The First Hart New Play Initiative Gold Medallion Goes To . . .

The Moss Hart & Kitty Carlisle Hart New Play Initiative is delighted to announce that the first recipient of the Gold Medallion is Exit Wounds by Los Angeles based playwright Wendy Graf.

Exit Wounds looks at the human story behind the “ripped from the headlines” sensationalist story of a horrific tragedy. “We always hear about the families of the victims, but what happens to the families of the perpetrators?” Graf asks. “Can they ever live a normal life again?”

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Exit Wounds explores the effects of a national tragedy on three generations of the perpetrator’s family. How do you find redemption when someone you love has committed a terrible crime? A story of healing, hope and compassion, Exit Wounds unravels slowly, as a mystery: what was the tragic event that caused hoarder Linda Sadowski to retreat from life, and her son, Matt to become estranged? How can Linda stem the ripple effect of the family’s painful past and save the 17-year-old grandson she’s never met?

We are very happy that our Los Angeles production of Exit Wounds caught the attention of a Tony-winning producer – someone who’s been the lead producer on many new shows and has successfully shepherded them through regional productions on their way to New York. He and the playwright are now working together to further develop the play for a potential major regional theater production. So congratulations to playwright Wendy Graf — this is a great step forward for Exit Wounds and for the Hart New Play Initiative!

And congratulations to our Silver Medallion recipient, Confederates by New York based playwright Suzanne Bradbeer. It’s an often funny, often devastating look at today’s high stakes political media landscape. A young and ambitious reporter uncovers a compromising photo of the daughter of a candidate for president. An older colleague urges him to publish it immediately while the daughter and his conscience tell him to bury it. In the end, he must decide if it’s a legitimate story and whether such a distinction is even relevant for today’s relentless news cycles.

The Hart New Play Initiative is an ongoing play development program. During its first year, 1243 playwrights (from 43 states and 5 countries) participated by submitting scripts. That led to 23 Semi-Finalists, 8 Finalists, and 4 Bronze Medallions. The Bronze Medallion recipients were Exit Wounds, Confederates, Find & Sign by Wendy MacLeod and Queen by Madhuri Shekar. They all received readings at 59E59 Theaters in New York July 12-15, 2018 as part of our Jeremy Nussbaum New Play Reading Series.

Then Hart NPI was on to Los Angeles where the two Silver Medallion Winners were produced (November 10 to December 16, 2018) in rotating rep at Grove Theater Center in Burbank. Both productions were directed by Christopher Hart with set and costumes by three time Ovation nominee Leonard Ogden; lights by Ovation nominee David Darwin; and sound by Hunter Stephenson.

We also want to congratulate the other Finalists:
El Ciclope by Alex Paul Burkat with Octavio Rodriguez
Memorial Day by Paul Donnelly
The Patron Saints by Ken Jaworowski
Where Storms Are Born by Harrison David Rivers
…and Semi-Finalists:
A Perfect Gentleman by Herbert Appleman
Bureaucrazy by Kate Danley
Close Harmony by Judy Goetz Sanger
Cufflinked by Cary Pepper
It’s Not About the Cat by Jacey Powers
Mad Beat Hip & Gone by Steven Dietz
Mr. Teddy by George Smart
Older Lady by Erin Buckley
Pooka by James McLindon
Rainbow’s Return by Stephen Mo Hanan
The Perfect Wife by Karen L. Lewis
The Spanish Prayer Book by Angela J. Davis
These Arms of Mine by Philip W. Hall

As development of Exit Wounds continues, we’re very excited to be putting together the second year of the Hart NPI. It builds upon the many successes of our first year while expanding the program into an 18 month cycle. Details on this new cycle of the Moss Hart and Kitty Carlisle Hart New Play Initiative will be announced later this spring.

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