People’s Light Hosts Six Theatre Artists For Inaugural New Works Residency, The Kiln

People's Light Kiln

Malvern-based theatre company People’s Light has announced the launch of its New Works Lab, The Kiln, an annual program where theatre artists are invited to gather, develop, and showcase works-in-progress. Curated and led by People’s Light Associate Producer and Director of New Works Lisa Portes, six groundbreaking artists will take over the theatre’s Malvern campus from April 4 to 15 as they develop new projects. The Kiln is designed as a production incubator for directors, performers, and multi-faceted artists to work on passion projects and share them with each other and the People’s Light community.

“As the theatre landscape changes and evolves, the field is giving birth to more and more multi-hyphenate artists,” said Portes. “Yet there are very few developmental opportunities for theatremakers who do not primarily identify as playwrights. In conceiving The Kiln, I wanted to create space for directors and performers, as well as playwrights, to develop their dream projects. We are excited to host director-writers, writer-performers, actor-writers, actor-musicians, choreographers, composers, dramaturgs, and more around the People’s Light campfire.”

In hosting The Kiln, People’s Light seeks to create a home for nationally-recognized theatre artists of diverse artistic, cultural, and generational backgrounds to cultivate their work. Some of these projects are fully scripted and ready for staged presentations, while others are the spark of an idea that the artist will begin to cultivate into its next iteration. This program aims to support these genre-defying theatre artists by creating a space where they can hone their projects in close proximity with their contemporaries.

Participants are invited to stay for a five-day residency spent on the People’s Light campus in dedicated rehearsal spaces. The residency concludes with a series of readings, performances, community conversations, and artist talks for invited guests and subscribers to the People’s Light Spring/Summer Series. The presentations will take place over two weekends – April 7-8 and 14 15. Each project is distinct, so the process of presenting them is tailored to their respective needs.

From April 4-8, People’s Light hosts actor and playwright Lisa Ramirez, Panamanian American actress, dancer, and singer songwriter Daphne Rubin-Vega, and stage director Seema Sueko. Then, from April 10 to 15, The Kiln continues with director, actor, and writer Steve H. Broadnax III, Colombian American stage and film director Estefanía Fadul, and director-playwright Carey Perloff.

The Kiln is interactive; A major component of the program is that all the artists will regularly convene for communal lunches on the People’s Light campus between rehearsals. These lunches act as key points of interaction and potential inspiration between the participating artists as they prepare their work for their weekend sharing. Additionally, audiences are invited to share valuable feedback with the artists that they can use to further the creative journey of their work. All artists, supporting collaborators, and actors are paid a stipend as part of their participation in The Kiln.

“People’s Light is located in such a unique part of Pennsylvania and our country as a whole,” said Zak Berkman, Producing Artistic Director at People’s Light. “While The Kiln is a brand new endeavor for People’s Light, it emerges from a decade of significant investment in new work through our innovative New Play Frontiers commission and residency program, and our Harmony Labs of new musical collaborations. The Kiln aims to further establish Malvern as a destination for the development of new theatre making.”

The Kiln fulfills the theatre’s mission of collaborating with ambitious theatremakers from across the country who wish to engage with its distinctive five-county region to tell stories that speak to the Malvern community and the nation. However, it differs from the other new works programs at People’s Light in that it is purely artist-focused and provides a space for creatives to develop their projects outside of the pressures of potential production.

Learn more about The Kiln at People’s Light.

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