Someone who knows a thing or two about producing new work told me last year that it’s a dangerous thing to put on a play for the first time. The development process of readings, notes, and rewrites can eventually become a crutch. You never have to worry about actually getting it right, because you’re always worrying about trying to get it right.
Kitchen Dog Theater has confronted—if not courted—that danger for the better part of two decades. It produced its first New Work Festival in 1999, a year after it helped found the National New Play Network with a group of like-minded theaters interested in confronting the necessary problem of giving life to the work of unknown authors. The risk is, of course, enormous: words on paper, still untouched and perfect, might not be able to support the weight of actors, lights, a set.
But every year, Kitchen Dog commits about 20 percent of its budget to a five-week festival that Tina Parker, co-artistic director, jokingly calls “death by art.” Here’s how it comes together.Full Story