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Think Tank

Launched in July 2009 and expanded in 2011 with the support of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the American Voices New Play Institute is a center for the creation of new work and the development of effective practices and processes for new-play development for the American theater.

In its first three years, the Institute focused on programs designed to test and develop promising advances in new play development around the country, with the intention of developing the infrastructure for new plays and new voices nationwide. That work resulted in the successful launch of #NewPlay TV, the blog Howlround and the creation of a national online New Play Map.  These programs of the Institute were so successful that they took on a life and service to the field of their own and in 2012 were successfully moved out of Arena Stage to continue independently at ArtsEmerson in Boston, Massachusetts. Arena Stage’s role in creating these programs will be publicly credited and noted in their history in perpetuity. 

If a tree falls in the new play forest but nobody hears it… One of the key strategies in our efforts to advance the infrastructure for new works and their creators was through a multi-platform documentation and dissemination program. This program included: