New works by Diaz, Jacqmin to premiere Monday at ATC

The Silver Project arrives at ATC

A free performance  of new short works by Kristoffer   DiazSteve Harper, Laura Jacqmin, Joel Drake Johnson and Justin D.M. Palmer are slated to premiere Monday, March 1 as  part of the second installment American Theatre Company’s  Silver Project.   Tickets are free for the event,  which starts at 7:30 p.m. at  the theater, 1909 W. Byron, but reservations are requested. To make a reservation, call  773/409-4125. More information is available on the ATC web site,

 The Silver Project is part of the company’s ambitious year-long 25th Anniversary celebration. To mark the milestone, Artistic Director PJ Paparelli asked over 30 playwrights across the country to choose a year between 1985 and 2010 and to write a short play about that year. The works will all explore ATC’s mission by delving the query “what does it mean to be an American?” All 30 premieres will be presented in five parts throughout the year and as a complete cycle during the National Theatre Communications Group’s conference June 16-20, 2010.

Part 2 of The Silver Project explores domestic issues in America between 1988 to 2001.

The March 1 program will include:

Year 1991: There are Lessons to be Learned, written by Joel Drake Johnson, directed by Laura Hooper.

Year 1988: The Third Date, written by Justin DM Palmer, directed by Megan Schuchman

Year 1992: Shaquille O’Neill and Christian Lattner Discuss, written by Kristoffer Diaz, directed by Eddie Torres

Year 1996: Cow, written by Laura Jacqmin, directed by Edward Cisneros

Year 2001: Love War Death Life, written by Steve Harper, directed by Jeffry Stanton

Read about the playwrights after the fold:

About the playwrights:

Kristoffer Diaz is a playwright and educator, currently living and working in Minneapolis, where he is a 2009-10 Jerome Fellow. His plays The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity and Guernica have been produced and developed at Second Stage, Victory Gardens, The Orchard Project, Hip-Hop Theater Festival, The Lark, Summer Play Festival, Donmar Warehouse, Humana Festival of New American Plays, and South Coast Repertory. His play Welcome to Arroyo’s will be produced at American Theater Company this spring.  He is a playwright-in-residence at Teatro Vista, a recipient of both the Future Aesthetics Artist Regrant and the Van Lier Fellowship, and a member of the Ars Nova Play Group.

Steve Harper’s plays include Urban Rabbit Chronicles (Weissberger Award nomination), The Escape Artist’s Children (Winner: 2009 New Professional Theatre Writer’s Festival), This is Now (American Airlines Theatre – 24 Hour Plays), First Encounter (Falcon Theatre / L.A. – NBC diversity showcase), Actual Cost (Juilliard Centennial – published by The Kenyon Review Online). Readings and workshops: NY Stage & Film, Summer Play Festival/Naked Angels, NYTW. Education: Yale, The A.R.T. Institute for Advanced Theatre Training at Harvard and the playwriting program at Juilliard. Awards: Le Compte du Nouy prize at Juilliard, Yaddo’s Skidmore Residency for Artists of Color and a MacDowell Colony NEA Fellowship.

Laura Jacqmin is the winner of the 2008 Wasserstein Prize, a $25,000 award for emerging female playwrights. Her play Ski Dubai was produced in Steppenwolf Theatre Company’s 5th Annual First Look Repertory of New Work. Jacqmin was the artist-in-residence at the Center on Age and Community in Milwaukee during the Fall of 2009, where she completed Milvotchkee, Visconsin.

Joel Drake Johnson is one of the newest members of Chicago’s Victory Gardens Theater Playwrights Ensemble.  He lives in Chicago and New Buffalo, Michigan where he is working on three new plays:  The First Grade, which will be produced by the Aurora Theatre Company in the winter of 2010; A Guide for the Perplexed, which will be produced by Victory Gardens in the summer of 2010; The Boys Room, first developed at Victory Gardens and later a part of Northlight Theatre’s Interplay and Steppenwolf Theatre’s First Look reading series.

Justin D.M. Palmer is a Chicago-based playwright and screenwriter. His short play Taboo performed at American Theater Company’s 10×10 Festival in the summer of 2009. His co-adaptation of War With The Newts (from the 1936 novel by Karel Capek) will premiere at the Next Theatre in May 2010. He has co-written several short indie comedies with the local filmmaker Nathan Adloff, with whom he is also developing a feature-length independent comedy to shoot in Chicago in Spring 2010. Justin has a MFA in Writing from The School of the Art Institute Chicago.

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