By Naomi Iizuka
Directed by Carolyn Conover
Studio 60 Theatre
Monday, December 8, 2014 at 7:00pm
The Big Ten Theatre Consortium established a New Play Initiative to combat gender inequity in the theater.
Beginning in spring 2014, the Consortium’s New Play Initiative will commission, produce, and publicize a series of new plays by female playwrights, each of which will contain several significant roles for college-aged women. The plays will serve not only collegiate theater programs but the professional theater as well. The group plans to commission one play each year for three years, and as the project progresses will commit to additional years, hopefully as many as 10.
For their first commission, the consortium has chosen Naomi Iizuka, one of the nation’s most acclaimed dramatists, head of playwriting at the University of California–San Diego.
Her widely produced plays include 36 Views, Strike-Slip, and Anon(ymous). For the Big Ten commission, she’s working on a provocative play entitled Good Kids, which will explore, in her words, "a casual sexual encounter gone wrong and its very public aftermath.” Set in a Midwestern high school, “in a world of Facebook and Twitter, smart phones and YouTube,” the play will provide an abundance of powerful, contemporary roles for theater students of both sexes.
Several of the Big Ten theater departments are performing the play during their 2014-2015 seasons because the universities are equal partners in the project, no single school will have the official distinction of hosting the premiere of any play; instead, the consortium will host “rolling” premieres.