commission
By Rehana Lew Mirza
Directed by Jaime Castañeda

 

DNA 4: February 18 – 29, 2016

Miss You Like Hell
La Jolla Playhouse commission
Book and Lyrics by Quiara Alegría Hudes
Music and Lyrics by Erin McKeown
Directed by Lear deBessonet
Subsequently produced by La Jolla Playhouse and the Public Theater

Trinity
La Jolla Playhouse commission
By Daniel Beaty
Directed by Christopher Ashley

To the Quick
La Jolla Playhouse commission
By Kirsten Greenidge
Directed by Patricia McGregor

Safe at Home
By Gabriel Greene and Alex Levy
Directed Alex Levy
Subsequently produced by Mixed Blood Theatre

The Change Room
By Carly Mensch
Directed by Jaime Castañeda

Like They Magical
By Elizabeth Irwin
Directed Joshua Kahan Brody

El Huracán
By Charise Castro Smith
Directed by Pirronne Yousefzadeh

DNA 3: February 16 – March 1, 2015

How to Be a Rock Critic
Based on the writings of Lester Bangs
By Jessica Blank and Erik Jensen
Directed by Jessica Blank
Subsequently produced by Center Theatre Group, ArtsEmerson, Steppenwolf Theatre Company and the Public Theater

The History of American Pornography
By Hilary Bettis
Directed by Kimberly Senior

The Engine of Our Ruin
By Jason Wells
Directed by Christopher Ashley
Subsequently produced at the Victory Theatre Center

Krik? Krac. Or the Last Tiger in Haiti
By Jeff Augustin
Directed Joshua Kahan Brody
Subsequently produced by La Jolla Playhouse and Berkeley Repertory Theatre (under the title “The Last Tiger in Haiti”)

What Happens Next
La Jolla Playhouse commission
In association with Cornerstone Theater Company
By Naomi Iizuka
Directed by Michael John Garcés

Kiss
By Guillermo Calderón
Directed by Jaime Castañeda
Subsequently produced by Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, Odyssey Theatre Ensemble, Canadian Stage Company and ArtsEmerson

Akeelah and the Bee
In association with Children’s Theater Company
Adapted by Cheryl West
Directed by Charles Randolph-Wright
Subsequently produced by Children’s Theatre Company, Arena Stage, Virginia Repertory and Adventure Stage Chicago

DNA 2: February 17 – March 2, 2014

Blueprints to Freedom: An Ode to Bayard Rustin
By Michael Benjamin Washington
Directed by Phylicia Rashad
Subsequently produced by La Jolla Playhouse and Kansas City Repertory

Let Me Count the Ways
By Martín Zimmerman
Directed by Christopher Ashley

The Envelope
By Alex Lewin
Directed by Tom Dugdale

Higher
By Carey Perloff
Directed by Christopher Ashley

The Brothers Paranormal
By Prince Gomolvilas
Directed by Jeff Liu

Tranquil
By Andrew Rosendorf
Directed by Lucy Tiberghien
Subsequently produced by Luna Stage Company

The Smartest Girl in the World
By Miriam Gonzalez
Directed by José Cruz González
Subsequently produced by Childsplay and Imagination Stage

DNA 1: January 24 – March 3, 2013

Chasing the Song
Book and Lyrics by Joe DiPietro
Music and Lyrics by David Bryan
Directed by Christopher Ashley
Subsequently produced by La Jolla Playhouse

The Tall Girls
By Meg Miroshnik
Directed by Juliette Carrillo
Subsequently produced by Alliance Theatre, Washington Ensemble Theatre, Luna Stage Company and Shattered Globe Theatre

Brahman/i, A One Hijra Stand-Up Comedy Show
By Aditi Brennan Kapil
Directed by Jeremy Cohen
Subsequently produced by Mixed Blood Theatre, Company One Theatre, Quantum Theatre, Crowded Fire Theater, Kitchen Theatre Company and About Face Theatre

The Who & The What
By Ayad Akhtar
Directed by Kimberly Senior
Subsequently produced by La Jolla Playhouse, Lincoln Center/LCT3, Kansas City Rep, Victory Gardens, Round House Theatre, Huntington Theatre, ArtsWest, Milwaukee Rep and Vienna Theatre Project

Being Henrietta
By Monique Gaffney
Directed by Lucie Tiberghien

Orange Julius
By Basil Kreimendahl
Directed by Sarah Rasmussen
Subsequent productions at Moxie Theatre and Rattlestick Playwrights Theatre/Page 73

The Consultant
By Heidi Shreck
Directed by Adrienne Campbell-Holt
Subsequently produced by Long Wharf Theatre

Daphne’s Dive
By Quiara Alegría Hudes
Directed by Dana Harrel
Subsequently produced by Signature Theatre

The Boy at the Edge of Everything
By Finegan Kruckemeyer
Directed by Jonathan Shmidt
Subsequently produced at a dozen theatres and colleges in the US and Australia

Photo credit: Joshua Torrez (left) and Luis Vega in the 2016 DNA reading of Safe at Home, Photo by Grace Madamba.

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