Barter Theatre's Shaping of America Series
December 28, 2011America began as an idea. Who are we? Where did we come from? How did we get there? The Shaping of America serues tells the stories you won't find in history books.
Beginning in 2011 (the 150th anniversary of America's Civil War) and continuing through 2026 (the 250th Anniversary of the founding of America), Barter Theatre will present at least one new play per year dedicated to the theme, The Shaping of America.
Every year through 2025, playwrights nationwide may submit their proposals from March 30-June 30. These are not plays that have already been written. Rather, this process starts with an idea and develops from there. Once a play is commissioned, a 2-3 year collaborative effort begins to produce the playwright's work, including readings, workshops, mini-production and, possibly, full production on one of Barter's two stages. The playwright will receive royalties from the production as well as have expenses covered during the development process (travel, housing).
Nicolas Piper, director of the project, explains, "Ideally, these are not necessarily plays documenting historical events, but rather the events are used as a springboard that lead to a deeper understanding of ourselves as a nation — our challenges, our culture, our character, our people: the stories, perhaps, you won't find in history books. At the end of this initiative will be a 15-play cycle that gives witness to who we are today and how we got here."
Appalachian Festival of Plays and Playwrights